Plansee Powertech AG, a leading producer of arcing contact systems for the power transmission and distribution sector, has officially opened a new facility in Seon, Switzerland. With the new building, the company stated that it has created the conditions for flexible, competitive and highly automated production that also offers higher manufacturing capacity.
An opening ceremony included company employees and guests such as the Chief of Government Dr Urs Hofmann and other representatives of Switzerland’s Aargau Department of Economic and Interior Affairs. At the opening, Frank Müller, Managing Director of Plansee Powertech AG, commented, “The way that energy will be supplied in the future will change — there will be fewer major power plants and more decentralised energy producers. As a manufacturer of safety components for the power transmission and distribution sector, we must be ready for the change in energy policy.”
Plansee Powertech, a division of Plansee Group, manufactures switching contacts made of tungsten-copper, copper-chrome and tungsten carbide-silver materials, using Powder Metallurgy production methods to enable an extremely fine-grained and homogeneous microstructure that results in longer service life for these components. A tour of the facility given at the opening provided guests with insights into the production of these high-precision components.
“This new hall is the culmination of our efforts to make the high-wage location Seon competitive,” Müller continued. In the early 2000s, the company reported that it had come under pressure as a result of competition from China and a strong Franc. “Following a wave of consolidations in Europe, we are now the only western supplier of switching contacts and have quintupled our production volume over the last twenty years,” he added.
In the years ahead, the company expects that its production processes will be automated further. A detailed analysis of its manufacturing data is expected to produce ideas for process improvements, and unique identification of each of the approximately 500,000 components produced annually is intended to ensure the traceability of every product.