“The decisions to close down production in Thun in 2018 and to reorganize certain parts of our product portfolio were difficult to take, especially since it also affects many long-term employees of Meyer Burger,” Hans Brändle, CEO at Meyer Burger, said. “But this transformation and reorganisation has become unavoidable and necessary to improve the Group’s operating efficiency and to secure the future of Meyer Burger. We will ensure that the personnel measures are carried out in a fair, respectful and socially responsible way.”
In Wafering, with 85% of PV wafers manufactured in Asia (largely in China), Meyer Burger will move its production of diamond wire saws from Thun to China during the course of 2018 in order to achieve more flexible cost structures, reduce delivery time and costs and further increase customer proximity.
In Modules, the company is going to focus its resources on establishing SmartWire Connection Technology (SWCT) as an industrial standard. The proprietary Busbar technology and JT laminator technology will be discontinued. For Solar Systems, which mainly addresses the Swiss market with its MegaSlate products for building integration, strategic alternatives are being evaluated. The panel production in Thun will also end during 2018.
The existing manufacturing capacities at the Thun site are significantly underutilized. The resulting measures will affect up to 180 positions mainly in manufacturing, logistics, purchasing and production planning in Thun over the next 15 months. In the future, the Thun site of Meyer Burger will be dedicated mainly to global sales and marketing, services, research and development as well as headquarter activities.
The company also plans a reorganization of its Dutch subsidiary in Eindhoven, Netherlands, with business activities in inkjet printing solutions and thin-film encapsulation and about 75 employees, during 2018.