THE industrial heart was ripped out of East Kilbride the day production stopped at the town's Motorola site.
It was the place where, for four decades, microchips had been manufactured for the world's leading car makers.
And today workmen are ripping the insides out of the South Lanarkshire plant's production area as part of a multi-million pound blueprint to breathe new life into the sprawling 25-acre site.
Scrap metal is piled high as water tanks and shelves are cleared.
The scene is a sad reminder of better days when Motorola at its peak had employed more than 2500 workers in the town.
It had been a cornerstone of Silicon Glen which had been created to rival California's Silicon Valley.
Motorola brought American technology to East Kilbride in 1969 and with it much-needed jobs.
Expansion at the plant was almost never-ending as millions of computer chips were developed to run car management and airbag systems for most of the world's top- selling models.
The American owners were more than happy with their Scottish workforce and rewarded them in 1994 with a £250m expansion programme - one of the UK's biggest involving foreign investment.
But Motorola began hitting the skids. Executives were accused of taking their eye off the ball by failing to develop more innovative products and they and their Scottish workers paid a hefty price.
Rivals moved ahead of Motorola on a number of fronts. Global sales of Motorola mobile phones dropped dramatically and in 2001 the US giant axed its manufacturing site at Bathgate, West Lothian, with the loss of 3100 jobs.
Within three years Freescale Semiconductor – set up by venture capitalists – was spun out of Motorola.
The public was told Freescale had no business ties to Motorola but staff in key positions told a different story.
Freescale might have taken over production but the site remained known as Motorola.
Five years later in 2009 the new owners announced that, due to years of decline, manufacturing would end with the loss of 850 production jobs.
They also admitted for the first time that their chips weren't as versatile or powerful as those of their rivals.
Attempts were made to find a buyer for the site, a firm which would be willing to keep manufacturing alive there.
But the inevitable happened.
No business was prepared to take the risk and three years ago production was halted and Edinburgh-based Clowes Developments acquired the 800,000sq ft plant and the site which had been marketed for £20m.
The sale price has never been disclosed.
But it was announced that Freescale had agreed a lease-back arrangement with Clowes whereby 70,000sq ft of office spaced would be used by 170 staff involved with research and development as well as business operations.
Since manufacturing stopped, Freescale executives have named East Kilbride as their global centre for research and development.
It's a feather in the cap for the remaining workers but comes as no consolation to the hundreds thrown on the scrapheap.
Today, the only sounds to be heard from the production area are the noises from cranes and other heavy machinery as workmen create mountains of scrap as clearing operations get into full swing.
Gordon Arthur, a director of Clowes Developments (Scotland), said workmen had begun internal site clearance.
He added: "Once buildings have been emptied we will see what steps need to be taken."
Demolition has so far not been an option but has not been ruled out.
A warrant allowing demolition work to be carried out was granted last week by council chiefs in South Lanarkshire.
It means Mr Arthur and his colleagues have a year in which to make physical changes to the site if they want.
However, he acknowledges that the current time is not the best financial climate for the creation of 'bespoke' units for commercial or industrial use.
One viable option is to preserve buildings if they can be reused. Indeed, Mr Arthur has not ruled out an industrial rebirth for the production area.
But one Freescale worker said: "It's sad and is a sharp reminder of all those fam- ilies who suffered when manufacturing was stopped.
"So many people used to work here and so many are now unemployed.
"Motorola set up in East Kilbride in 1969 - that's a long time ago but watching those workmen gut those buildings only reminds us all how we are now at the end of an era."