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More Raspberry Pis to be made in UK as RS Components moves to Sony Wales plant

Follows Premier Farnell's example
Tue Mar 19 2013, 13:06
Raspberry Pi

RASPBERRY PI MAKER RS Components has revealed that it is moving its production of the tiny computer to a Sony plant in Wales, away from the present Chinese manufacturing facility.

When we heard the news on Friday that the Raspberry Pi Foundation's other distributor Premier Farnell has shifted 100 percent of its manufacturing to the UK, we contacted RS Components to ask whether it has plans to follow suit.

Glenn Jarrett, global head of product marketing at RS, said that the components maker is in the process of setting up the move to Sony’s UK plant to manufacture the bare-bones board.

"We are starting to move manufacturing into the UK, and while our aim is to ultimately move all production to the UK, dual location production in China will continue for the foreseeable future," he added.

RS Components was unable to give us further information on how many UK jobs will be created from the project, and what proportion of its Raspberry Pi production will initially be made in the UK compared to China.

The move will mean that all Raspberry Pi computers eventually will be built out of the same Welsh facility, welcome news for the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Liz Upton.

"We're very pleased to hear the news. It's great for British manufacturing, and it's something that can make a huge impact on the individual people who will be employed to build the Pis," she said.

"Manufacturing in South Wales has taken such a hit in the last few decades.  I'd love to think that we're doing something to show that actually, there's no reason to offshore if you're building electronics in the UK."

On Friday, Raspberry Pi distributor Premier Farnell announced that all its boards were now being built at a Sony plant in Wales. Premier Farnell's Element 14 manufacturing division started the process in September, creating around 30 new jobs to supply 30,000 boards per month up to an initial order of 300,000. On Friday, Premier Farnell announced that it had ended all China manufacturing.

Based on these timeframes, RS Components could move to a 100 percent UK build by October, if it goes for a similar seven month transition period. µ


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