Issue Issue 1 2008
Sanmina – SCI always keeps in touch
Sanmina-SCI Corporation is a leading electronics contract manufacturer serving the fastest-growing segments of the global electronics manufacturing services (EMS) market.
Recognised as a technology leader, Sanmina-SCI provides end-to-end manufacturing solutions, delivering superior quality and support to large OEMs primarily in the communications, defense and aerospace, industrial and medical instrumentation, and computer technology and multimedia sectors. Sanmina-SCI has facilities strategically located in key regions throughout the world.
Formed in 1980, Sanmina prides itself on cooperating closely with customers to develop solutions, and the organisation works with clients in the telecommunications, computing, medical, and defence and aerospace industries.
Sanmina-SCI Enclosure Systems Oy, located in Salo, Finland is Sanmina SCI’s enclosure manufacturing facility, which is fully equipped with the latest stamping tools and automated assembly processes. The enclosure division focuses on producing a range of mechanical metal components mainly for telecommunications companies. Managing director Johnny Nyman outlines what takes place at the Finnish operations: “The customer base is mostly telecommunications companies, and we focus on the manufacturing of component parts. Our core competence is to produce components ranging from two to 0.08 millimetres in thickness, to a size of one square metre. Due to the thinness of the materials, the products we manufacture are not significantly heavy. Sanmina-SCI has a global research and development programme, with design centres located all over the world. We develop products closely with customers, to ensure all their requirements are met.”
The customers that the Salo site produces enclosure solutions for have changed over recent years, as Johnny explains: “Sanmina previously focused its efforts on being a high-volume production company, using power presses and hard tooling techniques. However, we are finding that we are focusing more on soft tooling methods at this time, with lower overall volumes. From previous being a high volume metal mid-range production, we have moved now into low volume manufacturing.
“Sanmina-SCI applies many lean manufacturing principles, as the customer base that we have today has increased the demand for short lead times,” Johnny comments. “Therefore, lean manufacturing is the only way to ensure a rapid response to a customer’s expectations. We source our materials primarily from the Nordic region, with sheet metal and poles coming from Sweden and Finland on the whole. There are components, such as screws and nuts, which must be imported from the Far East.”
Dealing with clients in the medical industry is indicative of the turbulent nature of the telecommunication sector at this time, as Johnny states: “Both customers and manufacturers are preparing for technological breakthroughs, as well as the development of new products. The demand for new product technology is increasing all of the time, and the life-cycle of technology becomes ever shorter. We can see a situation of stability approaching, as over the last two years there have been many mergers and acquisitions – once the industry has recovered from this period of transition, there will be many opportunities for expansion.
“Being in the high-cost Nordic region, the focus of the company must be on the improvement of efficiency, as well as looking into potential technological breakthroughs,” Johnny continues, looking to the future. “I feel that the Far East markets emerging at this time will eventually decrease, but Eastern Europe will become a major supplier of telecommunication technological solutions. Even though the biggest developing companies are India and China, which also have the biggest markets, I still see an increasing production market in Eastern Europe. The trend also appears to be that Chinese companies are coming to Europe to manufacture their products, so this is another factor that Sanmina must address.”
Expansion for the Salo site can only take place in conjunction with the rest of the organisation, as Johnny describes: “It is worth bearing in mind that our plant is a subsidiary of Sanmina SCI, and there are nine other plants within the enclosure division across the globe. Even if there are local customers within the Nordic region, Sanmina-SCI must always focus on the needs of the global market. Depending on where major customers are located and the market in which they operate, this will dictate into which areas Sanmina develops.
“Keeping the labour force and personnel happy has been one of the major challenges over recent years,” Johnny states. “We always maintain a consistent dialogue with our staff to ascertain their level of job satisfaction, and make any necessary changes based on that information. Doing this helps maintain efficiency around the plant, as well as throughout the company. Maintaining the motivation of our personnel has actively aided Sanmina’s position within the Nordic market area, and has stabilised the level of turnover within our organisation,” he concludes.
Products: Components for telecommunication products