A brief history of Winter and Smith (Electronics) Limited.
A family run business celebrating our 53rd Year, the company was founded in September 1970, with the unusual partnership of a young Electronics Engineer Mike Winter, barely out of college, and a highly inventive Mechanical Design Engineer, Fred Smith, nearing retirement. One of Fred"s many claims to fame was that he had been involved with the very early development of television before World War II, and had worked with the great TV pioneer John Logie Baird. The first contract which the new partnership acquired was to design/manufacture automatic and semi automatic test equipment for the American component manufacturer Amphenol. The design requirement was to test connectors and multi-turn potentiometers at their factory in Whitstable, Kent. We were contacted by Amphenol in late 2015 for advice on a piece of equipment we made in 1976 which to this day is still being used regularly. Fred retired from the company in 1974 and although until 2005 the company never advertised, our customer base had slowly increased with the movement of engineers around the industry and their recommendation of Winter & Smith to their new companies. We take pride in being a company that can be approached to design any form of electronic and electro-mechanical equipment - even those jobs that other design houses turn down. A recent project involved the winding of custom rectangular coils for a sensing apparatus, we designed a bespoke coil winding machine to achieve this and delivered the project on time.
We realised early on that some of our customers were looking for something more than just the supply of a circuit board that performed a function - they wanted a completed product which could also include electro-mechanical parts, somewhere to house the electronics and numerous peripheral items. Whilst we were very competitive in the design of the electronics, having to outsource these other areas added considerably to the cost of a product design. Our solution was to invest in a full mechanical workshop to complement our electronics assembly line. For prototype and one off designs we are also capable of etching our own circuit boards which means that a PCB can be built as soon as it is designed, rather than waiting days for a manufactured board to arrive and then having to pay costly tooling charges. In later years when electronics became more intelligent we added a software design team to our engineering skills, and since 2007 have held the Microchip Master Certification, for our expertise in using Microchip microprocessor based products. We have engineers with experience in electronics, electro-mechanics, embedded software, product design and interfacing with both the Internet and wireless devices and with our manufacturing facilities including two fully automatic surface mount assembly lines, we can offer a complete and professional service with a very fast turnaround. In 2008 Winter and Smith relocated to new, larger premises on Gads Hill Farm, in Higham, that had been converted specifically to meet our requirements. We find it very important to demonstrate to our clients, our capabilities and the sort of equipment we have designed and built. It is very easy for anyone to appear professional in an online meeting with a generated background, but we feel it is important for our clients to visit us and see for themselves the multitude of things we have done. We have created a customer meeting/demonstration area that is packed full of previous products and designs which are running and demonstrable. A recent audit by the Manufacturing Advisory Service resulted in them informing us that we were one of the most efficient companies that they had ever encountered, they were unable to offer Winter and Smith any suggestions for improvement! In 2011 we were awarded "BEST SMALL BUSINESS" in the Dartford and Gravesham business awards.