According to Kyocera the investment highlights the importance of Germany to the company as an industrial location and a driving force for the entire European market. KYOCERA Fineceramics Europe is a leading supplier of advanced ceramics for a wide range of industrial applications, ranging from automotive to energy and medical technology to semiconductor manufacturing.
“The challenges of industrial transformation in Germany are enormous. Especially so in an energy-intensive industry like ours. That is why linking commercial aspects and green issues is particularly important to us. This is exactly what these investments are designed to achieve,” explained Dr Carsten Rußner, President of KYOCERA Fineceramics Europe.
Demand for Kyocera’s products is high, and the company said that its order books remain very healthy. The company wants to continue its growth and has a clear growth strategy.
“The Kyocera Group does not focus on short-term shareholder value effects. For us, the long-term perspective is what counts: we want to become the No.1 in the European market for technical ceramics,” said Dr Rußner.
To that end the company has hired more than 200 new employees since the acquisition and merger of its two predecessor companies, the non-oxide ceramics manufacturer H. C. Starck Ceramics in Selb and the ceramics business of Friatec in Mannheim.
“After laying the foundations for the new administration and logistics centre in Mannheim in March of this year, we intend to expand our production facilities in a focused manner over the next few months. In Selb, we will also convert existing buildings and construct new ones on newly acquired land,” added Armin Kayser, Executive Vice President of KYOCERA Fineceramics Europe.
New production facilities will be set up in existing buildings in Mannheim and the power supply will be put on a new footing. This includes an environmentally friendly wooden structure as well as photovoltaic modules for generating electricity and the use of waste heat from the sintering furnaces for heating and cooling the entire site.
“The expertise at both facilities – industrial ceramics in general in Mannheim, and ceramic materials for semiconductor production in particular in Selb – will be retained. Mannheim is also the headquarters for Kyocera Fineceramics sales in Europe, which sells Japanese products alongside those manufactured at the German sites. At the same time, Kyocera also wants to enable its sites to work together more closely,” explained Kayser.
Kyocera currently supplies more than 200 different ceramic materials that are precisely tailored to individual customer requirements. In the field of semiconductor manufacturing, these materials are notable above all for their high temperature resistance, their immunity to chemicals and the use of plasmas or ion beams. This allows Kyocera ceramics to be used in key areas such as lithography, deposition and diffusion, rapid thermal processing (RTP) as well as ion implantation, etching or metrology.