Excellence in Innovation
Custom Interconnect Ltd (CIL) is an advanced contract electronics manufacturer (CEM) specializing in complex, mission critical electronic assemblies. Technologies used are surface mount PCB assembly, bare die and wire bonding and full mechanical assembly of products for a range of industries that include Medical, Aerospace, Automotive, Communications, Homeland Security, Animal Conservation, Instrumentation, Scientific, Transportation, Oil & Gas and IOT
At times downhole Oil & Gas drill bit electronics capable of 175degC operating temperature and 20G’s vibration can make up to 40% of CIL’s turnover. Over the last 2-3 years with the rise of an electrically driven society CIL realized it had to become less dependent on this industry, and therefore looked for other market sectors that needed high temperature & vibration, rugged electronics. CIL started working with the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult (CSAC) on early GaN device packaging as CIL has both SMT and die/wire bond capability. After a very small number of false starts, as well as GaN devices we also started working on SiC devices which ultimately has led to CIL working with BMW, McLaren, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, Lyra Electronics and University of Warwick on the APC15@FutureBEV project. This project bid was successful and we are now a part of a project for BMW to manufacture its future BEV systems in the UK. This is massive for the future of BEV systems in the UK as to date all BMW BEV systems are being manufactured in Munich Germany. The project with BMW this year has taken and will take CIL to a completely different level of company. From the outset BMW have stated it is their intention to assist CIL to become a Tier 1 automotive supplier
Whilst working on @FutureBEV, we have also started another project with CSAC named GaNSiC which is focusing on new ways of depositing silver sinter materials for both die attach and top level die contacts. Both of the projects are part funded by APC / DER / InnovateUK, but 50% is funded by CIL itself and therefore we have put a significant financial commitment into these projects working towards a lower carbon future for transport. Our customer base for this technology in the last 12 months now includes BMW, McLaren, Mercedes AMG, GKN eDrives, Integral Powertrain, Federal Mogul, Rolls Royce Aero, GE Power and many others. In the last 12 months we have made investments on new equipment totaling >£2.0M which includes:
Automatic Die bonder
Automatic Heavy gauge Al/Cu Wirebonder
High Pressure Silver Sinter press
GEN7 Scanning Acoustic Microscope (CSAM)
Vacuum Assisted Vapour Phase Reflow
TAKAYA Flying probe test
KEYENCE 4K Ultra high-definition digital microscope
3D AOI conveyoring for fully automated assembly/inspection
Because of the work we have performed on GaN & SiC packaging and the “state of the art” equipment we have installed, CIL is now seen as the UK Go to facility for all Wide Band Gap (WBG) packaging. And as we gear up for volume production with BMW to support >100,000 power modules/ annum we are building a UK packaging facility for low / medium / high volume device assembly.
So, we believe we are contenders for “Excellence in Innovation” as we have taken high carbon (Oil & Gas) electronics technology and transferred it to low carbon BEV and other industry sectors. We have engaged with global companies such as BMW, Rolls Royce Aero, GE Power and Mercedes AMG in just over 12 months. CIL finds itself right at the forefront of a paradigm shift in technology away from fossil fueled economy to an increasingly electrified one and all of its manufacture is in the UK. Therefore, over the next 2-3 years, CIL will continue as a CEM, but will also be creating an OEM business stemming from its GaN and SiC packaging capability.