1996-2000 Production

New premises

The new premises were in the basement of an office block. The staff had to get used to the greater distances. It was no longer possible to just call out from the office "Get a move on, the customer is about to arrive..." into the production area. With the few machines that the company owned, the rooms seemed quite empty. Even the staff asked themselves whether the decision to take these large premises had been the right one.

The company crisis

In 1996 the growth in turnover turned out to be less than originally calculated, the company had overstretched itself and bankruptcy was threatening. Andreas Contag had sleepless nights thinking of what it meant for his employees and his family. This was an immense threat to his personal existence, for failed entrepreneurs do not get unemployment benefit and no pension contributions had yet been paid. Not to mention the four small children - and the debt.

After six weeks of suffering he had to to tell the team the facts. In one to one discussions, he explained the situation and gave notice. The tears flowed, it was a fine team which was now breaking up.

On the next day the sun shone and the staff was united. "Tell us how we can get more orders! We will even work without pay!" - The boss was speechless. He quickly worked out a plan of action. The production staff got on the phone and called up electronic companies. They were really lucky and hit the bull's-eye. A top-class company in the automotive sector was looking for a manufacturer, who could deliver quickly. Numerous orders followed, everyone was happy to do overtime, some only went home after beavering away for 32 hours.

After just a few months, the outstanding salaries could be paid, including a premium as thanks. During this time, the staff had learned how direct action and commitment contributed to the continued existence of the company and their jobs. In the most impressive way, Andreas Contag had seen the rewards that come from fairness and treating the employees as personal individuals. This period of crisis produced many lessons. A lot of conclusions were drawn and basic measures introduced so that this event would remain a once off for everyone involved.


From 1998 a lot was invested again. The machines became larger, more modern and more expensive. When planning the investments, care had to be taken with the size of the machines as access was only possible via narrow doors and windows. At the trade fairs our first question about the size of the machine regularly produced smiles all round, only then were there discussions about technology and price.

The start of multilayer production

Starting the production of multilayer circuit boards was a milestone in the development of the company. The production staff had to get up to speed in the more complex process technology and gather experience. For the sales team, this increased the potential number of customers. After all, depending upon the sector, 30 to 60% of all printed circuit boards are multilayer. The consequence was another strong increase in turnover.

Berlin Environmental Prize 1999

In March 1999, the company was awarded the Berlin Environmental Prize. The certificate was awarded by senator Strieder in a ceremony in Berlin's "red" town hall. The jury found that the company had done an outstanding job, with the production process for circuit boards without producing waste water, which is unique in Europe.

The waste washing water, which is produced in large quantities during the chemical processes, could be reduced to such an extent via process optimisation, that water from production no longer had to be introduced into the public sewage system and the inlet could be sealed up. This was an achievement which no one in the sector had thought possible.


Your personal contact

Guido Strehl
Assistant to the general
+49 30 351 788-225