High-tech jobs at growing firm

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THE boss of an expanding high-tech engineering company has urged youngsters to think of its field as a career.

Graham MacGregor, managing director of MacGregor Welding Systems, in Mildenhall, says it has invested £250,000 in research and development in the past year, expanded output by 25 per cent, has taken on three new software engineers and is now seeking senior mechanical engineers

But he said: “There is a real shortage of well-qualified engineers. It is a field people should be getting into because, as a country, we’re good at it.

“We talk of business going to China, but I can see a move going back the other way.”

MacGregor Welding Systems exports its high precision micro-joining equipment to China, Europe and America and it is used by several multi-national lighting companies as well as those making aerospace electronics.

Mr MacGregor said: “All the high-tech equipment we run in China, we have a direct link to from Mildenhall so we can monitor it from here.”

The company’s computer-controlled systems are used to weld small components to, for example, circuit boards, and can join wires as thin as 13 microns, which is little more than a tenth the thickness of the average human hair. Recent orders include a semi-automatic welding system to a major automotive electronic components manufacturer and four export deals to China for eco-friendly semi-automated lamp manufacturing lines.

Mr MacGregor said: “In our market sector we’ve one major competitor worldwide. We offer a more bespoke service. A customer comes to us with a joining problem and we will sell the whole solution, not just boxes.”

On top of new staff appointments, bringing the Mildenhall team up to about 20 people, Mark Aherne, who has worked there for 15 years, was made a director last month. The company also has offices in America and the Netherlands.

For more details of MacGregor Welding Systems’ products and vacancies visit www.macgregorsystems.com