04/08/2009 07:44:00 CEST
Manz Automation AG’s Managing Board has announced that it will introduce short-time work at its German facilities in Reutlingen and Tübingen from May, in agreement with its employee representatives. This will initially reduce working hours to 80 percent for an initial period of six months. Further reductions will be adjusted to changes in order intake. A significant amount of pressure was already taken off costs at the production facilities in Taiwan, China and Slovakia at the start of the year by reducing overtime, shorttime work and adjusting staffing levels.
The company is thus reacting at an early stage to the current developments in its order intake and the overall economic situation. At the same time, the company is combining shorttime work with a program for in-depth employee training. This is in line with the planned increase in research and development activities and the further optimization of workflows and processes. The result will be the foundations needed to be able to offer leading automation and system solutions for the solar industry, and thus to continue to drive innovation in future. It also ensures that the human resources the company has amassed remain stable, while taking pressure off the cost structure.
The Managing Board believes that there will be a surge in demand in the solar sector, at the latest when the economic recovery begins – and the company is keeping sufficient capacity available for this increase in demand.
“As things stand today, the photovoltaic market offers attractive opportunities for growth. Once end customers have their project financing back on a sound footing, there will be demand for highly efficient system solutions in order to be able to combat the pressure on margins that solar cell manufacturers are under. The industry will benefit from the current developments, and when grid parity is reached it will enjoy a renewed increase in the pace of growth,” explained Dieter Manz, Manz Automation AG’s CEO. He added: “That is why we don’t want to cut back the human resources and production capacity that we have built up – instead we are consistently training and educating our employees. We believe that growth rates in the solar industry will be significantly double-digit when the economy returns to normal.”