PCB | September 09, 2009
Lower-than-planned reduction at AT&S
AT&S’s new strategy for Leoben-Hinterberg facility bearing fruit. Strong demand from Europe means lower-than-planned capacity reduction.
The transition to the new strategic focus of Austrian AT&S’s Leoben-Hinterberg facility on European business and away from volume production for global markets has been largely completed. AT&S said extremely successful sales and marketing activities and gains in market shares allow more capacity to be retained at the site than recently planned. Annual production capacity – in terms of circuit board surface area – will be 85,000 m² instead of 70,000 m², and 700 people will be employed, rather than 600. This is a convincing proof of the success of the new strategic direction. Increased pressure on prices compelled AT&S to announce a radical downsizing of the Austrian plant in June this year and to transfer its entire volume production from Leoben-Hinterberg to the Shanghai facility. The intensive efforts of the sales and marketing organisation to best possibly compensate the loss of volume business in Leoben-Hinterberg by orders of European customers have been bearing fruit in the meantime. Not least because of the continuing market rationalisation, AT&S has been able to win additional orders so that the reduced capacities are now well-utilised. Based on current market information, AT&S’s Management expects continuing lively demand for Leoben-Hinterberg’s high-tech products for the European market. Production capacities – measured in terms of circuit board surface area produced – will now only be reduced to 85,000 m² annually, rather than the 70.000 m² originally planned. For this capacity, AT&S can continue to employ an additional 100 people, so that Leoben-Hinterberg will be able to retain around 700 employees. AT&S continues to be the second largest privately owned employer in the Leoben region. “The massive adjustments required at the Leoben-Hinterberg plant initially posed considerable challenges in production, especially with regard to quality and delivery performance. The new teams have now settled in well, so that we have a respectable level of performance to report. This is an important achievement for the future success of AT&S, because what our customers value – over and above the breadth of our product portfolio, our global positioning and our stable financial position – are AT&S’s outstanding technological and logistic capabilities,” is how Harald Sommerer, Chairman of the AT&S Management Board, sees the current situation.