By: Bill Bregar
September 5, 2013
KraussMaffei Group is discontinuing all machining operations at Netstal-Maschinen AG’s plant in Näfels, Switzerland, and the Swiss operation will do final assembly of pre-assembled components made at other KM factories, the equipment company announced Sept. 5.
Netstal’s focus will remain on fast-cycling, premium machines for packaging, medical and other high-precision markets, KM officials said.
KM also announced that Näfels will retain Netstal’s technical people, research and development, application engineering and sales and service. And the group will move KraussMaffei’s line of PETForm preform molding machines from KM’s headquarters in Munich, Germany, to Näfels.
Two industry sources said the end of machining means about 70-75 employees will lose their jobs at the Swiss plant. The plant employs about 415 people.
A KraussMaffei spokesman said KM official are not giving out layoff numbers. The move will happen step-by-step.
Netstal CEO Hans Ulrich Golz said in a prepared statement that the goal is strengthening the position of Netstal as a premium brand, boosting the business unit’s global competitiveness and innovation “in an ever-competitive market environment with intense cost pressure.”
Toronto-based private equity giant Onex Corp. bought KraussMaffei Group in late 2012, from Madison Capital Partners. The cost-cutting move comes just before two major trade shows in Germany — Drinktec in Munich Sept. 16-20 and K 2013 in Düsseldorf Oct. 16-23. Netstal will exhibit at both trade fairs, rolling out two new models from its Elion series, one with a hybrid drive and an all-electric press.
“In the course of the planned structural realignment, machining and module preassembly will gradually be transferred to sister plants within the KraussMaffei Group in Germany and Slovakia. This will allow growth of the final assembly area at Näfels,” Golz said in the news release.