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Restructuring will eliminate 1000 jobs at Voith Paper


February 4, 2015
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The Voith Group is proceeding with a previously announced consolidation of its worldwide administrative functions and capacity adjustment at Voith Paper that will result in a workforce reduction of up to 1,600 jobs worldwide by the end of 2016….

The Voith Group is proceeding with a previously announced consolidation of its worldwide administrative functions and capacity adjustment at Voith Paper that will result in a workforce reduction of up to 1,600 jobs worldwide by the end of 2016. More than half the job losses will be related to Voith Paper.

Going forward, the company plans to refocus on its traditional technology and engineering expertise. A sale process for Voith Industrial Services Group Division is to be initiated.

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Regarding Voith Paper, at the company’s 2014 annual press conference, Voith reported on the significantly reduced market demand for new machines and major rebuilds in the paper industry and the company’s “very strained business situation” in this segment.

Voith Paper’s management aims to further adjust and consolidate worldwide capacity, consequently reducing global workforce by a total of around 1,000. In Germany and Austria about 800 jobs are to be reduced. The planned measures include discontinuing paper activities at Voith’s St. Pölten site and closing the sites in Krefeld and Neuwied, as well as consolidating paper activities in Heidenheim. At the Heidenheim site, this streamlining would affect around 300 jobs. The remaining manufacturing plant in Ravensburg will be closed. The center of excellence for stock preparation located there is to remain in operation.

“We will focus on our traditional strength: our technological engineering expertise acquired in the course of many years of research and development. At the same time, we will improve our structures and efficiency. To this end, we are taking further decisive steps toward positioning Voith as a competitive technology leader in the digital age on a lasting basis,” explains Hubert Lienhard, President and CEO of the Corporate Board of Management.

The company aims to streamline its administrative processes will include establishing four Shared Service Centers (SSC) in which “standardizable” administrative services will be consolidated across Group Divisions. These Shared Service Centers will be located in Kunshan, China, for Asia; York, Pa., for North America; and São Paulo, Brazil, for South America. No decision has been made as yet regarding the location of the Center serving the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. A total of around 720 positions will be cut as a result of the planned restructuring of administrative activities.

Voith is also preparing for the challenges and opportunities presented by what it calls “Industry 4.0.” The group will be strongly geared toward engineering expertise, and intends to expand its automation and industrial software capabilities.


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