The world has been facing a global crisis of supply of electronic components for months. In Iskratel. we used it to improve the manufacturing process of customer-premises equipment (CPE).
The classic process of CPE manufacturing implies that every device is made to fully comply with the requirements and needs of each specific customer (operator). These usually include the customisation of software, settings, logo, labels, user manual, additional components, etc. In such process, all customisation details need to be known and defined in advance, i.e. at the time of ordering.
Since the supply chains and delivery times have significantly increased during the corona crisis, we have found a way to improve delivery times and flexibility. The solution is a unique, two-phase manufacturing process. In the first step, CPE devices are manufactured as semi-manufactures without any adaptations for individual customers. The semi-manufactures can be produced in larger volumes with lower manufacturing costs and with optimised transportation.
This is followed by the adaptation of the semi-manufactures to meet specific requirements of individual operators, such as the installation of customised software, printing the logo, labelling, printing user manual, etc. The adaptation takes place before delivery to the customer (just in time) at Iskratel’s manufacturing facilities in Slovenia.
The two-phase process facilitates a significant reduction of delivery times and increased flexibility of customisations for customers. The fully digitalised process minimises the need for human interventions and leads to a higher quality of final products at reduced adaptation costs. A lot of attention was put to customisation workflow, in order to minimise the customisation time.
The new manufacturing process will become the norm for small- and mid-scale deliveries. It gives Iskratel a competitive advantage with the speed of flexibility which is needed to boost the presence in Western-European markets.