TW was Navico's only assembly sub-contractor and was entrusted with the manufacture of the main PCB used in their marine band radios. The board was very densely populated and all resistors and caps were fitted by automatic insertion machine. After auto assembly the boards were finished by two of TW's senior assemblers. They fitted the ic’s , transistors , inductor cans , crystals and other radial components. The completed boards were soldered on our 16” wave soldering machine. After soldering , the boards had the component leads cropped on a machine using a high speed tungsten carbide blade. After cropping the boards were inspected and reworked by the two original assemblers.
Tom Withers was invited to visit the Navico Works and during his tour was shown ten empty benches previously occupied by the girls that used to insert and hand solder the boards TW were now doing. The works manager noted his concern and hastened to assure him that no one had lost their jobs and that they had been retrained for other projects. TW made around 80 boards a month and the contract lasted three or four years .
At one time Navico had a 'ham' member of staff and he produced a 2 metre version of the marine radio called the AMR 1000S (shown in the photograph left) and Tom was presented with two of them.
The 2m amateur version was a great performer with lots of advanced features for the time (e.g. memories, scanning, etc).
The 'ham' designer left Navico and the company was left with a considerable quantity of partially built 2m units. Tom was asked if he would like to take on the completion of these units but felt it was outside the scope of TWs operation . TW also assembled fixed and mobile PSU’s for Navico .