Ericsson's New Factory Begins ProductionSeptember 14, 2000 by Jeff Shepard
Ericsson Microelectronics (Kista, Sweden) has begun production of dc/dc converters at a newly acquired former Volvo factory in Kalmar, Sweden. The plant opening was attended by over 300 people, including the world press, customers, suppliers and government officials and was the most elaborate and lavish event of its kind in recent memory. Ericsson's strong commitment to the dc/dc converter business segment was evident in the high-tech multimedia opening ceremony and in the company's aggressive capacity expansion plans as embodied by the newly opened plant. The gala event was capped by a celebration banquet hosted by Bo Andersson, president of Ericsson Microelectronics, at Kalmar Castle. Ericsson's dc/dc converter production capacity is burgeoning at over twice the market growth rate, and the new plant is running continuously, with three full shifts during the week plus two additional production shifts on the weekend. Three production lines have been set up and the new factory will initially be producing around 70,000 units per week. Further expansion is planned with the goal of trebling output of the company's dc/dc converters by the end of 2001. To this end, another two PKF lines are presently being installed at the site, with an expected production level of up to 210,000 units per week by first quarter 2001. Additionally, the Kalmar plant has two lines for the production of Ericsson's mid- power-range of modules and another line is scheduled to be introduced at the beginning of 2001. Ericsson Mircroelectronic's General Manager of Power Modules Hans Häggander stated that "worldwide demand for Ericsson's dc/dc converters - particularly the company's low power MacroDens range - has increased dramatically due to the massive expansion of the global telecom and datacom market. The main applications for the modules are in wireline terminal and access and wireless infrastructures. The dc/dc modules are also used within transport networks where equipment related to data and Internet traffic uses them."