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Reaping the rewards of collaboration – further impact for Jaltek Systems as partnership with WMG goes from strength to strength.

Automation project leads to productivity gains and new opportunities to upskill valuable teams.


Founded in 1988, Jaltek Systems are a contract electronics manufacturer with full electronics design capability. They first worked with WMG in 2022 when we helped them with an expansion and new factory layout for new premises. Two years later, having landed new business worth almost £3 million and taken on Nayan the intern that helped them implement production line changes, they contacted WMG again for support with automation.


Jaltek has grown significantly in recent years with further ambitious plans, and they were looking to adopt digital technology, particularly in robotics and automation to facilitate this growth. Steve Blythe, at Jaltek had visited the Advanced Metal Research Centre in Wales and other SME businesses who had started using collaborative robots (cobots) and had identified that automation could:

· Provide productivity enhancement with the need to recruit less

· Offer extended working hours – machines could operate outside regular working hours

· Help with issues such as the UK’s restrictions on labour movement, which were making it difficult to find new employees with the right skills

· Provide the opportunity for skilled employees to do more interesting, higher value tasks

Already using machines for the surface mount placement process, Steve identified that cobots could also be implemented for post surface mount assembly activity and labelling.



Following the success of previous WMG internships at Jaltek, they decided that taking on another intern would help them direct the resource needed on this project while saving valuable management time. With WMG supervision, intern Kesava Viknesh was appointed. He initially undertook an automation feasibility study for the complete set of processes in the business, quantifying the benefits of automation for each one. He then conducted a comparison study of different automation solutions, resulting in a list of the top three opportunities. After creating and presenting the business case to the board of directors, Kesava then went on to create a simulation of the automated labelling process to de-risk the investment. Jaltek also benefitted from a pilot trial of automation to assemble one of their products using WMG’s UR5e cobot before investing in their first cobot.



The internship project led to a range of impacts including:

· Identifying significant productivity improvements;

· A new full-time position for Kesava as an automation engineer;

· The upskilling of existing staff to fulfil higher value skilled jobs now that the cobots can undertake other tasks;

· A change in proposition for new employees, with a focus on highlighting the business’s values;

· Improved precision and uniformity which in turn supports the sustainability credentials for Jaltek as there is less waste;

· The opportunity for extended operations (as robots can work outside regular working hours);

· The ability for Jaltek to keep pace with technological advancements;

· An additional Accelerated Knowledge Transfer (AKT) grant to enable another young engineer to join the firm on a 16-week project to continue with the integration of robotics technology into their processes.


Steve Blythe, at Jaltek Systems said:

“We are continually looking to improve productivity through training, improved processes, and automation. We saw good practice using cobots in other businesses and reached out to WMG to support our plans. We are very happy with the results of the second internship, and we are only at the beginning of this journey.”

Jack Davis, Technology Transfer Engineer at WMG who supervised Kesava said:

“This internship project enabled Jaltek to trial the use of cobots on one of their key processes before taking the plunge to invest themselves, reducing risk and ensuring that they got the exact technological solution for their requirements. Kesava did a fantastic job, so much so that he has now secured a position with Jaltek.”

Fri 15 Mar 2024, 14:00 | Tags: SME SME-Growth Success Story