Manufacture In Scotland Today Essay Research Paper

Manufacture In Scotland Today Essay, Research Paper


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?Manufacturing In Scotland Today?


This report is not so much on the state

of the manufacturing industry in Scotland but rather of it?s current success.

Scottish productivity consistently ranks among the highest worldwide and

multinational companies have expanded their presence in Scotland to capitalise

on this.

Due to the extent of the manufacturing

industry in Scotland I am going to focus on four areas these being: Electronics,

Semiconductors, Aerospace and Automotive manufacture. Other major areas

of manufacture in Scotland include Biotechnology (which I will touch upon

later), Food (with annual sales totalling £7.3 billion) and Textiles.

Scotland is the home to around 550 electronics

companies including multinational giants such as IBM, Compaq, Motorola,

Matsushita and Phillips. Scotland also has one of the highest concentrations

of semiconductor fabrication companies in Europe including NEC, Motorola,

National Semiconductors and Raytheon Systems. While the Scottish aerospace

industry comprises of 52 companies including BAE Aerostructures, GEC Marconi

Radar and Control Systems, Greenwich Caledonian, Rohr, Bond Helicopters

and Woodward Governor and it has world-class expertise in electronics,

plastics and aluminium founding, all of which are increasingly important

in automotive manufacture.

All these companies chose Scotland. Home

to Europe’s most experienced electronics work-force the Scots are known

worldwide for their work ethic, as well as for their skills and initiative

they are praised for low turnover rates, low absenteeism, and high levels

of responsiveness to training and new technologies. Partly this can be

put down to Scotland?s educational system which places particular emphasis

on electrical engineering, science, mathematics and computer-related studies.

Also producing more engineering graduates per capita than all other EU


Scotland also offers the ideal location

for companies requiring access to the European market through access to

Europe in a matter of hours with it?s modern airports, motorways, deep

water seaports and advanced rail freight connections with Europe.


The so called Silicon Glen area of Central

Scotland is one of the most concentrated areas of electronics activity

in Europe. Home to many companies from America, Japan, as well as European

multi-nationals and of course independent Scottish companies.

Many leading electronics companies have

operations in Scotland, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Canon, Compaq,

Packard Bell, NEC, Sun Microsystems and Mitsubishi. Altogether they employ

41,000 people, with another 29,900 supporting directly. Total product sales

of the Scottish electronics sector amounted to £15.5 billion in 1996

with Scotland producing:

? 32% of personal computers made

in Europe,

? more than 7% of the world?s PCs,

? 80% of Europe’s workstations,

? 29% of Europe?s notebooks and

? 65% of Europe’s automated banking



Electrical and optical engineering is Scotland?s

largest manufacturing area representing 23% of the countries total manufacturing.

Scotland is a world leader in optoelectronics

with the likes of Pilkington Optronics a major developer in military optical

systems including periscopes, military laser range finders and thermal

imaging systems. GEC Marconi avionics also use their military expertise

in laser targeting and guidance systems. Edinburgh Instruments manufacture

all kinds of state of the art lasers. VLSI Vision have developed a new

single-chip video camera which is being used used in security systems,

medical and automotive products not to mention personal computers and children’s

toys. Microlase also develop lasers for use in biotechnology and semiconductor



Scotland is home to four of the worlds

top ten telecommunications companies including Motorola, Cisco, Lucent

and 3Com. Motorola a world leader in portable communications systems operates

from Scotland manufacturing a wide range of products, including mobile

phones, for the European market. Hewlett-Packard also who have been operating

a plant in Scotland for over 30 years where they manufacture products for

testing telecommunications systems.

Information Systems

Scotland has been at the forefront of the

global information systems industry for over 40 years with leading companies

like NCR, Honeywell and IBM all of which take advantage of the countries

solid support infrastructure and communications links to serve the markets

of Europe and beyond.

Scotland produces Personal computers, including

desktop and laptop models. Processing systems, such as electronic funds

transfer and automatic teller machines. Peripherals, including display

monitors, keyboards, printers and data communication products. Support

products, such as disk drives, cable harnesses and switched-mode supplies.

Also the Scottish software industry has

a turnover of £1.5 billion and employs around 20,000 people.


Scotland?s semiconductor fabrication plants

employ over 5,500 people, and suppliers to the semiconductor industry employ

2,700. Scotland has a 7% share of the EMEA semiconductor production capacity

and a 33% share of the UK capacity.

Companies choose to locate in Scotland

as it is home to the UK?s National Microelectronics Institute which tackles

any problems that companies from throughout the UK may have. Whilst providing

training and the facility for individuals to develop their skills.

All together there are more than 100 semiconductor

companies in Scotland, including equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers

and support services.

Nikon Precision is a prime example being

one of the world?s leading producers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Nikon Precision Europe is investing £22 million in a semiconductor

education and application centre in Livingston, this centre will be the

first of it?s kind in the UK.

Motorola operates two semiconductor plants

in Scotland as well as a global research and development (R&D) centre

for the manufacture of smart cards. While the NEC facility in Scotland

undertakes the manufacture of microprocessor, static and dynamic random

access memory products.

Scotland’s semiconductor fabrication companies

are among the leaders in the development of revolutionary system-on-chip

semiconductor devices.


Hosting a well-developed aerospace industry,

with companies producing gas turbines and defence avionics. Scotland has

a good range of companies, skills and research capabilities.

The Scottish aerospace industry has four

particular strengths. Firstly, Scotland has a significant gas turbine cluster.

This comprises of around 20 companies, employing a total of more than 4,000

people and with a combined annual turnover of around £450 million.

Secondly, Scotland has a developed supply

base, which delivers a wide range of products and services, including airframes

and aircraft components, specialist engineering services, and precision

sensors and controls.

Thirdly, Scotland has a significant avionics

cluster. These companies produce a complete range of electronics systems,

including radar, data and voice communications and control systems, all

of which are vital in modern aircraft.

Lastly, Scotland delivers strong infrastructure

support for the aerospace industry, including the skills and technology

base of Silicon Glen, one of the highest concentration of electronics companies

in Europe and a world centre of electronics research.

Scotland also has four international airports

and is home to the largest civil heliport in the world.


With a well developed automotive supply

base, and a cluster of commercial vehicle manufacturing companies. It has

world-class expertise in electronic, plastics and aluminium founding, all

of which are becoming increasingly important in vehicle manufacturing.

More than 50,000 people work in the transport

equipment sector in Scotland, which exports goods to the value of £1

billion a year. There are around 80 companies in the sector, with a diverse

product range.

Vehicles built in Scotland include heavy

commercials, buses (Walter Alexander), earth-moving equipment (Terex Equipment),

aerial working platforms, refuse collection trucks, fire-fighting vehicles,

rough terrain vehicles and armoured personnel carriers.

In addition, Scotland has a wide range

of automotive engineering suppliers, including Michelin Tyres, Uniroyal

Englebert (Continental Tyres), Glacier Vandervell (engine bearings, bushes

and thrust washers.) and John McGavigan (backlit fascia panels).

Scotland also has a mature plastics sector,

based on the wide range of feed stocks produced at Grangemouth, a world-class

petrochemicals complex. It has extensive expertise in aluminium casting

with a ready supply of raw material from the Alcan smelter in Fort William.

These are completed by a wealth of automotive

electronics suppliers, all active members of the Silicon Glen electronics

community. These include Motorola who produce semiconductors for automotive

applications, CTS makers of throttle position sensors, Prestwick Circuits

producers of printed circuit boards for automotive applications and OKI

who make control units for engine management systems.


Many companies are choosing to locate in

Scotland due to it?s well trained, reliable work force and because Scotland

offers a unique quality of life.

The Manufacturing Industry in Scotland

is booming, with many multi-national companies set up in Scotland. Although

manufacturing is a secondary industry a lot of the raw materials used are

found in Scotland and so these primary industries involved are thriving

on the larger companies success and expansion. Completed goods have to

be delivered and so there is a Tertiary industry involved as well this

being transportation.

An example of such a company is TR Fastenings


TR?s Scottish Division was specifically

set up to serve the thriving Information Technology and business equipment

sector. Their main clients are giants Hewlett-Packard and Compaq.




Scottish Enterprise website

Scottish Electronics website

?Locate in Scotland?

Scottish Enterprise

TR Fastenings website

?Mastering Manufacturing?

Class notes.

by Gordon Mair


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