Proud of our case
Smans supports panel builder VEKON in “next level” automation
Automation in the panel building sector has not yet become a matter of course. Every panel builder knows the challenges when it comes to automatic wire production. Only a few have “the guts” to turn these challenges into opportunities. Vekon stepped in a while ago. Who will follow?
Vekon is the specialist in the Netherlands in design and construction of electrical control systems and cabinets. Under the supervision of top entrepreneur Judith Vermeulen, they have been automating for quite some time now. However, the wiring still went 100% in the classic way through the assembler of the panel.
Introduction to automatic wire production
In 2016, Jan Van Lieshout – CEO of Smans NV, gave a first session “How to integrate automatic wire production in panel building” at Vekon. In 2019 they contacted Smans NV again to take the next step towards “next level” automation.
Judith says: “After getting introduced to Smans NV, their vision and their possibilities, we first automated the mechanical side and internal processes. Thanks to the presentation on automatic wire production, we came to realise that despite the many challenges our sector faces, there are twice as many opportunities. This has opened our eyes further with an initial investment as a result”.
Taking advantage of opportunities
Jan continues: “There are still many opportunities in the panel building sector. In the first stage, we help analyse the panel builder’s vision. Together we look at where automation can be achieved. By making change issues within your organisation visible, you gain new insights. This approach proves to be extremely valuable in the thinking, daring and acting of the panel building sector. Vekon is a good example of this. There are many possibilities that are easy and quick to implement and in which SMANS NV can provide absolute added value“.
Vekon invested in a Komax Kappa 330 in combination with M1630 Inkjet to cut, strip and print their wires. This machine is perfect for processing a wide range of cables. As a first step, they consciously opted for a semi-automatic solution because of the fast implementation in their processes.
Why is this digitalisation and automation desperately needed in the panel building sector? “Digitalisation is the only way to survive together with flexibility towards your customer, working efficiently and adapting to production volumes.” confirms Judith. ” Digitalisation must be implemented right down to the work floor. If you want to deploy optimally, you also have to automate in a chain-oriented way. We digitally adapt technical drawings and deliver them as quickly as possible to all parties, including the customer. In this way we avoid errors in drawings in the future”.
Saving costs with automation
Innovation in panel construction is therefore not only to the advantage of panel and machine builders, but also to the end users of the panels. If the production process can be improved by automation and new wiring methods, this will save costs. In addition Vekon strive for more growth and offer added value in the transition to a sustainable world.
How does Vekon deal with the challenge of recruiting technical staff? “By focusing on simplifying the production process, we now have the advantage that someone who does not have any technical knowledge, still can assemble a panel. The prefabrication of printed wires plays a very important role in it!