Vistec Builds On A Foundation Of Talent
On invitation to attend the grand opening ceremony of Vistec's newly expanded headquarters, Michelle Winny, EuroAsia semiconductor reports on the company's celebrations and presence amongst the local community in Weilburg Germany as Vistec unveils its recently developed facilities with a refreshing mission to drive its vision of the future.
Weilburg, literally meaning castle on a river is a place of great enchantment and antiquity. With winding cobbled streets and breath taking scenery of stretching agricultural landscapes you cannot help but be beguiled by the romance of this charming town.
Located in the Rhein-Main area near Frankfurt which is known for its international airport and several renowned universities, Weilburg is inhabited by a population of approximately 14,000 residents and is the third biggest town in the district of Limburg-Weilburg in Hesse, Germany.
The old town is built on a rocky hill almost encircled by the Lahn River and hosts a castle from the 14th century. It was to the great delight of guests congregating in celebration of the opening of local semiconductor manufacturing company Vistec's new head quarters, to receive a detailed insight into the historical past of the so called ‘Kernschloss' (core castle) constructed in Renaissance style.
Nothing more communicates such pride in ancestry to the travelling visitor than to be welcomed on a guided tour as a precursor to a business trip.
With so much character and history it is abundantly clear that this is a town where the people really care for its heritage and value the upkeep of its national treasures; and now as the new home to Vistec's headquarters, a company who evidently has the welfare of the local people and its infrastructure at the centre of its concerns, the preservation of the town and its surrounding history is without a doubt secure in the hands of this local benefactor.
Investing in the future
Vistec Semiconductor Systems (Vistec, an abbreviation for visionary technologies) was Leica Microsystems' Semiconductor Equipment Division until it was acquired by private equity firm, Golden Gate Capital in 2005 and then renamed Vistec.
Funding for the expansion was received from Golden Gate Capital who invest in a broad portfolio of companies and business sectors including specialty device and semiconductor equipment businesses. Their investment in Vistec is with intention to develop and progress the company over an extensive period of 7-8 years, aiming for growth in capital and expertise.
The new site in Weilburg received an investment of over €5 million to develop the facility it now accommodates 250 Vistec employees, consolidating staff from the Weilburg unit (formerly Wetzlar and Weilburg, now united under one roof at the new headquarters). Gerhard Ruppik, Vistec General Manager comments, “The synergy of having all divisions here enhances communications- and our continued growth.” Additionally there are employees in support centres across the world and also staff in the Jena unit.
Nurturing the next generation
Previously a production site, the Weilburg facility received a further 130 new rooms expanding to 12,500,m2 with an additional 200,000m2 lot for future expansion. The clean room area was increased to 1.700m2, including a 250m2 demo room to present and evaluate the newest generation systems for wafer process control and mask metrology. Vistec is providing key technology used by semiconductor manufacturers around the world.
Numerous politicians and industry VIP's, including Heinz Kundert SEMI Europe President), attended the event. The Minister of Finance, Federal State of Hesse, Karlheinz Weimar was a special guest at the opening, and the Mayor of Weilburg was also present.
The new site created 20 additional job positions and further additions are expected in the near future. I was informed that Vistec is the largest employer in the town and now as the local sponsor for the wine festival held on the grounds of the ‘Kernschloss' castle, Vistec it is at the heart of the community. A trail of gifts and presents flowed in to welcome Vistec to their new home from customers and other local companies showing the clear sense of value and acceptance in the town.
With a strong ethic towards investing in its people Vistec Offers attractive career possibilities with a fully comprehensive training apprenticeship to students from the age of 15 years old who have an interest in becoming qualified engineers.
Vistec is actively encouraging the adoption of science and technology nurturing young talent and securing the future of technological innovation. It is rare in this day and age to find a company where its employees have a job for life and are supported throughout their training with a place of employment offered on completion of the course. Two core values of the Vistec mission are to innovate and expand.
The units in Weilburg (Vistec Semiconductor Systems) and Jena (Vistec Electron Beam) have different fields of expertise and work independently. The expertise of the Weilburg unit is inspection systems, defect detection and classification systems, metrology systems for mask and wafer manufacturing.
Over the course of the day guests were treated to some very motivating talks followed by live music and a comedy act. Guests who attended the event would all surely leave with a heightened sense of innovation and inspiration, as did I.