APA Discontinues Optics Manufacturing

Minneapolis, January 21, 2004. APA Optics has discontinued its optics manufacturing operations, eliminating five positions at its Blaine, Minn., facility, and has consolidated its fiber optics communications activities in Blaine by eliminating three positions and retraining personnel in Aberdeen to support operations of its subsidiary, APA Cables & Networks (APACN), in Plymouth, Minn.

APA said these actions were due to low demand for dense wavelength division multiplexers (DWDMs) and significant downward price pressures caused by off-shore Asian suppliers for optics and fiber optics products.

The company said it expanded its operations in Aberdeen, S.D., to 38 people, including contract labor, from 15 people in September, to take advantage of Aberdeen's relatively lower manufacturing costs and in response to the increasing demand for APACN's products. It said it will continue expanding its Aberdeen operations while maintaining APACN's operations in Plymouth.

APA's Blaine operations will now focus on Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology and products, with a smaller staff supporting fiber optics activities. The company said it will "aggressively pursue GaN markets" by dedicating most of its resources in Blaine and using GaN manufacturing facilities in Aberdeen.

APA said it will continue to source DWDMs and other components using its strategic off-shore partners and will continue to market these products as standalone components and integrate them with APACN products.

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