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Manufacturer drives a hard bargain

DeepStream Technologies manufactures clever circuit boards that can be moulded into virtually any shape, allowing electronics to be smaller and more energy efficient.

This technology has been under development at DeepStream for four years. Most widget manufacturers don’t even know it exists.

Crosier spends much of his time as MD travelling round the world, showing prospective clients why they need his services. “We’re just coming out of stealth mode,” says Crosier. “And no one else is doing this. It’s too difficult and expensive.”

DeepStream has developed a fully automated process for building these circuits, making the manufacture of components quick and seamless. Some 40 tonnes of pressure is applied to the plastics during manufacture. And all of DeepStream’s machinery is top secret, with the IP patented to the max.

To tweak the machines to manufacture new components takes the Bangor-based firm up to a year. In order to ensure that this is not money wasted on superfluous contracts, Crosier has come up with a newfangled ordering system.

All contracts that come into the firm are signed on a “take or pay” basis over a fixed term. “Our asset-funding model depends on a high turnover,” says Crosier. “Companies have to order a certain quota of circuits from us. Even if they don’t need them all later on, they still have to pay for them.”

This is unheard of in the industry, but Crosier’s portfolio of clients don’t seem to mind. “They can’t get these circuits anywhere else,” he says.

This fixed model allows the firm to plan ahead for future R&D investments, and has secured the company a predicted turnover of £4m by 2010.

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