Belden is increasingly offering customized solutions for connectors and connectivity systems
Under its Lumberg Automation™ and Hirschmann™ brands, Belden markets high-quality connectors and connectivity systems that are primarily used in the construction of machinery and plant. The product portfolio includes connectors for sensors and actuators, factory-made connection cables and distribution systems and I/O modules for fieldbus and Ethernet networks.
Alongside standard designs we also offer customized solutions, and these currently account for about a third of our revenues: by 2014 we hope to increase this proportion to over 50 percent. In order to achieve this objective we will need not only our technological expertise but also, primarily, flexibility and fast reactions.
We have already made sure that the requisite organization and production technology are in place. On average, the development of a new cable with molded connectors can now be completed in only six weeks, including the customer’s approval.
These days it is more important than ever to continually increase the efficiency of our production processes, and at the same time we need to reduce the necessary investment costs in order to hold down the TCO (total cost of ownership). “So we have an increasing demand for solutions that are individually tailored to our customers’ specific requirements”, says Dr. Hubert Ermer, General Manager of the Belden business unit Industrial Connecting Solutions.
Implementing these solutions benefits the business unit not only by virtue of its product-related platform strategy, it also reinforces Belden’s position in the field of cables and network technology. The company’s core competence stems from its decades of experience in and around the connectors and connectivity systems that are already used in manifold applications and are remarkable, among other features, for their high mechanical and electrical resilience, extremely wide working temperature ranges and protection classes up to IP69K. Dr. Ermer adds: “To ensure that we can also fulfill customers’ specific requirements we use a variety of plastics, contact pins and rotating parts.
At the Schalksmühle facility we have formed an application team for customization projects that will cooperate closely both with the company’s own development division and with the relevant departments of Wire and Cable Systems in Venlo, Netherlands and Industrial Networking in Neckartenzlingen. The team will also have its own laboratories for carrying out the necessarily wide range of mechanical, electrical and chemical tests. To enable the solutions worked out with customers to be rapidly implemented the team has procured production resources that are used only for making prototypes, and in the meantime Production is ideally prepared for small series production.
“We are now in a position to realize cost-effective customized solutions in short order and to our usual high quality standard”, sums up Dr. Ermer. He also confidently expects this to lead to market opportunities outside the company’s established field of machinery and plant engineering. He is thinking here of sectors such as foodstuffs, or specific areas of building automation, which also place extremely high demands on product functionality and dependability.
Belden®: Sending All the Right Signals™
Belden designs, manufactures and markets signal transmission solutions, including cables, connectors and I/O modules, wireless network systems as well as network devices and control, load sensing and load moment limitation systems designed for safety-critical applications ranging from industrial automation to data centers, broadcast studios and the aviation and aerospace industry. The company focuses on segments of the worldwide cable and automation markets that require both highly specialized and readily available products.
With manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, Belden has recorded a total revenue of USD 1.62 billion for the fiscal year 2010.
Together with its brands Hirschmann™ and Lumberg Automation™, Belden offers an extensive and highly specialized product portfolio covering the full range of data communications – from the information and control levels down to the field level. The company has more than 15 offices throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with manufacturing facilities in Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Italy and Hungary.