When an industrial automation manufacturer with global aspirations needed to accelerate lead times and product customization, it turned to Avnet and Kontron. Now, they can confidently deliver the quality and delivery time their customers need for their products: those responsible for powering some of the world’s largest factories.
The challenge of delivering manufacturing intelligence
If your company makes programmable logic for smart manufacturing, off-the-shelf solutions seldom fit the bill. Your products have to work across many industries and integrate a huge variety of information flows, from the back office to visualization and control systems on the factory floor. That diversity and scope means that expert customization is a key requirement.
This smart manufacturing customer, like most, needed those custom solutions to meet strict price-point requirements. To top it all off, it needed a broad set of those solutions, in multiple configurations, to be available with stringent lead times—above and beyond what’s available from most technology suppliers.
And that’s all before we can even address durability and longevity. Technologies used in these solutions must remain available for up to seven years, with long-term visibility into roadmap and end-of-life planning from suppliers. In production at end-customer sites, they must be built for longevity in tough manufacturing environments. And as global operations expand, the supply chain must extend to a growing scope of geographical areas.
Solution: Robust customization, rapid delivery
To meet this customer’s needs, Avnet delivers a wide range of products from Kontron, Microsoft and Intel—many of which require customization for their end-customer.
Because of the investments made by Kontron in their standard product designs based on Intel® Core™ and Atom® processors, products can be customized without having to be completely re-designed. To augment this, Avnet also provides tailored inventory programs that enable delivery in just three weeks, dramatically outperforming typical industry lead times. The supply chain of long-life products benefits from supplier insights and roadmap planning such as advance end-of-life visibility and last-time buying that prevents disruptions.
Avnet and Kontron ensure the customer’s solutions meet both U.S. and German product quality standards and are engineered to the optimum combination of robustness and price efficiency, which help deliver a competitive advantage. A return-to-depot program, global centers of excellence and long-standing supplier relationships deliver further value.
Results: Flexibility and cost advantages
Avnet optimizes product development costs for this customer by combining supplier investments in standard products with customization capabilities for unique requirements—without the need to redesign boards. Supply chain efficiencies reduce both inventory carrying costs and risk.
Assurances of long-term technology availability help keep products in production for as long as possible, maximizing the value of the customer’s investment in those offerings. During that extended availability cycle, global return-to-depot programs help ensure efficient management of failures in the field and contribute to positive customer experiences all over the world.
Summary of business challenges
- Customization requirements: Needs beyond off-the-shelf components
- Supply-chain complexity: Multiple products with varied configurations
- Reduced lead times: Requirements as much as 5x faster than industry average
- Product longevity: Requirements of up to seven years, with roadmap visibility
- Harsh operating environments: Rigorous demands for ruggedization
- Global reach: Need for partner that can scale and support products worldwide
Key capabilities of the solution
- Software configuration
- Advanced global logistics
- Just-in-time inventory programs
- Variable load capabilities
- Custom labels and packaging
- Board customization
- Kontron KBox industrial PCs (fanless)
- Kontron FusionClient HMI series
- Microsoft operating systems
- Intel® Core™ and Atom® processors
Download this process automation use case in PDF.
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