Modularization is the keyword in the current machine building and plant construction. Customer-specific engineering and construction is risky, expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, machines are configured to order and built up from standard modules that are available in several variants, where necessary augmented with specific options. And the heart of every machine or installation today is the control cabinet with smart electronics and software. The panels for that control box are also built up as much as possible from standard modules.
This modularization trend is good news for Dutch machine builders. Thanks to this development, machine builders can serve customers efficiently and effectively by providing tailor-made solutions composed out of sophisticated standard solutions. For the underlying module construction, however, the question is whether it can still be manufactured competitively locally. After all, components are available everywhere and labor cost is often cheaper elsewhere. If module builders want to stay competitive, they need to organize their processes extremely efficiently. This means purchasing at a price that is in line with the market, automating production wherever possible and streamlining logistics.
This is where the technical value-add distributor comes into the picture. It has a broad overview on the components market and other materials and can therefore deliver the desired quality at the best price. It also has technology in house for automating module construction. And finally, it can take care of the delivery of the right supplies just-in-time, so that module builders can respond quickly to customer demand without having to keep parts in stock by themselves.
But there's more. Technical value-add distributors can also monitor the innovations - such as product innovations and new functionalities - and possible phasing out of products, so that the materials list remains always up-to-date. They can support lean design of production and offer smart, flexible concepts for further savings on components and logistics.
In short, for module builders, whether they are manufacturing modules for machines or panels for control cabinets, there is definitely a future in the Netherlands. Close to the demanding customer and close to that versatile technical value-add distributor.