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High demand for component supplier’s value-added services

Getting suppliers involved in the development of agricultural and construction vehicles early on is becoming increasingly common. The specialist for air grilles and engine bonnets, SOLVARO GmbH, reports that demand for its development services continues to increase. The Kirchheim-based supplier of industrial components is also seeing a huge increase in the number of jobs involving the finishing of parts. The company is responding to these trends with the ongoing expansion of its array of development services and with investments in manufacturing technologies, most recently with the purchase of a Salvagnini B3 press brake.

Customers frequently opt for the full array

When a component supplier is brought on board in a project’s final developmental stage, they are able to produce prototypes according to fixed specifications, but significant modifications are almost out of the question at this point in time. If, however, a supplier is involved in projects earlier, the more efficient use of manufacturing machinery and tools, material optimisations and easier assembly are just a few examples of the added value they can contribute, based on their in-depth expertise. SOLVARO GmbH, which specialises in the development and production of and an array of services related to perforated metal components, is reporting a massive increase in demand for its development services. In 2006, just approximately 6% of the company’s orders for air grilles, bonnets or components for server cabinet doors included development services. Now, this applies to almost 70% of orders, with the developers being involved early on with 90% of the customers.  Another trend is the finishing of components at the supplier’s premises. For example, last year 36% of the components produced by SOLVARO were given 2D finishing such as finished edges or lasered assembly holes, 12% underwent 3D finishing such as the lasering of the final external contours of deep-drawn components, and around 13% of the products supplied were even entire assemblies. SOLVARO is responding by expanding its engineering services and investing in new manufacturing technologies.

Greater expertise for added value

People are often unfamiliar with the specifics of perforated sheeting when it comes to deep drawing and coating. The developers in Kirchheim go the extra mile to expand their comprehensive expertise with documented experience and meaningful references or evaluations. For example, they have subjected a wide array of perforated sheeting to testing they conduct themselves at Institut für Oberflächentechnik GmbH. ‘Based on our findings regarding the coating of perforated metal, we can give our customers sound advice before the first prototype is produced,’ explains Gerhard Bullinger. The SOLVARO managing director considers investments in knowledge and expertise to be just as important as investments in machinery.

Capacity increases for finishing and prototype production

SOLVARO recently also expanded its fleet of machinery to keep pace with demand.  An electro-hydraulic Salvagnini B3 with 220 tonnes of pressing force now offers SOLVARO additional capacity for the finishing of perforated metal components, such as an air grille for the Mercedes-Benz Citaro that involves multiple bending for greater air passage and increased stability. The new machine makes this even quicker, as it boasts automatic angle measurement, a bending aid and automatic motor control, resulting in clean edges incredibly quickly. This capacity increase is of benefit not only to the finishing of components – it also significantly expands the company’s internal prototype production possibilities.

Image 1: SOLVARO customers using value-added services
Caption: SOLVARO has seen a sharp increase in demand for development services and the finishing of components in recent years.

Image 2: grille Mercedes-Benz Citaro
Caption: SOLVARO’s development team offers its customers such as Mercedes-Benz its sound expertise. The trapezoid and undulating shape of the Citaro air grille results in high air passage and very good stability.

Image 3: Salvagnini B3
Caption: The purchase of a Salvagnini B3 press brake has increased the company’s capacities for the finishing of SOLVARO products and for prototype development.

 

SOLVARO – manufacturer of individual industrial plate components

SOLVARO’s expert team from the fields of engineering, development and production listens to its customers. The results of this collaboration, together with a wide range of production technologies, are individual and innovative components. These may be used in, for example, agricultural and construction machinery as well as in buses and server cabinets. For more information, visit www.solvaro.com.

Reprints of text and images free of charge; sample copy requested.

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