Aspen Technologies outgrowing its space

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<B>By KAREN SUCHARSKI</B> <FONT SIZE=-1><I>Staff Reporter</I></FONT>

The owner of Colorado Laser Marking has branched out in the last year tofound Aspen Technologies, an integrated circuit assembly company.

The two companies are currently side by side on Elkton Drive. But AspenTechnologies needs space to expand and will be moving to an 8,500-square-footfacility on List Drive where it can have cleanroom space to grow its clientlist.

Colorado Laser Marking, founded in 1989, marks a variety of products withlogos, serial numbers, and lettering for approximately 50 active customers,according to John Lumley, sales manager for the two companies. Customersinclude Empak, Atmel, SuperFlow automotive parts, and Coors Ceramics.

Colorado Laser Marking’s revenue is projected to be approximately 10% higherin 1996 than it was in 1995. Aspen Technologies is projecting $1 millionin sales for its first year.

Chris Barton, president of the two companies, said they are both small companiesthat he is trying to grow slowly.

"We are conservative," Barton said.

Lumley confirmed the company is "trying to take baby steps" by not expandingtoo quickly.

One of the first "baby steps" will be the move of Aspen to List Drive. Thecompany’s focus on IC assembly includes design verification and pre-productionfor a local semiconductor manufacturer. Aspen also does work for DisplayTech in Boulder and Barton is negotiating with Hewlett Packard to providesome of its outsourcing needs.

The company is attractive to local manufacturers that send work to assemblersin Texas and California. Because of its size and desire to grow, turnaroundtime is less than manufacturers are getting from the larger assembly companies.Often Barton has been able to promise and deliver 14-hour turn around onproduct versus 14-day.

Aspen would like to expand into the military class B assembly market. Butit needs a cleanroom, which it will have space for in its new location.

The company, established last year, is also getting calls from othersemiconductor manufacturers looking to outsource specific IC assembly tasks.But it doesn’t yet have the capacity or the employees.

When the move is completed in September, Aspen will grow from its currentstaff of three to approximately 10 employees. And while the three employeesare on call and available 24 hours, the company will expand to three shiftsfor round-the-clock coverage in the new facility.

Colorado Laser Marking employs seven people and needs approximately threemore, according to Lumley.