Author Topic: German Fujitsu (former Siemens) factory in Augburg closing in 2020  (Read 637 times)

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Offline kbpc

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German Fujitsu (former Siemens) factory in Augburg closing in 2020
« on: Mon, 10 February 2020, 19:15:45 »
I don't know if there is already a thread in this forum...

The Fujitsu factory in Augsburg, Germany, will be closed at the end of this year. It is the last European computer factory with a high vertical range of manufacture. Office and workstation computer systems are assembled there. The mainboards used fore these systems are upto now also developed and manufactured at this facility.

Regarding keyboards, this also seems to be the last German keyboard factory. The KBPC PX ECO is still produced there. The keyboards which are manufactured there have been rubberdomes since 1990. But some types like KBPC EM or KBPC E should also be known here.

While the mainboard production could be sold to another company, the future of the input device section is unclear. During the last years, the production of the KBPC E or variants of the KBPC PX (like the HUB version or the KBPC SX) has been running out and the PX seems to be the last keyboard being made there. All of the other recent keyboards of the line up are made in China. So it is quite probable that the last German made KBPX PX will leave the factory soon and vanish from the market forever.

That is a little pity because - dispite being a rubberdome - these "Siemens"-styled keyboards have some unique characteristics which can not be found elsewhere.

1) Keycap: The KBPC PX still has these flat spherical Siemens keycaps. They originate from the Siemens "STB Schreibtasten" system of the 1970 and 1980s. It was developed further and used by KBPC EM, S, E, P or S2 later and nowadays at the PX. During my childhood, all important looking computers in Germany, for example at the bank, the train station or at the post office, had this keycap style. Until this year you can buy a PX if you like these keycaps. In 2021, these keycap type might be vanished from the market forever.   :(

I absolutly love this keycap type, and I have no idea, where I will be able to get a good keyboard with this style after that year...

2) The chip/SMD-on-membrane technology for the internal circuits. Of course it helps to produce keyboards cost effective, but I have never seen that principle being used by other manufacturers. On most Siemens keyboards of the 1990s you sometimes get slightly stucking keys because of this, but later with the S2 and ultimately with the PX/SX, these problems could be solved. This quite unique manufaturing technology might also vanish after this yaer.
« Last Edit: Mon, 10 February 2020, 19:20:18 by kbpc »

Offline rxc92

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Re: German Fujitsu (former Siemens) factory in Augburg closing in 2020
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 11 February 2020, 00:22:41 »
That's sad to hear. Those particular keycaps don't seem difficult to make though, and I have no doubt that any of the dozens of Chinese manufacturers could replicate the design easily; however, one wonders if such a flat, oddly sculpted keycap would be popular. 
That being said, they do somewhat remind me of the Olivetti Praxis 48 - the most aesthetically beautiful keycaps I have ever seen. God knows that I'd buy those in a heartbeat if they'd fit on a modern keyboard.