ST IVES contracts electronics manufacturer Prism is expanding into South Africa to increase its volume manufacturing capability. But the company stresses that it is not scaling down its UK operation: the South African partnership will enable it to retain

ST IVES contracts electronics manufacturer Prism is expanding into South Africa to increase its volume manufacturing capability.

But the company stresses that it is not scaling down its UK operation: the South African partnership will enable it to retain customers demanding bigger volumes than the Burrel Road premises can handle.

Established in 1990, Prism Electronics specialises in providing modest volume contract manufacturing services to companies that produce electrical and electronic equipment.

Managing director David Aspinall, said: "We have an established reputation for assisting customers with design and manufacture of assemblies and equipment where there is complexity in meeting their requirements.

"Typical applications include such things as specialist medical equipment, scientific instruments and industrial control systems where product volumes may be modest and unpredictable.

"However, we have previously lacked the capacity to support larger volume manufacture ourselves. We are now in a position to do this

"We have seen too many problems created when companies have pursued a strategy of seeking the cheapest international price without proper control of quality, with failures in communication and understanding and with loss of intellectual property protection."

Prism's business development director David Dickin told The Hunts Post that South Africa had been chosen because of similar business ethics, time zones and a shared language. "South Africa also protects intellectual property, which is vitally important to our customer. They have similar machinery and work to the same quality standards."

He added: "We are still investing in the UK and taking people on, but this gives us a quantum step forward. If it's successful, we shall need to take on more people here."

Mr Dickin believes the move could lead to significant expansion of turnover at the £3million-a-year company, which employs nearly 50 people.