Schlumberger Ltd. has combined two of its divisions into a new business unit.

The unit, called test and transactions, is made up of the automatic test equipment division, which designs and manufactures semiconductors, and the electronic transactions division, which offers smart cards and related systems.

Both units will retain their names in the new organization, reporting to Irwin Pfister, executive vice president. He has worked 11 years for Schlumberger and was formerly president of automatic test equipment.

Schlumberger said the move is designed to capture synergies between the divisions and to better align them with shared markets. The division will focus on high-end electronics and transaction businesses, the company said.

The Moorestown, N.J.-based smart card manufacturer, a division of the French electronics and industrial giant, has not had a significant reorganization since it acquired Danyl Corp. and Malco Inc. more than two years ago.

Benjamin L. Miller, chairman of Cardtech/Securetech Inc. of Bethesda, Md., said the new structure would allow Schlumberger to "take advantage of vertical markets" in an environment that, he said, favors the production of systems over the manufacturing of cards.

Mr. Pfister, Mr. Miller said, "has a lot of experience in the American electronics industry ... where there has been a lot of excitement about the distribution of smart cards."

Mr. Pfister, who has held management positions in the electronics field for 25 years, reports to Euan Baird, chairman of Schlumberger Ltd.

Commenting on synergies between the Schlumberger divisions that comprise test and transactions, James J. Davis, vice president and general manager of Schlumberger smart cards and systems, said, "Smart cards are based on semiconductors," and the automatic test equipment unit is "the leading supplier of test systems for semi-conductors."

Furthermore, "understanding how semiconductors operate" and "implementation of operating systems and software" is something "those two entities also have in common," he said.

Mr. Davis said Mr. Pfister successfully managed the automatic test equipment division through a serious downturn in the semiconductor market in the 1980s, and turned the division into a profitable one.

Mr. Davis added Schlumberger is striving to develop a strong manufacturing base in the United States at its Owings Mills, Md., plant, which came with its Malco acquisition in December 1994.

"Probably one of the greatest areas of potential is to develop a new manufacturing paradigm that enables us to focus" on adding value, "which of course would benefit our customers in the long run," Mr. Davis said.

In related Schlumberger news, Claus Kampmann has been named president of electronic transactions, based in Montrouge, France. Carlos Lazalde has been promoted to president, automatic test equipment, in San Jose, Calif., replacing Mr. Pfister.

Mr. Kampmann has worked 24 years for Schlumberger, most recently in its oilfield services business. Mr. Lazalde has worked 18 years for the company, most recently as president of the test systems product line division.

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