Igus reveals its secret to keeping manufacturers stocked and ready

See Igus at MachineBuilding.Live, 4 October 2023, on stand 20

Buyers of common cables, who would typically assemble their own cable sub-assemblies, are now ordering Igus e-chains and ready-to-connect cables due to Igus’ ability to deliver quickly.

Machine and equipment builders are suffering from the longest waiting times in living memory for some critical parts. Delays caused by the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, especially with parts that need semiconductors, such as PLCs, drives and controls, are now unusually long – in some cases up to 50 weeks lead time for parts that typically took two to four weeks to arrive pre-covid. And while there are signs the semiconductor shortage is easing, there is a long waiting list for backlogged orders.

Manufacturing companies who use cables and connectors are also experiencing long delays, causing real headaches in production. Purchasing teams have been faced with two choices: find third or even fourth choice suppliers and pay more for unknown brands sometimes with low or unproven quality implications, or just wait. Both options pass on a degree of stress and risks eroding customer relationships.

When the machines that need these electronic parts and cables are delivered late, it places pressure on their manufacturing customers, who must hold onto sub-optimal and even defective machines for longer as waiting times lengthen. This ultimately affects the productivity of these companies, and their sectors.

A number of these manufacturers have come to Igus for cable and connector solutions. Igus manufactures a vast range of cables and, importantly, cable/connector plug-and-play assemblies. Igus revenues passed £1 billion in 2022 – making it one of the world’s biggest industrial cable, connector and cable assembly manufacturers – and due to its size, it has both factory capacity and buying power, ensuring more reliable supplies than smaller competitors and distributors.

The company also has ample warehousing space, in Northampton as well as in the German headquarters, and it typically stocks cables and cable/connector sets in high volume. This stock-in-case approach, while traditionally a business cost, has helped many Igus customers, both old and new, source cables more quickly through the last very difficult 24-months, and into 2023. Stock reliability for both popular and less common parts is one reason why Igus UK recorded its best sales year in 2022.

As well as over 1,300 individual cable types in stock, Igus also assembles cables with an array of connectors, and builds multi-cable assemblies into a ready to install e-chain – perfect for higher volume machine builders on quick takt times that just need the cable set to ‘fit and forget’. And now, more and more customers of plain ‘vanilla’ cables, who would typically assemble their own cable sub-assemblies, are ordering Igus e-chains and ready-to-connect cables due to the long lead times imposed by their normal suppliers.

Due to such consistent supply, Igus has become a vital partner for both machine-builders and the industries they serve. As supply chains across manufacturing return to normal very slowly, many companies are still experiencing months-long delays for parts and a reliable, just-in-time supplier of crucial components like cables will be essential to helps OEMs operate through the next year.

igus (UK) Ltd

51A Caswell Road

+44 (0)1604 677240



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