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Caithness Firm Beats Hollywood To Ocean Depths

26th March 2012

Photograph of Caithness Firm Beats Hollywood To Ocean Depths

Oscar-winning film director James Cameron is rightly celebrating his successful voyage to the bottom of the sea this week... but a Caithness engineering firm got there first.

This is because cameras built in Wick by world leading specialist underwater manufacturer Kongsberg Maritime Ltd were capturing images in the world's deepest place, the Mariana Trench, well before Hollywood.

"Our job involves developing high tech underwater equipment which is deployed across the world in some of the most challenging of terrains. We supplied cameras four years ago to clients working in this exciting location in the western Pacific," said Bill Baxter, KML's manager at the Wick factory.

The successful global business, which has headquarters in Norway, provides services to the Energy, Scientific, Maritime and Military sectors. Bill added: "Here in Wick we are so busy that we are investing in new equipment at the factory to help us increase our production to meet demand."

The investment is being assisted by a grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for 21,000. The project will install two machines valued at over 100,000 - one is a Lathe; the other a vertical machining centre. Both are highly specialised, top end computer controlled precision machining workstations.

HIE Area Manager Roy Kirk said: "We are delighted to assist Kongsberg in further investing in their production processes at their exciting and dynamic facility. Kongsberg has a global reputation for excellence in the manufacture and design of highly specialist equipment, and we are proud of the work carried out in the Wick factory."

The new expanded capacity means the company, which currently employs 41 staff in Wick, will be able to take on at least another two staff, as well as ensuring the future for the existing workforce.

Bill Baxter (left) (Kongsberg Maritime Ltd) and Keith Muir (HIE) demonstrate the new Doosan Lynx 220 turning center at Kongsberg Maritime Ltd, Wick


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