1985 – In the beginning…

Back in the late 1980’s, Marlin Shelley in Utah, USA had grown tired of cables failing in his company’s dot-matrix printers. He wanted a way to guarantee that cables functioned correctly before installing them. Marlin designed and built a test box. He later named his invention the Signature 1000 Cable Tester and formed a new company – Cirris Systems Corporation.

Word spread of the ease and speed of use of this little cable tester and the business grew.  Marlin resigned his directorship of the printer company and started manufacturing cable testers in Salt Lake City, Utah in the mid 80’s.

By 1992 Cirris Systems had incredible success in the USA with a fast-growing customer base and Marlin wanted to expand into Europe and the UK. By a stroke of chance, Dave Morris got in contact with Marlin during that same year and discussed distributing Cirris testers in the UK. Dave decided to resign as Worldwide Sales and Marketing Director for Marconi Instruments and made an agreement with Cirris Systems Corp. to form a new company – Cirris Solutions Ltd. The UK Cirris company was started during the time Dave had a broken his back following a trampoline accident. After discharging himself from hospital, he spent six weeks lying on his back at home telephoning companies and introducing the Cirris cable/harness testers.

2011 – Hmm, this is interesting!

Cirris Solutions Ltd had by now built up a large UK customer base of around 1000 companies, becoming the Go-To company in the UK for cable/harness testing. Cirris Systems Corp. had now been sold to its employees as an ESOP, and we carried on as Cirris Solutions Ltd, still solely providing Cirris systems sales, support and customisation into the UK.

The owner of our German competitors, Adaptronic GmbH got in touch with Dave through a mutual friend early in 2017. They were interested in us selling their test equipment in the UK and we found it to be a good fit with our product offering. The opportunity was welcomed as we knew that their products were focused towards complex test applications, which is not where Cirris products had market share. Adaptronic had never managed to create a customer base in the UK due to our strong Cirris market presence.

2017 – Name change?

Dave and Tim understood that the name and brand needed to change from ‘Cirris Solutions Ltd’ to ‘Combined Test Solutions Ltd’ to better support both the Cirris and Adaptronic brands. By April 2017, we had re-branded. This enabled us to start sell both globally leading manufacturers of cable/harness test equipment.

The Cirris and Adaptronic products became an excellent fit, with negligible overlap. Cirris Hipot testers had easily met some 80% of companies requirements for automatic cable and harness testing. With Cirris’ ‘easy-to-use and fast-to-deploy’ philosophy. In comparison, Adaptronic fitted perfectly in the remaining 20% sector. With flexible and highly capable hardware, Adaptronic enabled CTS to meet and exceed every requirement that Cirris could not, cost effectively and with “room for expansion”. Engineers and customers appreciated the fact that an on-board LCR or built in power supply for functional testing could be used, as a standard option…with no extra effort!

2021 – Stantronic Instruments

In 2021 (post Covid) CTS had a growing number of customers asking us for more general test and measurement equipment, which we simply did not provide. As we had changed our name to CTS, we could obviously offer a range of other products to meet these needs. We heard that a nearby company was looking to sell – and it was the right time to buy and bring it in to CTS. Stantronic already had a UK customer base and some excellent products which enabled us to start providing the good technical solutions right away.

2024 – Where we are today

Tim now runs CTS as the Managing Director and Dave after nearly 40 years in Test Equipment has started other companies, Overmould Ltd, Ball Electronics amongst the few! He also has a long list of projects that require more time and energy in order to see the “light of day”. There is even an “Amphicar” bought with his wife’s savings after they got married, to be finished and driven into the water! We are excited about the future ahead. We have many great customers, trusting us for our wealth of knowledge, our teams attitude, and our service excellence.  The reliability of the equipment we provide has and is always paramount when supplying and supporting the right test solution. Let’s see what the future has to offer over the next 30 years!

Meet the Team

Tim: Director

Tim joined the business in 2011, and with over 15 years of industry experience, he has gained extensive knowledge within the Automatic Test Equipment field. As the 2nd Generation of the business, Tim is passionate about testing, and wants to continue to deliver the best, most reliable and dependable solutions on the market.

Dave: Sales

Dave as a visionary leader with an electronics engineering background, has been in the ATE industry for nearly 40 years, and has a wealth of industry knowledge.

Neil: Engineering

Neil joined CTS In January 2022 and has worked in the electronics industry for over 30 years. He has kept himself at the forefront of modern technology having worked across many sectors, including; radio communications, research and development, electronic design, and custom solutions. These all play to his strengths and give CTS a wide experience base to add to its already sizeable industry experience.

Bradley: Service

Brad has been with CTS just over 6 years and handles Uk calibrations and front-line support.

Within this time, Brad has gained critical experience supporting customers in the field and maintains an informative approach when finding a resolution for technical problems whilst providing a positive customer experience.

Charlotte: Sales Support

Charlotte Joined CTS January 2nd 2022 and helps with customer enquiries and sales support, as well as supporting the administrative team with daily tasks. Charlotte keeps the sales team organised and is acritical part of the operation.

Josie: Administration

Josie Joined the CTS team January 2023 takes on much of the administrative work. Josie also has a keen eye for marketing and helps across all social media platforms.

Vicki: Administrative Assistant.

Vicki is our newest member of the CTS team, she offers Customer support and keeps the calibration bookings up to date and organised.

Louise: Head of Accounts

Louise has been overseeing the Accounts Department for many years and keeps it running like a well-oiled machine. You might hear from her if you haven’t paid your invoice on-time…

Asher: Accounts Support.

Asher provides critical support for the Accounts team and primarily handles the payment of wages and expenses (we make sure always gets offered a drink to make sure we get paid each month!)