The Wichita Business Journal
February 18, 2011
Wichita-based Integra Technologies is on the grow.
The 28-year-old company, which tests computer chips for commercial and military clients across the country, says it has added 50 jobs since the beginning of 2010. It employs 189.
Integra has hired 18 already in 2011.
The company attributes its growth to the rebounding national economy. Vice President Kent Wade says the company picked up 54 clients last year, most of them military-related, and now has 400 clients overall.
Revenue was up 30 percent last year.
“We’re not a typical Wichita business in that we’re not tied to aviation,” says Integra President Rebecca Craft. “When the economy did turn around, we really did feel the effects of it.”
The firm recently signed a lease on another 5,200 square feet at Northrock Business Park, which gives the company all of the 41,500-square-foot Building 100 at K-96 highway and North Rock Road.
The test market
Integra Technologies tests semiconductors that go into electronic devices.
About half its business is tied to military and aerospace. The company does work, Craft says, with “every major military subcontractor,” including General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin. The company also contracts with NASA.
The firm employs electrical engineers who write test programs for semiconductors that go into anything from satellites to missiles to ground-troop electronics. The company then runs the chips through sophisticated testing equipment. The company operates 24 hours a day.
The other half of Integra’s business is with commercial companies, for whom it tests semiconductors that go into cell phones, medical devices, home electronics and other products.
Wade, the company’s vice president, says at one time, many companies had in-house semiconductor test labs. But they’ve begun to do more outsourcing, benefiting companies like Integra.
Wade says the firm tested 60 million computer chips last year. He says Integra is the largest independent semiconductor test lab in the country based on tests and sales revenue. The firm competes mostly against labs in Silicon Valley and in Texas.
Integra was founded in 1983 as a division of NCR. Over the years, it operated under AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Amkor Technology. Craft and Wade were part of a group of owners who in 2008 sold the company to its employees.
All the while, the firm has remained at K-96 and Rock.
“It’s the first building we built in 1983,” says Ross Way, a partner in Anderson Management Co. Inc., which owns Northrock Business Park. “That business has done well over the years. It’s just had numerous owners. But they’ve been an excellent tenant.”
For now, the firm is working to manage its growth. It is hiring temporary employees by the dozens to work as testers. The company employs 51 temporary workers, many of whom it expects to convert to in-house employees this year.
Wade says when the local economy is booming, it competes for electrical engineers with the city’s large planemakers. That’s not a problem right now, however.