Secretary of State for Scotland William Ross officially opened a £350,000 extension to IBM’s Spango Valley plant on October 9, 1967.

The Telegraph reported the expansion of manufacturing space was required to meet increasing worldwide demand for the company’s products.

Turnover in 1966 rose from £11,000,000 to £32,000,000. In the 18 months up to the extension’s official opening the workforce increased 50 per cent to 1,670.

Around 90 per cent of the Spango Valley plant’s output was exported to more than 100 countries. Components and sub-assemblies purchased from British suppliers in 1967 were expected to reach a value of some £7,000,000.

On the Saturday before the extension’s opening ceremony more than 4,000 people were estimated to have visited the plant, pictured in 1968, for a ‘Family Open Day’.

It gave employees the opportunity to show their family and friends through the factory where they witnessed demonstrations of how various products were manufactured.

Visitors were able to see products marked for export to countries including Japan, Canada, Germany, India, Israel and Venezuela.

Earlier in 1967, another Greenock factory was making export news.

The former Joy Manufacturing was helping a vast road development in northern Sweden.

The Swedish Road Board Authority was carrying out the programme using compressors made at the Cappielow works for a contract worth more than £250,000. Around 130 compressors had already been despatched to Sweden.

In April, 1967, Joy’s was so busy with UK and foreign orders the company could not find enough time-served turners and machine operators.