21PRECISION DEVICES |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Mark Barnes, Managing Director
Precision Devices
component transducer
Precision Devices is globally regarded as a leading
manufacturer of high-end component loudspeaker
transducers. Established in Rotherham in 1987, it is a
family-owned and managed company which operates from
its purpose-built manufacturing facility at Wakefield Europort,
drawing upon the skills and rich engineering and manufacturing
heritage of West Yorkshire. Mark Barnes, who has been the
managing director since 2012, explains the journey that has
allowed the company to remain competitive for over 30 years.
We have always been driven by a passion and philosophy to design and manufacture
the world’s finest professional audio speaker transducers, which are capable of
achieving superior levels of acoustic performance and efficiency combined with
the outstanding engineering characteristics of strength and reliability. Precision
Devices transducers are synonymous with uncompromising quality and enviable
performance, and are highly prized and desired by audio professionals around the
world.
All Precision Devices loudspeakers are engineered using the finest materials,
without compromise or exception. Manufactured in our factory in Castleford, West
Yorkshire, our technical and engineering team has generations of experience in the
production of high-quality audio components. Although measured performance is
the goal of all professional audio development, science alone can never establish
the true finite quality of a loudspeaker. Following in-depth scientific analysis,
therefore, we subject all products to extended listening tests. It is only through this
process that we can satisfy the ultimate audio reference – the human ear.
FACTS ABOUT
PRECISION DEVICES
»Managing director: Mark
Barnes
»Established in 1987
»Based in Castleford, West
Yorkshire
»Services: Design and
manufacture of precision
loudspeaker components
»No. of employees: 25
»www.precision-devices.com
Precision Devices
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | PRECISION DEVICES
Design
At the design stage, audio simulation
computer software is utilised to
establish the correct component parts,
considerably reducing conventional
R&D lead times to achieve optimum
acoustic performance in line with, or
exceeding, our customers’ required
expectations. Our in-house toolroom
and coil-winding expertise ensures
R&D prototypes can be produced
within extremely short timelines.
Our responsiveness to OEM requests
for bespoke designs, our in-house
engineering capabilities which greatly
reduce lead times and our flexibility in
providing large or small production runs
according to customer need means
that we are particularly well suited to
working with systems manufacturers
who are looking for something special
to delineate themselves from their
competition, a particular advantage
in a market in which an increasingly
limited number of product options
from our competitors are being used
interchangeably by a number of OEMs.
Precision Devices gives the OEM the
opportunity to differentiate themselves
with their genuinely bespoke product
(rather than an off-the-shelf variant),
to give them a unique advantage
and identity in terms of performance
andbranding.
Case studies
Precision Devices were approached
by a major UK OEM to participate in
the development of a groundbreaking
new product utilising a 24-inch chassis
and a 6-inch twin voice coil. After a
development time greatly reduced by
our ability to act quickly to produce
prototypes (through a combination
of in-house engineering ability and
excellent supply-chain flow from
our local suppliers of CNC precision-
machined steel parts in Yorkshire), we
developed a product described as “the
best performing solution”, eventually
developing a double 6-inch voice
coil motor with an unprecedented
BL factor of 50 to give the necessary
motive power.
Our loudspeaker technology and
expertise also allow us to engineer
creative solutions for situations
outside the conventional parameters
of the moving cone loudspeaker.
We manufacture tactile transducers
for applications such as drum throne
monitoring, bass guitar platforms and
in educational facilities for the hearing-
impaired where the sensation provided
by sound is “felt” rather than heard
through a series of vibrations which
are incredibly responsive through the
frequency range.
Manufacture
UK-manufactured die-cast aluminium
chassis, cones, suspensions and
precision CNC-machined steel
components are used in all Precision
Devices loudspeakers. Random QC
sampling at Goods Inwards followed
by in-line QC production inspection
ensures that every component part
used is within specification.
Unlike other manufacturers we produce
all our own voice coils – the motor of
the loudspeaker – ranging from 1.5
to 6 inch diameter in both copper and
copper-clad aluminium wire. The wire is
coated with high-temperature enamel,
and precision wound onto an epoxy
resin-impregnated woven glass fibre
Fully assembled
transducers on one
of our production
lines awaiting final
inspection
Precision
Devices gives
the OEM the
opportunity to
differentiate
themselves
with their
genuinely
bespoke
product to
give them a
unique
advantage
23PRECISION DEVICES |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
former using CNC-controlled bespoke
machinery. Oncethis is completed,
the whole assembly is cured at high
temperature to give it a rigid and
integrated structure.
Combining modern technology and
artisanal skills, all component parts
are assembled using bespoke jigs
and fixtures in a factory designed to
optimise production workflow. Each
modular sub-assembly is individually
tested and QC certified by the
operator; final assembly and QC
includes precise electronic testing.
The result is the optimal synergy
between state-of-the-art technology
and time-honoured craftsman
processes to produce a product that
delivers both aesthetic refinement and
a distinct performance advantage.
People
Precision Devices is driven by a larger
team of people who are the vital
foundation of the company’s success. It
is their passion for sound that ensures
our products are the best. Constantly
working on refinements, new product
development and improving production
methods, we strive to efficiently
manufacture the world’s most high-
performance loudspeakers.
Our most important asset and
resource, we value the individual
members of the workforce and
invest in personal development
through internal and external training
programmes and maintaining a friendly
working environment.
»Multiskilled workforce allowing job
rotation, minimising bottlenecks,
balancing workflow and increased
flexibility to achieve objectives.
»NVQ training in multiple disciplines:
warehousing, manufacturing
operations, team leadership,
management, customer service.
»MAS on-site lean manufacturing
training.
»Modern engineering apprenticeships
through college and on-site
assessments.
»Regular employee appraisals
recognising achievements and
setting professional and personal
development goals with promotion
made from within the organisation
as far as possible.
World-class manufacturing
and best practice
We are committed to world-class
manufacturing standards. Lean
manufacturing using the Toyota
Production System was formally
implemented at Precision Devices in
2012 and is now a firmly embedded
culture within the company with the
objective of removing non-value-added
activity; this is as relevant today asever.
Another key principle is that of
continuous improvement, which is
inculcated through every aspect of
the company and with full employee
involvement and empowerment to
facilitate positive change.
Collectively, these processes contribute
towards Precision Devices being an
outstanding manufacturer of high-end
bespoke professional audio transducers.
The result is the
optimal synergy
between state-
of-the-art
technology and
time-honoured
craftsman
processes
»FUTURE
I am optimistic about the future as Precision Devices has always been
highly esteemed internationally, with particularly strong followings in
key growth markets such as China, India and Indonesia, where British
products carry great prestige. In collaboration with the Department of
Industry and Trade (DIT) and their worldwide research partners, we are
focused upon developing our export sales outside Europe and are highly
optimistic that the world economy offers outstanding opportunities
for high-end British manufactured products in markets beyond the
European Union. We approach the future with confidence and hope.
The Precision Devices
team