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Strategic sourcing of metal components

Last year, Solvaro GmbH helped a range of projects in agricultural and construction machinery towards series production. What made Solvaro’s customer relationships so productive was that the supplier had been involved in projects from the very beginning and could therefore contribute its expertise at an early stage during development. More and more manufacturers are now using Solvaro’s development services, accounting for far more than half of its orders in 2015.

Early collaboration creates benefits

Involving suppliers at the early development stage can create significant benefits, making it possible to realise ideas concerning the actual production method. Tools and machinery are used more efficiently and therefore permit substantial cost savings. The Japanese construction machinery and tractor manufacturer Kubota understood this very well indeed. Two years ago, when the company wanted to find a European production facility, it widened its search to include component manufacturers for an entire tractor, the Kubota M7-171. That was when it made contact with Solvaro, which soon convinced Kubota with the quality of its time and cost management, its tool system and, above all, its technical support. In mid-2015, Kubota started the series production of the new tractor at its French facility in Bierne, using nine components from Solvaro. These are industrial plate components, ranging from grid baskets to heat protection sheets for the exhaust system. The good air supply and excellent stability of the honeycomb-shaped pores achieved convincing results in the tests in Japan. The great value of working with suppliers was noticed by Kubota at the kick-off meeting where all of its suppliers were invited. It was an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas and help the company get closer in its quest for the optimal all-in-one solution. Solvaro wants to find a solution that also includes working with other suppliers, such as coating manufacturers and logistics specialists, so that components are delivered ready for installation and just in time. Kubota currently produces 3,000 tractors per year in France.

Increasing demand for development services

The benefits of working with the supplier are also appreciated by European agricultural equipment makers, such as Fendt. The Fendt 1050 Vario, for instance, which was supported by Solvaro all the way up to series production, is currently Fendt’s biggest top-performance tractor and was voted Tractor of the Year 2016. Solvaro, which supplied the ventilation grilles, also contributed its key account managers and engineers at the early development stage. Joint development activities have led to the creation of engine covers that function as ventilation grilles and ensure sufficient cooling for the massive engines. The Solvaro Support Team and Fendt were in close contact, from the commissioning of the toolset to the manufacturing of initial samples and prototypes in pilot production last May. This year, Fendt will start the series production of what it has affectionately called its ‘German masterpiece’.

Over the last few years, Solvaro has generally experienced an increase in orders with a significant share in product development. Whereas in 2006, development work accounted for only 6% of all orders, this figure increased to 69% in 2015, and the proportion is still rising. However, Solvaro’s growth in 2015 was not restricted to development. It also recorded a major increase in capacities through the purchase of a new press line and the recruitment of more staff.

 

Caption: Kubota: After nearly two years of development, the M7-171 from Kubota finally went into production, using nine Solvaro components.

Caption: Fendt 1000 Vario: Solvaro supplies an engine cover with a particularly high level of air supply for the Tractor of the Year 2016.

 

 

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, for example, in agricultural and construction machinery as well as in buses and server racks. For more information, visit www.solvaro.com.


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