Issue September / October 2007
Hadeland Produkter is the last piece of the puzzle
As Norway’s premier electronics subcontractor, Hadeland Produkter AIS (HAPRO) has over 30 years experience in completing solutions for its customers in the construction of products.
Formed in 1973, the company is now at the forefront of both domestic and European electronics manufacturing services, built upon a history of meeting the demands and expectations of clients and customers alike. For example, in 1977, the company became Norway’s first producer of mobile phones after working with Simonsen Elektro. Constantly expanding its operating facilities, HAPRO began working with Tandberg Television in 1988, a long-term partnerships that continues to this day, and incorporates Tandberg’s expansion into telecommunications. Indeed, HAPRO is focused on being on being the most expansive electronic subcontractor on the market, concentrating on the areas of digital communication, industrial electronics, and specialty electronics.
Technology manager Erik Arnholt takes up the story of the company’s current market activities: “HAPRO produces electronic components for television companies in the UK, notably Tandberg Television. The company also works with Tandberg Telecom, a business that produces media conferencing equipment.” This focus has been aided by the development of new facilities, as Erik explains: “HAPRO has built a new warehouse with the aim of reducing logistics and building costs. The new facility has been a quality investment, with everything working very well. The logistics has become easier to manage, with everything being located at one site, as well as the space to include all the necessary manufacturing technologies. HAPRO is hiring some production area outside its current Norway factory, and the company is looking into the need for more space. However, this decision is in the early stages of progress. I estimate that HAPRO will eventually hire some additional space outside its current factory for between one to two years in the near future.”
Erik continues by outlining some of the investments made in addition to the recently renovated factory: “Efficiency is a key issue, and the company has made a significant number of investments, mainly in production equipment. In December 2006, HAPRO invested in a surface mount assembly line, costing over 2.5 million euros. The company is also planning to purchase a similar line by January 2008, and this will cost around the same price. Hadeland has also invested in a full traceability system so the company can trace all the components that it uses, from the manufacturer of small components all the way through to the customer’s final equipment. For instance, if a customer provides Hadeland with the serial number of an electronic model that is faulty, the company can trace the history of the components back to its supplier. This can provide in-depth information, such as lot and batch number of components that are used in the product. This means that HAPRO can create a list of component suppliers, outlining which companies supplied what – like Motorola and Phillips. This has proved a wise and very valuable investment.”
Working closely with clients is an important factor in HAPRO’s success, as Erik recognises: “As the company is a sub-contractor, there is less need for research and design, but HAPRO has a department known as test development, to help customers develop test equipment, programmes and software. The company works alongside its customers in developing individual solutions for the testing of their equipment, and each programme is constructed to their needs and demands. HAPRO supports its customers through providing high quality testing equipment. The company has in-depth knowledge of a variety of products that it manufactures, as in order to create accurate test programmes, the technology must be known extensively. HAPRO is fortunate to employ many people with experience and education in this area. Working closely with customers is an initiative started by HAPRO, in regards to lean production and other factors surrounding that issue. The company invites its customers to participate in the manufacturing process, as trainers regularly come to its facility to work with its staff in developing new techniques. Customers participate in these workshops along with HAPRO to create new mutual opportunities.”
In relation to the electronics market, Erik discusses the company’s role: “I think HAPRO is in a strong position at the moment in relation to the market, particularly in Norway. The company has large customers in the telecommunications industry, and this is an area of current growth, as well as the potential for further development. In regards of turnover, the company made 83 million euros last year, with this year’s figure being estimated at 105 million euros. Hadeland has also received ISO 14001 environmental accreditation recently, emphasising the quality and responsibility of its services. This is an important step, as several of the company’s customers need to know that HAPRO has this environmental certification to ensure the responsibility of their own practices, as well as those of the final retailers. It is an important factor in business today, and works in tandem with the company’s ISO 9001 certificate.
“With over 30 years of experience, the company is ready for the challenges that this industry poses. The toughest challenge is competing with manufacturers emanating from China, and HAPRO has formed a co-operation with a company in China that means it pays for two people to work there, helping the purchase of components and mechanics in order to keep prices down,” Erik comments. “The company’s strategy for the future is to work closely with its customers to understand their needs and expectations. Of course, the investment in new technology is also very important to retain HAPRO’s competitive edge. The two areas that need the most effort are production processes, in terms of adapting new technologies, and logistics. Prices are vital, but the handling and delivery of products will always be important. These areas must be addressed in able for the company to succeed in the future,” he concludes.
Products: Electronic sub-contracted goods