Review of 2020 – Plasma Control Technologies

Plasma Control Technologies 

The upswing in the semiconductor industry, which began in the last quarter of 2019, gained momentum in 2020. The continuing digitalization in all areas of life was further accelerated by Covid-19. Rising demand for cloud services, video conferencing solutions, gaming, 5G and other technologies for the period of global lockdowns has further fueled demand for semiconductor chips. Despite pandemic-related restrictions on daily life and operations, the PCT division successfully fulfilled customer demand with no drop in quality or customer satisfaction. 

The division made significant progress in implementing its focus strategy. The development of the new modular, flexible and high-precision radio frequency generator was driven forward at full speed. After extensive internal testing, the first prototypes were successfully tested at customer sites. Manufacturing capacity for the volume production of the innovative new product has been readied at the Aachen site.

Key financials of Plasma Control Technologies at a glance







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Number of employees worldwide



Sales of Plasma Control Technologies division by market

An important step toward tapping the rapidly growing Asian semiconductor market was taken with the opening of a new production site in Penang, Malaysia in August. In addition to the proximity to customers in the Asian region, this move creates significant cost advantages for the division by using a highly skilled, yet cost-effective labor base and an optimized regionally based supply chain. The site is fully operational and qualified for production.

At the Flamatt site, vacuum capacitor production capacity was ramped up to meet the ongoing high demand. Capacity was expanded by nearly 50%. Production efficiency was increased by means of lean manufacturing and automation methods.

Buoyant demand, and PCT’s strong market position, resulted in 48.1% higher sales of CHF 224.7 million compared to the previous year’s CHF 151.7 million. An already good first six months with sales of CHF 96.9 million was followed by an even stronger second half with revenue of CHF 127.8 million. Even with the favorable market environment, PCT maintained its focus on cost and efficiency gains. Combined with the double-digit top-line growth, operating earnings at EBITDA level improved more than threefold to CHF 49.3 million (FY 2019: CHF 15.4 million). The EBITDA margin increased to 22.0% from 10.1% in the prior year.