Administrators at Deloitte said the company, which supplies wiring, looms and sheet metal work, had run out of money because of delays bringing products to market.
But they said they planned to continue trading the business and hoped to sell it as a going concern.
Chairman Sam Russell, who founded Simclar in his garage 35 years ago, said the business had been growing well until the global recession, but the subsequent "slight upturn" had not been enough to keep it afloat.
"Substantial investment has been made in a new product which has not reached the market as planned and that, along with bank pressure, has forced this deeply regrettable situation," he said.
Russell said the focus now was to save as many jobs as possible.
Simclar grew from humble beginnings to become the parent company of a subcontract manufacturing group with operations in the UK, US, Mexico and China.
Despite closing two plants in Ayrshire with the loss of 420 jobs in 2007, the UK operation still employs 217 people. It supplies a number of blue chip customers including Bombardier and Alexander Dennis.
Joint administrator, John Reid of Deloitte, said: "Simclar is recognised as a quality electronics manufacturing group with a global presence, a highly-skilled workforce and a blue chip customer base. Our aim is to sell the business as a going concern and offer a purchaser the opportunity to exploit these unique characteristics."
Simclar's overseas operations supply electronic manufacturing services. The US group is separately funded and managed and will not be impacted by the administration, while the Chinese operations will be restructured.