O’Hara Twp. company adding jobs to help increase microchip production in response to global shortage

While there’s been steady growth in demand for computer chips amid worldwide shortages, an O’Hara company that creates products to help produce those chips has added space and now more jobs.

Aerotech Inc., headquartered in the RIDC Park in O’Hara, produces automation and motion control technologies and products. Their clients are technology companies in the aerospace, consumer electronics and medical device industries.

The company is growing in business sectors where consumers are struggling — the automobile industry and consumer goods where computer chip shortages have caused supply chain issues leading to product shortages.

“The demand is caused by a combination of the constant evolution of technology and improvements in chip manufacturing and recent pressure to alleviate the global chip shortage,” said Anthony Fazzini, Aerotech’s director of mechanical manufacturing.

For example, cars now contain dozens of chips that control the engine, infotainment screen, dashboard and gauges, he said.

Aerotech doesn’t produce computer chips. But the company contributes to other companies’ production by developing and manufacturing products that inspect computer chips during the manufacturing process.

“As the computer chip shortage ramps up, companies are automating their procedures and are buying our products to manufacture more chips for cars, refrigerators, mobile phones and more,” Fazzini said.

More jobs coming

The surge in demand is spurring the company to expand operations to a second building in the RIDC Park and to hire more employees in the next year.

Aerotech was founded in a garage in East Liberty in 1970. Now, with headquarters at 101 Zeta Drive in O’Hara, the private company expanded in 2020 to a second building less than a mile away at 610 Epsilon Drive, said Jason Rellick, a company spokesman.

The Zeta Drive site has 180,000 square feet of space, and the new building provides another 130,000 square feet.

“All of the production operations in the new building are to support electronic manufacturing and machining for equipment used in many industries, including computer chips,” Fazzini said.

Aerotech’s equipment is used to help computer chip manufacturers boost efficiency and output with higher precision equipment, he said.

“When there is a chip shortage and producers need to ramp up,” Fazzini said, “we make it possible to help them make more (chips) and make them more efficiently.”

Currently, Aerotech has between 400 and 500 employees.

In the next year, they would like to hire at least 30 to 50 new employees, Fazzini said.

There are and will be openings for skilled assembly workers, wiring technicians, CNC machinists, software and mechanical engineers and others.

Manufacturing positions start at
$15 per hour. Benefits included a health care program offered at a low cost to employees, profit-sharing and an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

For more details on available jobs, visit Aerotech’s website.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .