Smart City manufacturer shifts production from Asia to the UK

Posted on 10 Apr 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Telensa, a leading global provider of connected street lighting and Smart City applications, has announced that it is relocating its manufacturing to the Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed, Wales, following a strategic review of its facilities.

Smart City - Telensa telecell, Schréder LED, Skanska deployment - image courtesy of Telensa
Telensa telecell, Schréder LED, Skanska deployment – image courtesy of Telensa.

The Pencoed facility, which has built a reputation for contract electronics manufacturing through its track record for quality and innovation, is set to produce Telensa’s Smart City products following the company’s decision to move its production from Malaysia.

The company has a global footprint of more than one million devices across the world, including wireless controls for one in ten of the UK’s streetlights. The company has grown its revenues by more than 50% in each of the past two years, 45% of which were from exports.

The Sony Centre in Wales will reportedly manufacture 250,000 wireless streetlight controllers a year by the end of 2017. This is thought to create up to 30 new job opportunities for skilled workers in the area, a number expected to grow as production increases in the coming months.

Deployed in more than 50 cities across the world, Telensa’s Smart City PLANet connected street lighting system consists of wireless control nodes (telecells), a city-owned Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) wireless network and a central management system (CMS).

PLANet pays for itself in energy and maintenance savings, future-proofs investments in LED technology, and provides a low-cost platform for Smart City sensor apps such as parking control, refuse monitoring and air quality sensing.

Sony UK TEC produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems for global markets each year. It also manufactures cutting-edge products for external businesses, including the UK’s best- selling computer of all time – the Raspberry Pi.

Secretary of State for Business and Energy, Greg Clark commented: “Telensa’s strategic decision to transfer manufacturing from Asia back to the UK further strengthens our position as a world leader in innovation and underlines our role as a global technology hub. Its new base in Wales will boost our advanced manufacturing sector, creating the type of new high-skilled, well-paying jobs we are supporting through our Industrial Strategy.”

BEIS - Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark.

“As we prepare to leave the EU, this government is committed through the Industrial Strategy to ensuring the UK remains one of the best places in the world to do business and this announcement is another significant vote of confidence in the UK economy, sending a clear signal that companies are continuing to invest in Britain’s future.”

Telensa CEO, Will Franks explained: “Away from the hype of the Internet of Things [IoT] bubble, Telensa has been quietly achieving robust revenue growth year after year.

“Our partnership with Sony UK TEC, agreed after a worldwide search, is a vital part of our expansion into new Smart City applications. In addition to their reputation for quality and long-term cost-effectiveness, Sony UK TEC’s proximity means they can add value at every stage of the product development process.”

Welsh Government Economy Secretary, Ken Skates said: “The fact that Telensa, a global leader in this highly specialised field, has decided to move its manufacturing back to the UK and chose Sony’s Technology Centre in Pencoed is a powerful endorsement of the expertise we have in Wales. It sends out a strong message internationally that Wales is the location of choice for electronics manufacturing.”