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Napier (NZ) - October 27, 2004

PDL Electronics has announced further moves that will secure the continued success of its Napier operation.

PDL Electronics, owned by Schneider Toshiba Inverter [STI] based in France, has streamlined its manufacturing operation in Napier. The company plans to further develop its world leading line of variable speed drive controllers.

The company is outsourcing the manufacturing of printed circuit assemblies to Christchurch based GPC Electronics which is the largest contract electronics manufacturer in Australasia. Final equipment manufacturing will remain at PDL Electronics and GPC Electronics will deliver printed circuit assemblies to Napier.

"The decision to outsource part of the manufacturing process follows a worldwide trend towards increased use of specialist contract electronics manufacturing operations," says Jacky Pillais, President of PDL Electronics.

"The partnership with GPC Electronics allows PDL Electronics to focus its assets and resources on new product developments that will further secure and grow the company’s position in international markets. The benefits of the new contract arrangement include supply flexibility, access to the latest manufacturing and supply chain technology combined with material cost reductions."

"We are focusing on our core business and this contract is part of that strategy. PDL Electronics has been confirmed by STI as an international research and development centre. The New Zealand PDL operation also provides worldwide application support for the PDL and Telemecanique product ranges. PDL Electronics provides innovative solutions for specific customers and our development and engineering expertise drive the international growth."

"We have been consulting with employees and their union representatives to minimise the reduction in staffing numbers at the Napier operation. This process will take some months to work through with staff and union representatives."

"The decision to outsource was not taken lightly because of the potential impact on some staff but we have to secure and grow the business in the future and focus on achieving international best practice including lead-free compliance," says Mr. Pillais.

Frank Owen of GPC Electronics says the multi-million dollar contract further signals the growing strength of GPC in the contract electronics manufacturing industry.

"Increasingly electronics companies around the world are outsourcing printed circuit assemblies and supply chain activities to specialist companies such as GPC which can attract the highly skilled staff required and employ the latest specialist technology."

"This new contract is an opportunity for GPC to continue to grow with leading New Zealand and international electronics companies and recognises a commitment from both companies to a vibrant electronics manufacturing industry."

About PDL Electronics

  • PDL Electronics is an international leader in AC motor drive development. The company markets, designs and manufactures advanced motor controllers ranging from 0.37kW to over 1MW.
  • The continuing commitment to research and innovative design has reaped benefits for the company with global markets accounting for 70% of PDL Electronics’ sales.
  • Schneider Electric acquired PDL Electronics in 2001 with shares transferred to STI in 2004.

About Schneider Toshiba Inverter [STI]

  • STI is the worldwide leader in AC variable speed drives and soft starters and is at the forefront of the technology.
  • The joint venture has an annual turnover of 430 million euro and has a worldwide market share of 15%.

About GPC Electronics
GPC Electronics is an electronics contract manufacturer based in Penrith (Sydney) Australia. Additional manufacturing sites are in Christchurch (New Zealand) and Shenzhen (China). The company produces complex electronics equipment for leading global corporations. Rather than simply following customer instructions to build products, GPC Electronics helps its customers to achieve their strategic goals through greater responsiveness, overall lower cost and improved flexibility.

(Additional information at:

Irene Hunt
PA to Jacky Pillais
PDL Electronics
64 6 843-5855

Frank Owen
Chief Executive
GPC Electronics (NZ)
64 3 963-0580

Bradley Ayres
Customer Support Manager
GPC Electronics
61 2 4737-6625