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1,140 jobs to go as Siemens shifts IE2 motors to Czech plant

28 January, 2010

Siemens is planning to axe more than 1,100 jobs in its drives technologies division in Germany as it restructures and adjusts to what it describes as “an ongoing slump in volume in the key mechanical engineering market”. Some 840 of these jobs will be lost at its Bad Neustadt an der Saale plant as it centralises production of high-efficiency IE2 motors at its Mohelnice site in the Czech Republic. Another 300 positions will be lost at a plant in Erlangen that produces drive electronics.

A further 850 jobs are likely to go at Siemens’ Industry Solutions Division which implements projects in industries such as steel, cement and paper. The division expects its capacity utilisation to reach its lowest point in 2011. The cutbacks will be spread across several sites in Germany.

Siemens’ Drive Technologies Division currently manufactures standard low-power low-voltage motors for the European market primarily in Mohelnice and, to a lesser extent, in Bad Neustadt. With the introduction of a new generation of IE2 motors, Siemens plans to centralise production in Mohelnice and to invest in assembly capacity at the site.

As a result, 640 jobs will be eliminated from the 2,000-plus currently employed at Bad Neustadt, over the next 2½ years. “As of 2011, we will primarily be offering standard motors in the new energy-efficiency IE2 class and above,” explains Klaus Helmrich, CEO of the Drive Technologies division (above). “By bundling our manufacturing activities in Mohelnice, we intend to actively promote technological change and to gear our structures to the future.”

Siemens plans to convert the Bad Neustadt location into an innovation and technology centre for technologies such as synchronous motors and mechatronics. It wants to build on the development and manufacture of servo motors, machine tools and production machines already based there. However, this business has also been affected by a “massive” decline in mechanical engineering orders and, as a result, a further 200 jobs are likely to be lost at the site.

Siemens has started consultations with its staff over the planned cutbacks. “We intend to honour our pledge to make workforce-related adjustments as far as possible without layoffs for operational reasons,” says chief human resources officer, Siegfried Russwurm. “We’ve achieved this up until now by using a wide variety of measures – even in cases where the adjustments were considerably more extensive. Therefore, I’m convinced that the employee and employer sides will be successful this time as well.”

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