A venerable German company with a longstanding reputation for the development of application- and customer-specific systems for the creation of vacuums and extraction of processing gases, Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum is well-known throughout the industry. Here, PES speaks to Kavreet Bhangu, Global Head of Market Segment Solar / SEMI / Coating, about how the company has weathered the economic downturn, its innovative work in the PV sector, and about its strategy for continued growth.
PES: It’s been a difficult year for many companies in the PV business. Could you start by telling us how it’s been for you and what you have been doing to weather the economic storm?
Kavreet Bhangu: The sharp downturn in the financial markets at the end of 2008 led to many solar projects either being postponed indefinitely or downsized due to the lack of long-term financial security. Being a critical equipment manufacturer, Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum was also affected by the lack of large projects and saw the demand reduce drastically. However, what did not fade was our determination to succeed in this promising market and commitment to provide innovative vacuum solutions.