Interview with ARMOR solar power films – about recent announcement that the merger with OPVIUS has been concluded

by Dirk Buchhauser

ARMOR solar power films is part of the French ARMOR group, which is about 280 Mio. Euro revenue and approx. 1800 employees strong and is based in Nantes. The group’s main activity is the manufacturing of thermal transfer paper. The group however has invested in several new technology fields like 3D printing and battery electrodes in recent years.

ARMOR is active in OPV since close to one decade and reported the take-over of OPVIUS in October last year. Last week they reported that the post-merger process has been finished, with the German site now also called ARMOR solar power films. Following this we approached them with some advanced questions to enlighten our readers with deeper insights.

The interview has been done with Moïra Asses (Marketing & Business Development Manager – ARMOR solar power films SAS) and Dr. Ralph Pätzold (Chief Executive Officer of ARMOR solar power films GmbH). Branding strategy: As OPVIUS was kind of a design driven brand and Armor solar power films show more like a classical industrial brand – does this concern only the representation to public or also the general OPV strategy?
ARMOR: Armor solar power films is not a product brand but the name of the company: ARMOR solar power films SAS in France and ARMOR solar power films GmbH in Germany. ASCA® is our product brand. Our entire range of products will therefore be marketed under the ASCA® brand, including stripes and free-form OPV modules. The OPVIUS brand is going to disappear for the benefit of an unique brand name for a better external communication. the press release ARMOR is talking about synergies: Which concrete synergies have been emerged and what is the effective realization of it?
ARMOR: Every day, we try to set up new synergies in order to advance our know-how. Recently, free-form photovoltaic modules have been produced, merging for the first time complementary expertises, full-width modules coating, by the team based in La Chevrolière (France) and their finishing – including laser structuring – to obtain freeform modules by the German team based in Kitzingen and Nuremberg. Will there be changes in operation and duties of the former OPVIUS company?
ARMOR: There is no change in what the German team does. The topics are best distributed between the German and French teams according to the specificities of each team. This avoids duplication, but everyone keeps its perimeter, its projects while collaborating closely for the development of technology and business. Was the integration indeed as easy as the press release sounds or have there came up some unexpected challenges?
ARMOR: Integration has been positive on both sides and has made it possible to pool a lot of knowledges. The main challenge was to find common operating methods for two companies with different cultures and sizes. Will the brand OPVIUS vanish completely?
ARMOR: Indeed, the OPVIUS brand will disappear completely in favor of ASCA®. The goal is to make this common brand stronger and serve the same vision.

Thank you Moïra Asses and Dr. Ralph Pätzold for the interview!

The Team

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