At the end of October a gossip occurred that 3D Systems plans to close one of its factories in Andover, USA and the dozens of workers are going to be let go. The story was spread by the chief editor of 3D Printing Industry – Michael Molitch-Hou, who acquired it from several anonymous sources related to the 3D Systems. Last week, the Boston Globe reached the official registration of collective redundancies that the company sent to the federal office. According to the letter, 3D Systems will close a factory in the middle of 2016 and will release approx. 80-85 employees.
For the record – Andover facility runs production and R&D works on 3D printers using CJP technology as well as manufactures devices such as ProJet line, CubeJet and 3D printing with ceramics department. It is also home of Geomagic software development team. 120 employees were reported to work in the factory. Some of them received proposals for relocation with appropriate bonuses, and the rest will be gradually released. According to Molitch-Hou’s informants, the factory is really cease to function in the first months of 2016 and finally will be closed in June same year.
The closure of the factory is the aftermath of the problems which afflict 3D Systems related to the decline in the value of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, declines in sales and the inability to market a number of products that have been long ago announced. Famous 3D Systems CEO – Avi Reichental lost his job and the power in the company was taken back by its legendary founder – Charles Hull.
In a statement sent to The Boston Globe by Timothy W. Miller – Director of Communications and PR at 3D Systems, he wrote that the closure of the factory is to consolidate the company’s operations and focus on the most revenue areas. Based on observations of market trends and discussions with distributors of 3D Systems in Poland it can be concluded that the company intends to focus primarily on the manufacture of professional 3D printers – light-curing resins (SLA), multijet modelling (MJM), slective laser sintering (SLS) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS).
Paradoxically, reducing areas of activity can turn 3D Systems only for good. Grinding on dozens of smaller and more niche areas (3D printing of food, 3D printing with ceramics, etc.) meant that in the end, none of these projects are completed, but from the other hand successfully absorbed a lot of financial resources. Concentration and development of the most important products from the point of view of the current state of the market can bring the company on track and restore its former glory.