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Cardinal lays off 57 at Mazomanie solar glass plant

Post Time:Feb 21,2012Classify:Company NewsView:337

Cardinal Solar Technologies, Mazomanie, laid off 57 employees on Wednesday after the plant's primary customer, a solar photovoltaic panel manufacturer, saw its orders suddenly shrivel.


Most of the hourly production workers are off the job; 20 employees remain, mainly salaried and maintenance workers, plant manager Jeff Valek said.


The factory, which tempers glass used in solar photovoltaic panels, is still open and operating on a "much smaller scale," said Bob Bond, president of Cardinal ST, based in Spring Green. "We believe (the layoff) to be temporary. We believe our customer will come back when the imbalance is, hopefully, corrected," Bond said.


Competition from manufacturers in China "is just immense right now," he said. "Prices have been falling for solar photovoltaic modules very, very rapidly in the last seven to eight months, with a huge influx of supply."


The Mazomanie Cardinal ST plant opened in 2009, featuring a $5.5 million, 120-foot-long convection furnace that took six months to install. The furnace both tempers the glass and heats the 180,000-square-foot building.


Valek said the plant had been running two shifts, with at least 80 employees, up from 34, two years ago. In January, though, seven or eight employees were laid off, followed by the second, deeper cut this week.


Bond said demand for solar photovoltaic technology is still strong, with several very large installations planned around the U.S. "We are very active in the rest of the market, trying to find more opportunity for that plant," he said.


Valek said the factory still has some other customers, as well. "We will try to hire all these people back and then more," he said. "Our future is still there."


Cardinal ST is a division of 

Source: http://host.madison.comAuthor: shangyi

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