Meet the expert: Alex Richardson

At the end of last year we were excited to announce that we doubled our PCB Manufacturing Capacity, after investing in a new surface mount line and completely revamping the PCB manufacturing area.

This means that we can now offer specialist medical PCB manufacturing as a standalone service, enabling us to take on more complex and larger volume orders.

It’s not just our state-of-the-art equipment that puts us at the top though, it’s the expertise of our team too. We want you to meet one of the great minds behind our PCB production, Alex Richardson, who’s been responsible for ITL’s manufacturing area for the past five years.

A passion for technology

Alex grew up in the Medway Towns in Kent and was destined for a job in engineering, with a love of taking things apart and putting them back together again (most of the time).

At college he wasn’t satisfied with completing one qualification – a two year diploma in electronic engineering at the Horsted campus of Mid Kent College - he also found time to study for a course in computer maintenance and repair, earning a distinction in the process.

After graduating in 2008 he started work as a production machine operator with a small electronics sub-contractor based in Lordswood before joining ITL as a machine technician, quickly rising through the ranks to become team leader.

His main role is to run the PTH (plated through-hole) and SMT (surface mount) departments but his job description goes far beyond that, to include process validation, maintenance and the FDA-standard product testing regime.

Alex’s expertise

“What I enjoy most about working for ITL,” explains Alex, “is that the products that we make have the potential to improve people’s quality of life and to save lives.”

Alex is also in charge of overseeing product returns, most of which are out of warranty returns, as well as working with clients requiring product upgrades or repairs. His job is to ensure that these are dealt with in a timely manner.

There aren’t many products that don’t contain a PCB from TVs to fridges and the medical devices produced at ITL - from critical gas delivery systems to cancer detection devices - have anything from 80 up to 1,000 components in a single product.

For Alex, there’s no such thing as a quiet day. On average 1,500 PCBs are produced each month, with the capacity now doubled thanks to ITL upgrading their automated surface mount line from a Europlacer iineo i to an iineo ii.

A typical day involves prioritising work, going over any issues and working closely with his team.

Alex currently has 13 projects on the go and so it is a juggling act of tasks – from scheduling and testing to sending out quotes to potential customers.

Driven by success

Working in manufacturing is not a job where you can stand on what you know.

There’s always something new to learn, with Alex ensuring his skill set and that of his team are always kept up-to-date. In his case that has included training to be a qualified Internal Auditor and taking BSI validation training.

“It’s good to keep up to date,” says Alex, “particularly on the auditing site which allows me to see the process with a different perspective and allows me to understand the regulations of manufacture better and ensure that we always conform to industry standards.”

“The most important skills for doing my job are being well organised and having a keen eye for detail with an overriding focus on meeting the needs of the customer.

“The thing is, I’m never satisfied with just doing a good job. I always drive to continuously improve and to perform better than the day, the week, or the year before. It’s what spurs me on.”

Get in touch

Alex’s attention to detail and his passion for what he does ensure clients always get a first class service. if you’d like to talk to him about an upcoming PCB manufacturing project, contact him on 01233 653400 or ar@itl.co.uk

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