Belden Inc. has founded the Connectivity Center to speed up customer-specific developments in the EMEA region. Customer-specific developments are offered for connectors and cordsets as well as for active and passive I/O modules for fieldbus or Ethernet networks from its Lumberg Automation brand. Such developments make for smooth production processes while cutting total cost of ownership (TCO).
Andrej Lorkovic, director of product management, explains: "Depending on the individual requirements, we can normally deliver to the customer within the course of a few weeks, but three months is the absolute maximum of time we require." Customer-specific developments are a cornerstone of Belden's growth strategy, and Belden's plans call for this business model to make up 50 per cent of the division's total revenue by 2015. In addition to its core markets of mechanical and plant engineering, Belden also develops products for diverse markets such as enterprise and transportation.
When implementing customised systems, the Connectivity Division is able to benefit from a comprehensive programme of standard products, which is being extended all the time. The robust I/O modules for PROFINET and EtherNet/IP, launched as part of the LioN series at the beginning of this year, are just one example. Lorkovic says: "All our standard products are characterised by robust design and simplicity of use, ensuring optimum reliability."
This applies to customer-specific developments as well. In these projects, however, flexibility and response times also play a vital role. Lorkovic explains: "We currently implement around 100 projects per month in our Connectivity Center." Simple variants of standard products, such as cables in customised lengths or with individual labelling, are normally delivered within two to four weeks. Offers for this kind of work are sent to customers within two working days. This response speed is possible thanks to almost fully automated underlying processes.
Solutions that deviate from the standard repertoire, however, can take up to several months to complete. Lorkovic reports: "A connection cable that we recently developed for configuring M8 sensors had a standard connector at one end and a USB connector at the other. This example shows how customer-specific developments are able to add real value: a USB interface is more flexible, more reliable and less expensive than the serial interface previously used by the customer."
Lorkovic says Belden welcomes such opportunities to demonstrate its expertise and capabilities. He says: "The maxim for all our activities is "˜listen, understand, implement and deliver. We turn our customers' challenges into a successful collaboration for both parties. We take great satisfaction in supplying our customers with superb solutions that open up completely new opportunities for them - from both the technical and business perspective."