Global demand for power electronics from Carinthia
The recently published annual balance sheet of this semi-conductor group is certainly striking. The annual turnover during the 2017 business year (up to end of September) rose by 38% to 2.54 billion euros. This jump to record turnover levels was due to high global demand for the power electronics developed and produced in Austria on the one hand. And on the other, in August 2016 the Infineon group increased the business responsibility of Infineon Austria for these product lines, with the additional product business being fully reflected in turnover during the 2017 business year.
Infineon Austria also recently took on responsibility for the microelectronics business covering so-called white goods such as washing machines and dishwashers.
R&D space expanded in Graz, Linz and Villach
This positive development is also driving the R&D activities of Infineon Austria. The R&D sites in Austria will be expanded in order to counteract the lack of research and development space and to provide the required infrastructure for the predicted growth over the coming years. Spatial capacity in Graz, Linz and Villach will be expanded to include an additional 860 R&D posts by 2020. 40.1 million euros will be invested in a new building offering a total capacity of 600 R&D posts at the headquarters in Villach.
This new expansion builds on the group’s significant increase in jobs in recent years. Over the last six years, over 1,000 new jobs have been created. On the date of the balance sheet, Infineon Austria employed a total of 3,785 people at its sites in Villach, Klagenfurt, Graz, Linz and Vienna in total. 1,547 people also work in research & development. As such, Infineon Austria employs around one quarter of the group’s R&D staff as a whole.
During the 2017 business year, 14.3 billion chips were produced in Villach (2016: 16.3 billion chips). In summer, the Infineon group announced that 35 million euros would be invested in the expansion of research and production activities for the new semi-conductor material, silicon carbide, in Villach. This includes the further development of semi-conductor process technologies, the latest manufacturing facilities and the expansion of existing production infrastructure. The Villach site is therefore now the Infineon group’s global competence centre for silicon carbide and gallium nitride.
The next stage of digitisation at the Villach production site began in 2017 with the completion of the Industry 4.0 pilot space. Development and production will be more closely interlinked, operationally generated data put to more intensive use and the working environment actively developed even further. Additional new job profiles such as Data Scientist and Robot Coordinator have also been created. The master workman and apprentice training (‘Apprenticeship 4.0’) is based on the requirements of this digital Change.