British photonics package component maker LEW Techniques wins Queen's Award for Enterprise

April 23, 2018
UK company packages laser diodes and photodetectors for defense, automotive, and other uses.
Photolithography room for thin-film deposition processes at LEW Techniques. (Photo credit: Corbin O'Grady)

LEW Techniques (Taunton, England), which manufactures custom high-precision miniature package components for photonics and other applications, has won a second Queen's Award for Enterprise -- the UK's highest accolade for business success.

The company has received the award once before in 2016, for growth and commercial success in international business. LEW Techniques says that its exports have continued to accelerate since 2016 thanks to strong demand in telecommunications and other major industrial markets. Exports now represent close to 90% of the company's turnover; the 2018 Queen's Award recognizes this further growth in international trade.

"Since we were honored in 2016 we have continued to grow significantly, doubling our turnover mainly by increasing our overseas sales, which have risen more than 250%," says Andrew Walker, technical director at LEW Techniques. The latest period of growth has also seen LEW Techniques' workforce expand by more than 30% in two years.

Founded in 1966, LEW Techniques specializes in the manufacture of bespoke miniature mechanical ceramic and metal components. Developed through close collaboration with customers, they are mainly used to mount semiconductor diode devices -- predominantly laser diodes, photodetectors, and microwave radar sources.

While recent growth has been driven by the telecommunications sector primarily, LEW Techniques says it has enjoyed a strong upturn across all customer sectors, including commercial optronics (photonics), defense, automotive, and some some novel applications.

During its most recent financial year, LEW Techniques says that it shipped more than 2.4 million specialized high-technology build-to-print components across more than 270 different designs. While in 2016 the UK's trade deficit with China widened to £25.4 billion (this figure is from ONS statistics on UK trading partners), LEW Techniques says that it has bucked that trend: 60% of the company’s exports in the year ending May 2017 were destined for China, with Germany, France, Malaysia, and South Africa representing other key geographies.

Source: LEW Techniques

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