Bystronic glass will close facilities and cut jobs to keep ahead of the economic downturn, according to a company news release. The architectural glass cutting facility in Bützberg, Switzerland, will cease operation. The engineering, manufacture and sale of machines for this sector are expected to stop at the end of March 2012. The service support and replacement parts for existing plants will continue to be offered.

The engineering, sale, assembly and servicing of machines and plants for the pre-processing of automotive glass will continue at the Bützberg location.

Bystronic Armatec GmbH will relocate from Gunzenhausen, Germany, to Neuhausen-Hamberg, Germany, to become part of Bystronic Lenhardt GmbH from mid-2012. The Armatec facility produces laminated glass, handling equipment and some solar technologies.

The planned reorganization at both of the immediately affected production locations is expected to cut up to 60 positions at Bystronic Maschinen AG in Bützberg, and relocate up to 60 positions at Bystronic Armatec GmbH from Gunzenhausen to Neuhausen-Hamberg.

As a result of the reorganization, the operational headquarters of the Bystronic glass Group will relocate from Switzerland to Germany.

Along with the reorganization, Bystronic glass will partner with the German glass machine manufacturer Hegla to work together on the product and market side. The companies will treat each other as preferred partners and join forces when dealing with customers who commission large-scale projects, according to the announcement.

“The insecure economic prospects have diminished the willingness of many customers to invest or replace,” says André Brütsch, CEO of Bystronic glass, in the release. “This has had a very negative impact upon our incoming orders for an extended period of time now.”

In addition, global overcapacity in the laminated glass business section also has had its effect, according to the release. In combination with falling glass prices, this led to a simultaneous high level of cost pressure and drop in margins throughout the entire sector and at Bystronic glass.

“The competition for each order is extremely high and the margins are correspondingly unsatisfactory,” Brütsch says in the release. “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 AG in Bützberg, which operates out of Switzerland. Over the course of the last 18 months, the prices of the export products have risen by approximately 15 percent solely as a result of the exchange rate development.


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