Stéphane Carpentier, Market Management Coating for Pfeiffer Vacuum joins PES for an interview that highlights the company’s dedication to the very highest levels of service and quality. For more than 120 years, Pfeiffer has been setting standards in vacuum technology with these attributes, and it looks set to continue on this admirable course for a very long time to come…
PES: We’re glad to welcome Pfeiffer Vacuum back to the magazine. How has business been in the year since we last spoke?
SC: Business in 2011 has been highly profitable with a very good first half of the year in all our major markets, followed by a slight slow-down of the Semiconductor and the Photovoltaic business in the second half of the year. The outlook for the coming year looks very positive. We see excellent chances to grow in all markets.
PES: The big news last time was the acquisition of adixen. Is the new operation starting to bear fruit?
SC: Together with the adixen portfolio, the ‘new’ Pfeiffer Vacuum now offers an even broader product portfolio with the same customer orientated approach. As a result, our customers benefit from our vacuum solutions with an attractive “one-stop-shopping” system, easier access, lower cost of ownership, extended service and all the experience of our professional engineers.
The acquisition of adixen has greatly reinforced our position, especially in Asian countries. For example, the rapid development of the glass coating market in China had already led to adixen selling large numbers of Maglev turbopumps in the country. The merger of Pfeiffer Vacuum and adixen now offers great opportunities to further increase sales in the coatings market in China. Through the cooperation of the coating market segments from Annecy and Asslar and strengthened by our local colleagues, we can now offer customers tailor-made total solutions for inline sputtering systems.
Prior to integration, Pfeiffer Vacuum and adixen were of similar size with a very strong commitment to customers. Therefore, the integration process went pretty smoothly. The so-called “cultural differences” between a German and a French company could be easily overcome.
PES: How has the glass coating market evolved over the past few years?
SC: The glass coating business is a mature market that is primarily linked to building construction, either new or refurbished, and to a lesser extent to the automotive industry. It is estimated that the market has grown in terms of volume by three to five per cent a year, and remains highly dependent on worldwide economic growth.