February – was the month that…

By Raspberry Jim,

…flew by!

After the world’s longest January, it seems like February has whizzed by faster than Raspberry Jim on rollerskates.

With only a few short weeks to cram in our usual busy schedules, our jammers spent the month out and about, playing Cupid, and consuming far too much sugar.

Here’s what we got up to… … Continue reading

Manufacturing leader Sony UK TEC searches for graduate and apprentice talents

By Raspberry Jim,

7

Engineers of the future are getting the chance to join one of the world’s leading manufacturing facilities.

Sony UK Technology Centre is launching its graduate and apprentice recruitment schemes for a fourth consecutive year with applicants able to apply online or through a graduate career link on Twitter.

The programme will see successful applicants join the international brand’s award-winning Welsh site, based in Pencoed.

The facility, based just off the M4, has developed a world-renowned reputation thanks to its high-end broadcast and professional camera manufacturing operation, along with its contract manufacturing business which has created industry-leading products including the Raspberry Pi.

Graduates and apprentices applying to the schemes will get the opportunity to develop their skills across Sony UK TEC’s diverse professional facility, which enables them to experience all the challenges and rewards of working in a modern manufacturing facility.

As part of their role they will utilize skills including technical, creative, and problem solving in a bid to revolutionise the facility’s existing manufacturing processes.

During the schemes they will work across Sony UK TEC’s core broadcast camera manufacturing business, which sees thousands of high specification cameras produced at the site and shipped around the world annually. These are then utilised across the film making industry, sporting events, and live news coverage.

Alongside this they will also develop experience in the facility’s highly successful contract manufacturing business, which combines the skill of Sony UK TEC’s team players with its state-of-the-art on-site capabilities to create products for clients around the world.

Over the past three years 13 graduates have successfully undertaken the programme going on to specialise in various areas across the business. The apprenticeship programme is well established having run since 1978, however it has run continually in its current format since 2010 with 18 apprentices currently on site.

Director of Professional Services at Sony UK TEC Gerald Kelly said the training programmes would create more well-rounded and knowledgeable professionals in the long-term.

He said: “We are extremely excited to be starting the search for the next generation of engineers and business leaders at Sony UK TEC.

“Our graduate scheme offers a flexible and varied experience developing your skills at one of the leading manufacturing facilities in the world. While our four-year apprentice scheme sets you on the path to becoming an industry-leading engineer. Through both you’ll get the chance to learn from our world-renown team of engineers, technicians, and business leaders to get first-hand experience of best practice and develop industry-leading techniques.

“We look forward to receiving applications and welcoming the leaders of the future to Sony UK TEC this year.”

Entry requirement for the graduate scheme is a 2:1 degree in any subject, along with a passion for creating leading manufacturing solutions and the drive to continuously exceed industry standards. Entry requirements for the apprentice scheme are five GCSEs, including a B or above in Maths, and Cs or above in Science and English or equivalent. For more information visit http://www.sonypencoed.co.uk/careers/

Top technology you didn’t know was made here in Wales

By Raspberry Jim,

7

This summer Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) 4K cameras will be beaming the World Cup in Russia into homes worldwide.

However, many of those tuning in will be unaware that these state-of-the-art cameras have been manufactured right here in Wales.

Wales is developing a globally renowned reputation for technological, engineering and manufacturing innovation.

Medical technology, advances in computer manufacturing, and aerospace engineering, are just some of the areas which the nation is revolutionising.

To celebrate St David’s Day, we are taking a look at some of the groundbreaking products which you might not realise were created right here in Wales.

 

High-tech Broadcast and professional cameras
Ever watched Wimbledon? The Ryder Cup? Or the last football World Cup?

Then chances are you’ve seen a Sony UK TEC camera in action!

The Pencoed-based factory produces thousands of professional and broadcast cameras for use across outdoor sporting events, news studios and international events annually.

Last year the factory pushed the boundaries one again by becoming the only Sony factory outside of Japan to begin manufacturing the latest in broadcast technology, the 4K camera, HDC-4300.

This next generation technology provides high definition viewing at 4,000 times the definition of standard television viewing.

The latest 4K models, which have won an award at the 68th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, are shipped from the Pencoed factory to sites around the world.

 

Raspberry Pi
3

Raspberry Pi, the single board computer which has taken the world by storm, is manufactured by Sony UK TEC.

The credit card sized computer, which aims to encourage computer programming skills among school-aged children, reached its 10 million manufacturing milestone in Pencoed last year.

Named Britain’s best-selling computer, it was originally manufactured in China, but founder Eben Upton moved production to Sony UK TEC in 2012 due to the facilities’ capacity and innovative automated processes.

The facility was first approached to make 10,000 of the low-cost computers annually.  However, demand quickly soared and Sony UK TEC went on to produce one million in its first year, and just last summer the site celebrated manufacturing 10 million Raspberry Pi computers in Wales.

 

Telensa

 4

Telensa is an award-winning wireless street lighting control company based near Cambridge.

Its wireless node devices plug into energy-efficient LED street lights to create a wireless network and a map-based central application to manage them.

The smart device controls energy efficiency, daylight savings settings and other day to day considerations which make the lighting more cost effective and practical.

The company moved production to Sony UK TEC from Malaysia last year with the Welsh site to become its sole manufacturer.

Telensa’s devices have been deployed in over 40 cities across the UK, with five in Wales, with a global footprint of over one million wireless streetlight controllers, including one-in-ten of the UK’s streetlights.

 

LED Roadway Lighting

5

LED Roadway Lighting is a tenant at Sony UK TEC creating sustainable, energy efficient lighting solutions.

Their sustainable LED lights provide long-term savings and ongoing maintenance savings, reduce energy consumption, and light pollution, while providing 60% energy savings compared to traditional street lighting.

Sony UK TEC’s team players have worked with the LED Roadway team to help manufacture these sustainable lighting solutions in Wales since 2010.

 

CyDen

6

CyDen creates IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal products for use in the home.

This type of technology converts light energy into heat to prevent the hair follicle from growing any further and gradually reduce the need for shaving.

The company distributes its products to 11 international markets and has recently opened its first overseas office in Tokyo.

 

 

Inspiring Sony UK TEC engineer claims three top tech awards

By Raspberry Jim,

A Sony UK Technology Centre engineer who is helping to “inspire a new generation of female tech talent” has claimed three prestigious national awards.

Jessica Leigh Jones received top honours in the Manufacturer Top 100, TechWomen50, and Women of the Future 2017 Awards.

The engineer, who is based at the leading manufacturing facility in Pencoed, claimed the Technology and Digital award at the Women of the Future Awards, which recognises women making an impact across a diverse range of professional sectors.

She was also recognised among the most exemplary 20 in the prestigious Manufacturer Top 100 list for 2017. This celebrates the invaluable contribution made by innovative and passionate individuals in the manufacturing sector.

Finally, she was named among the winners of the TechWomen50 Awards, following a public vote. These awards highlight the best female tech talent in the country, along with the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way for future generations.

Ms Leigh Jones was recognised thanks to her passion and dedication to advancing manufacturing and technology standards across the UK.

She has demonstrated this through her role at Sony UK TEC, which produces thousands of HD and 4K broadcast and professional camera systems each year, where she is a part of the facility’s landmark Advanced Manufacturing Research Operations Centre (AMROC) team. This facility helps to develop ground-breaking manufacturing processes of the future, focussing on the fourth generation of manufacturing, industry 4.0.

On her recognition, she said: “It’s humbling to have been recognised among some of the country’s most inspirational female tech talents, who are truly making a difference and driving progress in the UK’s tech industry.

“These awards are vital in recognising the unparalleled contribution women are making across technology-based professions, and supporting their limitless potential for driving innovation and change in the future.

“I am delighted to have won these awards, and cannot thank my peers throughout the industry, and those who voted for me, enough.

“These awards particularly resonate with me personally, as they link in with our ethos at Sony UK TEC. As a facility we champion continuous innovation and are always striving for excellence, something which I feel is reflected wholeheartedly through these awards.”

Bridgend hospital staff ‘delighted’ with Sony UK TEC donation

By Raspberry Jim,

Bridgend hospital staff are “beyond delighted” with a generous Sony UK Technology Centre donation supporting a unit caring for seriously ill children this Christmas.

Staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital have praised the Pencoed-based manufacturing facility for enabling the refurbishment of its specialist nurse-led area.

Funding from Sony UK TEC, which has donated over £60,000 to the hospital over the past five years, will help to enhance the overall hospital experience for children who are facing serious health issues, and require urgent nurse-led care at the Children’s Ward.

Thanks to their contribution the area has received a much-needed makeover, along with new furnishings, which will create a welcoming environment for young people receiving a higher-level of nursing care over the festive season.

The manufacturing facility’s contribution, along with the unit’s refurbishment, was marked with a special plaque, which was unveiled by Sony UK TEC managing director Steve Dalton OBE.

They were joined by special guests 2011 Rugby World Cup and British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton, along with BBC Wales Sports Personality of 2017 and Player of the Series Jonathan Davies.

Steve Dalton OBE said it was a privilege to offer ongoing support to this “hugely beneficial” facility. He said: “As a business, which prides itself on supporting the local community, it is our pleasure to be able to contribute to the improvement of this fantastic unit.

“This has the potential to make such an immense difference to children across south Wales, and their families, so we are delighted to have supported the project.

“Many valued staff members at Sony UK TEC have had family members who have relied on the specialist care at the Princess of Wales Hospital, therefore all of our team are very passionate and committed to backing their great work.

“We look forward to supporting its progress in the future.”

Sony UK TEC’s determined team have undertaken a variety of charity events in a bid to support the specialist area’s fundraising efforts.

These have included a charity football match at Cardiff City Football Club, a charity golf day at the Royal Porthcawl Golf Course; a 300 mile bike ride from north to south Wales; cake sales, and individual fundraising campaigns undertaken by its team players.

Sony UK TEC has supported the hospital as its adopted charity for the past five years, raising over £60,000 towards specialist equipment and projects, including the refurbishment of the playroom at the Children’s Ward in 2015, the purchase of three Vapotherm machines that help babies and children with breathing difficulties. Additional donations have included hand-held pulse oximeters, drip stands and other pieces of equipment.

Eirlys Thomas, ABMU Head of Nursing for Children’s Services said: “Fundraising requires a great deal of commitment and hard work and we are all extremely grateful to the staff of Sony for their kind donations and their support in the refurbishment of the four-bed bay within the ward area.

“This has improved the environment greatly, providing cupboards for storage and decorating the area in a way that is suitable for all age groups. On behalf of all the children and staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital I would like to say a big thank you and wish them all a very happy Christmas and new year.”

Local engineering student takes ‘trip of a lifetime’ to world-famous CERN facility

By Raspberry Jim,

An engineering apprentice from Pencoed’s Sony UK Technology Centre has been on “the trip of a lifetime” to the world’s most powerful particle accelerator.

Max Rochefort-Shugar has visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, in Switzerland, which pioneers some of the world’s most advanced research.

As part of his visit to the world-renowned facility, the 20-year-old apprentice from Sony UK TEC had the opportunity to view the anti-particle factory which houses the Large Hadron Collider.

The machine is the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider which allows physicists to test the predictions of different theories of particle physics.

As a budding engineer, the Merthyr College student was “blown away” by this, with experts at the facility also giving him an insight into the physics behind particle accelerators.

He said: “It was an absolutely unforgettable experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed.

“It was fascinating to see the Physics concepts I had learned at school being applied as part of the ongoing research at CERN.

“The work that I saw being carried out there into asset management software, archive documents, and their use of software to manage the organisation’s operations between departments, will also be highly beneficial as part of my apprenticeship with Sony UK TEC.

“CERN research the unexplored areas of the physical world, the visit has inspired me to continue to ask questions, explore new concepts, be curious about why things are the way they are, and to think differently. There can be multiple solutions to a problem and it’s important to look at things from different angles.”

Mr Rochefort-Shugar was chosen to take part in the research trip after joining Sony UK TEC, in Pencoed, as an apprentice electrical and software engineer 10 months ago.

Mr Rochefort-Shugar is one of 11 apprentices undergoing training at the facility, which produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional cameras for global distribution annually, including the latest 4K models.

Sony UK TEC director of professional services Gerald Kelly said that the facility had a responsibility to inspire the next generation of technologically literate employees.

He said: “As a factory which is invested in ensuring the continued success of the STEM sector in Wales, we feel it is essential to help nurture talent and develop the skills of tomorrow’s workforce.

“Our apprenticeship programme gives our people the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in a global manufacturing facility alongside some of the most highly-skilled teams in the world.

“Here they can see products going through every step of the manufacturing process from creation to distribution – so they gain a really thorough understanding of what the sector consists of, and it’s all under one roof.

“As a socially responsible business, we feel it is our duty to inspire tomorrow’s engineers with trips such as this to the CERN facility. We hope that Max and the others who attended will bring back some innovative ideas from their visit, which they can apply throughout the Welsh engineering industry.”

Untitled design-13

Sony UK TEC celebrates ‘unprecedented growth’ and production milestone

By Raspberry Jim,

Sony UK TEC celebrates ‘unprecedented growth’ and production milestone

Sony UK Technology Centre (Sony UK TEC) is celebrating “unprecedented growth” which has seen staff and production numbers soar.

In the last five years, the Pencoed-based facility, has seen staff numbers leap by 200 taking its team of local employees to 540.

The growth in staff numbers, which has been a huge boost to the local economy, has coincided with a production milestone at the award-winning factory, with Sony UK TEC manufacturing the best-selling British computer of all time.

This week the facility has celebrated reaching the 10 million Raspberry Pi manufacturing milestone after only five years.

Sony UK TEC has played an instrumental role in the journey of the Raspberry Pi, the third best-selling general purpose computer of all time globally.

Raspberry Pi was originally manufactured in China, but founder Eben Upton moved production to Sony UK TEC in 2012 due to the facilities’ capacity and innovative automated processes.

The facility was first approached to make 10,000 of the low-cost, credit card-sized computers annually.  However demand quickly soared and Sony UK TEC went onto produce one million in its first year.

Production rapidly grew with numbers reaching five million in just two years and now, at peak capacity Sony UK TEC can make up to 100,000 Pis per week.

Sony UK TEC Managing Director Steve Dalton OBE said: “The last five years has seen unprecedented growth across our Pencoed facility, something we are understandably incredibly proud of.

“Our growth has been intrinsically linked to the success of the Raspberry Pi and we are delighted to reach the 10m manufacturing milestone. This is a significant achievement for everyone involved in its production, especially our devoted Sony Team, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and distributors Premier Farnell.

“It is also a significant achievement for the Welsh manufacturing sector to have an internationally successful, high volume, low-cost electronic product manufactured right here in Wales.

“This technology and growth has challenged our highly skilled team of engineers and technicians to develop new processes and drive innovation through the spirit of continuous improvement.

“In addition we were able to support the Pi Foundation further by introducing Pi manufacturing to our Japan counterparts and there is now a ‘made in Japan’ version of Pi.

“We look forward to continuing this successful partnership, reaching the next significant milestone and creating even more of these revolutionary computers.”

Mr Dalton  OBE was joined at a celebration event at Sony UK TEC by his senior staff and manufacturing team, along with Raspberry Pi Foundation founders Eben Upton and Pete Lomas; and distribution partners RS Components and Premier Farnell.

Founder Mr Upton said: “The last five years has been extremely exciting for us as we watched the Raspberry Pi become Britain’s best-selling computer of all time.

“When we initially began manufacturing it here at Sony UK TEC we could never have imagined it would be the soaring success it has become – and for that we are entirely grateful to Sony and our distribution partners.

“We are particularly delighted that the Pi has set the benchmark for utilizing innovative and progressive manufacturing right here in the UK, as it was always our wish to make the computers in this country.

“Thanks to Sony UK TEC’s unparalleled manufacturing standards, comprising the latest techniques and the very best in engineering talent, we were able to create a product which has become a global best seller – with 14million sold, two thirds of which has been built in South Wales.”

Sony UK TEC produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems and is the only manufacturing facility outside Japan to manufacture the latest 4k broadcast technology. It also has a host of lucrative third-party manufacturing contracts smart street lighting system Telensa.

Sony UK TEC engineer recognised among Top 50 influential women in manufacturing

By Raspberry Jim,

Sony UK TEC engineer recognised among Top 50 influential women in manufacturing

A Sony UK Technology Centre engineer, pioneering industry-leading research, has been recognised among the most influential women in the UK-wide sector.

Jessica Leigh Jones was named among the Telegraph’s Top 50 Women in Engineering thanks to her innovative work at the progressive Pencoed facility.

The Newport resident, who works at Sony UK TEC’s Advanced Manufacturing Research and Operations Centre (AMROC), was recognised at an event at London’s Banking Hall.

The Telegraph initiative, supported by the Women’s Engineering Society, aims to promote the uptake of the engineering profession among women and celebrate those who have made a contribution to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) sector.

On her recognition, engineer Ms Leigh Jones said: “I am honoured to be recognised among these inspirational women who are leading the way in the UK’s engineering sector, and paving the way for generations of women to come.

“This initiative promotes the rich contribution of women in STEM, and I hope to use this as a platform to demonstrate the variety of opportunities available to young people in engineering.”

Ms Leigh Jones was inspired to pursue her love of engineering thanks to her father, who worked as an aircraft electrician at Ministry of Defence St Athan.

After studying a degree in Astrophysics, she followed her passion for engineering, which led her to the award-winning Welsh facility renowned for its innovative projects. These include the AMROC initiative, manufacturing the latest 4K broadcast and professional cameras, and carrying out third party collaborative manufacturing for brands including Raspberry Pi.

Having been raised in an engineering-focussed family, gender stereotyping in the sector was never a consideration for Ms Leigh Jones. However, she feels that educating people on their career opportunities could narrow the gender gap.

She said: “Currently just nine per cent of engineers and only one per cent of electricians are female. This is very low, although I do not personally think that the percentage matters.

“What is important is that all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity or background, are given the opportunity to pursue careers in engineering if they want to.  There is undoubtedly conscious and unconscious bias that still exists that prevents this from happening, but the way to tackle this is through informing and educating.”

Ms Leigh Jones also felt the support of her Sony UK TEC colleagues, along with the unparalleled skillset she has acquired in producing high-standard manufacturing products for worldwide distribution, contributed to her recognition.

“It is so inspiring to be part of an organisation whose rate of innovation is unparalleled across industry and throughout Wales,” she said.

“It is very rewarding to see technologies that we have developed at Pencoed being used globally throughout the brand. Sony is a dynamic organisation with innovation hard-coded into their DNA. I am unduly grateful for the opportunities I have received since joining.

“I was very fortunate to be supported throughout the nomination and awards process, and would like to extend my thanks to Kevin Edwards, Gerald Kelly and Naomi Climer for their support.

“I would like to thank Alton Convent School, Hampshire for my nomination. I am a Patron of Science & Engineering at Alton and donate an award to the school for Engineering & Entrepreneurship annually.”

Senior manager appointments at Sony UK Technology Centre

By Raspberry Jim,

Senior manager appointments at Sony UK Technology Centre

Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) has appointed two of its dedicated staff members to senior management roles within the industry-leading company.

New business development manager Nabila Elias and head of engineering Martyn Woodfield have been promoted to the senior management team at the Pencoed facility.

Mrs Elias first joined the award-winning facility, which produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems, in 2012 as a project manager.

Since then she has risen through the ranks and she now oversees 11 staff members in the New Business Development Team.

Over the past five years, her responsibilities have extended to include marketing across the Contract Electronics Manufacturing Business, which manufacturers for third party clients, such as the Raspberry Pi.  She has also played an instrumental role in the success of Sony UK TEC’s Ffilm Factory 35, which has welcomed high-profile productions including Dr Who, Will, Keeping Faith, and Decline and Fall.

On her promotion, she said: “I am thrilled to be taking on this role within the senior management team. Sony UK TEC has always been thoroughly supportive of my progression within the business so I would like to thank them for this opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to support Sony UK TEC’s reputation as a world-leading manufacturing facility.”

Joining Mrs Elias in the senior management team is Mr Woodfield, who has devoted 27 years of his career to the manufacturing facility.

Since joining in 1990, he has worked across several departments before being promoted into his current role as head of engineering. He currently oversees a team of 48 staff who carry out new model introduction, including the newly launched state-of-the-art 4K cameras, and process improvements.

Mr Woodfield said: “I am extremely pleased to have been appointed to this role as I feel I can add knowledge, experience, strategy and innovative ideas to enhance Sony UK TEC.

“As part of this I plan to provide a succession route for engineers to progress their career, as I have been able to.  My aim is to develop manufacturing solutions that will enhance our Mid-Range Plan. I will also focus on development programs for our current and future engineers providing engineering solutions to make us more efficient.”

Continuous professional development is part of the culture at Sony UK TEC, with the facility’s Wales Training Academy helping to shape and develop its leaders of tomorrow.

Through the dedicated training programme, team members are supported to develop at all levels of the business acquiring technical skills along with software, leadership and management skills.

Director of professional services Gerald Kelly said: “The continued development of our people ensures that we remain at the forefront of the manufacturing sector, and can attract and retain the very best talent. Both Nabila and Martyn are superb ambassadors for our business, playing a key role in our continued focus on manufacturing excellence and business growth.”

Thanks to its focus on growth and development the award-winning facility’s workforce has now soared to 500. The staff increase coincides with an influx of new business opportunities for the Pencoed facility.

Over the past year the facility has secured high-profile projects including manufacturing state-of-the-art 4k camera models for Sony Corporation and energy efficient lighting for Telensa. Its Ffilm Factory 35 has also enjoyed unprecedented success, welcoming productions including Dr Who, Will, Keeping Faith, and Decline and Fall.

Sony UK TEC charity challenges raise £6k for children’s ward

By Raspberry Jim,

Sony UK TEC charity challenges raise £6k for children’s ward

Staff from a leading Pencoed factory have taken on a gruelling 300-mile cycle to raise thousands of pounds for children battling illness.

Thirteen members of staff from Sony UK Technology Centre have jumped on their bikes to undertake a Wales-wide cycle challenge.

Starting from Caernarfon, the cyclists, along with two support staff, travelled 100 miles a day for three days stopping off at castles including Conway; Powis; Caldicott; Caerleon Amphitheatre; Newport; and Cardiff along the way.

The last 30 miles of the journey from the capital to Ogmore saw the team joined by 30 additional staff, including former rugby player and Sony UK TEC Learning and Development Ambassador Richard Parks, as they headed into the final leg.

Thanks to their efforts over £4,000 was raised for The Children’s Ward at Princess of Wales Hospital. The funds add to almost £40,000 raised by Sony UK TEC for the vital facility over the past five years.

Director of professional services Gerald Kelly said: “Our staff have always gone above and beyond to support the fantastic work of the Children’s Ward over the years.

“This latest challenge clearly demonstrates their passion and dedication to supporting the cause, and as ever, they pushed themselves to the limits to raise an impressive sum of money. Over three days they cycled an amazing 300 miles and everyone at Sony UK TEC congratulates them on completing this incredible challenge.”

Alongside the cycle challenge, the Sony UK TEC team also raised funds for the Children’s Ward this month through an intercompany charity football Cardiff Vs Swansea football match.

The second annual game, which took place at Cardiff City Stadium, saw both teams go head to head in a 90 minute clash which finished in a nine all draw.

Both players and spectators helped raise £1,644 through the event, which was followed by a prizegiving and raffle.

The Pencoed manufacturing facility, which produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems including the latest 4k models each year, has worked successfully with Cardiff City FC over the past seven years.

It recently provided three new state-of-the-art games consoles for the stadium’s family zone, which were unveiled ahead of the Bluebirds game against Ipswich.

Mr Kelly added: “We’d like to congratulate all the Sony UK TEC players who took part in this highly entertaining game to raise even more funds for the Children’s ward.

“We truly hope that the almost £6,000 raised through both these events helps to support the admirable work carried out at the children’s ward.”

  • 1
  • 2