BTU was founded in 1950 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company initially produced small ovens for hospital and laboratory use and also made ovens for drying paint, textiles, and rubber, needed by the local market. By the late 50’s BTU had outgrown its original location and moved to a new facility. The company also decided to focus its business on the emerging transistor market making specially designed alloying furnaces. This was BTU’s pioneering entry into the emerging market for semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Since then, BTU has continued to expand and grow. In 1972, BTU relocated to its current world headquarters in Billerica, Massachusetts. The company shipped its first furnace for use in the production of solar cells in 1985. In 1989, to enable further growth, BTU became a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ Global Market with the ticker symbol BTUI. In the early 90’s, the company entered the solder reflow market, later on pioneering the use of convection and closed-loop convection for this process. BTU also introduced the industry’s first lead-free reflow furnace. By this time, BTU’s International expansion was well under way. In 1995, BTU hired its first direct employees in mainland China, and almost ten years later these same key employees would play leading roles in the opening of the Asia manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China. Today the company has nearly 400 employees with roughly half of them residing outside the US. The Intellectual Property portfolio includes over 200 patents and patent applications.
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