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© joegough dreamstime.com PCB | January 14, 2015

PCB production at Niedernhall is already partly in operation

The first shock of the fire at Würth's PCB plant in Niedernhall has been overcome. Management and staff are working together, prioritising the reconstruction and looking forward to the future.
Although the cause of the fire on the 27th December is not yet known, a first assessment can be drawn. The old part of the three Niedernhall production sectors has been destroyed. Processes such as drilling, multilayer, plating, soldermask and silkscreen printing, as well as part of the laboratory and the sales offices were located in the building. The dismantling should be started as soon as the building is released by the inspectors.

The so-called “Steinhaus” (administration building) and the old part of the production, where sales and administration as well as the inner layer fabrication and part of the electroplating line were housed, were not directly damaged and will be fully operation, once the clean-up operation of the soot and smoke has been completed. The clean-up work is already underway, as the cleaning and clear up operations was started in the new year.

Also, the new building, which opened in 2009, has been spared from the fire. Just a few days after the fire, individual processes were resumed little by little.

"Fire doors have spared these buildings from the fire. We are glad that the measures worked, so that the fire could be prevented from spreading," said Daniel Klein, CEO of Würth Elektronik CBT. "

Affected employees find "new" jobs

© Würth
Other divisions of Würth Elektronik Group, such as Würth Elektronik eiSos in Waldenburg and Würth Elektronik ICS (WE ICS) in Niedernhall-Waldzimmern are working independently and are not affected by the incident. The sister company Würth Elektronik ICS was able to create space for 70 jobs in their newly built building. Within a short time, Niedernhall staff from the sales and data preparation was supplied with desks, chairs, computers and phones, as well as the necessary IT infrastructure.

The relocation of production capacity to the sites Rot am See and Schopfheim was planned and undertaken shortly after the fire. Furthermore, shifts have been expanded and therefore production capacity increased. In both plants an unscheduled investment is being made in new machinery to ensure that the required capacity can be covered.

"In this difficult time, we focus more than ever on the customer. To inform them and to seek together for options is our main priority," said Denis Giba, CEO of Würth Elektronik CBT. "The customer needs PCBs. Together we are working on solutions on how we can provide them. We are aware that many jobs are handled in the coming weeks by other manufacturers. For a salesperson there is nothing worse than not being able to deliver. We have to overcome this dry spell. Therefore we are working closely to see if moving production to one of the other works in Germany or to Asia could come into question. We are exploring all options to find the best way."

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