National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

Scottish manufacturer explores automation to increase capacity

Scottish manufacturer explores automation to increase capacity


Quartztec Europe Ltd based in East Kilbride near Glasgow manufactures products for the semiconductor, photovoltaics and fibre optic industries. Its products are used in the manufacturing of silicon chips, which are in high demand globally. The company was keen to explore opportunities for using automation for fire polishing processes on quartz glass, which would help increase capacity and improve quality.

Customer Challenge

The global shortage in silicon chips has created an increasing demand for the products manufactured by Quartztec. As a result, the company needed advice on the potential for automating its current production methods, moving away from a time-consuming manual operation and capitalising on the advantages of automating the process.

What did NMIS do?

After initial discussions, the team at NMIS assessed Quartztec Europe's current processes and equipment and outlined the health and safety issues to be considered when implementing automation for certain parts of the process.

Multiple scenarios were considered around integrating a robotic cell. The assessment accounted for budget, workpiece fixturing and factory layout. The team at Quartztec Europe is reviewing the recommendations and working with an external consultant introduced by NMIS for further support.

The support from NMIS was first class, and it's clear a lot of time and effort was put into providing the recommendations. The suggestions provided on production cell layouts has given a great deal of information to review internally on moving things forward to the next level. The H&S advice given will help us during the design stage ensuring we build in safety features second to none.

Gordon Whyte, Managing Director, Quartztec

Business Impact

NMIS has successfully outlined the steps Quartztec Europe should take to introduce a robotic cell to automate its production process. If adopted, this would significantly increase productivity and reduce waste and energy consumption per part. With the high global demand for silicon chips, Quartztec Europe could increase its market share, resulting in significant company growth.