2013 represents the culmination of a 50 year journey for Daleba - a journey that has encompassed many milestones, steady and continued growth and of course its share of challenges: 1963 saw the start of Daleba from a humble garage in Ware, Hertfordshire, focusing on the production and assembly of PCBs, transformers and coils. Business flourished and within two years the founders, David Lee and his wife Barbara were looking for new premises. Daleba took 600 sq feet at 'The Maltings' in Ware.
On the retirement of David and Barbara Daleba was acquired by its current owners, the TCL Group, and the focus became PCB manufacture. This was a fast-evolving market that, although involving a relatively simply-structured product at the time, needed expertise and investment - both attributes that the TCL Group could offer.
Under TCL's leadership Daleba tackled the single-sided PCB market aggressively; investment was made in the latest equipment and processes to ensure that Daleba, now led by John McNamee, continued its commercial success.
Daleba went from strength to strength, achieving a number of notable 'Firsts' and were fast recognised as a market leader both in terms of the current single-sided manufacturing process and for their innovation and investment: - They were the first to introduce the NC controlled high-speed V-Cut machine from Japan into the UK. This V-Cut process was in its infancy but the management at Daleba saw its potential and immediately became the UK supplier of V-Cut services. This process is now accepted as industry standard.
- The next innovative move was to create the first OSP line in the UK, which is now utilised by leading, global Blue Chip companies to reduce production overheads and maximise profits.
- Daleba's position as the UK's leading single-sided PCB manufacture was now well established and this was further reinforced by their introduction of AOI for single-sided manufacture which in turn led to their achieving TS16949, again firsts within the UK.
This TS16949 accreditation gave Daleba an invaluable foothold in the automotive market and resulted in the winning of a number of prestigious contracts, not least of which was the supply of 11milllion tyre pressure sensors, which then represented 60% of the global demand.
In the early to mid 1990's global manufacturing experienced a seismic shift with the entry of China into the marketplace. Realising that UK single-sided board production would be hit hard Daleba decided to source their volume production from this emerging Chinese market and, by 1994, had become a major importer of Chinese boards. The industry now evolved rapidly, PCBs were becoming more complicated in design and function and the availability of Far East supply had created numerous opportunities for growth and expansion and, by 2000 under the leadership of a new and forward-thinking MD - Andrew Grisbrooke, Daleba had opened its own Far East office to meet the ever increasing demands for now not only single-sided but also double and multi layered boards from its rapidly growing customer base.
Under Andrew's direction the TCL Group created a new company, DK Thermal Ltd, to specialise in the manufacture of metal based circuit boards, and focussed Daleba on the logistical interface between their Far East and their UK operations. Customers rapidly included major-league Japanese electronics manufacturers Sony, Pioneer, Aiwa and Panasonic. Consignment and buffer stock became commonplace and Daleba, under direction from the TCL Group, took advantage of the short window of opportunity and successfully maintain their standing within the PCB industry.
The result of their ability, unlike some, to move with the times and anticipate shifts and trends within their industry ensured their continued growth, allowing them in 2008 to purchase a major UK PCB manufacturer - GSPK Circuits Ltd - whose Northern UK presence strengthened the Group's hold on the UK market yet further. This investment was also made as they anticipated the UK market would become focussed on fast-turn and prototype work to counteract inevitable rising costs from China.
Now in its celebratory 50th year Daleba are opening a second warehouse in the North of England. Matt Chesterman, Daleba's Supply Chain Director, is enthusiastic about the expansion 'This will give us unrivalled supply capabilities in the UK and assist us in delivering Golden Service levels to our current and future customers'
So Daleba has grown-up: from a fledgling PCB manufacturer operating from a small garage location to becoming part of a global PCB Group, covering all aspects of manufacture and supply: Volume and Logistics through Daleba and their Far East premises, Metal-clad boards through DK Thermal and UK PCB fast-turn/prototype supply through GSPK Circuits. To build on this track-record of growth and wise investment it is Daleba will continue to provide unrivalled 'Excellence in Logistics' to the benefit of its loyal and future customers and to enable it to maintain its place as a leading force in the PCB industry.