Sony UK TEC cyclists’ ‘epic’ 300-mile cycle raises over £5k for local hospital

By Raspberry Jim,


Dedicated cyclists from Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) have taken on an “exhilarating” 300-mile coast-to-coast challenge across Wales to raise thousands for a Bridgend hospital.

Fifteen members of the Pencoed factory’s Team Xtreme jumped on their bikes for the epic three-day adventure last weekend in a bid to support the vital work of the Princess of Wales Hospital’s children’s ward.

This is the second time that the team, which was formed 15 years ago, has undertaken a challenge of this magnitude in aid of the hospital.

This year’s challengers began pedalling from the specialist manufacturing facility on August 25th completing their 312-mile round trip in just three days.

During the cycle they travelled across Wales taking in Carmarthen, Swansea, Newcastle Emlyn, Margam, Llanboidy, St Davids, Llandrindod Wells, Brecon, and Penderyn.

Over the three days they cycled 12 hours every day fighting adverse weather and fatigue, raising £5,500 for the children’s ward.

This total will be added to more than £60,000 which Sony UK TEC has already raised for the hospital since it was selected as their chosen charity six years ago.

Team member Jonathan Williams said they were incredibly proud to have completed this “once in a lifetime” challenge and raised so much money for a fantastic cause.

Jonathan said: “When we were planning the second annual challenge this year we wanted to choose something even more extreme than 2017 – and this was certainly that!

“We wanted our challenge to reflect just how much the children’s ward means to our staff and to thousands of people across south Wales, so a coastal pedal felt like an exciting choice.

“Over the course of the three days our team was absolutely amazing, and everyone really pulled together to show their support and ensure we could all complete each stage.

“Despite the distance being initially daunting this really was an exhilarating once in a lifetime experience that I’m sure no-one would change.

“We are absolutely delighted to have raised so much for such a vitally important cause and we can’t wait to see how the funds are put to good use.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their fantastic support and we look forward to the 2019 event!”

The event was sponsored by Sony UK TEC’s suppliers, clients and partners, including The Raspberry Pi Foundation, Arrow, KCE, Philtone, Abbey Glass, Harris Printers, Merlin,  If Development, Daymark and Nathaniel Cars Bridgend.

Gerald Kelly, director at Sony UK TEC, said: “At Sony, the spirit of doing everything we do “For the Next Generation” goes all the way back to the vision of Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka, and it still guides Sony’s community engagement everywhere we do business. In Wales, our team supports a variety of charitable causes each year including educational projects, healthcare charities and sports clubs among others.

“As part of our commitment, we select one organisation as our annual adopted charity that our main funding efforts are geared towards. For the last six years, this has been The Children’s Ward at Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

“Our support has resulted in the completion of various projects and the purchase of much needed equipment for the hospital. This year we’d like to give you, the people whom we work with and who are an integral part of our operation, the chance to be a part of this amazing experience and together, help us make a real difference to people’s lives.”

So far, thanks to the generosity of the 600 strong team at Sony UK TEC, over £60,000 has been raised for the Princess of Wales Hospital with the facility also taking part in three charity football games, cake sales and individual fundraising campaigns.

The team has also held numerous charity golf days across Welsh courses with a special 25th anniversary event set to be held at the Celtic Manor in October.

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.”

Ground-breaking broadcast cameras roll off Sony UK TEC production line in UK first

By Raspberry Jim,

camera 4K - Copy


World-class  4K cameras labelled the “next generation” in broadcast technology are set to be manufactured in Wales for the first time.

The top of the range 4K cameras, the HDC-4300, are being produced at Sony UK Technology Centre from this month – marking the first time they have been manufactured outside of Japan.

The news is a significant boost for manufacturing in Wales showing confidence in the facility’s reputation for innovation and the abilities of its highly skilled team.

The Pencoed factory has been producing high-end broadcast technology in South Wales since 1999, manufacturing cameras and camera systems for worldwide distribution and shipping more than 13,000 units every year.

The latest 4k models, which recently won an award at the 68th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, will be shipped from the facility for the first time this month.

Sony UK TEC’s managing director Steve Dalton OBE said: “For our facility to have been chosen as the only manufacturer outside of Japan to deliver these next generation cameras is fantastic news for Sony UK TEC.

“This is one of many new, exciting ventures for our facility and our highly skilled teams, and we welcome this extremely progressive period here at Pencoed.

“Sony UK TEC was specifically chosen to manufacture this next generation technology thanks to its world-class production capabilities and expertise in creating high-end, low volume, high-value products.

“These cameras are setting the standard in what will be the future of broadcast technology, so this shows confidence in our skilled workforce and the factory’s ability to produce high-end, quality, products for worldwide distribution.

 “Our expert team members have been thoroughly trained in the latest manufacturing techniques making them ideally placed to produce these industry-leading products.


“At Sony UK TEC we have nurtured our skilled workforce of over 400 team members ensuring they are experienced, constantly innovative and always striving for improvement.


“We are delighted to bring this progressive technology into Wales, which will once again reaffirm our nation’s reputation as a significant manufacturing force on the global stage.”

Sony UK TEC produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems each year. It also manufactures state-of-the-art products for external businesses, including energy efficient lighting.

The Pencoed facility also houses a Business Incubation Centre and a 30,000 sq ft filming facility – Sony Ffilm Factory 35.