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Europlacer celebrates 50th anniversary

Company milestone
Europlacer celebrates 50th anniversary

Pat Kellard, Europlacer
50 years ago, Pat Kellard founded the company in Britain with only £ 10. Source: Blakell Europlacer

Wednesday 8th July 2020 marked a significant milestone for Blakell Europlacer. 50 years to the day, the founding company, Blakell Systems Ltd, was registered and incorporated in Britain by Pat Kellard, who many seasoned industry professionals will remember.

In the half-century that has passed, the Blakell business has gone from strength to strength and is now known worldwide for its ultra-flexible Europlacer surface mount component placement platforms and premium Speedprint screen printers. Blakell acquired Europlacer in 1991 and Speedprint in 1998. The Blakell Europlacer Group is now the world’s largest independent manufacturer of SMT equipment.

Blakell Systems was originally a general engineering company manufacturing traffic lights, forklift trucks and engine washing systems before entering the electronics market. Its first electronics product was a light-guided system for semi-automated hand assembly of boards with through-hole components. An acquisition in 1987 moved Blakell into the automatic component placement industry and the newly emerging Surface Mount Technology sector.

Company Founder Pat Kellard, a true industry legend, started the business in 1970 with just £ 10. In the past year, the Blakell Europlacer Group now has 700 customers in 40 countries and employs over 180 staff located around the globe. Several current members of staff have more than 40 years of service.

The company recently adopted the statement PAT: Performance, Adaptability, Trust into its logo as a declaration that not only highlights its core business and ethical values, but also serves as a timely homage to founder Pat Kellard. “What we are now is entirely formed from what we were then,” explains chairman Robert Conway. “Pat Kellard laid down very solid foundations.”

Europlacer has been developing machines for electronic assembly since the 1970s, invented the intelligent feeder in the 1980s, then gained significant success with its EP928 machine.

With more than a dozen placement machine models developed and produced since, the atom platform now stands as the flagship of the company’s product range. But it is their highly flexible iineo platform that’s the most popular machine the company has ever manufactured, with 550 installations worldwide.

If all those iineo machines were placed end-to-end in a single production line, it would be 1,595 metres long – or 47 feet short of a mile. Like the atom, iineo is known for its large on-machine component inventory (a feature popular with contract manufacturers). Between them, all the iineo machines produced to date could accommodate no less than 147,700 x 8 mm tape reels.

Company contact

Blakell Europlacer
Upton Industrial Estate
Poole, Dorset BH16 5SL UK
Tel.: +44 1202 266500
E-Mail: contact@europlacer.co.uk
Website: www.europlacer.com

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