SMT & Inspection | April 26, 2010

Vi TECHNOLOGY keeps investing in R&D said CEO

5Q/5A: In an interview with evertiq, Mr. Jean-Yves Gomez, CEO for Vi TECHNOLOGY explains the company's business activities and what is needed to keep a strong & functioning equipment manufacturing industry in Europe.
The 1st quarter of 2010 is over. Did you see significant improvements in your overall business activities?
The 1st quarter of 2010 has shown real changes in the business; for Vi TECHNOLOGY the turnover has doubled compared to the previous quarter. We have noticed significant differences between regions: Asia and South American growth is obvious; we do not see the same trend in North America and Europe. One of the big differences compared to 2009 are the multinational companies allocating CAPEX for manufacturing.

Do you plan to invest further this year? (capacity, staff numbers, etc.)
Despite the crisis, we have decided to continue to invest in R&D and manufacturing in 2009. Year 2010 is accelerating; we are increasing our R&D team by 50% and manufacturing capacity by 30%. We will continue to introduce new products to the market this year; we already started this with the 2K Series.

Is diversification a possible path to growth for you?
Yes of course, it is part of our global company strategy for over a year. We are targeting the Semiconductor industry and today already have good success stories. In year 2010 it will become even more important since the semiconductor industry needs to increase manufacturing capacity. We are also contacted by players from the medical industry; for VIT this is a way to use our technologies in fields beyond PCB Assembly.

In your specific segment. How much does Europe hold within the global market?
Most of our multinational customers are European with a real need for new equipment. They are reinvesting now to sustain their production in terms of quality and quantities. We have a leadership position in Europe and this area is very important for us. Not only business issues but also new product developments are pressing new technology needs. At VIT we have the capability to adapt ourselves to our customers’ requirements and wishes. Our goal is always to create value for our customers.

What is needed to keep a strong & functioning equipment manufacturing industry in Europe?
Innovation, differentiation and advanced technology development are key factors to maintain a strong place & value for the equipment manufacturing industry in Europe. In the global economic context, it is very difficult for Europe to be competitive in terms of manpower-cost. However, Europe is very competitive as ways of working are lead by the CAPEX usage and manufacturing efficiency.

For instance Vi TECHNOLOGY is a European company with R&D, administration and some manufacturing in Europe; we are able to compete effectively against Asian equipment manufacturers. We are sure that all of our European customers are able to achieve the same success.
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