Manufacture In Scotland Today


In Scotland Today


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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