A specialist manufacturer based in Wick which produces cameras for use in some of the most dangerous and inaccessible places on Earth is focused on new opportunities after investing in cutting edge equipment.
Kongsberg Maritime Ltd (KML) has spent over £150,000, including £61,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), to install a Diamond Turning Lathe and monitoring kit which will allow them to develop their own custom built lenses. The state of the art tool means that the business won't have to buy in 'optical domes' which form a key part of their cameras.
The Wick factory, which employs 43 staff, is the production and development centre for KML Camera Group. Their high specification cameras are used in the oil, gas, military and scientific fields to support activities like bomb disposal, offshore drilling, marine biology, nuclear decommissioning and environmental monitoring.
Bill Baxter of KML Camera Group, said: “The addition of this new line of equipment will help our staff in Wick retain their reputation as world leaders in high-spec camera equipment. Manufacturing a whole range of optical housings in-house is an exciting new phase for us. We will make savings in time and money and will enjoy greater flexibility when developing new products.”
With the installation of the new equipment, KML Camera group aim to expand into new products and create additional jobs.
Keith Muir, account manager for HIE, said: “We are working closely with KML in Wick and are delighted to have supported them in this expansion. The investment brings benefits for the business, its staff and the wider community. The team is gaining extra skills and expertise in a highly specialised, high-value sector. Their abilities will provide another valuable asset to the area's engineering supply chain as we gear up for delivery in the emerging renewable energy sector.”
Note to editor
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HIE's role is to develop sustainable economic growth across the region. To achieve this it creates infrastructure for future investment, assists large and small businesses with growth aspirations and has a unique role strengthening communities, particularly in fragile areas.
HIE supports the growth ambitions of business and social enterprise clients by creating close working relationships in order to accelerate growth in turnover, profitability, wage levels, exports and therefore Gross Value Added (GVA) in the HIE area.
HIE also invests in transformational projects across the region to make the Highlands and Islands a more competitive and attractive place to live, work, study and grow.
The region covered by HIE takes in more than half of Scotland, and is home to around 440,000 people. See www.hie.co.uk for more information.