The benefits and challenges of outsourcing your system architecting


The world of high-tech machine builders is extremely competitive. Their success is exceedingly dependent on their ability to realize quality, cost effectiveness and short lead times in bringing new technology to series production. Outsourcing system architecting can contribute significantly in achieving that. ‘NTS has demonstrated that fact now in a number of cases’, states Rens van den Braber of NTS division Development & Engineering. ‘At the same time this level of co-operation is not without its limitations and challenges. The potential added value depends on various factors such as the strategy and type of organization of the customer. Moreover, it stands or falls with mutual understanding, openness and trust.’

Adding knowledge and experience

Outsourcing system architecture - instead of doing it yourself - is all about achieving more with less, for example by saving on lead time or costs to growing into an organization that actually produces systems. The actual benefits however, states Rens, vary and are dependent on the role NTS is asked to play.

‘When customers develop complete systems themselves, our responsibility normally lies firstly in building to specifications. This comes with great benefits for them. They are adding a skilled development team to their own activities and tap into the vast capabilities of our organization - including relevant knowledge and experience in competences such as cleanliness, dynamics, system automation and design for manufacturing and assembly. In doing so they can rely on our proven track record in making the steps from design to verification and high-quality series production. Furthermore, because NTS is a vertically integrated one stop shop, they are able to reduce risks and total cost of ownership. For OEM’s who concentrate on technology development, working with NTS as a co-developer of opto-mechatronical modules, bases and frames offers additional benefits. It saves them investments in their own development and production organizations. Moreover, they do not have to share their attention between operational and organizational activities on one hand, and development and marketing on the other. And, because this form of partnership involves a strong strategic integration and the execution of agreed product roadmaps, we can improve their competitive edge by achieving higher quality in less time, reducing costs, increasing performance and enable local manufacturing in one of our sites around the globe while our customer is not involved in managing all required operations’

Meet our system architect

Rens van den Braber of NTS division Development & Engineering, is one of our system architects. In his blog, he explains the basic concepts, challenges and opportunities of outsourcing system architecture. He focuses on the conversion of functionality, technical requirements and interfaces in a concrete and verifiable design. Next to that Rens is involved in translating this system design into qualitative and cost-efficient production, which factually requires the same competences. And all of this is never easy in the high-tech industry. The technology is complex and the need for a short time to market always creates an enormous pressure. 

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