Ken Dickie had worked at Europlacer for 16 years. Prior to that, he was known for his roles at Dynapert and Casio. Originally from South Africa, Ken came to Europe some thirty years ago. He enjoyed travelling and did so extensively in his international customer support positions for the placement companies that benefited from his expertise.
“He was without doubt an industry fixture,” says Europlacer colleague Rod Evans. “There was not a machine or customer that Ken hadn’t supported across the UK, plus hundreds more worldwide. We have lost a true gem and the ‘Crazy South African’ is sorely missed.”
Ken’s time in the electronics manufacturing sector began as a service engineer in Dynapert’s German office, initially on through-hole insertion equipment and then on emerging SMT systems during the 1980s. He helped set up ANS in Germany with ex-Dynapert colleagues. Sometime around 1997, Ken took a wildly divergent career course, typical of his character, and tried his hand at record producing. It didn’t go well. So he came to the UK and re-joined the industry he knew, taking a service support post at Europlacer and settled near the firm’s UK headquarters in Dorset.
It was during a recent incident near his home in Dorset that Ken was physically assaulted. Tragically, he suffered a head injury and died in hospital a few days later. Ken was just one year away from retirement.
Most will remember Ken for his cheery personality, constant smile, and his many South African anecdotes, including ribbings over his alleged ‘jungle skills’, such as rolling in elephant dung to ward off stray lions! These are the values and comical recollections referred to most frequently in the condolences being offered from friends and colleagues across the industry.
About Blakell Europlacer
The Blakell Europlacer Group comprises the Speedprint Technologies, Europlacer, and Blakell Europlacer Distribution business units. All three are active and pre-eminent in the electronic circuit board assembly sector with advanced product and service solutions for electronics manufacturers in the UK and globally. Speedprint Technologies is a provider of screen printing equipment used in surface mount assembly processes. Europlacer is a provider of surface mount component placement equipment. Blakell Europlacer Distribution augments the provision of screen printing and pick & place platforms in the UK with a range of associated equipment, including AOI, reflow and PCB handling.