US electronics group invests £380,000 in Borders plant

Plexus is boosting its presence in Kelso. Picture: Contributed
Plexus is boosting its presence in Kelso. Picture: Contributed
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A US electronics manufacturer is investing in an expansion of its Borders facility as it looks to increase its presence in the defence and aerospace sectors.

Plexus Corporation is setting up a dedicated building at its site in Kelso where it manufactures components for customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The new facility will carry out environmental stress screening (ESS) under which components are tested for their ability to withstand ­temperature changes and vibration.

On top of a $500,000 (about £380,000) investment in specialist equipment, Plexus said it will also be employing a number of ESS engineers and provide additional training for its existing test engineers and operators.

READ MORE: New Plexus factory creates 130 jobs in West Lothian

Frank Zycinski, a senior Plexus executive in Europe, said: “With today’s need for increased security in these sensitive sectors, we have taken the decision to bring ESS testing within our own control.

“This move means we can deliver a full service to our customers and guarantee enhanced security for their intellectual property.”

The dedicated ESS facility will open in September. The expansion at the Kelso site, which employs around 400, will be seen as a welcome vote of confidence by Plexus in its Scottish manufacturing presence. In November it announced it was laying off about 50 staff at its Livingston plant in response to reduced demand, particularly in the oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, UK business secretary Sajid Javid said the government and aerospace industry are to provide almost £365 million of funding for aerospace design and manufacturing technologies. It will be invested through the Aerospace Technology Institute following the announcement at the Farnborough Air Show.