The decision marks the companys departure from the printed circuit board (PCB) industry, where pv magazine learnt it suffered under the recent financial crisis.
In a statement issued, Kuttler stated: The decision marks Kuttlers departure from the PCB industry which globally shrunk by about 15 percent in 2009 so as to concentrate on the fast-growing PV equipment business. While retaining full support teams to serve the established customer base, PCB production will cease immediately and corresponding employees will be appropriately compensated for their time and service to the organization.
Suntech, which acquired Kuttler in 2008, has said it will continue to invest and support Kuttler as it builds on its photovoltaic equipment R&D operations.
Discontinuing our PCB operations, with so many valued colleagues was a difficult decision, but we are confident that we have chosen the right path for future growth. Applying our unique technological experience and expertise, we will focus our energy on the unprecedented opportunities presented by the strong global demand for solar products, the directors of Kuttler said in a joint statement.
In 2010, according to VLSI Research, the global market for photovoltaic manufacturing systems is expected to grow by 17.2 percent to more than USD$9 billion. Suntech and Kuttler have worked together to develop proprietary equipment and technology for producing its solar cells and modules.