February 9, 2023

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—A company that began as a wire saw manufacturer in Rochester more than 70 years ago has announced it will reshore production of semiconductor and solar manufacturing equipment from China to the United States.

Rochester-based Linton Crystal Technologies (LCT), making what it described as “the first Inflation Reduction Act-related announcement for producing solar machine tools in the United States,” said in a release that it will break ground on a new manufacturing facility in the second quarter of 2023.

“We’ve been working on this plan for a while now and are looking forward to reshoring manufacturing to the United States,” said Todd Barnum, president and chief operating officer  of Linton Crystal Technologies, in a statement. “As a U.S. company with Chinese ownership, Linton Technologies Group, the geopolitical issues have been difficult to navigate. Our company used to manufacture in Rochester, and we’re eager to get back to the United States.”

The company plans to establish a manufacturing center to build and demonstrate the full line of equipment represented by Linton Technologies Group. This includes Czochralski (CZ) furnaces for monocrystalline silicon ingots (semiconductor and solar grade), and the machines (wire saws and polishing equipment) for producing solar ingots and wafers.

Linton will be the first company to return this technology to the United States, the company said in the release.

Linton’s initial investment will be used to add a new facility, establish a demonstration line, and build production capacity—all by the end of year one. This is expected to grow the company’s workforce to more than 75 employees. Linton’s goal for the end of year two is to exceed its employment numbers for 2008, when the company had nearly 200 employees at its New York factory, the company said.

According to the release, Linton Crystal Technologies has a long history of manufacturing innovation. The company originated in Rochester in 1952 as a wire saw manufacturer, Hamco, and through a series of purchases, became Kayex, a manufacturer of CZ crystal pullers. Linton said it has been the exclusive owner of Kayex technology since 2013, and is continuing to advance the design of the machines. “The IP resides with LCT in the United States,” the company said.

“I’m excited to break ground. This creates more opportunities for our employees, new employees and their families,” Barnum said. “The IRA and CHIPS Act have created the pathway for manufacturing investment to fulfill the need for U.S.-made products. We’re going to meet that demand and we have the expertise to scale rapidly.”

At press time, efforts were reportedly underway to “secure a site as soon as possible.” Linton said it is also developing an international service team to support customers worldwide.

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