A Cambridgeshire engineering specialist is considering extra staffing plus the potential to deploy robotics for packing product after winning a significant deal with French client Vishay. Hybrid Laser Tech, an Ely-based subsidiary of Shearline Precision Engineering, will be making 300,000 parts for Vishay MCB Industrie following a recommendation from another Vishay Intertechnology group company.
HLT has also worked with sister companies Vishay Sfernice and Vishay Spectrol.
HLT is European market leader in ceramic substrate laser cutting, marking, engraving, drilling, and scribing.
The initial part of the new contract, which runs from January to June 2024, is worth £121k and HLT sales and technical manager Kevin Thompson is hopeful that the deal will be extended.
The customer mainly manufactures electro-mechanical components and HLT will supply ceramic boards which will be assembled for automotive end customers.
Mr Thompson said: “We have worked for Vishay subsidiaries for many years, and this is the third company in the group for whom we will have handled component engineering.
“Vishay is a globally respected group which specialises in discrete semiconductors and passive electronic components and is a cherished HLT customer.
“Obviously we are thrilled that talks have culminated in an order being placed and we are looking at possibly adding a modest number of recruits to the team or redeploying them from elsewhere in the Shearline group as we have neighbouring facilities.”
He added: “The component numbers are high, so we are also vetting the possibility of adding robotics to facilitate high-speed packing of end product ahead of shipment.”
HLT products have a multiple variety of end-uses. Its components have ended up in space as part of a Raspberry Pi computer bound for the International Space Station. Medical markets have also become a widespread user of HLT’s circuit boards which thrive in high temperature environments.
Mr Thompson said: “Products using our input are many and varied. I can recall them being used in the production of cancer treatment centres and in heart monitors.
“We have done circuit bases for Ariadne (a European designed and built 3 stage rocket launcher), the Typhoon fighter jet, hand-held grenade launchers and Porsche cars.
“Materials used for products have included, gold, silver, platinum, mother of pearl as well as high-purity ceramics – just about any material you could imagine. The work is pretty exciting at times and the market is definitely changing.
“Parts are becoming more complicated, materials are getting thinner, and components are getting smaller. One pump we worked on recently was the size of a thumb nail!”
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