PCB | February 23, 2009

Andus invests in process optimisation

evertiq talked to Dr. Lehnberger, CMO at German PCB manufacturer Andus, what effects the general slowdown of the world economy had on the company. Andus already started a restructuring process in 2007 and is now able to counteract the current economic downturn with new investments.

How did 2008 develop for Andus? Have you seen effects from the automobile crisis weakening the business?
It was actually quite good. We have already started a restructuring process at Andus Electronics in 2Q/2007 and in 2008 we were finally able to operate in a good net income area. The slowdown of the world economy in 2008 was not really what we had wished for. However, we are not strongly affected, as we have established a very good market diversification through our customers.

Has the financial crisis, the economic slowdown affected the business strategy at Andus?
Andus has already started to prepare for the economic slowdown in autumn 2008. We have already initiated adequate cost saving measures for 2009. Other measures will be finished shortly.

Do you plan investments in 2009?
One year ago, we have implemented a 3-year-investment plan and we are currently working on the realisation of an ERP-project. Other investments will be realised in accordance with the current market development, meaning that we might stretch everything out a little.

In which areas will you invest?
A further optimisation of the process chain; details are not yet ready to be announced.

How about staff numbers?
Our staff numbers have been stable over the last few years and we do not plan to change those. The average period of employment at Andus is quite high. Our customers with High-Tech requirement are able to profit from our steady know-how.

In which industry segments does Andus operate?
Andus focusses on the manufacturing if high-quality PCB-prototypes and small series in all available technologies. It may sound paradoxical, but the rich variety of PCB-technologies is our core competency. Besides multi-layer with inlying vias and microvias, Andus is also manufacturing flex- & starr-flx PCBs. For 10 years now, we also operate in the area of impendanz-controlled substrates, such as high-frequency material. Very sought after are PCBs for thermanl management at the moment.

Does Andus plan to explore new industry segments?
Andus has a very good reason not to get too dependent on one specific market segment and we will not change that philosophy. However, and that might surprise you, we want to increase the percentage of automotive in our portfolio. Each crisis also offers chances. We always talk about the glass being half-full and never half-empty.

Does Andus have plans for expansion abroad?
For a manufacturer of fast prototyping such as Andus, expansion is only a matter of distribution. We do want to expand in this area, receiving more orders from countries within the EU. If you were asking in respect of a relocation of production, than – No – we do not have plans for that.

Thank you for the interview.
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