Optimizing your frame design

The complexity of high-tech equipment continues to increase dramatically, while the time to market also shortens. This results in a number of challenges for OEM’s, for instance concerning quality and efficiency in manufacturing and costs, and these carry through during the life time of products. NTS enables its customers in being competitive during this entire process by taking responsibility in design for excellence and value engineering, as a multidisciplinary group but also as a component manufacturer who integrates a wide variety of competences.

The NTS division Frames and Cabinets serves its high-tech customers as a system manufacturer. It consists of NTS Hermus, CombiMetaal, Botech, Finish and Prometal. They are each specialists in their own field; experts in producing sheet metal, coverings, frames, granite bases and finishing. The process of integrating management and sales of these companies is well underway. Peter van den Biggelaar, New Product Introduction Manager at Frames and Cabinets, welcomes this development. “This allows us to add more value, for example during the design and reengineering of our customers products.”

Unburden customers
As the competition in the international high-tech sectors gets ever fiercer and OEM’s intensify their focus on their technological core, the demand on NTS to contribute to the success of clients grows. Peter wouldn’t have it any other way. “This is the entire reason for our existence as a first tier supplier in the high complexity, low volume and low mix markets. NTS is here to unburden partners by developing and engineering key technology, producing parts and assembling their products. To do this, we have to grow with them, as a group but also on a divisional level.”

Cost efficiency
Building bridges between sales and engineering. That’s how Peter describes his job. And in doing so, an important theme is the cost of modules and machines, whether they are being newly designed or reengineered.

“With its knowledge and experience NTS Frames and Cabinets contributes to optimizing the design of modules and machines for customers. We do this autonomously, but also in close cooperation with our other divisions: development and engineering, mechatronic assembly and precision machining. This all depends on where the order lands and the task at hand. During the development of new products cost efficiency is usually a trade off with functionality and quality. When it comes to value engineering, costs are the central issue.”

One NTS
Peter can give numerous examples of recent design and value engineering projects in which NTS Frames and Cabinets was involved or took the lead in, for instance the reengineering of the frame for the ventilation units of a large printer which resulted in a cost reduction of 45 percent for this module. Additional examples include the redesign of a cabinet for a medical device to which new features were added while keeping manufacturing costs at the same level as before and the industrialization of coverings for an analytical unit, thus enabling efficient series production.

“All of these accomplishments demonstrate how Frames and Cabinets grows as a system manufacturer who integrates a wide variety of competences”, says Peter. “But even more important, it shows how combining the capabilities of the entire group - becoming one NTS - helps our customers to operate at a higher level. And that feels very satisfying to me.”

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This news article was part of our newsletter Accelerating News Q4 - 2018