Siemens EAS: On Its Own

Siemens’ decision to spinoff its Electronics Assembly Systems division puts at least three big-name placement OEMs in play, including Universal Instruments and Assembleon. (And no, I don’t have any insider knowledge about UIC; it’s just an educated guess.)

Today, EAS chief executive Guenter Lauber positioned the announcement as good for the unit, and I would tend to agree in that it’s better to be on your own than a virtual orphan within a conglomerate.

Finding a buyer won’t be easy, however, as the market for placement equipment OEMs is, in a word, dry, and the unit’s large workforce in Germany — some 1,000-plus — means that in addition to making the usual wrenching decisions about restructuring, any acquirer will have to grapple with Germany’s stringent labor laws. For that, among other reasons, the one company that has been most active of late is the one I wouldn’t bet on making a bid: ITW.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

One thought on “Siemens EAS: On Its Own

  1. You would have to be crazy to buy this division if for no other reason than the fact that it’s in Germany and you know that their labor laws will prevent you from doing any restucturing without a fight.

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