Agfa to reorganize CR plants as demand declines

2020 02 05 19 40 5727 Agfa Rsna 2019 400

Declining demand for computed radiography (CR) systems -- in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- is prompting Agfa HealthCare to shift production away from its CR manufacturing facilities in Germany in favor of China.

In a November 5 press release, Agfa announced that it would be reorganizing activities at two CR manufacturing plants in Germany, one at Peissenberg and the other at Peiting. Agfa plans to close down the Peiting plant and reorganize production activities at Peissenberg, with systems assembly activities moved to an Agfa plant in Wuxi, China. The changes would be completed by the end of 2022.

In explaining the moves, Agfa noted that the digital x-ray market has been shifting from CR to digital radiography (DR), which is more easily integrated into PACS networks and does not require manual transportation of cassettes as CR does. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift, and as a result, "Agfa faces a significant decline in demand in a decreasing and price-sensitive CR market," the company said.

Agfa said the changes are necessary for the company to maintain its market presence, and the company "will do its utmost to mitigate the impact on the employees." The changes would impact "a significant number of jobs" at both sites, the company said.

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