SMT & Inspection | January 12, 2010

Goepel believes in high-tech location Germany

The German test & measurement expert Goepel electronics has invested in a new building at its headquarters in Jena and will continue its policy to be active in many different industry fields. Evertiq spoke to CEO Holger Göpel.

• 2009 has been rather difficult for the industry. How bad or good did you fare?
Unquestionably 2009 was a difficult year for GOEPEL electronic but we nearly hit our own targets, even though we had tough times especially in the middle of the year. Thanks to our broad range of technology and customer directions, the impact to our business was minimised and there was no need to reduce employees. We ran a cost saving program and concentrated on new technologies, which generated high interest among our customers and led to new sales channels.

• Do you see any improvements?
In late 2009, we already felt the upswing and were able to achieve very good results in the fourth quarter of the year. Now we’re looking forward to 2010, in which the economical upturn will continue.

• You recently opened a new facility in Jena. Why just now and why in Germany?
The opening of our third company building was a clear statement to invest into the future. Most economic downturns are created by lack of confidence which has now returned, and that’s why we’re sure that we will be facing good times very soon. Furthermore, it was an investment into the high-tech region of Jena and Germany, where traditionally many technologies were born and will be born. Additionally, when the worldwide economics has recovered we will be ready to continue introducing new technologies and test solutions.

• Any further investments plant for 2010?
We have been continuously investing in product and technology developments since the very start of GOEPEL electronic. Hence, investments have always been a critical part of our corporate philosophy. And of course we will invest in new employees when there’s need for.

• Do you have any plans for going further east? (Manufacturing, R&D, etc.)
The history of GOEPEL electronic is marked by a continuous expansion path. We are investigating new markets, and of course the East Asian market is highly interesting for us. We recently opened an office in Hong Kong to meet the increased demands for our Boundary Scan solutions. Certainly, we will continue introducing our optical inspection systems and Automotive Test solutions, which also depends on the right partners in the right area.

• Where do you see the biggest growth potential for Goepel?
Today, most common test technologies have reached their limits in detecting every possible fault on electronic assemblies. Additionally, the demands to “get the total coverage” have increased as well. We are well positioned to meet these requirements as one-stop shop of several test technologies. But the main focus will be on combinations of different test methods, e.g. AOI and Boundary Scan, Functional Test and Boundary Scan or AOI and AXI. As a provider of various test technologies we know that our time has come, and we will surely benefit in the latest market conditions.

But further developments in JTAG/Boundary Scan, namely the emergence of emulation technologies as new opportunity to highly increase test coverage will be another growth potential for GOEPEL electronic.

• Which sector will Goepel focus on in coming years?
There’s not a certain or single sector we will be focussing on. As vendor of several test methods we are able to provide solutions for many industry sectors, such as defence, telecommunication, space and avionics, medicine technology or automotive, to name just a few. Those companies who have focused on few sectors have suffered most during the downturn in 2009. We will continue our policy to be active on many different industry fields – our past success has proven us right.

• Which is the main segment – revenue wise – for Goepel?
At the moment, our main segment is Automotive Test followed by JTAG/Boundary Scan. But our business units Optical Inspection (AOI/AXI) and Digital Image Processing come close. These are the four main pillars, also providing most growth potential.


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