News from Germany

2 May 2017

Atotech’s new Neoganth® E Reducer

Atotech is one of the global leaders of specialty chemicals and equipment manufacturing. With its innovative solutions it is at the forefront of customer needs and market developments. Sustainable solutions, cost-effective products and processes and technological leadership help tackle the industry’s challenges, such as the increasing cost pressures within the PCB HDI industry.

To tackle these cost pressures, Atotech has developed a new reducer process for its market leading ionic activation system Neoganth®: The Neoganth® E Reducer. This reducer process enlarges Atotech’s unique desmear and metallization product portfolio and contributes to the cost-effectiveness of its market leading process solutions for the PCB industry.

Neoganth® E Reducer

“The key benefits of our Neoganth® E Reducer are clearly its enhanced process stability and safety, the reduction of running costs due to the reduction in chemistry consumption by up to 25%, and the reduction of boron in the waste water, thanks to the minimized total amount of the active component in the waste water,” states Lars-Eric Pribyl, Global Product Manager of Atotech’s plating through hole (PTH) business technology team.

The reducer contains a special additive that deactivates the catalytically active palladium seeds accumulating in the reducer module over the bath lifetime. The active palladium particles for the decomposition reaction are thereby significantly decreased. This leads to a reduction of the reducer chemistry consumption by around 25%.

Neoganth® E Reducer is optimized for horizontal application, especially in Atotech’s market leading Uniplate® LB equipment. Due to the low and stable consumption over the lifetime, process stability is improved. At the same time, an excellent backlight performance is guaranteed.  

The process also fulfils highest reliability standards proven in solder shock, quick via pull, thermal cycle and interconnect stress testing. Furthermore, the new reducer is compatible to all established pH buffer systems that are applied in the reducer process step.



KPCA Show is a 3 day event held from 25th April to the 27th April at the KINTEX Exhibition Center 1 in Kintex, Korea. As with all top-flight WECC Member events, this one was notable for the higher attendance numbers, the increased number of exhibitors, and a reflection that all is well in Korea in the PCB industry even with world changes.

It was good to see that Thomas Hoffmann (r) of Hoffmann Leiterplatten was given the Best Paper Award for his presentation at the technical conference run concurrently with the exhibition.



SCHWEIZER confirms slight turnover increase in Fiscal Year 2016

Expansion of customer portfolio and sales basis

Order book increases to 158.4 million euro

Dividend stable at 0.65 euro

Schweizer Group closed the accounts in 2016 with a slight turnover increase of 0.5% to 116.1 million euro (2015: 115.6 million euro) and 9.5 million euro EBITDA ac-cording to IFRS (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) against 11.4 million euro the year before. The EBITDA margin comes to 8.2% in 2016 compared to 9.8% in 2015. The EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) amounts to 1.8 million euro (2015: 3.7 million euro), corresponding to an EBIT margin of 1.6% (2015: 3.2%). On occasion of the forthcoming Annual General Meeting, SCHWEIZER’s Supervisory and Executive Boards will suggest a dividend of 0.65 euro.

Substantial new product start-ups with a lower rate of return in the ramp-up phase, disproportionally increasing personal cost as well as a comprehensive investment programme burdened the year end result, which decreased to 0.6 million euro in 2016 (2015: 1.5 million euro). Investments into fixed assets and software alone amounted to 7.3 million euro in 2016 compared to 4.2 million euro in 2015. A strong emphasis of these investments was on the elimination of bottlenecks, which had occurred due to the increasing technology requirements of the product portfolio. Furthermore, a combined heat and power plant and a new telecommunication system were installed in 2016, with investments of 1.5 million euro and 0.2 million euro respectively.

SCHWEIZER’s turnover development is characterised by further successful business with the highly complex products of the company’s technology portfolio, making up 55% of the total turnover in the last fiscal year (2015: 52%). With 87.8 million euro sales in 2016, the automotive suppliers again constituted the largest customer sector, accounting for more than 75% of SCHWEIZER’s total turnover.

First orders to customers from the aviation sector were carried out in the last fiscal year, and this business is forecasted to grow considerably as the entire aviation sector expects disproportionately high market growth rates in the years to come. First successes triggered by expanded sales activities were visible in the increasing internationalisation of the sales markets, in particular through expanded turnover in China, South Korea and the Philippines, but also on the American Continent, where turnover has tripled to 12.6 million euro since 2014. The order book climbed by 6.2% to 158.4 million euro in 2016 compared to 149.1 million euro in 2015.

The company’s equity capital continues to stay on a high level, reflecting the group’s financial stability. The equity capital amounted to 64.8 million euro and corresponds to an equity ratio of 55.1%. Net gearing was -1.5 % compared to -5.1% in 2015.

 Outlook for 2017

SCHWEIZER expects a predominantly positive development with technologically demanding products from the areas of system cost reduction and power electronics for applications in e-mobility, sensors for safety systems and autonomous driving. This means further growth with customers from the automotive sector. Considering the diversification strategy of the customer portfolio, further turnover increase is expected through aviation customers due to predatory competition. In addition, first sales are expected via the strategic partnership with WUS Printed Circuit (Kunshan) Co., Ltd., China in the field of high frequency applications.

“Our expectations are already covered primarily through our order book”, says Marc Bunz, Chief Financial Officer of Schweizer Electronic AG. “For 2017 we expect a slight turnover increase by 2 to 4% compared to 2016. The total amount of orders, destined for shipment in 2017, already came up to 108.2 million euro at the balance sheet date. We expect a slightly better year end result in 2017, striving for an EBITDA margin of again 8 to 9% of total turnover. This assumes that the proportion between turnover of our production in Schramberg and turnover achieved by our Asian partners shows no considerable shifts.”

The annual report for the year 2016 is available on

Key Figures Schweizer Group (IFRS) in million euro 2016 2015 Change
Order income 125.4 145.5 -20.1
Order book 158.4 149.1 +9.3
Turnover 116.1 115.6 +0.5
EBITDA 9.5 11.4 -1.9
EBITDA margin (%) 8.2 9.8
EBIT 1.8 3.7 -1.9
EBIT margin (%) 1.6 3.2
Earnings after taxes 0.6 1.5 -0.9


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