Bystronic restructures, moves headquarters

Bystronic
January 11, 2012
By Bystronic
Jan. 11, 2012 - Saying it aims to "bundle" its forces and expertise in order to ensure long-term competitiveness, Bystronic has announced sweeping changes to its European manufacturing organization.

In Germany, the group is planning to merge production of machines for the specialist field of architectural glass at the Neuhausen-Hamberg location. It plans to cease manufacturing machinery for architectural glass cutting at its Butzberg, Switzerland, location, and will move its headquarters to its German location.

Bystronic glass intends to continue manufacturing machines for automotive glass pre-processing at the Swiss location. The planned reorganisation of the immediately affected locations may lead to the cutting or relocation of jobs. Bystronic glass has initiated consultations with the social partners and started negotiations with regard to a redundancy scheme. Bystronic glass group hopes to increase flexibility and clout in its core competencies in architectural glass and automotive glass. It says a planned cooperation with the German glass machine manufacturer Hegla will contribute to this.

Architectural glass cutting currently located in Butzberg will be shut down. Engineering, manufacture and sale of machines manufactured at this plant are slated to cease at the end of March 2012. Bystronic plans to offer service support and replacement parts for existing installations going forward.

Bystronic glass and the German glass machine manufacturer Hegla intend to establish a partnership to continue to offer a Bystronic customers a full range of glass processing machinery. The aim of this partnership is to work together on the product and market side. Both parties intend to treat the other party as a preferred partner and to join forces when dealing with customers who commission large-scale projects.

Engineering, sale, assembly and servicing of machinery for pre-processing automotive glass will continue at the Butzberg location.

All Bystronic Armatec activities will be relocated from Gunzenhausen, Germany, to Neuhausen-Hamberg to become part of Bystronic Lenhardt starting in mid-2012. The planned reorganisation at both locations may lead to the cutting or relocation of jobs. It is expected that up to 60 positions will be cut at Bystronic Maschinen in Butzberg and up to 60 positions at Bystronic Armatec are to be relocated from Gunzenhausen to Neuhausen-Hamberg.

Bystronic glass group global sales and service will remain unaltered, as will Bystronic Laser.

Andre Brutsch, CEO of Bystronic glass, says, "The insecure economic prospects have diminished the willingness of many customers to invest or replace. This has had a very negative impact on our incoming orders for an extended period of time."

Brutsch also pointed to global overcapacities in the laminated glass business section and falling glass prices leading to simultaneous high pressure on costs and a drop in margins throughout the entire sector. Brutsch said, "The competition for each order is extremely high and the margins are correspondingly unsatisfactory. In order to remain competitive, we must reduce our prices at the expense of our yield."

The strong Swiss Franc has also lead to competitive disadvantages, especially for Bystronic Maschinen in Bützberg. Over the course of the last 18 months, the prices of the export products have risen by approximately 15 per cent solely as a result of exchange rate development.

The planned measures are based upon detailed and comprehensive market surveys, Brutsch says. "With the announced measures and streamlining of the business sections, we wish to further expand our market leadership in the fields of insulating glass, laminated glass, handling equipment and automotive glass. It is envisaged that the company and production structure will become more flexible as a result. The measures announced today are painful yet necessary. Focusing upon our core competencies will enable us to continue to offer our customers innovative solutions and products."

The operational headquarters of the Bystronic glass group will be relocated from Switzerland to Germany.

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