The new managing director of Ichor Systems is predicting a period of sustained growth and more highly skilled jobs based on penetration of exciting new markets.
John Spence, who took the helm of semiconductor manufacturing equipment supplier in the latter part of last year, is planning to expand the Scottish-based company’s activities outwards from its traditional markets and into the wider engineering sector.
The planned diversification will smooth out revenue streams in the classically cyclical semi-conductor arena and further boost turnover, which is up 15% on last year and growing steadily.
“We have proved that the models we have developed recently – particularly finding engineering solutions for the perennial problem of obsolescence in manufacturing – are as applicable across manufacturing as they are to silicon wafers,” said Spence.
The Lanarkshire plant – which employs 46 people, mostly highly skilled engineers – is a key/strategic European base for Ichor Systems. It moved into its current state-of-the-art facility in Hamilton International Technology Park in 2015.
Spence is planning to bring at least four or five new people on board in the immediate future and is also planning to introduce apprenticeship schemes.
“With the demise of the semiconductor sector in Scotland, it is more difficult to source people with the skills and motivation we require,” he said. “For that reason, we are bringing on graduates and apprentices to give us future capability and to ensure that the growth of knowledge is under our control.
“As well as semiconductor equipment manufacture and refurbishment, we are looking at rolling out innovative engineering solutions to a much wider range of sectors – targeting, in effect, the entire range of UK and European manufacture.
“This will give us additional distinct revenue streams which will iron out some of the cyclic nature of dealing solely in the semiconductor market.”