Umicore consolidates germanium optics production to US

January 26, 2012 — Umicore will consolidate production of its germanium-based optics products in the US, citing a majority market in the country. Umicore will phase out optics production in Olen, Belgium, consolidating all germanium optics production in its Quapaw, OK facility over the course of 18 months.

The market for these optics devices, used in thermal imaging systems, is predominantly US-based, said Umicore representatives. With demand for Ge optics declining in recent years, Umicore decided to bring operations closer to the client base and reduce production capacity.

Also read: Silicon Germanium: SiGe for mainstream semiconductor manufacturing

Umicore has undertaken actions, including a re-employment plan for the 89 fixed-contract workers affected, to minimize the impact on its employees at the Olen site. All temporary workers will be offered alternative employment possibilities elsewhere in Umicore’s Belgian operations. In total, 1,033 people are employed by Umicore at the Olen site.

Umicore is a global materials technology group with four business areas: Catalysis, Energy Materials, Performance Materials and Recycling. Learn more at

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