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January 19, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

The Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire headquartered Design to Distribution Ltd wholly-owned subsidiary of ICL Plc, formed on January 1 this year out of ICL’s manufacturing and supply division (CI No 2,325) has been outlining its future strategy and predicted revenues for the coming three years. Building on the original success of its partnership dating back to 1990 with Sun Microsystems Inc in which ICL provided the circuit boards for assembly by Sun in its Sparc-based workstations at Sun’s plant in Linlithgow, Scotland, ICL wanted to expand its manufacturing position and gain a niche in the contract manufacturing marketplace. In 1993 the contract electronics market was valued at $16,500m worldwide and $3,500m in Europe. It is becoming a fast growing sector of the European electronics industry, and in 1996 is expected to grow to $4,500m in Europe and $22,000m worldwide. Design to Distribution plans to target both those companies that already have a market in Europe but are not manufacturing there and also those who require subcontracting to feed their existing manufacturing plants. It hopes to increase its non-ICL contract electronics manufacture business from $100m last year to $300m in 1996 by expanding its customer base with more strategy partners and is presently talking to large global computer manufacturers. It also wants to extend its services beyond printed circuit boards which contributed around 90% of its 1993 revenue. The business will be concentrating on its core competences. These include procurement, bare board manufacture, assembly and testing of printed circuit boards and system assembly, carried out at its plant in Kidsgrove; configuration and system testing as well as electromagnetic radiation testing to ensure compliance with European Community directives on interference at its Ashton-Under-Lyne, Manchester site; supply and distribution services and repair; and refurbishment and recycling services, in particular the information technology sector where many of its capabilities lie. Due to greater demand, Design to Distribution will offer more turnkey systems, not only manufacturing the bare board but will also provide service, and software replication services. As a separate entity the company will aim for a position of independence from ICL so it can approach customers that are potential competitors to ICL. However, it will continue with ICL accounts which in 1993 made up $300m of the total $400m revenue.

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