2014 sees British company Electra Polymers celebrate 30 years of service to the global printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics manufacturing industries.
Renowned for high-performance products, innovative material development and technology, and outstanding customer service, Electra has pioneered the development of advanced speciality polymer products for the last three decades.
During that time, Electra has been responsible for many innovations in the industry, including one of the first fully aqueous processing, two component, liquid photoimageable solder masks (LPISM) in 1987, extra matte solder masks for the elimination of solder balls on soldering and photoimageable solder masks formulated specifically for application by high volume, low pressure (HVLP spray systems.
Electra’s first base was at Chiddingstone Causeway, Kent, where the company occupied a factory previously owned by ‘Subbuteo’, manufacturers of a popular table football game, which was equipped with tables marked ‘Manchester United – red’, and Chelsea – blue’!
In 1994 Electra gained BS 5750/ISO 9000 standard approval and in 1995, the company moved to its current site at Roughway Mill, in Kent, to purpose-built accommodation that enabled the company to more than double capacity.
From a staff of four, the company now has 30 people, plus employees in India and Thailand. Three of the founder members of the company, Managing Director Nick Heesom, Technical Director Chris Wall, and Senior Lab Technician Clive Landells, still work for Electra, as do many of the earliest employees.
The export market has always been an important sector of Electra’s business: even in the early days, the company had well-established contacts in Italy, Denmark and Brazil. In 1997, Electra’s expertise and efforts were recognized when the company won a Queen’s Award for Exports. Since then, the export side of the business has expanded significantly, and now accounts for around 85 to 90 per cent of output.
Electra remains totally committed to innovation, research and development. The company’s skilled polymer chemists and process engineers are currently engaged in developing new products for imaging solder masks, as the industry moves from phototool methods to direct imaging using LED or lasers as light sources.
More exciting developments, including the use of nano-technology, will ensure Electra continues to meet customers’ requirements and retain its leadership of the polymer-based materials market in the years to come.