Plessey LED semi conductor firm turns Plymouth fab into LED factory


01oct14-Plessey-LED-assembly-line-600-300x199Leading  manufacturer of semiconductor products Plessey LED is expanding its Plymouth factory with a new assembly line. The assembly line will enable Plessey to focus on its innovative high brightness LED growth plans based around its solid-state lighting and sensing business, taking new products from concept to production in less time while also working as an innovation centre for the next generation of LED packages. The Plessey bespoke assembly line uses a laser saw process and finishes with an automatic test for industry standard PLCC (plastic, leadless chip carrier) packages. The line includes die attach, wire bonding, phosphor mixing, encapsulation and singulation, in addition to all the other industry standard supporting equipment and processes.

Mike Snaith, Plessey’s operations director said the assembly line had been designed specifically around speed and flexibility to provide customers with engineering samples for evaluation ahead of full production. Mr Snaith said: “The industrialisation of GaN-on-Silicon LED technology does not end at producing wafers – it also requires as much attention to the back-end processing to ensure that all the benefits we make at wafer level are fully realised in the final product. “This is the best way to provide customers with the LED products they need.”

Plessey’s Plymouth facility is already demonstrating returns for this transition, enabling it to build working samples of complete in-house filament prototypes for the new market of LED filament replacement bulbs. The filament prototypes use a dedicated die and assembly, all of which is designed and manufactured within the facility. Dr Keith Strickland, Plessey’s chief technology officer, said: “The fact that we are recruiting recognised industry shapers from the world of solid-state lighting is a tangible endorsement that the Plessey value proposition is both exciting and credible.”