The Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt Hon Michael Moore offically opens Raytheon's new silicon carbide foundry and congratulates the team lead by Jim Trail, managing director of Raytheon Glenrothes and chief operating officer of Raytheon UK
Members of parliament, academia, trade and industry were invited to an exclusive tour of Raytheon’s new UK-leading silicon carbide (SiC) manufacturing "foundry" facility in Glenrothes as it 'opened for business' on 31 January.
Raytheon's investment in the foundry coupled with support from the Technology Strategy Board exceeds £3.5 million to date. Developed through several years' research into advanced manufacturing processes and materials science, the application of silicon carbide in electronic systems will place Raytheon UK in a leading position to develop next-generation, high-efficiency, smaller, low-weight power conversion products used in harsh environments across the automotive, aerospace, geothermal explorations, oil and gas, and clean energy sectors.
The grand opening included a networking session preceded by presentations from The Secretary of State for Scotland, the Rt. Hon. Michael Moore; MP for Glenrothes Lindsay Roy; Linda Hanna, director of company growth at Scottish Enterprise; Phil Mawby BSc, PhD(Leeds), CEng, FIET, FInstP, Sen.Mem.IEEE, professor of Power Electronics at Warwick University; as well as members of Raytheon UK’s leadership and business teams.
The Secretary of State for Scotland, who officially opened the facility, described Raytheon as “one of the UK’s consistent technology leaders at the forefront of breakthrough technology”.
He said: “It is amazing to be here and to be looking at the development of a new material that not only helps you to service your own existing clients, but has such exciting potential to develop your markets elsewhere... and where we can support you in developing those markets we’d be keen to do it.”
He also paid tribute to Raytheon’s collaboration with universities in the development of the technology and taking it to market: “All Government’s, of all colours, are always [campaigning for] the need for academia and business to work together; here we see how it can be done.
“I don’t think it’s any accident that the facility continues to excel and, given your track record to date, what you’re achieving and marking today, I am confident that’s going to continue for many years to come.”
Exploiting global markets
Bob Delorge, chief executive, Raytheon UK, said that the investment in the Foundry set the company on a journey to exploit new global markets estimated to bring significant new business to Raytheon in Scotland in the coming years.
“This technology will deliver major benefits, not only in the aerospace sector, but also in the automotive and oil and gas industries, as well as other sectors. This will enable us to keep growing a great business that is expanding its horizons outside of its existing markets.
“Growth stems from innovation, our ability to produce new ideas, technologies and manufacturing capabilities... as well as employing industry-leading engineers and scientists, we have made substantial commitments to develop new engineering talent to maintain our technological edge in high temperature silicon carbide.”
Impact on Scottish economy
Lindsay Roy, MP for Glenrothes praised Raytheon’s impact on the Scottish economy and employment market. He said that “Raytheon’s success in Glenrothes hasn’t happened by accident, it has happened by design” and, echoing Michael Moore’s comments, he highlighted Raytheon’s “tremendous investment in people”, its “collaboration with academia, Scottish Enterprise, the UK government “, its dedicated workforce who are committed to success” and its “outstanding leadership and teamwork”.
“Raytheon has a reputation for being in the vanguard of the development of cutting-edge technology, and Raytheon has a unique ability to translate good ideas into effective practice...this silicon carbide foundry will be an excellent addition... my congratulations to everyone involved in this initiative," said Roy.
Investing in people, skills and innovation
Scottish Enterprise’s Director of Company Growth Linda Hanna described Raytheon as a living case study of how you grow a business organisation. Congratulating the approach of employees and the leadership team to business collaboration, she said: “You’ve built on your legacy of the things that you do really well – your co-competence – but you’ve absolutely reinvented yourselves. You’ve looked at the markets, you’ve looked at where there are opportunities and you’ve seen where you could add value. And that’s innovation.
“You’ve taken your people with you, you’ve made those investments and you’ve been really clear about where those investment decisions have needed to be here [in Glenrothes]. We’re delighted to have worked with you as you continue to take that vision into reality.
“Manufacturing is a core part of Scotland’s exports (61%) ... we’re delighted that Raytheon is going to lead that charge for Scotland and we’re hopeful that we can continue to work with you and we wish you every success.”
Exponential future growth
Phil Mawby, Professor of Power Electronics at Warwick University’s School of Engineering, one of the academic institutions whose expertise has helped in the development of high temperature silicon carbide, said that the projected growth for the market was exponential: “The semiconductor market is approximately $300 billion per year and around ten per cent of that is in [the area of] controlling electrical power. Silicon carbide would probably aim to get 10-20 per cent of that market and [that] is probably going to be £1 billion worth of revenue in the next five years.
“Why is this important to the UK? If [the investment] doesn’t happen here it will happen somewhere else, so it’s really key that we capture the lead, the knowledge and the expertise that we have here and make sure that we can compete fairly on an international scale.”