Manufacture In Scotland Today Essay, Research Paper
?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
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
? 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.
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
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
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
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?
TR Fastenings website
by Gordon Mair