Breaking News, GCL Exits LED Business
Former GCL LED employees have posted complaints on a Chinese clean energy web site stating that GCL has cancelled its LED project and no longer has aspirations to manufacture LEDs
Former GCL LED employees have posted complaints on a Chinese clean energy web site stating that GCL has cancelled its LED project and no longer has aspirations to manufacture LEDs. The post, which can be seen in Chinese at http://www.2ic.cn/thread-464051-1-1.html, states:
• GCL has chosen not to complete its LED plants
• GCL has decided to establish solar-related plants in the space
previously allocated to LEDs
• GCL has terminated its LED team
We tried to follow up with our contacts at GCL and was told the Marketing Director quit and the General Manager was moved to another project.
GCL told the world earlier this year they intended to buy 100 MOCVD tools in 2011 and 500 over a few year period. While the intial 100 tools were expected to be Aixtron CRIUS I's, we were told future tools would be built by GCL in collaboration with AMEC, a Chinese equipment company they invested in. Later, we heard GCL's factory construction plans were delayed and no tools were going to installed in 2011, instead, 35 tools were going to be installed in 2012 which later became 25 and now 0. GCL had also indicated that they would be building a sapphire plant as well and would be consuming all of their own sapphire internally. We are not sure the status of the sapphire plant and are trying to get more information. With Aixtron expected to have won the GCL business, this is clearly bad news for Aixtron. Thus, it was not a surprise to see Aixtron reduce its guidance. However, the amount of the decline in its guidance is quite a surprise. I will post my analysis of Aixtron's announcement shortly.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.