Spin-off SilcoTek applies innovative chemical deposition process to huge market
Keystone Edge, 1/15/2009
An innovative chemical-vapor deposition process, which coats metal surfaces with fused silicon, provides the technology to grow spinoff SilcoTek into a $202-million business by the year 2020, says veteran Central PA entrepreneur Paul Silvis, the leader of the new venture. The company was formed on January 1 from the performance-coatings division of Restek, a world leader in chromatography parts and supplies, which originally developed the process for application in chromatography. Getting an early boost in its ambitious plans to pursue that long-range goal, SilcoTek also gained an infusion of $125,000 for its marketing programs from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania.
SilcoTek starts with annual sales of $3-million. The new company targets the analytical and process instrumentation, oil, gas, and semiconductor industries. In those industries, Silvis says, there is a very large opportunity for SilcoTek's proprietary coating, which can be applied to the surfaces of metal tubing, foil, filters, crucibles, containments, and many other metallic parts and materials. The strength and flexibility of the coating protects the integrity of the underlying metal and enhances its performance under conditions of extreme temperature and stress. A wide variety of probes to test process performance in oil, gas, and power industries are one potential market.
Silvis says, "Our goal for this little company is to grow it to $202 million by the year 2020. Now that's 56 percent compounded growth every year. That's a lot of growth, which means we've got to grow it by 100% a good many years and slow down to the 20-30 percent range in some years. That's a BHAG-big, hairy, audacious goal. But the market's there. It's just a matter of executing in doing a good job in growing with the market."
Operating as a service business, one that receives customers' parts and provides the coatings, SilcoTek began its standalone operation in Bellefonte with 14 employees - and expects to be hiring "a key person to drive sales" and "a process engineer who can help us invent our own ovens," which cost $500,000 to $750,000 each, as well as technicians and customer service representatives.
Source: SilcoTek, Paul Silvis
Writer: Joseph Plummer
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