High-tech industry draws specialized company to Malta
MALTA Another of the highly specialized companies that supply giant computer chip fabrication plants like GlobalFoundries has arrived in the Capital Region.
Sumitomo Cryogenics of America, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries of Tokyo, has opened an office at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park.
The 1,600-square-foot office, which was unveiled Tuesday in a new building at 20 Tech Trail, is less than a half-mile from its main customer, GlobalFoundries Fab 8.
“This facility will serve all of our customers in the Northeast and New England, but we chose this location because of GlobalFoundries,” said David Dedham, president of the American operation.
The company will have five equipment service employees initially, with the potential for future growth. Locating along with it is another specialized semiconductor industry supplier, LOT Vacuum of America.
Sumitomo makes and services air pumps that are used to create near-vacuum conditions inside the machines that etch electronic circuits onto computer chips, where near-sterile cleanliness is required.
“We are very critical to the manufacturing process,” said Dedham, a Glens Falls native who now lives in Pennsylvania. “We create a very clean environment so that there are no contaminants near the wafers.”
LOT Vacuum uses vacuum technology to extract industrial gases used in the manufacturing process, said Frank P. Janosky III, president of U.S. operations for the South Korea-headquartered company.
LOT Vacuum already has a presence in the region, at the College of Nanoscale Sciences and Engineering in Albany, but Sumitomo is new to the region.
Dedham said the close proximity to GlobalFoundries is important because technical support staff are on call 24 hours a day.
Sumitomo’s U.S. headquarters are in Allentown, Pa. It has other offices in Chicago; Santa Clara, Calif.; and Austin, Texas. Its parent, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, is an $8 billion worldwide corporation.
Officials with the Saratoga Economic Development Corp., which helped Sumitomo find its local space, said the company is an example of the kind of specialized supply and support companies that will move to the region as its technology sector grows.
Bigger companies that make or service semiconductor manufacturing equipment, including Applied Materials, KLA-Tencor and Tokyo Electron, have already set up shop within a few miles of GlobalFoundries.
GlobalFoundries is still ramping up the first factory at its Fab 8 site, where more than 2,100 people work. The company is building a $2.3 billion technology development center that will open late next year. It also has approvals to build a second factory, though it isn’t yet pursuing those plans.
“We’re glad to have them here,” said GlobalFoundries spokeswoman Jessica Kerley. “These are examples of the kind of impact GlobalFoundries is having. There already are suppliers here, but we hope more will come.”
SEDC officials echoed that and said suppliers bring additional jobs beyond those created directly by GlobalFoundries.
“We know more service providers are going to come,” said Tori J. Riley, an SEDC economic development specialist.
She said Dedham approached her at last July’s Semicon West industry conference in San Francisco, after noticing by her name tag that she was from Saratoga County.
Wednesday’s event was also the public debut of a $10 million, 130,000-square-foot mixed-use building Jersen Construction of Waterford has built at STEP.
It has 105,000 square feet of warehouse space, nearly two-thirds of which is already being rented by GlobalFoundries. Sumitomo and LOT are the first tenants for the 25,000 square feet of office space in the building, said Jersen spokeswoman Angela Cioffi.
Jersen last year received about $390,000 in one-time tax breaks from the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency as an incentive to construct the building. The building meets LEED energy-efficiency standards, like the other new construction in the tech park, which is owned by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.