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Company & Industry News

You'll find company and industry news as Tenkay continue to provide proof of our excellent service and give insight into the Manufacturing industry.

17th May

The Benefits of Custom Cable Assemblies
In electronics manufacturing, the one-size-fits-all approach often fails to meet the specific needs of diverse industries. This is particularly true for cable assemblies, which play a critical role in the functionality and reliability of a wide range of equipment and systems. Recognising this, Tenkay specialises in manufacturing build-to--drawing cable assemblies, offering tailored solutions that bring significant advantages to our clients. Here, we explore the multifaceted benefits of opting for custom cable assemblies and how Tenkay's expertise ensures these benefits are fully realised. Tailored to Specific Requirements Custom cable assemblies are designed and manufactured to meet each application's unique specifications and requirements. Whether it's a particular electrical capacity, unique connectors, or a specific length, custom assemblies ensure that every detail is accounted for. This level of customisation is crucial in industries such as Oil & Gas, Aviation Simulation, and Industrial Automation, where equipment must perform reliably under specific and often demanding conditions. Enhanced Performance By precisely matching the assembly to the application's requirements, custom cable assemblies can significantly enhance performance. Optimal material selection and design can reduce electrical losses, improve signal integrity, and ensure the assembly can withstand environmental stressors such as temperature extremes, moisture, and chemicals. This tailored approach ensures that systems operate at peak efficiency, with reduced risk of downtime or failure. Improved Durability and Longevity Durability is a cornerstone of custom cable assemblies. By selecting materials and designs suited to the operating environment, these assemblies are better equipped to resist wear and tear, leading to a longer service life. For clients, this translates to lower maintenance costs, fewer replacements, and less downtime, providing a higher return on investment over the equipment's lifespan. Ease of Installation Custom cable assemblies can also simplify the installation process. Designed to fit perfectly within the intended system, these assemblies can eliminate the need for modifications or adaptations often required with off-the-shelf options. This not only speeds up the installation process but also reduces the potential for installation errors, ensuring the system is up and running more quickly and reliably. Cost-Effectiveness While custom cable assemblies may appear costlier upfront compared to standard options, their long-term cost-effectiveness cannot be overlooked. By minimising the need for replacements, reducing downtime, and enhancing system performance, these tailored solutions can lead to significant savings over time. Furthermore, by working closely with clients from the design phase to manufacturing, Tenkay can optimise the assembly process to be as cost-efficient as possible, ensuring clients receive the best value for their investment. Tenkay's Commitment to Quality At Tenkay, our commitment to providing high-quality, cable assemblies is unwavering. Our experienced engineers and production operatives work closely with clients to understand their needs, leveraging our industry expertise to manufacture assemblies that meet and exceed expectations. Conclusion The advantages of custom cable assemblies are clear: tailored specifications for enhanced performance, improved durability, ease of installation, and overall cost-effectiveness. At Tenkay, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver these benefits to our clients through our build-to-drawing manufacturing services. By choosing Tenkay for custom cable assemblies, clients can rest assured that their equipment is powered by solutions that are not just fit for purpose but optimised for success. Find out more about our cable assembly services. And feel free to contact our team if you have any queries by using any of the methods below.

17th May

Why Can Cable Assemblies Fail?
Cable assemblies are crucial components in many industries, from Oil & Gas to Aviation Simulation. They ensure the seamless operation of machinery, equipment, and technology across sectors. However, like any critical component, they are not immune to failure. Understanding the causes of these failures is essential to mitigate risks and ensure reliability. At Tenkay, we prioritise the integrity and durability of our cable assemblies, employing rigorous standards to prevent common failures. Here, we delve into the reasons cable assemblies can fail and outline the meticulous measures Tenkay takes to ensure they don't. Common Causes of Cable Assembly Failure Physical Damage Physical damage is a leading cause of cable assembly failure. This includes abrasion, crushing, and over-flexing, which can compromise the integrity of the wires within the assembly. Environmental factors, such as extreme temperatures or exposure to chemicals, can also exacerbate wear and tear. Improper Installation Improper installation can lead to undue stress on cable assemblies. Incorrect routing, bending beyond the cable's minimum bend radius, or pulling with excessive force can damage the assembly internally, leading to failures. Moisture Ingress Moisture is a formidable enemy of cable assemblies, particularly in environments like Oil & Gas exploration or Industrial Automation. Moisture ingress can lead to corrosion of the conductive paths, reducing the assembly's effectiveness and lifespan. Electrical Overload Cable assemblies are designed to handle specified electrical loads. Exceeding these limits can cause overheating, insulation breakdown, and, ultimately, failure. This is often due to incorrect specifications or unforeseen operational demands. Tenkay's Approach to Ensuring Reliability Rigorous Quality Control At the heart of Tenkay Electronics' operations lies a steadfast commitment to quality that significantly reduces the risk of cable assembly failures. Our rigorous quality control process is meticulously designed to catch and rectify any potential issues long before they reach our customers, ensuring the reliability and durability of every product that leaves our facility. Here’s how our skilled operators help ensure quality for our clients: Comprehensive Inspection and Testing Protocols: Our quality journey begins with a detailed inspection and testing of the first-off of each batch, verifying that it meets not only the dimensional requirements as per customer specifications but also the stringent IPC 620 & 610 standards. This ensures that each assembly is crafted to perfection, adhering to both our clients' expectations and industry-wide quality benchmarks. Innovative Testing with the AutoMeg System: The AutoMeg Tester, a cornerstone of our testing strategy, exemplifies our approach to quality control. Beyond its fundamental testing capabilities, the AutoMeg system 'learns' each product's specifics, setting a quality benchmark every unit must meet. This not only allows for precise and consistent testing across our product range but also reassures our clients of the unmatched reliability of our cable assemblies. Continuous Improvement and Client Feedback: Integral to our quality ethos is the cycle of continuous improvement. Our quality control and technical inspection processes for supplied materials and components are regularly updated to reflect internal analyses, such as FPY (First Pass Yield) data reviews and valuable client feedback. This dynamic approach enables us to refine our practices continually, ensuring they remain at the cutting edge of quality assurance. Through meticulous and rigorous quality control and a commitment to continuous innovation, Tenkay Electronics stands at the forefront of ensuring the reliability and longevity of cable assemblies. Our dedication to delivering products that not only meet but exceed expectations is unwavering. It's this dedication that makes Tenkay Electronics a trusted partner in the demanding environments our products serve. Conclusion Cable assembly failures can significantly impact the efficiency and safety of operations across industries. By understanding the root causes of these failures and employing stringent measures to counteract them, Tenkay can ensure the reliability and longevity of cable assemblies. Through rigorous quality control and continuous innovation, we commit to delivering products that not only meet but exceed the expectations of the demanding environments they serve. If your company is looking for cable assembly services, contact our team today to see how we can help.

08th May

How Are Cable Assemblies Manufactured?
Cable assemblies are fundamental components that power, connect, and ensure the functionality of a wide range of devices across various industries, including Industrial Automation, Aviation Simulation, and Safety Systems. These assemblies are more than just a bundle of wires; they are meticulously designed and manufactured systems that meet specific electrical and mechanical requirements. Here, we take a closer look at the sophisticated process behind the manufacture of cable assemblies, highlighting the precision and expertise Tenkay brings to each step of the process. Step 1: Design and Prototyping The manufacturing process begins long before any physical work is done on the cable assemblies. It starts with a thorough design phase where the application's specific needs are assessed. This involves determining the electrical requirements, environmental conditions, and mechanical constraints of the assembly. Prototyping follows the design phase, where initial samples are produced for testing and validation, ensuring the design meets all operational requirements. Some of our clients ask us to make them a prototype; others make their own in-house and just require our manufacturing services. We can accommodate whichever process works best for you. Step 2: Pre-Production Once the design is finalised, the manufacturing process moves on to cutting and stripping the wires. Precision machinery is used to cut wires to the exact length required by the design specifications. The insulation is then stripped from the ends of each wire, preparing them for termination. This step is meticulously controlled to ensure the integrity of the wire is not compromised. At Tenkay, we automate this process wherever possible to achieve consistency and quality over volume. Step 3: Termination Termination involves attaching connectors or terminal blocks to the stripped ends of the wires. This can be done manually for complex assemblies or through automated processes for higher volumes. The choice of termination method depends on the cable assembly's design and the application's specific requirements. Tenkay uses high-quality connectors and employs skilled technicians to ensure a secure and reliable connection. Step 4: Assembly With all components prepared, the assembly process begins. This can involve simply grouping wires into a single sheath or more complex configurations with multiple branches and connections. Tenkay’s manufacturing staff carefully follow the design schematics to bundle, route, and secure the wires and components, ensuring that the final product meets both the physical and electrical specifications outlined in the design phase. Step 5: Testing and Quality Assurance The final and perhaps most critical step in the manufacturing process is testing and quality assurance. Where applicable, Tenkay conducts comprehensive electrical tests to ensure the assembly performs as intended, including continuity tests, insulation resistance tests, and high-voltage tests. Our operatives can also carry out physical inspections to ensure the assembly meets all mechanical requirements. Conclusion Manufacturing cable assemblies is a complex process requiring design, material science, and engineering expertise. At Tenkay, we pride ourselves on our meticulous attention to detail at every stage of the manufacturing process. Our commitment to quality and reliability ensures that our cable assemblies meet the demanding requirements of the industries we serve, giving our clients the confidence that their operations are powered by the best possible connections. Find out more about our cable assemblies service or contact our team via any of the methods below.

02nd Dec

Tenkay’s “Right First Time” Quality and Inspection Philosophy
This article discusses Inspection and Testing methodologies and outlines the multipath approach to Quality and Inspection adopted at Tenkay as part of our “Right First Time” philosophy. At Tenkay we are occasionally asked why we do not have 100% Inspection of our products. 100% final inspection is often seen as the only way to ensure that fault free, quality products reach the customer. In fact, far from ensuring that no defects reach the customer Juran, in his book “Juran’s Quality Handbook”, has written that, based on his studies performed on Inspector accuracy, 100% inspection is (only) about 87% effective. (Juran, 1999) Dr Deming discusses the role of inspection in his book “Out of Crisis” in which he sets out 14 key principles for management to follow for significantly improving the effectiveness of a business or organization. His Third principle states “Inspection does not improve the quality, nor guarantee quality. Inspection is too late. The quality, good or bad, is already in the product.” (Deming, 1982) This does not mean that Inspection has no role to play in producing a quality product, it means that quality has to be built into the organisation such that products are manufactured “Right First Time”, the role of Inspection shifts from being a safety net to the role of maintaining, and improving, the quality of the process and products. To quote Dr Deming again “Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.” Shigeo Shingo is considered by many to have been the worlds’ leading expert manufacturing practitioner and was a powerful force behind the Toyota Production System. He was the person behind Poka-yoke (Error proof) and Just-In-Time methods. In his views, there are three types of inspection: Judgment Inspection – inspections that discover defects Informative Inspection – inspections that reduce defects Source Inspection – inspections that eliminate defects Judgment inspection is an inspection that is performed after the fact to discover defects. The batch is produced, and then inspection is performed to determine if the lot is acceptable or not. The safety net approach. In Shingo’s words “It (Judgment Inspection) remains inherently a kind of post-mortem inspection however, for no matter how accurately and thoroughly it is performed, it can in no way contribute to lowering the defect rate in the plant itself.” Shingo continues to state that the Judgment Inspection method is consequently of no value, if one wants to bring down defect rates within plants. Informative Inspection is an inspection that helps in reducing defects. This method feeds back information to the work process involved, thus allowing actions to take place to correct the process. Shingo describes three types of Informative Inspections: Statistical Quality Control Systems – This is the system where production data such as efficiencies and failure rates are monitored and analysed in order to identify trends or out of control processes, and thus aid in getting the process back to stability. Successive Check Systems – This is the system where the component gets inspected by the next operator in the line. Any defect is identified and corrected almost immediately by letting the previous operator know. This is sometimes known as a “Buddy Check” Self-check systems – This is the system where the operator can inspect the work that he/she did, and fix the problem immediately. The final category is Source Inspection. In this category, the feedback loop is so short that as soon as the error occurs, the feedback kicks in preventing the error from becoming a defect. An example of source inspection is First Off Inspection. The key in determining value in the inspection process is the length of the feedback loop. Judgmental Inspection is the least value adding in this regards because the product lot is already built and completed. Informative Inspection is value adding, since the feedback loop is considerably shorter. Finally, the source inspection is the most value adding since the feedback loop is the shortest. Thus, the shorter the feedback loop, the higher the inspection method’s value. (Jose, 2015) Here at Tenkay we use a Multipath approach to inspection and test which uses a combination of all three inspection types. There follow two examples, Printed Circuit Assembly and Wiring Loom Assembly. 1 Printed Circuit Assembly PCAs assembled at Tenkay can be either conventional through hole plated which are hand assembled or Surface Mount assemblies which are silk screened, component placed and reflow soldered by our SMT production line. The inspection regimes are the same for both except for an additional reel and feeder inspection before assembly commences on the SMT line. In all cases a single board or panel is assembled and soldered and then presented for first off inspection. The test department will perform a 100% inspection and full functional test (where applicable). Assembly is not permitted to proceed until the first off has successfully passed this stage. Any errors are immediately fed back and corrected. (Source Inspection) The Assembly of the batch then proceeds. A sample of the batch is then 100% inspected. The sample size is determined by the Senior Quality Inspection based on the pass rate history but is typically 5%. If a single error is found the entire batch is sent back to the PCB line for self-inspection and rework by the operative. (Informative Inspection). Finally, all PCAs are Functionally tested, this will pick up any component failures that inspection alone cannot find. Any faulty PCAs are sent back for rework (Judgement Inspection). Data such as failure rate is recorded and analysed to ensure that the quality of the process is maintained (Informative Inspection). 2 Wiring Loom Assembly Wiring Looms and cable assemblies follow a similar regime whereby a single example is made. This will be presented for first off inspection. The Quality Control department will then perform a 100% inspection on the first off and test on the Automeg ATE system for open circuits and potential shorts with high voltage testing. Assembly is not permitted to proceed until the first off has successfully passed this stage. Any errors are immediately fed back and corrected. (Source Inspection) The Assembly of the batch then proceeds. A sample of the batch is then 100% inspected. The sample size is determined by the Senior Quality Inspector based on the pass rate history but is typically 5%. If a single error is found the entire batch is sent back to the operator for rework. (Informative Inspection). Data such as failure rate is recorded and analysed to ensure that the quality of the process is maintained (Informative Inspection).   At the beginning of this article I said that we are occasionally asked why we do not have 100% Inspection of our products. Hopefully this article will have demonstrated why 100% inspection alone is unsatisfactory and the advantages of our multipath approach to inspection and test.   References Deming, W Edwards. 1982. Out of the Crisis. Out of the crisis. 1982. Jose, Harish. 2015. Is Inspection Value Added? My notes....Quality, Data Science, Strategy & Lean. [Online] August 30th, 2015. [Cited: October 12th, 2016.] Juran. 1999. Measure of Inspector and Test Accuracy. [book auth.] Joseph M Juran. Juran's Quality Handbook. s.l. : McGraw Hill, 1999.   If you need to subcontract part of your manufacturing process and need a reliable partner, call us today to see what we can do.

10th Jun

One year on – A look at the impact of our new SMT line
At Tenkay Electronics, we strive to provide the best service for our customers. To do this, we invest in the latest technology to improve the quality of our offering. For our SMD pick and place processing, we installed the new Yamaha iPulse M20 SMD placement machine for its high accuracy and adaptability. Whether we’re placing components on 1 or 10,000 PCB’s, the M20 has the most exacting technology that will achieve accuracy even with the most hard-to-place boards. Read our blogs for more about the capabilities and installation of our new machine. In keeping with the iPulse philosophy of designing flexible, high-specification SMT placement machines, the new M20 series addresses both current and future manufacturing requirements. This will enable us to cater to future customer needs as required, while maintaining and improving existing services. Many standard features usually associated with machines of much higher cost are included, such as controlling the downward pressure of placement, board warp detection and continuous monitoring of machine accuracy. The range of feeder bank and optional tray handling configurations also allows for very fast product turnarounds. Since its installation, the M20 has doubled our PCB SMT output speed, whilst continuing to provide a better quality product with more placement accuracy. The recent addition of our new PCB Engineer, Rares, has refreshed how we operate at Tenkay, and provided insight into how we might improve a number of areas within the PCB section of the business, areas such as tooling control and component storage. Rares has previous experience dealing with high volume production, and it’s this experience that has helped us to further optimise our manufacturing processes, as well as improve our efficiencies. Now that we have more resources, the responsibility of the SMT programming has shifted to the Engineering department, which has given us more control. Furthermore, new PCB Engineering methods have been adopted throughout the PCB area, to ease the creation of production documentation, which will reduce customer queries and delays. If you need to subcontract part of your manufacturing process and need a reliable partner, call us today to see what we can do.

27th May

How could Brexit affect the UK’s manufacturing industry?
How could Brexit affect the UK's manufacturing industry? Time’s running out before we have to make our decision on the EU referendum in June. So what does the UK manufacturing industry need to consider before voting? We take a look at the key points for and against a vote to leave the EU. Twitter Poll results We conducted a Twitter poll last week to get an idea of how many of you wanted to leave or remain in the EU based on the short and long term effects on the UK manufacturing industry. The result? It looks like we’re still split down the middle with 52% voting to leave the EU vs 43% voting to remain and the remaining 5% being undecided. Are you surprised by these results? Let us know on Twitter using #ukmfg #Brexit. So what are the key points to consider? Trade A vote to leave would require new deals to be negotiated not only with the EU, but with non-EU countries as well. The Office for National Statistics shows that in 2015, exports of goods and services to the EU accounted for 44% of the total exports. The share of exports has fallen by more than 10 percentage points over the last 15 years. Between Quarter 4 (October to December) 2015 and Quarter 1 (January to March) 2016, the UK’s trade in goods deficit with the EU widened by £0.7 billion to £23.9 billion – the widest on record - reflecting a 1.6% increase in exports and a 2.3% increase in imports to £57.5 billion. Exports to non-EU countries increased to £12.3 billion and imports from non-EU countries increased to £47.1 billion. So how easy will it be to continue trading with EU markets if the UK left? With bigger exports to the UK than imports from it, how difficult are these existing markets likely to want to make continued trading with the UK? If the UK removed itself from the single market, will the desire of non-EU countries to trade with us be affected? Obama has already announced that despite our ‘special relationship’, if we vote leave on 23 June, we will end up at the back of the 10 year queue for new trade deals. But how real is that threat? The UK would need to quickly cement existing trade agreements while finding new deals elsewhere in the world. Some will see this as an opportunity for the UK to go bigger and better, others a long hard slog to get back to where they were pre-Brexit. Regulation / legislation For some, the carrot of the vote leave campaign is the reduction in red tape in this heavily regulated industry which costs businesses time and money. But what about the argument that leaving the EU may just make it harder to unravel what’s already in place, only to have to continue playing by the rules if new EU trade deals are to be agreed? According to accountancy and advisory firm, BDO LLP’s survey of 632 British mid-sized companies, although the majority want to remain in the EU, 63% wanted less red tape and those polled wanted to see regulatory offsetting by removing an existing EU regulation for every new regulation adopted. Would the EU ever agree to such a request? Supply chain Although we may win when it comes to reduced regulation, many predict that pulling away from the free trade agreement and the tariffs that would be imposed as a result, would see an increase in supply chain costs including the costs to source raw materials and other imports from the EU. But what if we updated our sourcing strategies so we are not purchasing key supplies exclusively from Europe? And could we find cost-savings through improved efficiencies within the supply chain, such as improved stock management and waste reduction? With careful and thorough contingency planning, we could surely limit any negative repercussions of a Brexit. Investment The EU invests 15% of its £11 billion budget in the UK for innovation programmes. Would innovation programmes simply stop? Or would we start to see UK manufacturers invest themselves? The majority of foreign investment in the EU comes to the UK. Would Brexit make investors uneasy and encourage them to send their money elsewhere? An EEF survey shows that 50% of manufacturers would be less likely to increase investment if the UK were to leave the EU. Is this simply a pessimistic view based on an uncertainty of the repercussions, or does this spell the beginning of the end for manufacturing in a stand-alone UK? Skills With manufacturing facing a skills shortage, will restrictions on free movement of people from member states in post-Brexit Britain exacerbate this further, or could this present an opportunity for a more targeted immigration policy, bringing in the skills we need? Perhaps this could be the wakeup call needed to begin actively promoting manufacturing as a career path in schools, as well as reviewing the pay UK workers receive? On the other hand however, if the manufacturing industry begins to deteriorate and we see fewer job opportunities because of possibly fewer or weaker trade deals, less EU and foreign investment, as well as less investment from manufacturers themselves, will we be forced to watch, powerless, as high skilled workers move overseas, taking their skills away with them? Conclusion With many influential figures split on the decision to leave or stay, it’s no wonder many are struggling with the importance of this decision. It’s a case of weighing up the positive and negative scenarios and identifying which way tips the balance to get Britain the better deal. Whether we remain part of the club and help reform the EU from the inside, or leave and make going it alone work, one thing’s for sure, we have a long journey ahead of us. How do you think a Brexit will change the UK manufacturing industry? We’d like to hear your thoughts or predictions, so please share them with us on Twitter using #ukmfg #Brexit. Do you know which way you will vote?

15th Feb

New i-Pulse line boosts placement capacity at Tenkay
New i-Pulse line boosts placement capacity at Tenkay Tenkay is featured in the Blundell newsletter this month, having recently purchased the new M20 SMT placement machine from the leading equipment manufacturer. The article explains Tenkay’s new and improved capabilities, such as the expansion of on-machine component stock, enabled handling of more complex PCB assemblies and the ability to assemble printed circuit boards of up to 1480 x 510mm. To learn more about these new capabilities, read the article on page 3 here.    

08th Feb

Why Edwards used Tenkay to set up in Korea
  February 2016 At Tenkay we never underestimate the importance of customer communication and relationships, that's what every successful partnership needs! Our case studies provide an opportunity for you to gain insight into how we work and the broad range of clients we work with. This latest case study features our client and their need for a partner that could share the knowledge and expertise, as well as the ongoing supportive relationship we continue to provide. Read our new case study Do you think we could help you? For the full Edwards case study click here. "Tenkay's electrical harnesses and service kits are as good as you can get and, despite logistical factors such as cost and distance, they have the reliability, delivery and service capability that we require." Rob Fell, Commodity Manager - Electronics & Technology, Edwards Download the case study here We scored 60! We recently asked our key accounts how likey they would be to recommend us to colleagues. We were really happy with the overall result of +60 on a scale that runs from -100 to +100! Thank you to everyone who took part!

04th Dec

What customers want
What customers want Our customers regularly score us on a range of different areas and, based upon this, you get a real insight into what is important to OEMs. There are the obvious areas such as on time delivery and quality and rejection rates, which our Right First Time, Zero Defects policy has been introduced to support, but there is clearly more to it than that. So what else matters? Our survey shows the additional areas important to customers when assessing their contract manufacturers and what, therefore, should form part of the ‘standard’ package from any provider: Flexibility –  we live and work in a fast moving dynamic world where end user requirements constantly and rapidly change, as such customers need a supplier that can support this need. At Tenkay, we understand that being able to respond quickly, and react and deliver changes when required provides the support, flexibility and confidence that our customers need. Ease of doing business –  it is vital that communication between supplier and customer is easy and responsive. Keeping customers informed and updated is key to any partnership. OEMs need a partner that finds solutions, someone that will manage the process with their best interests at heart and get the job done. Business Continuity Plan –  a business continuity plan demonstrates the supplier's commitment to continue to deliver and minimise any impact on supply, whatever may happen. EHS & Ethics – customers want to know their supply chain partners take their impact on the environment, as well as health and safety and other ethical issues such as conflict minerals, seriously. Responsible contract manufacturers can also help customers with the burden of supply chain audits. We are really pleased with our recent customer scoring – see our infographic if you missed it last time. Having an engaged workforce at Tenkay is at the heart of the service we provide; expertise, proactive problem solving and attention to detail are valued by our customers. If you like what you see and want to find out what we could do for you, or to arrange a visit to our site, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.