Inside Orbit One — December 2021

The ribbon has finally been cut! Orbit One’s largest investment ever, a new Fuji AIMEX III SMD surface-mount production line with a completely unique set-up, is now installed and ready for initial testing in Ronneby.

Orbit One’s largest investment ever!

“The new production line is the most modern of its type in Sweden and consists of two parallel lines that can produce indivi­dually as well as together in up to 5 different confi­gu­ra­tions”, explains Ulf Karlsson, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer.

New software as well as hardware

“We are now conducting the first tests for all of the products that will be produced on the new line. We also have new software that makes the production process signi­fi­cantly more efficient. The whole solution works just as well as we expected, and an important aspect of the project is the support we have received from our supplier, Scanditron. We have had a fantastic colla­bo­ration with them!”

Reduced energy consumption

“One important and very positive effect of the new production line is that we reduce our environ­mental impact through lower energy consumption, thus taking yet another important step towards a more sustai­nable manufacturing process. The new line also entails better ergonomics, with simple operation via easy-to-use screens and smart component feeder slots that minimise heavy lifting and risky work opera­tions.”

Our customers are the big winners

“The new line also enables us to meet the market’s ever-incre­asing demands on short lead times and new processes. We will now be able to offer our customers an incre­dibly flexible and effective production line for optimal surface mounting. Versa­tility, high quality and simple operation are three important cornerstones of this investment. The new line will strengthen our compe­ti­ti­veness and our capacity to create even more cost-effective solutions for our customers.”

Able to handle the toughest requi­re­ments

“Naturally the new line is able to handle the toughest quality requi­re­ments within areas such as MedTech and Automotive. It provides optimal trace­a­bility and material control, and it has support for NPI, automated component definition and product-adapted placement of circuit board support. It also features automatic width adjustment of all conveyor belts, which guarantees high quality and a high utili­sation rate.”

More invest­ments on the way

“This is the largest investment in Orbit One’s history, but we’re not stopping there, and we already have a number of other new invest­ments on the way. The immediate future will be charac­te­rised by a range of new and strategic technology invest­ments at all our units. The common theme of these invest­ments is our aim and endeavour to implement and benefit from similar technology at all our units, always with the ultimate objective of creating optimal added value for our customers.”

Would you like to know more?

Please contact Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Ulf Karlsson.
Phone: +46 (0) 706 19 42 41 or e‑mail: ulf.karlsson@orbitone.se

Component situation attracts rogue operators

“2021 will end with continued problems in the component market, and it is still the combi­nation of the pandemic and a very high level of demand for electronics that is the cause. We expect the disrup­tions to continue during 2022. However, in the past three months the lead times, although still relatively high, have at least been quite stable, which makes planning somewhat easier”, says Marcus Gunnebrant, Chief Supply Chain Officer.

Price increases

“In recent times a number of operators in both the transport and component market have announced major price increases. For example, the manufacturer Texas has now announced that they have delivery problems due to the high level of demand. Just like many of the other wafer manufacturers, Texas is investing heavily in measures aimed at expanding capacity, but it takes time to build up the necessary solutions. The largest wafer manufacturer, TSCM, has announced price increases of up to 20%. This is due to increased costs in relation to raw materials, trans­por­tation and capacity. The same thing is also happening in the transport sector, where the high demand has also led to increased prices.”

Warning for rogue operators

“Unfor­tu­nately, the difficult situation in the component market has also attracted rogue operators who offer quick deliveries at good prices. We really want to issue a warning about the risks associated with using such operators, as it has become apparent that the compo­nents they supply are often old, inferior in quality, incorrectly packaged or even damaged by moisture. In order to avoid the procu­rement of faulty compo­nents, Orbit One uses Non-Franchised Distri­butors (Brokers) who have passed stringent quality assurance checks. These selected Brokers usually have their own testing facilities where the compo­nents are tested and inspected before being sent to Orbit One. There are independent testing facilities that everyone can use, and the lead times for testing compo­nents at such facilities have increased, which is an indication that there is a level of uncer­tainty about the quality of the products that are available in the secondary market.”

Would you like to know more about the component situation?

Contact our Chief Supply Chain Officer, Marcus Gunnebrant, for the latest news and develop­ments.
You can reach him at +46 (0)70965 21 38 or e‑mail him at: marcus.gunnebrant@orbitone.se

Three clear market trends

“As 2021 draws to a close, Orbit One finds itself in a very positive position, and there are three trends that are dominating demand, namely Internet of Things, production close to the customer’s market, and sustai­na­bility”, explains Mats Eriksson, Director of Sales & Marketing.

IoT incre­asing

“The Internet of Things, or IoT, is an area that is incre­asing steadily. We are receiving an ever-incre­asing number of enquiries regarding the manufacture of different types of connected products such as gateways and small smart sensors, not only for commercial solutions but also in relation to consumer products where, for example, demand for solutions for smart homes has increased signi­fi­cantly.”

Manufacturing closer to the customer’s market

“We are also seeing a trend whereby an incre­asing number of companies want to relocate their production from Asia, in order to be closer to their end market. This trend is being fuelled by an ambition to reduce environ­mental impact through shorter trans­por­tation routes, and a desire to reduce the ever-incre­asing transport costs and the long delivery times from Asia. In this context the effects of the pandemic have also played a major role. Orbit One has the expertise required to optimise supply chains and guarantee material supply and important analyses. Furthermore, the location of our four production units around the Baltic Sea enables customers to move their production much closer to their markets.”

Sustai­na­bility in focus

“Our customers are also imposing ever-incre­asing demands on sustai­na­bility and environ­mental requi­re­ments. Orbit One can guarantee that optimal sustai­na­bility is integ­rated into the product design process from the very beginning and throughout the entire product lifecycle, from choice of compo­nents to design for optimal final recycling and recovery. Orbit One also offers qualified services within analysis and inspection of conflict minerals, RoHS and the REACH Directive.”

We don’t have time to wait!

The UN Climate Change Confe­rence in Glasgow ended recently. Progress was made, although many observers were left disap­pointed at the results and felt that not enough is being done. Here at Orbit One, our attitude to the climate issue is very clear. We can’t afford to wait, and we aren’t. We can and will make a diffe­rence! In our opinion, companies that don’t actively work with sustai­na­bility issues today will be tomorrow’s losers. This is why our agenda is full of activities aimed at reducing our environ­mental impact and creating sustai­nable manufacturing solutions, despite the lack of statutory requi­re­ments in certain cases.

We have phased out many chemicals. We have invested in new technology that reduces our energy consumption and increases our efficiency. In Poland we have installed solar cells on the roof, and in Ronneby we are currently evalu­ating technology for the placement of solar cells on the facades. The other electricity we purchase is green electricity. The pandemic also became the starting point for a new strategy regarding business travel, with the goal of replacing three out of four business trips with sustai­nable digital meetings. There are many examples that could be named, and we are constantly adding more to the list.

There is, however, one person that we hope will continue to make trips to visit us in person, namely Santa Claus, and I would like to take this oppor­tunity to thank you for the past year and to wish you all a wonderful festive season together with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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