Meeting your needs by challenging requirements

Developing and building equipment for the high mix, low volume and high complexity markets demands accuracy. The tolerances of machine movement and positioning - for instance in the semicon, analytical and digital printing industry - are after all extremely small. Due to this need for precision in combination with the necessary consistency in quality, cost efficiency and delivery certainty, OEM’s set high demands for suppliers of components and mechanical systems. NTS division Frames & Cabinets meets these customer challenges in a mix of technical, engineering and organizational added value.

The NTS division Frames & Cabinets consists of NTS Hermus, CombiMetaal, Finish, Botech and Prometal. It is dedicated to producing, assembling and finishing highly accurate coverings, frames and granite bases for intricate high-tech machines. This requires workmanship and state-of-the-art machinery. “Even so, our ability to manufacture a functional core product determines only twenty percent of the value we add”, says Divisional Sales Manager John Dirks. “The largest gains are realized by translating customer needs in practical design, engineering and manufacturing processes.”

Flatness and accuracy

Low volume manufacturing of accurate components and systems for high-tech OEM’s requires vast know-how and experience. NTS combines this know-how and expertise in our Frames & Cabinets Division. The companies within this division work closely together, but vary in their distinctive technologies. Specialists in an extensive array of techniques, for instance orbital and laser welding, construct light weight thin sheet metal frames and large welded frames, milled up to an accuracy of 0,01 mm. They produce high precision granite constructions and air bearing carriers up to a flatness of 0.001 mm/m. Other craftsmen excel in cleanroom assembly and application of high-spec coatings. And these are just a few examples of their skills.

Engineering capabilities

“Moreover, a lot of these activities involve manual craftmanship to achieve the needed accuracy and control production costs of one-offs or small series. However, impressive as all these competences are, adding value for customers requires a lot more. NTS division Frames and Cabinets differentiates itself firstly by using its engineering capabilities to optimize product improvement, rapid prototyping and repeatline processes. Whether we have to build-to-print or build-to-spec, it often starts with challenging customer requirements, for example related to the complexity of design, functionality, required esthetics and use of materials. Of course, this requires a partnership open to dialog and working together. But it always improves the results in terms of quality, the price tag and speed in design and manufacturing.”

Organizing manufacturing

In its determination to attribute to the competitive edge of OEM’s, Frames and Cabinets commits to realizing short lead times and delivery certainty while keeping costs down. As a consequence, an effective arrangement of the supply chain, production and distribution is crucial.

“Our customers don’t want to overpay, nor lock up their capital in warehouses. At the same time they need their products to be delivered on time. This calls for a smart manufacturing process on our side, for instance using the Heijunka model which is directed at combining high mix fabrication and just in time delivery. We also apply the Kanban method to standardize and run complex workflows while minimizing stock whilst still being able to ramp up quickly. These abilities to organize efficient manufacturing not only benefit our direct customers, but should also be seen within the broader proposition of NTS. We work in close cooperation with our NTS development, assembling and manufacturing companies in the Netherlands and abroad. Our joint knowledge and resources are remarkable and another differentiator in our abilities to elevate the business cases of our partners.”

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This news article was part of our newsletter Accelerating News Q1 - 2019

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