Plant & Works Engineering
PCB Design and assembly agreement
Published:  01 February, 2023

Offshore Electronics has announced it will provide design for manufacture support and PCB assembly services to Fireco, a supplier and manufacturer of fire door compliance devices and solutions. The move consolidates much of Fireco’s PCBA procurement, with the company having used several suppliers prior to signing its new contract with the Guernsey-based CEM.

Fireco says its range has become a staple of modern building safety and compliance since first being introduced in the early 1990s. Despite this success, the product’s circuitry is now in need of a major update to maintain its  position in the market. The agreement with Offshore – which covers current and future projects throughout 2023 – will also ensure the range’s pro devices work seamlessly with Fireco’s proprietary site manager software.

Fireco’s Dorgard and Freedor products automatically close when a building’s alarm systems are triggered. This allows a business to leave its fire doors open, if desired, while still complying with building regulations. The company has manufactured three variants of this product over almost three decades, but will now incorporate greater functionality into a single all-purpose solution due to be released in 2023.

The agreement comes at a crucial time for both businesses. Fireco has grown significantly since 2020 and is expecting continued significant growth throughout 2023. Offshore, meanwhile, has recently invested in new production machinery, including a Yamaha Z:LEX YSM20R modular pick and place machine, effectively doubling the number of components it’s able to place each month.

Mark Challacombe, Fireco’s purchasing manager, points out the decision to consolidate PCB assembly was down to Offshore’s ‘extra as standard’ approach. He said: “I’ve worked with many CEMs throughout my career, but the team at Offshore have consistently outperformed their competitors. There’s a wealth of in-house knowledge and an attention to detail that can be lacking with other outsourced partners. I was unable to appoint the company in a previous role and really noticed the difference, so it made sense to bring the company back on board for this important project. Now we have a dedicated partner in tune with Fireco’s plans”.

Dan Attewell, Offshore’s director, added: “Offshore’s NPI process is proven and will take Fireco’s range to the next level during an important period of growth. Our close supplier relationship will keep the project running to schedule, and a new pick-and- place machine will vastly increase output once we’ve settled on a new board design. The way CEMs work with customers has changed over the last three years but we’ve always adopted a value-added mindset. It’s validating to see this approach pay off with an exciting new contract”.