Semiconductor equipment supplier Ichor eyes expansion

A technology firm is looking to take on more staff as it targets a move into new markets.

Ichor Systems managing director John Spence. Picture: Contributed

Semiconductor manufacturing equipment supplier Ichor Systems, which employs 46 at its Blantyre base, is planning to expand from its traditional sectors into the wider engineering market.

John Spence, who took over at the helm of the business late last year, said the planned diversification should further boost turnover at the business which is currently up 15 per cent on last year.

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“As well as semiconductor equipment manufacture and refurbishment, we are looking at rolling out innovative engineering solutions to a much wider range of sectors and targeting, in effect, the entire range of UK and European manufacturing,” he said.

“This will give us additional distinct revenue streams which will iron out some of the cyclic nature of dealing solely in the semiconductor market.”

Spence is aiming to bring at least four or five new people on board in the immediate future and is also planning to introduce an apprenticeship scheme.

“With the demise of the semiconductor sector in Scotland, it is more difficult to source people with the skills and motivation we require,” he explained.

“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.”

Spence was one of four founders of Semi Scenic, a semiconductor specialist which Ichor acquired in 2012. A former apprentice with Glasgow optical engineering firm Barr & Stroud, he also worked for National Semiconductor and equipment manufacturer Lam Research, a major partner of Ichor.