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Fut2 10 Eng New

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Brief recognition of my work at semcon (Pg 37)

Brief recognition of my work at semcon (Pg 37)

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  • 1. a magazine about engineering, services & product information # 2 2010 These nine are better than you Focus on what you do best – and let someone else do the rest 1 Go green with eco-design 1 Jaguar Land Rover focus on cars 1 C.M. Hammar lifesavers are buoyant 1 MAN succeeds on a tough path
  • 2. CONTENTS #2.2010 ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE OF FUTURE BY SEMCON 2 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 3. Website: www.semcon.com Letters: future by semcon, semcon ab, 417 80 göteborg, sweden. Change of Address: future@semcon.com Editor: björn strömberg. Semcon Project Manager: anders atterling. Phone: +46 (0)70-447 28 19, e-mail: anders.atterling@semcon.com. Editorial production: tidningskompaniet, göteborg. Project Manager: peter mohlin. Editor: suzanne Kordon. Designer: charlotte sundberg. Website: www.tidningskompaniet.se Reproduction: tidningskompaniet, göteborg. Printing: trydells tryckeri, Laholm. ISSN: 1650-9072. Translation: cannon språkkonsult, Kungsbacka. 6 let someone else do the work Product development and innovation are be- coming increasingly frequently outsourced. Outsourcing is a strategic decision that requires more than just recognizing your company’s own limitations and others’ competencies. Future by Semcon investigates the concept. EDITORIAL 30 Eco-dEsign – a challEngE Towards better times A for producT dEvElopErs fter a tough start to the year, For a product to be as eco-friendly as possible, you positive winds are starting to sweep slowly into the market must think of the environment when the product is again. In Semcon’s business ar- developed. Tim McAloone has written an eco-design eas, advanced engineering skills and project- guide for product developers. based delivery are most in demand. Semcon has a solid base here with our expertise and experience of leading industries. We also have the size and strength needed to ensure that what we have to offer is at a top inter- national standard, today and tomorrow. 16 Two parTnErs, Specialist skills are one of the keys behind onE parTnErship the concept of outsourcing, and we’ll be looking at this concept in Future by Semcon. Jaguar Land Rover outsourced all the production and We visited Jaguar Land Rover in the UK, who delivery of information to dealers and car owners to can now focus on making cars after Semcon took over the production and delivery of Semcon. A decision that proved to be a good one for information to dealers and car owners. The both parties. Semcon takes care of the information fact that companies are concentrating on while Jaguar Land Rover can focus on what they do their core business and letting other experts best - developing and manufacturing cars. take care of the rest can make for a succes- sful mutual cooperation. It’s about working together towards a common goal, which is 34 MEET sEMcon’s bEsT Minds the foundation for successful outsourcing. In this issue, you can also read about how In Semcon Brains you’ll meet people with excit- Semcon in Brazil has become one of the ing skills and assignments. Mats Gustavsson, Peter truck manufacturer MAN Latin America’s leading providers of engineering services Mohlin and Peter Nagy create excellent sound en- and how the maritime safety company C.M. vironments, Katalin Tisoczki writes and coordinates Hammar built a new production line for its technical information and Nayyar Rahman designs main product, with help from Semcon. dashboard technology. KjELL NILSSON semcon ceo futu r e by semcon 2.2010 3
  • 4. PEOPLE #2.2010 PEOPLE IN THIS ISSUE OF FUTURE BY SEMCON Outsourcing has created opportunities for people across the world at the top of their game to do what they do best. Meet some of these people in Future by Semcon, talking about outsourcing. page 34 peter mohlin, senior consultant acoustics, semcon göteborg Who are the world leaders in acoustics? ”It varies from industry to industry. The automotive industry is doing well in Ger- many, for example, where they have large resources devoted to sound and vibra- tion. If you’re talking about mobile telephony Finland and the United States, for example, are a long way ahead. ” page 13 ingvar gillgren, aftersales manager, semcon trollhättan What is the greatest advantage of outsourcing? ”You can proceed a lot faster than is pos- nayyar rahman, sible in a larger organization. Partly because product designer engineer, it is more cost-effective, and partly because semcon india it does not require the approval of material What can India offer when it comes to outsourcing on so many levels, which is common in larg- jobs from different parts of the world? page er organizations. The benefits of outsourc- ing can be summarized by the higher speed of processes and decision-making.” ”You can summarize it as follows: high quality with flawless delivery and low operating costs, which provide cost-efficiency.” 37 4 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 5. page 30 mats gustavsson, acoustics specialist, semcon lund Is there any country which stands out in particular in terms of acoustics? ”Belgium. They have companies that make the world’s best- known measurement systems for sound and vibration. They also have the famous University of Leuven, as well as many reputable companies making calculation software for sound and vibration.” page 34 tim mcaloone, lecturer in product development, technical university of denmark, copenhagen How does outsourcing product development affect eco-design? ”If product development is given to the right partner, outsourcing can lead to better and more specialized solutions. But of course it’s important to remember to be very careful to give exact specifications for the desired product, even in terms of environmental improvements.” katalin tisoczki, technical writer and coordinator, semcon hungary What benefits are there for companies in outsourcing their technical information production? ”In addition to the high level of language skills and great under- standing of the product, it’s worth it to outsource, as specialist page tools are used, and more technology. Different amounts of data should be used in a project, so a smaller but more flexible com- pany can manage the workload better.” 36 futu r e by semcon 2.2010 5
  • 6. foCus: OUTSOURCING STOp DOINg WHaT YOU’Re DOINg, aND LeT SOMeONe eLSe DO IT BeTTeR aND CHeapeR text johan andreasson and suzanne kordon ILLUStratIon james montgomery Flagg, charlotte sundberg 6 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 7. futu r e by semcon 2.2010 7
  • 8. foCus: OUTSOURCING Let someone else do the job - it can be the recipe for a successful business. This especially applies to product development and innovation, which is increasingly common to assign to an external party, known as outsourcing. But it’s not enough to recognize your own limitations and the skills of others to succeed. Future in- vestigates the concept of outsourcing and what it can mean if everyone does what they do best. he year is 2003. lion subscribers. By 2010, the company has The Indian established operations in 19 countries, has businessman over 100 million subscribers and now ranks Sunil Mit- as the world’s fifth best technology company tal, CEO and according to Business Week, and Sunil Mittal founder of is one of India’s richest people. India’s leading mobile carrier, how did This happEn? Well, the road to this is brooding incredible growth was made possible by going over how he down a typical Indian path: outsourcing - del- should keep up egating parts of their business to other firms. with the fast- Today, Bharti Airtel outsources many of paced mobile its most critical processes and functions to phone market. The number of subscribers is outside companies. Their IT management has doubling every year and to maintain its lead- been outsourced to IBM, Nortel and Wipro, ing position, the company needs to expand the telephone network to Ericsson and Nokia sharply, from managing 3 million subscribers Siemens Networks and customer manage- to about 25 million in only a couple of years. ment systems to Nortel and Wipro. “I was sitting in a meeting with people from Because of this, Sunil Mittal can now focus Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile and realized on what the company does best: marketing that these were big companies with huge re- and business development. sources. It struck me: we need to be like them. Releasing resources enabled the company But could we afford to be like them? We would to take on around 32 million new custom- need to recruit 10 000 people, maybe 20 000, ers in just one year, 2008. They say that they within two years. Did we have the resources? have the capacity to grow by 100 million cus- And were we the right company to attract the tomers within a few years. skills? And Bharti Airtel is not alone in choosing “The answer was obviously no,” said Sunil outsourcing as a strategic tool to achieve their Mittal, in an interview with Fortune magazine. vision. Outsourcing is growing as more and Three years later, Bharti Airtel, as the com- more companies outsource more of their activ- pany is now called, had more than 30 mil- ities to subcontractors and consultancy firms. 8 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 9. Sunil Bharti Mittal was a rela- tively small player who needed the help of specialized exper- tise from much larger compa- nies. It made his company reach new heights and helped him become one of India’s rich- est people. Arie Lewin is a professor of economics accounting, marketing and internal audit are product development for some time. Stephen and sociology at Fuqua School of Business at some examples. The internet breakthrough of Eppinger, professor at the Massachusetts In- Duke University, USA. He leads the research the 1990s and the development of distance- stitute of Technology (MIT), USA, argues this project International Offshoring Network spanning technology has paved the way so that in his book Product Design and Development. (ORN), which collects data on outsourcing and even advanced features such as product de- “What I found is that it sometimes reduces offshoring from companies all over the world. velopment and innovation can be outsourced the cost, perhaps not to such a great extent, Data shows that offshoring - a company del- effectively. but more important is that companies use the egating part of its business to an outside party Video conferencing and sophisticated solu- global product development network, espe- in another country - is common in virtually tions to address common presentations and cially in order to gain access to new markets every sector. working papers mean that important meetings in places in the world where they want to be “ORN data points to a sharp increase in off- can be conducted without time-consuming active and sell their products, but also to be shoring in the innovation field,” he says. and expensive air travel. The IT sector was the able to gain access to unique expertise avail- first case in point. Work on setting require- able in various places in the world,” writes iT sTarTEd in ThE 1960s and 1970s when sim- ments, project management and specifications Stephen Eppinger. pler support functions such as cleaning and was kept in-house while programming and reception were farmed out to stand-alone systems design were outsourced to compa- Many coMpaniEs rEcognizE that they can- companies. nies in other countries. India still dominates, not be best at everything. When lead times Nowadays it’s also common to contract out but China and countries in Eastern Europe are shorten and the capacity for innovation has strategically important functions to external taking market share in the offshoring of IT to increase, it is not infrequent that strate- partners. Purchasing, logistics, information, services. gically important innovation and product every kind of administration, financial and hu- The outsourcing of product development development are also outsourced to a separate man resources departments, customer service, has been one of the major global trends in company. futu r e by semcon 2.2010 9
  • 10. foCus: OUTSOURCING 5 ADvANTAGES AND OPPORTUNITIES wITh OUTSOURCING: 1 outsourc- 2 it enables 3 specialist 4 can give 5 Lessens risk ing can companies knowledge more flex- of getting lead to lower to concentrate can be used to ibility - you caught up in costs and save on their core improve the only need to your own time. competencies. quality of pay for what is practices and service and needed at the missing oppor- products. moment. tunities. The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co the automotive and telecom industries, who ing. The study was presented last spring, and let suppliers in China take care of part of the choose to let experts take responsibility for shows that the number of companies plan- development of new products, writes Busi- developing and translating everything from ning to increase in scope or to outsource more ness Week. And Cisco, who in the early 1990s the development of service and diagnostics activities to external parties is increasing. realized that they could not rely on internal re- information to installation and configuration The approach to outsourcing is changing. sources to meet their growth plans, is building instructions, as well as the development of Previously there was a feeling that outsourc- long-term relationships with several producers training material for service organizations. ing was purely about cost-cutting, with and opening up their systems and processes. It is within areas that a company does not companies going from country to country Today, Cisco’s partners are responsible for define as their core business and has not cho- depending on the cost of labour. Today, out- many innovations within components, soft- sen to increase their own skills that external sourcing is becoming increasingly strategic ware and hardware. partners are chosen. One example is product and even includes complex and critical ele- The car manufacturer Toyota claims that information, where companies in the automo- ments of a company. price has become less important when part- tive, telecom and pharmaceutical sectors have “Outsourcing programmes are not only ners and suppliers are chosen. Instead, the outsourced all or part of their activities to expanding but becoming more strategic. Japanese car manufacturer looks at the sup- Semcon. This increase in the strategic importance of plier’s ability to innovate. However, in its extreme form, a company’s outsourcing is reflected in both a change in Many people associate outsourcing with entire product development could of course motivation for companies using outsourcing companies contracting out a smaller single be outsourced, the company’s core business and the level of senior management commit- project - with a start and an end. However, it concentrating instead on market knowledge, ment,” write IAOP in their report. usually means that companies outsource parts distribution and sales. Naturally, short-term cost savings are al- or functions of the product chain, such as all ways an important factor, but money is not testing operations, or the production of prod- ThE facT ThaT ouTsourcing is an increasingly the most important factor when making a uct information, or perhaps methodological important tool for businesses is clear in the decision, even in times of recession. developments. regular survey conducted by IAOP, an interna- “Even if companies increase their out- Within product information, it is becoming tional interest group consisting of hundreds sourcing programs across the board - as dis- more common to outsource, especially among of thousands of experts working in outsourc- cussed earlier - the trend is to outsource the 10 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 11. 5 DISADvANTAGES AND RISkS Of OUTSOURCING: 1 can lead 2 depend- 3 the com- 4 can cause 5 shortcom- to a loss of ence on pany may loss of ings of the skills that take others can lose the abil- goodwill and client organi- time to get lead to less ity to deliver financial loss zation can lead back. flexibility. when skills are if the quality is to delivery transferred. substandard. problems. more highly skilled, knowledge-based activi- ardized products and peripherals, and this The white goods manufacturer Electrolux has ties,” reports IAOP. happens through increased cooperation with its manufacturing and product development Today’s leaner organizations often use component suppliers. across the world in different forms - direct la- outsourcing as a tool for cutting back. The Another impetus may be to get close to a par- bour, outsourcing contracts, joint ventures - and cost aspects are important but not crucial. ticular market, finding suppliers who have the is, of course, also a buyer of consultancy services. One important reason for the outsourcing of ability to customize products for that market. product development is increased innovation. Outsourcing deals, which are badly thought- björn dEllås is rEsponsiblE for the develop- Companies need access to the knowledge that out, are more likely to fail. Bad planning and ment of Electrolux dishwashers. Of course, people such as component suppliers, research short-term planning are often the causes. But there are times when he contracts out product institutions and specialist consultants have. if the company is careful and works in a struc- development, primarily when special skills But if the aim is to reduce costs, companies tured and methodical way, it can overcome are required or when there are insufficient re- gain most from outsourcing with more stand- these risks. sources. Often, it is about more unusual projects, “In the case of offshoring, where new methods or technologies have to be used. Recently, a new development project was completed, where an external company in other challenges arise, such India had broad responsibility for the develop- ment of a new dishwasher mechanism. “The project was very successful. The cus- as language and cultural tomer had its own development team in their own environment and was responsible for developing the models,” says Björn. The choice differences.” of the company in India was due to a combina- tion of price, expertise and that the firm was also established in Europe. Björn Dellås, Development Manager, Electrolux “In the case of ‘offshoring’ - when the ex- futu r e by semcon 2.2010 11
  • 12. foCus: OUTSOURCING “My research shows that it is very much about companies fitting together.” Mattias Johansson, PhD student at Linköping University, Sweden porter is in another country - other challenges “It is built on trust and respect for each quality is not the most important thing. arise, such as language and cultural differ- other. Both parties must of course gain from Rundquist’s research shows ‘Good enough’ is ences, in addition to the long distance. But we the cooperation,” he says. enough, as long as the contractor has a cultur- maintain our own development management. Mutual respect is a factor in any successes. al, geographical or social proximity that allows We never give that up. The same applies to “In Scania’s case there have been frequent for a smooth and predictable cooperation. activities where we have a technological ad- visits. Not just at management level but also at “Ten years ago the talk was almost exclu- vantage,” he says. He points out the customer operational level - it’s important,” says Mattias. sively about price. Now there is talk of trust naturally has a great responsibility. and intimacy,” says Jonas. “It is always important to work on becom- jonas rundquisT is a researcher at Halm- Another risk with outsourcing produc- ing a better client. Technicians are tradition- stad University in Sweden, and has studied tion or product development to an external ally good at specifying a product, but we tend outsourcing and innovation. His focus is on party is that the ability to deliver may suffer. not to be so good at describing a service. What Swedish small and medium-sized businesses. Of course, this is most noticeable in aspects happens if there are changes? All this is im- Studies show that in the case of the slightly previously regarded as ”core business” The . portant if the cooperation is to succeed. How- smaller companies, things don’t really go ac- prevailing view that the outsourcing of pro- ever, a competent consulting company will of cording to the rulebook. duction is mainly about simple production is course help us with this, and should flag it if Instead of first identifying what should be put untrue. there is an unclear mandate,” says Björn. in the outsourcing contract and then selecting Data from the international research Mattias Johansson is a doctoral student the best suitable partners, many smaller compa- project ORN shows that outsourcing and at Linköping University in Sweden, and has nies do quite the studied the truck manufacturer Scania’s co- opposite. First, operation with the U.S. company Cummins, the company will a manufacturer of fuel injection systems for find a partner it OutsOurcing is grOwing Scania trucks. feels comfortable in size and scOpe The cooperation has been long and success- with and then iaop’s survey shows that companies believe that outsourcing will increase, both in the ful. An important factor is good communica- select an activ- size of outsourcing contracts and their scope. the study also shows that despite the eco- tion and the ability to care about their partner. ity that suits its nomic downturn has cost aspect has not become more important in terms of reasons for “It’s not enough that you can communicate partner. outsourcing. instead, the survey shows a clear trend for outsourcing to include increas- and speak the same language. It is about dif- “My research ingly complex operations and that the decision to outsource is taken on ever higher ferent cultures - the culture of the country and shows that it is levels within companies. that of the company,” he says. It may not sound very much about the international association of outsourcing professionals, iaop, is an international as- that difficult, but many examples demonstrate the companies sociation for outsourcing professionals, with over 100 000 members, from outsourcers that it is precisely the lack of understanding of fitting togeth- to customers and advisory consultants. the association conducts regular surveys among cultural differences that can trip up any such er,” says Jonas. its members to identify trends in the industry. cooperation. World-class 12 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 13. fACTS Ingvar Gillgren age: 45 Title: Head of aftermarket information office: semcon trollhättan diagrams, diagnostics and repair meth- ods. In short, any information needed in order to be able to repair cars.” Much of Ingvar’s work depends on the confidence of the customer, something that Semcon has managed to instill in their clients. “As a customer, it is important to be aware that outsourcing can sometimes be tricky to start with. You have to be sensitive to unique requirements when ingvar gillgren became making products together. I usually say that it takes courage and maturity to take part in an outsourcing deal. As a part of the company he hired customer, you must have the courage to delegate responsibility and you must be brave enough to hand over control. Flexibility and short decision-making processes are advantages a smaller com- Ingvar Gillgren switched sides. One day, he changed from pany has over larger companies. being a customer to being a supplier. Now he works for “Saab is, for example, a relatively large organization, and there I was in a position Semcon in aftermarket information. where I worked mostly on the cost side of the business. Now I work on the big pic- ture and have full responsibility for both text marcus olsson photo nicke johansson the costs and the revenues of projects. It’s S about everything from hiring consultants even years ago Ingvar Gillgren left The work was the same as at Saab, also a process we learned a lot from. to translation costs. his job at Saab Automobiles after but a new organization called for new The day-to-day work is about taking “You can proceed a lot faster than sales department. Instead, he joined approaches. care of the entire customer informa- what is possible in a larger organization. Semcon, who he himself had previously “Of course, it took a while to settle tion chain. Often, Semcon takes over the Partly because it is more cost effective, hired, when they took over the business. down, but I finally stabilized. In the entire product information area. This was and partly because it does not require the “When I look back on it, it still feels absence of a formal interface to relate the case in outsourcing deals with both approval on so many levels, which is com- exciting. Between one Friday and the to, we had to create a brand new one on Volvo Cars and Jaguar Land Rover. mon in larger organizations. The benefits following Monday, I changed sides. I went its own. It was a challenge, not least be- “We produce products used primarily of outsourcing can be summarized by the from being the customer to becoming cause so much was very new and there in dealer workshops. These may include higher speed of processes and decision- the supplier.“ were many things to take in. But it was manuals, owner’s information, wiring making. 1 futu r e by semcon 2.2010 13
  • 14. Long-term and well-defined objectives create a healthy environment for successful outsourcing. fACTS joakim Zetterlund age: 45 Title: vice president, semcon informatic office: semcon, göteborg thing: long initial discussions. This is where you work out the shared vision. And it is here that customers and part- ners try to find a way to combine their two corporate cultures. These ‘soft’ issues are difficult to codify in a written contract. “This part is important, and difficult to put into print. It is more to do with the parties sitting down and talking to one another, so that everyone is on the same platform when working together. You must be able to trust each other,” says Joakim. These formal (or informal) talks will hopefully lead to a functional client successful outsourcing organization, clear lists of requirements and sustainable methods of cooperation. However the customer must first think begins with a simple question through and clearly answer what may well be the key question: is the chosen field part of our core business or not? This is very much the question that What is our core business? This is the first question relating to determines whether it is realistic and effective to outsource. If the answer is successful outsourcing.“After that it is important to develop yes - if what you’re looking to outsource is a core competence within your company a shared vision about what you want to achieve,” says Joakim - then according to Joakim Zetterlund it is probably a bad idea that another com- Zetterlund, Vice President of Semcon Informatic. pany takes over. If the answer is no, there is every possibility of improvment. text simon bynert photo nicke johansson “This is really where it starts. The T customer has to have thought through here are pitfalls. Risks that parties in Outsourcing should therefore never be Because if you don’t share the same this question. Is this a core competency or an outsourcing business must take an emergency solution. vision from the start, there will be more not? If you haven’t done your homework, into account. Short-sightedness Another important detail is common discussion later.” then everything becomes difficult,” he caused by stress is one example. goals. It may sound like a truism, but half- “It’s not enough to say ‘we want to re- says. “The decision to outsource is not way into a collaboration, it is absolutely duce costs and improve quality’. How will “The customer should always choose a operational, but strategic. Therefore, you critical that everyone agrees on where you reduce costs? And in what way does partner who has extensive experience in shouldn’t say ‘we’re doing this for six we are actually going. quality need to be improved? What are outsourcing, and has a proven methodol- months and then we’ll change it again.’ “Everyone must have long-term, the short- and long-term priorities?” ogy for implementation as well as long- That’s not strategic,” says Joakim. clearly-defined objectives to achieve. A lot depends on a seemingly simple term development.” 1 14 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 15. foCus: OUTSOURCING Offshoring - helping companies expand one of the most prevalent trends in offshoring is the hir- ing of highly-skilled engineers working in offices in india and china, for example. ibm is the multinational company with the most employees in india. the company opened a branch there in 1998 and today, twelve years later, ibm has more than 80 000 employees in india. in march 2010, ibm announced that they will open a new branch in brazil. offshoring are common in all sectors and that model, where they have not included any new “There can be issues with roles. This is development are outsourced to independent costs incurred in integrating suppliers into something that the company must take into companies. organizations,” says Nicolette Lakemond, a account. They suddenly become a coordina- Jonas Rundquist argues that if the assign- doctor of outsourcing and product develop- tor, a role that they might not be accustomed ment is not primarily to benefit the contrac- ment at Linköping University in Sweden. to,” she says. tor, companies need to work hard on devel- “There still have to be people within the The Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel is an oping methods that enable the integration of organization who ’solve problems’ that always example of a company who has embraced out- knowledge, a particular market, customers, arise,” says Nicolette. sourcing and built a large network of partners or approach, to improve their own innovation Outsourcing also places new demands on who are engaged in everything from IT to the process. the organization when a function is out- operation of the mobile network. As outsourcing is increasingly becoming a sourced to another company. What role tool for the management of strategic plan- should the employees then have? Should they whEn cEo sunil MiTTal took the decision to ning, commissioning skills are becoming a be administrators, and keep in contact with outsource their networks, many raised their growing priority in the industry. the outsourcing company? eyebrows. But for the CEO, it was no big deal. He had never really felt that he sTaTisTics froM iaop show a had control over the telephone sharp increase in businesses network. planning, through various OutsOurcing is grOwing “If something happened or measures, to improve their in size and scOpe went wrong with the net- competence in the specific con- work, there was no-one from text of outsourcing. changes in companies’ future plans with regard to outsourcing, 2009-2010. Bharti who could do any- However, work does not just percentage of companies planning to increase the scope and size of their outsourcing thing about it. Someone from contracts. disappear because a certain Ericsson would come to fix function is outsourced. Com- it. I didn’t build it, couldn’t january 2009 36 pEr cEnT panies need to build a different take care of maintenance and kind of organization, albeit on a sEpTEMbEr 2009 47 pEr cEnT I couldn’t do any upgrades. So smaller scale. I didn’t feel as if it belonged january 2010 56 pEr cEnT “It is not unusual for many to me. Better to hand it over companies to base their deci- Source: International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, IAOP to someone else,” said Sunil sions on an incomplete cost Mittal to Fortune. 1 futu r e by semcon 2.2010 15
  • 16. foCus: OUTSOURCING A RelAtionship Built on infoRmAtion 16 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 17. Outsourcing the production and delivery of its information for dealers and car owners to Semcon proved beneficial to Jaguar Land Rover. Now, the British automotive manufacturer can concentrate on its core business – to develop and produce new vehicles, whilst its specialist partner takes care of the information. text gittan cedervall photo sam lee, jaguar land rover futu r e by semcon 2.2010 17
  • 18. foCus: OUTSOURCING “Our main challenge during this initial phase was to establish Internet connections of the right specifications and performance.” Torsten Sundin, manager Semcon Informatic Production Ltd. O uTsourcing can resources were spent on managing and delive- Communications & Diagnostics Manager at be tricky and ring the information. The work was in need of JLR. finding the right some serious rationalisation. Chris Roberts was part of the JLR mana- partner is es- The automotive company also realised that, gement team that went on the lookout for a sential for a suc- for some time, customer focus had received suitable outsourcing partner, and it was his cessful working too little attention. The company’s technical responsibility to get the partnership up and relationship. and owner information needed to be updated running. He is now in daily contact with the However, Jaguar and modernised in order to become more user team at Semcon and spends one and a half Land Rover (JLR) friendly. days a week at the information specialist’s seems to have JLR concluded found their perfect match when the com- that this needed pany turned to Semcon. Following a tende- to be continuously ring process in 2007, Semcon was chosen as monitored by JLR’s partner for the production and delivery specialists in the of technical dealer and owner information. field. And as an During the past three years, this outsourcing automotive manu- relationship has strengthened into a success- facturer, JLR isn’t, ful partnership, praised by everyone involved. and doesn’t want Before JLR decided to outsource the produc- to be, an informa- tion and delivery of information for dealers tion specialist. and owners, the company was in a situation “Therefore, where their Service Development and Com- from the outset munications Department had grown into an of the tendering organisation made up of some 70 different process, we were suppliers and service providers at several dif- looking for so- ferent locations. mebody to work To manage all these suppliers was a major with, rather than task and the communication chain was often somebody who Every car comes supplied with a comprehensive manual containing everything the broken. Simply keeping all contracts up to date could work for driver needs to know about their car. The manual should always be in the car and had become a full-time management task. The us,” states Chris therefore jLR has also posted it on the internet so that the owner can access it even company felt that too much time, effort and Roberts, Technical when not in the car. 18 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 19. premises in Kineton, Warwickshire, UK, a few miles down the road from JLR’s main develop- ment centre at Gaydon. “Semcon stood out among the companies we had discussions with during the tendering process. They are very proactive in their ap- proach. They tell us what they are providing in units of work, for instance a workshop manual, rather than telling us how many people they assign for a job. That way we know exactly what we are paying for and what we are get- ting,” he continues. When Semcon was awarded the outsour- cing contract with JLR, their first step was to set up an office in close proximity to their new partner. During a hectic period in the spring of 2007, Semcon took over the production of in- formation while still busy installing themselves in their new premises. In the transition phase the company took over some JLR personnel, Chris Roberts sub-contractors and supplier contracts in order Age: 45 to quickly form an efficient organisation. Title: manager, technical communications & diagnostics “Our main challenge during this initial Office: Jaguar Land rover technical phase was to establish Internet connections of academy in Leamington spa, uK the right specifications and performance,” says Torsten Sundin, Manager of Semcon Informa- tic Production Ltd, the new arm of Semcom problem – not as many JLR employees as the owner information as the natural progression Informatic set up to serve JLR. management had hoped made the move over of a process that the automotive industry em- With a background as manager of the to Semcon. barked on decades ago. Swedish car manufacturer Saab Automobiles “Some of our staff hesitated to transfer to “During the 1980s car manufacturers technical communication and owner informa- the new and unknown company, which is un- started to focus more on efficient production tion, Torsten Sundin was headhunted for the derstandable. This led to a short-term shortage and they began to outsource development of job as manager of the new unit. He still lives of people who were capable of handling the certain parts to system providers such as for in Sweden and commutes weekly to work in work. But I don’t think anyone who then or instance Bosch. Now, this development has the UK. since has made the move has any regrets, as reached the after-market side of the automo- “The partnership worked smoothly from their chances to further their careers in techni- tive industry as well,” he says. the outset. We’ve had no disagreements and cal information are better within Semcon than With five current Land Rover models and cultural differences have had no impact at all,” if they had stayed with JLR,” he explains. four current Jaguar models, the work Semcon he says. is undertaking on behalf of JLR is substantial. However, his close JLR working partner TorsTEn sundin viEws the outsourcing of Apart from owner handbooks including ma- Chris Roberts remembers another initial after-market services such as technical and nuals and information regarding accessories, futu r e by semcon 2.2010 19
  • 20. foCus: OUTSOURCING Torsten Sundin age: 54 Kevin Phelps Title: manager, semcon age: 50 informatic production Ltd Title: director of service operations office: Kineton, Warwick, uK office: Jaguar Land rover in gaydon, uK “For the partnership to work, ges can lead to alterations in all manuals and handbooks, which are produced in some 20 different languages. everyone at JLR needed to “But as a specialist company we are able to respond and adjust quicker than a large cor- know who Semcon were.” poration to such variations in workload,” says Torsten Sundin. boTh chris robErTs and Torsten Sundin agree Chris Roberts, Technical Communications & Diagnostics that trust is the key to a successful outsour- cing partnership. But as Chris Roberts stres- Semcon produces technical information for Monthly reports from Semcon provide JLR ses, trust needs to be established throughout dealers and technicians including operational with useful quality metrics, which can identify the organisation, not just at the top manage- descriptions, repair methods, schematics, di- potential problems or highlight a need to im- rial level. agnostic information and fault finding proces- prove or update information. “For the partnership to work, everyone ses, as well as technical training information. “Whereas JLR is responsible for the techno- within JLR needed to know who Semcon were Semcon also handles queries regarding re- logy, it is our task to make it easy to under- and to learn to trust them. For instance, our pairs. Here, several targets have been set. For stand,” says Torsten Sundin. engineering staff mustn’t be suspicious and instance, queries should be answered within Semcon’s workload varies considerably reluctant to answer questions posed by staff 24 hours, and the number of queries relating and can become particularly intense during from Semcon,” he says. to any one specific repair method should not the latter stages of the development of a new However, with trust firmly in place, the exceed a certain amount each month. vehicle model, when late engineering chan- relationship is working smoothly. 20 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 21. If the manual disappears for some reason, you just order a new one. An owner of a new car may not necessarily look at the manual jLR has, for example, manuals for virtually every jaguar model over straight away. Therefore, jLR has also created a quick guide for the the last 20 years. impatient. “The main reason it has worked so well is Phelps mentions the development of new The current web delivery service, the GTR that JLR has used the partnership in the right symptoms driven diagnostics equipment, a (Global Technical Reference) is also being re- way. They realised that they needed to trust us. project managed by Semcon and involving placed by TOPIX, a service based around the And we have delivered and proved to them that several other partners. Chris Roberts points vehicle identification number (VIN), which they can trust us. The fact that we have never to other examples of innovative work using delivers more detailed and vehicle specific had to refer to what was set out in the contract animations to describe particularly difficult information. we signed three years ago is proof that our part- processes in workshop manuals. “The TOPIX software is delivered by an- nership is working,” says Torsten Sundin. “We now have a few working examples that other company, but Semcon is responsible for Chris Roberts agrees, calling it “a relation- we will start to use in manuals during the the data migration relating to some 60,000 ship to be admired” And his manager, Kevin . next month or so. Apart from being easier to documents, ensuring that the right informa- Phelps, Director of Service Operations, JLR, is understand it brings cost benefits as the infor- tion ends up in the right place. A huge and equally enthusiastic, preferring to refer to the mation doesn’t have to be translated,” he says. very important task that we trust and expect JLR/Semcon relationship as a strategic part- Semcon to handle,” Chris Roberts explains. nership rather than outsourcing. sEMcon is also helping JLR to gradually move Johan Ekener, President Semcon Informa- “Semcon has become part of the family, and away from posted delivery of manuals to a web tic, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, views the there is a very high level of trust between us. based solution. Although a web delivery servi- outsourcing partnership with JLR as a model I feel the relationship has now reached seam- ce is acceptable for the majority of the market, for work within other sectors apart from the lessness. The partnership with Semcon has there are still areas where Internet connection automotive industry. filled gaps in our expertise. But it has also speeds make it non-viable. “Since 2007 we have gained valuable ex- brought innovation to the informatics sec- To overcome this, a drip feeding solution periences which we can apply to outsourcing tion,” he says. of smaller packages of information has been contracts within any sector of our business,” As an example of such innovation, Kevin adopted. he says. 1 futu r e by semcon 2.2010 21
  • 22. ThE SOLUTION HOW SEMCON SOLVED THE CUSTOMER’S PROBLEM FReeHaND pReCISION the assignment: Elos Fixturlaser AB develops, manufactures and markets laser-based measuring instruments for various industries and sectors. Semcon was commissioned to develop the concept, design, manage and carry out engineering design for a new ergonomic arm- carried computing device designed for service and maintenance in areas such as the wind power industry. The unit is part of a shaft alignment system, which uses laser-targeting axles to reduce friction and energy loss in the connections. the solution: UPAD XA is based on touchscreen technology and designed for use in harsh environments. The unit is both waterproof and shockproof. The software can handle both geometric measurements and advanced shaft alignment. Using colour-coded, clear symbols, the user is taken through the measurement and alignment process. Semcon led the product development from the initial concept work to the delivery of production data to the manufacturer. the result: Since its launch last autumn, the UPAD XA has been demonstrated and praised at several trade shows around the world. The media, competitors and customers have been interested in and impressed with the final product. text marcus olsson photo johan ekstam 22 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 23. disPlay 3d animations the 3.5-inch screen is a tft screen in a small package. the entire alignment process is shown on the the user interface contains all the necessary data in screen with 3d animation in flash, which is easy clear menus, and the information is only ever a few taps to understand and helps the user get started away on the touchscreen. the angled display, with Led quickly. symbols and arrows show the results and backlighting, provides an instant overview. alignment requirements. it’s easy to interpret the results quickly. Wireless communication thanks to bluetooth technology, no cables are needed between the transmitters, detectors and the display. this allows the user to move about, choosing to take measurements in one place and then adjust the alignment in another. usb transFer the files from the device can be transferred quickly and easily to a hard drive. With the help of a usb port, the device can be connected di- rectly to a computer or another external storage device. tPe coating Portability a moulded, rubber-like plastic material makes the user can attach the device to his/her arm, the device both waterproof and shockproof, leaving both hands free to work. the light- and it is especially suitable for use in changing weight and ergonomically-designed unit offers environments. the unit is also designed for use in great flexibility and simplifies the measurement harsh weather conditions. and alignment process. futu r e by semcon 2.2010 23
  • 24. SMaLL BUT IMpORTaNT LIFeSaVeRS When their machine supplier went bankrupt, the maritime safety company C.M. Hammar was suddenly left with a half-finished production line for its flagship product, a hydrostatic release for life rafts. They con- tacted Semcon, and a year later the new production line is operational, more reliable and easily serviced than they could have hoped for from the start. text Florence oPPenheim photo nicke johansson, c.m. hammar 24 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
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  • 26. “C.M. Hammar sees any deviation as a potential security risk and they have very strict A seemingly small detail that can requirements for their save your life. With Semcon’s help products.” c C.M. Hammar now has a more reli- able production line. Bertil Nelson, Automation Engineer, Semcon Göteborg M. haMMar ab develops begins to sink. The pressure activates a sharp 70 million per year. But within the industry and manufactures mari- knife. Without such a release the raft would the company is a major player, with approxi- time lifesaving prod- remain in position unless there was time to mately 80 per cent of the worldwide market ucts. The company was release it manually. for their main product, H20. founded in 1856 and If the ship is sinking, the release activates a “A few years ago we noticed that we had was originally a tin plate sharp knife to cut the rope, separating the raft reached our limit in terms of capacity and works. It produced from the vessel. As the ship continues to sink, felt the need to increase the reliability of our lanterns and eventu- the liferaft’s painter extends and the lifeboat supply by building two lines for our main ally compasses, among begins to inflate. products,” explains production manager Stig other things. Part of the design is a purposely-weak link Malkolmsson. Today, C.M. Hammar’s two main products that detaches the rope from the ship when the are releases for liferafts and triggers for life liferaft comes to the surface so that survivors wiTh only onE producTion line per product jackets. Their main product is the Hammar can board the raft. Everything happens auto- and a maximum delivery time to the cus- H20, a hydrostatic release that is integrated into matically. tomer of three days, the company was very the lifeboat mooring up on the ship’s deck. More than 95 per cent of the company’s vulnerable to disruption. The old machines The release is a mechanism to automatically production is exported, to over 70 countries were also quite improvised and maintenance release a life raft from the deck or its cradle at worldwide. It is a small company, with 35 em- staff were forced to disassemble many parts a predetermined water pressure, i.e. if the boat ployees and annual sales of approximately SEK in order to service them. 26 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 27. johnny Rydberg Stig Malkolmsson age: 41 age: 64 Bertil Nelson Title: production engineer Title: production manager age: 31 office: c.m. Hammar ab, västra office: c.m. Hammar ab, västra Title: automation engineer frölunda frölunda office: semcon, göteborg Stig Malkolmsson invited bids for two new machine and production line according to our “We had a plan and we knew we would need special purpose machines and ordered one needs. In addition, we have better documen- to rebuild just about everything,” says Johnny. to start with. Some of his requirements were tation about how the machine is built, which “We have collaborated with each other, taking improvements in service, maintenance and makes future maintenance easier,” says Stig. one aspect at a time and made changes and reliability. Fairly soon they experienced prob- Bertil Nelson is an automation engineer improvements over time. And we have built lems, because the company that supplied the with extensive experience in packaging ma- in a lot of smart features that probably would machine did not have sufficient programming chine maintenance and programming control not have existed with a ready-made machine.” skills. They quickly had to get the help of an systems. He has also worked with buying-in engineer with experience in automation and machinery. johnny rydbErg has worked on repairing ma- who had worked with the building and main- Together with production technician Johnny chines, custom manufacturing machine parts tenance of machinery. It was then that Semcon Rydberg he started from the beginning to and service for many years. He designs and and Bertil Nelson came into the picture. change and rebuild the half-finished machine draws himself and knows what is needed to “We began with our flagship product - the and production line. The collaboration has make servicing and maintenance easier. Hammar H20. When the company that had worked well, largely thanks to the fact that “We have avoided all the potential secu- supplied the machine went bankrupt before the their special skills overlap and complement rity risks that existed in the old machine, machine was ready, we turned to Bertil Nel- each other. or moved them backwards in the process. son. He has now been here full-time for a year Both agree that a ready-made machine We have better control over every element and has helped us rebuild and customize the would never have worked as well. now and discover any errors much earlier in futu r e by semcon 2.2010 27
  • 28. Although C.M. Hammar is a relatively small company The new H20 line is bigger it has 80 per cent of the than the old one but has a world market with its smarter module design, main product, the H20. making it easier to maintain. the chain. We have done most of the work product must be discarded because it is an to be in charge of the new machine, but who ourselves, but we also employed other skills absolute must that all the details supplied does not have the same skills as Bertil Nelson. where necessary,” he explains. to the customer are correct. Now the error is Therefore, he will be available as a consultant The new H20 line is certainly better than spotted much earlier in the process instead,” for some time if any more questions should the old one but is made up of smarter modules, says Bertil. arise. making service and maintenance easier. The “C.M. Hammar sees any deviation as a po- goal has always been to make production safer, producTion has bEEn up and running for tential security risk and they have very strict both in terms of products and operations. about six months, and “We have tried to ensure that you can- together they have not continue the assembly in the process if continued to pursue im- C.M. Hammar - going way back in time something is incorrectly mounted,” says Bertil provements. They have the blacksmith carl mauritz Hammar came to göteborg on may 9, 1856. the Nelson. not had a deadline - the same day, he received written permission from the King to start Hammar, a sheet He shows an example, a plastic back cover. most important thing metal shop and company. the company specialized in ship lanterns and received To ensure that the casting of the plastic has has been the end result. an award at the World exhibition in Liverpool in 1886. worked, a small camera is installed that checks In the autumn of 2010 at the turn of the century Hammar started to make compasses, and by 1978 had sold over 7000. in the ‘30s, they began to focus on better solutions for mari- the contour of all backs before mounting. Bertil Nelson will move time safety. Hammar has manufactured both sonar and radar. Hammar launched “A defective back could be mounted without on to a new assignment. inflatable life rafts in 1956, which have saved hundreds of lives at sea over the anyone noticing until afterwards, when the C.M. Hammar has hired years. today, Hammar’s leading product is the hydrostatic release. whole product is finished. Then the whole a new member of staff 28 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 29. h20 - a DeSIGn that SaVeS LIVeS 1 2 1 ropE and sliphooK hammar’s h20 is secured to the deck and connected to the life- raft’s lashing with a sliphook. The liferaft’s painter is shackled to the “red weak link”. 2 waTEr prEssurE and KnifE if the ship sinks, the water pres- sure, within four meters, activates the sharp knife that cuts the rope, and the liferaft floats free. 3 4 3 painTEr sTrETchEs when the painter is stretched the lifeboat starts inflating. 4 linK brEaKs The weak red link breaks, the ship continues to sink, and survivors can board the inflated liferaft. “They didn’t have time to raise the ibly important in the production process. “Between 300 and 400 ships sink every year. This means that our products are used alarm but all of our life rafts were somewhere in the world every day,” says Hen- rik Pålsson, CEO of C.M. Hammar AB. “Our released and 30 hours after sinking, product is very reliable, and we have not had any real problems with the product in ‘emer- all 64 passengers were rescued.” gency situations’ over the years.” hE MEnTions ThE S/S Concordia, a school ship Henrik Pålsson, CEO, C.M. Hammar AB built in 1992, which encountered a microburst (similar to a tornado) off the coast of Brazil requirements for their products. The assign- whenever an accident should occur and they and sank unusually quickly in February 2010. ment has taken time but on the other hand, are needed to save lives. The temperature can “They didn’t have time to raise the alarm we have ensured that people in-house have be anything from +40°C to -40°C, coping with but all of our life rafts were released and 30 knowledge of the machines,” says Bertil. sun, salt and wind on deck for several years. hours after sinking, all 64 passengers were C.M. Hammar’s products are used for life- If the release unit doesn’t work in an emer- rescued. It feels good to be able to contribute saving at sea. The strains on such liferafts gency, there is a great risk that people will to such a positive outcome,” says Henrik Påls- are huge and they have to work perfectly die. Therefore, quality and safety are incred- son with pride. 1 futu r e by semcon 2.2010 29
  • 30. Q&A Tim mCAloone ECO-DESIGNER Low-energy lights, sunlight-powered mobile phone chargers and car engines that stop at a red light. In recent years, eco-design has made a huge breakthrough in product development. “The trick is to let the environment take centre-stage from the very beginning,” says Tim McAloone, who has written an eco-design guide for product developers. E text karl-johan nylén co-design is an approach 1990s, he left the UK for Denmark. He works photo ulrik jantzen where the entire lifecycle of closely with Danish industry and has helped a product is examined. At many Danish companies to speed up their each stage, method, materi- work on eco-design. als and usage are taken into Tim McAloone thinks we are heading to- consideration so as to be the wards a new industrial revolution where the most beneficial for the en- environment is central. And there product vironment. Tim McAloone, developers will have a central role. senior lecturer in product how did you come to write a guide for prod- development at the Techni- uct developers? cal University of Denmark, “Many companies were interested in eco- believes that this approach design, but didn’t know how to go about it. I is about to revolutionize product develop- received an assignment from the Danish Min- ment. His own interest in eco-design started istry of the Environment to develop a simple when he worked on product life for a telecoms guide so that businesses of all sizes could get company. He then realized that there is much started in this area. The aim of this guide was to be done to reduce the environmental impact to write something that was easy to under- of products, especially in his own electronics stand which could help companies’ product industry. This interest led to Tim McAloone developers make sure that they were on track.” writing his thesis on eco-design at Cranford what role do product developers play in eco- University. There he followed some of the first design? companies to work with lifecycle assessment “They have a very important role. I usually and eco-design of their products. In the late say that it is product developers who control 30 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
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  • 32. Q&A Tim mCAloone ECO-DESIGNER AbOUT Tim McAloone age: 39 home: Just north of Copenhagen. family: Wife and two children. Education: Mechanical engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University, Eng- land. Ph.D. with a dissertation on eco-design at Cranford University, England. interests: ”I like to be outdoors. I used to do rock climbing, but not so much now that I live in Denmark.” reads: ”Mainly scientific journals connected with my job. Fiction-wise, there has to be a scientific theme in some way.” listens to: ”I love all types of music. Leonard Cohen is a favourite.” number of books published: Five. Most of them are about eco-design. favourite eco-design gadget at home: A machine that produces combustible bri- quettes from old newspapers. how big the environmental impact is, whether the car switches itself off. When I release the with eco-design without using figures, but at they are aware of it or not. By choosing the handbrake it starts again. This allows devel- a certain level you have to start calculating to materials, shape and energy usage, they are the opers to influence users’ habits and make the compare two sources or two different materi- ones who decide. Product developers there- product more eco-friendly. Another important als. Then you have to have as many facts as fore have a great responsibility to ensure that aspect is to look at estimated useful life. Is it possible. If we make too many guesses, we the goods are as environmentally friendly as what the customer expects? Any deviation, no can’t rely on the results. Lifecycle analysis is a possible.” matter which way, is bad. If you design some- great way to get an overview of environmental what advice would you give to product de- thing to last for 18 years and it is only used for data, but you can’t capture every detail with velopers who want to try eco-design? 18 months, you devote too many resources to this method.” “The most important thing is to look at the sustainability. If you produce something with is it important to be involved early in the whole lifecycle and remember that things live a life span of 18 months and the consumer ex- process? on even when the company no longer owns pects it to last for 18 years, you need to invest “Yes, it is. The sooner you study the envi- them. It is also important to note that the more resources in developing the product. For ronmental impact a product has, the better products do not necessarily have an environ- the product developer it’s about first identify- results you get. The first 20 per cent of the mental impact by themselves. It is the users ing users’ habits and then designing the object development process determines 8 per cent who govern how the product affects the en- so that its use will be as eco-friendly as pos- of the environmental characteristics of the vironment. Therefore it is essential to think sible.” product. Of course, eco-design can be applied of the users when designing. For example, I how important is lifecycle analysis to eco- to existing products, but then a lot has al- recently bought a car that will minimize en- design? ready been decided, and is difficult to change. ergy use when stationary. In the past, I just “Lifecycle analysis is central to eco-design It is therefore important to be involved early held down the clutch and let the engine idle work. It is through this that we find out which in the process.” when waiting for a green light. With my new part of a product’s lifespan has the greatest are there products that cannot be eco-de- car I put the handbrake on at a red light and environmental impact. You can go a long way signed? 32 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 33. “The most important thing is gives a company a completely different type of contact with the customer and it also gives the company a greater opportunity to optimize the to look at the whole lifecycle aircraft’s engine, thus reducing the environ- mental impact.” how can companies use eco-design in their and remember that things marketing? “There are several different approaches. live on.” Some companies have used eco-design as an important part of their marketing. Others Tim McAloone, eco-designer have been more cautious and used eco-design without making a fuss about it. A third group has done so because they have been forced to “No, I don’t think so. I’m looking around my Others want to try but don’t know where to maintain their eco-friendly image. I think this office right now to try to find something, but start. What I often do now is to make it easier is the case for many companies today. They I can’t.” for developers to use eco-design. For example, know that environmental organizations like when did companies start talking about eco- I worked with Grundfos, a Danish company Greenpeace will be knocking on their door if design? that makes pumps. If you look at the lifespan they are not performing well. Regarding those “The big impetus came in the early ‘90s of a pump in a block of flats, it has to be able who make environmental progress without when environmental awareness grew due to to work around the clock, year in and year out. using it in their marketing, I think many are the Brundtland Report and the Rio Confer- This makes the pump’s durability paramount. afraid that they will say something that may ence. Many companies, particularly in Europe, If the pump is energy-efficient and lasts for a prove to be wrong.” started to consider environmental aspects as long time the property owner is naturally more would you like to see a labeling system for part of their work. Then there was a decline inclined to buy a more expensive pump. This eco-designed products? in interest in these issues around the turn of goes hand in hand with business needs. It’s not “No. There are already so many different the millennium, when world trade and the in- just about creating a product but also about be- labeling systems for different products. I also ternet was the main focus, but it gained fresh ing able to provide service. Take a company that believe it would be difficult to develop such a momentum with the publication of the Stern manufactures jet engines. Instead of just selling system .I think we should rather draw up eco- report and concerns about climate change. To- an engine to an aeroplane manufacturer, the design guidelines for companies, a project day we are riding this wave. selling point becomes ”power by the hour” It . which is under development right now.” can you give some examples of companies can you see any problems with eco- who were among the first to look at eco- design? 4 design? ”There can of course be prob- “Philips has long focused on what they call Four areas that could lems if you make the wrong be improved with their ”green flagship” This may include a TV . calculations in lifecycle that uses a fraction of energy compared to analysis and get the wrong others. The Danish company Bang & Oluf- eco-design,according results. It is also important to to Tim McAloone sen reduced energy consumption in standby consider where to devote re- mode early on, something they have not made sources. You can, for example, much fuss about. Siemens was one of the devote a lot energy producing first to systematically go through the produc- a product that is completely 1 tion process to minimize material and energy PumPs recyclable, but if the user still consumption. Hewlett-Packard, IBM and “Humanity uses so much energy in moving liquids that this throws it in the bin, all the category should be under constant attention in terms of ef- Electrolux are also among the pioneers.” work is wasted. ficiency and eco-design.” how come many of the companies are in the what do you think about electronics industry? the future? 2 HVAC systems “Because many of these products, such as “I think interest in eco-de- “There is great demand for these systems in buildings all white goods, televisions and computers, have sign will continue to increase over the world, and most of them consume large amounts the biggest user environmental impact. These as it is important to develop of energy. There are environmentally friendly alternatives available companies therefore have the most to gain and there are many problems awaiting solutions.” energy-smart products. from eco-design, where the entire lifecycle is Whether you believe in cli- 3 taken into account.” trAnsPort systems mate change or not, the fact is what’s happening in the area today? ”“We spend colossal amounts of non-human energy in that oil reserves will not last “Today, companies have a much more ma- moving from A to B, either by road, rail, sea or air. Efficient forever. Alternative energy ture way of approaching these topics. Envi- transport and integrated transport systems are technically possible sources are key to the future. ronmental awareness has grown incredibly in today - someone just needs to design and implement them.” A lot will be about making the last 20 years. Today, all companies with products and systems more 4 over 500 employees have at least one person exerCise equiPment energy efficient. I believe in responsible for environmental issues. That “If we harnessed the energy generated on every treadmill, a new industrial revolution, wasn’t the case 20 years ago. Some compa- exercise bike and machine, gyms would be self-sufficient in where energy efficiency will nies have tried eco-design, but far from all. electricity.” be the focus.” 1 futu r e by semcon 2.2010 33
  • 34. semcon brains text tobias hammar & david Wiles photoS mikael göthage, oleg borisuk, kiran nama BEHIND THE SCENES AT SEMCON BRAINS robert nagy likes physics and mu- sic. combining these interests led to acoustics. see robert nagy talk about what he does at work and what it’s like to work at semcon at www.semcon.com. 34 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 35. the sound experts semcon AcoustIcs GrouP A2ZounD robert nAGy, 42, senIor AcoustIcs consuLtAnt, semcon GÖteborG mAts GustAVsson, 45, AcoustIcs sPecIALIst, semcon LunD Peter moHLIn, 32, senIor AcoustIcs consuLtAnt, semcon GÖteborG Have you ever considered that your dishwasher makes very lit- tle noise? Or that the sound quality of your mobile phone and your car stereo is so high? Then you’ve come across some of the areas where Semcon’s experts are at the cutting edge. The group work on acoustic product development and deal with everything from mobile phones and hearing aids to aircraft and trucks. The work mainly consists of two tasks: to minimize noise and vibration in various products and to provide prod- ucts with desirable properties by developing their sound qual- ity and thereby enhancing their image. “We work as a specialist group. Our job is to improve prod- ucts, in terms of sound and vibration. We do this by calculating, measuring and analyzing sound or vibration in products,” says Robert Nagy. He has just developed a set of requirements for noise and vibration levels in the engine and gearbox of an electric truck for a large, international vehicle manufacturer. Semcon is also part of a major Swedish research project within the automotive industry, EFESOS, which is about im- proving the interaction between driver and car. “Today’s cars are extremely complex. What we are working on is to optimize the audio and information flow so that cars will both be safer and feel more enjoyable,” says Peter Mohlin, Semcon project manager at DRIVI (Driver Information and Interaction - a sub-project of EFESOS). Other work involves running courses and training in acous- tics for customers and producing and developing their own patents. “I’ve worked extensively for years on innovations in the sound and vibration field. This has resulted in seven patents being accepted. It’s stimulating,” says Mats Gustafsson, who normally also works on developing calculation methods to simulate and reduce noise in the aviation industry. futu r e by semcon 2.2010 35
  • 36. semcon brains the language technician KAtALIn tIsocZKI, 27, tecHnIcAL wrIter AnD coorDInAtor, semcon HunGAry Imagine working for not one leading international company, but two – at the same time. That’s what working life is like for Katalin Tisoczki, a technical writer and coordinator based in Budapest, Hungary. While employed by Semcon, Katalin is work- ing for a major Swedish telecoms company. “Working like this means I get a view of another company, their culture and their working style,” she says. After getting a university degree in English and IT, Katalin joined Semcon three years ago and is currently involved in a ma- jor project writing documentation for a telecom server platform. Together with colleagues in Sweden and Russia, she is helping to produce up to 800 documents. “I wanted to use my English and to choose a field which is technical without being too technical,” she says. “The job really fits me because I can do both. I get a view of how the program- mers work but without having to do the programming itself.” Katalin started at Semcon as a technical writer and is now both writing for and coordinating the project. Katalin enjoys being able to work flexitime which gives her a good work-life balance, and appreciates having supportive management.“My contribution is appreciated and I can turn to my bosses anytime,” she says. “There are more projects to come here in Hungary, so it’s great to work in a growing company.” 36 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 37. the interiors innovator nAyyAr rAHmAn, 32, ProDuct DesIGn enGIneer, semcon InDIA Being a product design engineer in the lines time and again for customers in- panel and centre stack for a vehicle take more than 20 minutes. automotive industry requires a careful cluding Volvo, Scania and most recently which is expected to sell in large num- “But the biggest challenge was to balancing act. Aesthetic, ergonomic for Reva Electric Car Company, currently bers both on the Indian market and the design the interior of the car with the and technology demands must be the world’s biggest manufacturer of rest of the world. highest quality at the least possible cost continually weighed against each other, zero-emission vehicles, in his home city One of his tasks was to simulate the as they wanted to cater to the Indian as must quality, cost and assembly time of Bangalore, India. In that assignment, assembly – in CAD Software – of the market,” says Nayyar. “This demand requirements. for the exciting battery-powered Reva different parts of the instrument panel alone pushed us to innovate our design Semcon product design engineer NXR, Nayyar worked at Reva’s interiors while ensuring that this assembly, when so that we could deliver the highest Nayyar Rahman has walked these fine department, designing the instrument carried out on the shop floor, will not quality keeping the cost to a minimum.” futu r e by semcon 2.2010 37
  • 38. Tropical heat, bandits, overloaded trailers, and lots and lots of potholes; by producing vehicles that can handle the worst that Brazil’s roads have to offer, MAN Latin America, through its brand Volkswagen Trucks and Buses, has grown to domi- nate the South American nation’s heavy vehicle market in the face of tough competition from the likes of Volvo, Scania and Mercedes Benz. Semcon Brazil is one of its key engine- ering services suppliers. text david Wiles photo man, Paulo Fridman 38 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 39. A s a truck-maker, if you don’t 2009 is continuing, although it is now much lar Consortium set-up; its expansive dealer have the right products then faster than we had anticipated. At that time network; the company’s exclusive focus on you won’t succeed,” says we were describing some recovery scenarios – heavy vehicles; its motivated workforce; and Roberto Cortes, president of whether we would have a U-shaped recovery having the right products for the Brazilian MAN Latin America, which or V-shaped recovery. Now we are having what market. “Because of our history we are pretty bought Volkswagen’s heavy we call a tick-shaped recovery, where today we much a double-citizenship company,” says vehicle operations in Brazil last year. “Our are selling much more than we sold before the Roberto Cortes. “We are based in Brazil but competitors also have products, but I believe crisis, which was the best year ever.” with a German mother company which used that we are the only ones that have the right to be Volkswagen and is now MAN. By being a ones for Brazilian conditions.” so in ThE sEcond quarter of this year MAN Brazilian-based company from the beginning A customer-focused approach has helped Latin America raised the production capa- we know what our customer wants, much MAN Latin America become an automotive city at its Resende plant by 50 per cent. “We more than other multinational companies success story at a time when many manufac- went from 50,000 trucks and buses per year with affiliates in Brazil do. We have been able turers around the world continue to struggle to 77,000,” says Cortes. “We are utilising 100 to develop the right product together with with poor demand as cash- and credit-strap- per cent of the third shift already, much earlier partners like Semcon because we have our ped customers put off investing in new vehic- than we anticipated.” engineering locally.” les. “When the crisis hit in 2008, like everyone The company has gone from 12 per cent This approach has given the Volkswagen else we had a reduction of 50 per cent in market share 13 years ago to 31 per cent – and brand’s Brazilian-made trucks unique features terms of new orders,” says Roberto the position of market leader – today. such as step protectors to stop bandits getting Cortes. “The recovery that we Roberto Cortes puts this success down to access to the cab when the vehicle is parked saw starting in the middle of five factors: its factory, with its unique Modu- up or moving slowly, and ensured that they futu r e by semcon 2.2010 39
  • 40. petition. When the company introduced its 18-310 Titan model in the 40-tonne class, it was up against more expensive and more high-tech vehicles from Scania, Volvo and Mercedes. “Customers soon realised the value for money of this new product, due to its reliability, robustness and simplicity of maintenance,” says Paulo Alleo. “Soon all our competitors had launched an entry-level trac- tor like ours.” Brazilian roads can be deman- To develop such a heavy-duty vehicle from ding. They stretch for more than 1.7 million kilometers but only scratch would have been prohibitively ex- 160 000 km are paved. pensive for MAN in Latin America, but they used their customer-focused approach to get round this obstacle. “We did a survey of our customers to find out what would be the best compromise for them,” says Paulo Alleo. “So we basically modified our existing tractor by implementing all the modifications that the customers wanted, and this resulted in a huge success for us.” in 1996 volKswagEn Truck and Bus, now MAN Latin America, built its Resende plant at a cost of some $250 million. Located about 150 kilometres from Rio de Janeiro and 250 kilometres from São Paulo, it covers an area of 1 million square metres and is one of the world’s most modern truck and bus produc- tion facilities. The plant, which employs more than 5,500 people, is also home to the MAN World Centre for Development of Trucks and Buses for emerging markets which carries out research and design of new models as well as development of new technologies to be used in the products. The results of its work are Semcon developed the inter- nal electronics for MAN’s best- shared with the engineers of MAN Com- selling Constellation range. mercial Vehicles in Germany and applied to vehicles produced by the company in other regions. are tough enough to handle Brazil’s notori- to find out their needs and their opinions The Resende plant operates a production ous roads. As the world’s fifth largest country, on upcoming models. “Before we launched system named the Modular Consortium, Brazil has more than 1.7 million kilometres of our first bus in 1993, for instance, we bought which involves external partners not only roads, but less than a tenth of that, 160,000 the best bus made by the competition for supplying components but also assemb- kilometres, is paved. And just half of that, just benchmarking purposes. A prototype was ling them, with Volkswagen responsible for 80,000 kilometres, is in good condition. The made and the most important fleet owners in overall product quality control. The results dusty, potholed tracks that make up a signifi- Brazil were invited for a workshop,” he says. are reduced production costs, stock levels and cant amount of the road infrastructure clearly “We showed them the prototype to get their production time, and increased flexibility in put totally different strains on road-going inputs. the production of specialised vehicles. But vehicles than, for instance, the autobahns of Germany or the US freeways. “We improve the as a rEsulT sEvEral technical recommenda- materials, improve the equipment and make tions were identified. So the product was mo- Facts MAN the vehicles bullet-proof to these conditions,” dified according to their needs and expecta- man is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of says Roberto Cortes. “The result is greater tions and before the launch they were invited commercial vehicles and the second largest truck dealer satisfaction, lower warranty costs and back again and asked if this was what they manufacturer in europe. the company began in the essentially no downtime for the trucks.” were expecting. So this was an example of our mid-1700s. in the late 1800s rudolf diesel invented Making products meet expectations means close relationship with our customers during and developed the diesel engine in the german city of augsburg. part of man’s headquarters is still situa- having a close dialogue with fleet owners and product development.” ted there. today, man has about 47,700 employees drivers. Paulo Alleo, MAN Latin America’s MAN’s approach – summed up by the worldwide and had annual sales in 2009 of nearly engineering director, explains that key custo- slogan “Less you don’t want; more you don’t seK 12 billion. volkswagen owns nearly 30% of man. mers and potential customers are interviewed need” – has not gone unnoticed by the com- 40 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 41. “We improve the materials, improve the equipment and make the vehicles bullet-proof to these conditions.” Robert Cortes, president MAN Latin America Roberto Cortes age: 54 Title: president of man Latin america this approach also allows MAN Latin America line with the new regulations. “Starting in 2011 its ‘Tailor Made’ strategy, fulfilling customer’s to focus on other aspects of its business, not we are going to have at least two SOPs [start of needs by delivering the right products, from a least product development. “As our suppliers production] per month for 12 months. All the cost and robustness perspective.” also produce our products on top of supplying work needs to be of the highest quality and we The development its own local engineering their parts, it gives us more time to develop know that Semcon and our other engineering team, fully capable to develop and test its own our own competence, which is understanding services suppliers provide this quality of engi- products, has also been crucial. “This is the what the customer wants and providing the neering work.” only way to meet customer expectations in a aftersales they demand,” says Roberto Cortes. market with such particular characteristics,” “Because of our business model we don’t need semCon wAs founded in Brazil in 2006 as says Renato Perrotta. to spend too much time on production. So a consequence of the company’s successful Both strategies, however, demand the kind while everyone has a truck plant now in Brazil, work in Germany on the electric and electro- of engineering support which only a global we are the only ones to have such a plant and nic architecture of the Constellation family of company like Semcon is able to provide. And production concept.” trucks. Today the company has 160 employees that support will be crucial as new challenges and is one of MAN Latin America’s main engi- await Brazil’s truck industry, from the new alongsidE about 200 of its own engineers and neering suppliers, offering expertise within engine emission standards to new regulations technicians at Resende, MAN Latin America chassis, powertrain, styling and simulation, regarding weight per axle, to the new demands draws on the expertise of about 250 more who among other disciplines. Renato Perrotta, on the country’s notorious road infrastructure work for external suppliers, such as Semcon. Semcon’s country manager for Brazil, says with the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2014 “If we start hiring engineers to do this work that hearing the customer’s voice has been and the Summer Olympics two years later. we would have to train them and this would one of the most important pillars of MAN “I try to give MAN the feeling that whene- take a lot of time that we do not have,” says Latin America’s market strategy. “By hearing ver and whatever they need us, we are there to Paulo Alleo. “So we decided to buy in this its customers, MAN Latin America developed support them, we are ready to serve.” 1 work. By bringing in companies that have this know-how they can start working immedia- tely. They have the people with expertise to do Renato Perrotta the work and we just supervise or manage the age: 37 work.” Title: country manager, semcon brazil Semcon developed the electrics and elec- tronics architecture for MAN Latin America’s bestselling Constellation range, and today has more than 70 engineers working on modi- fications to vehicles for special applications – such as refuse collection vehicles, military vehicles and cement mixers. Semcon has ex- tensive experience from Europe on the Euro 5 emissions standards which are in place in Eu- rope and which will come into effect in Brazil in 2012, and is also working on adapting the electronic architecture of MANS’s vehicles to Paulo Alleo the new emissions regulations. age: 58 Title: engineering director, “We cannot fail,” says Paulo Alleo about the man Latin america need to bring MANS’s product portfolio into futu r e by semcon 2.2010 41
  • 42. SEmCON UPDATE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEMCON’S WORLD Aiming for precision dEsign EnginEEr Robert Andersson, at Semcon as fast and as accurate as possible. The targets are in Göteborg, is also Swedish champion in dynamic both fixed and moving, and anything from 9 to 32 shooting. He has six gold medals and one bronze shots are taken from each station. from national championships and one silver medal Robert Andersson works as a mechanical en- from the Nordic Championships on his CV. Robert gineer and is currently working on a life science Andersson has also taken part in three European project. The experience he has gained from his Championships. In the latest one, which was in work has also benefited his sporting career. Serbia in the autumn of 2010, he finished in 12th “What I’ve taken from my job into my shooting is place. to be organized and to take care not to cut corners “I have been involved with practical shooting on the course and always do my best,” he says. since 1998 and took part in my first Swedish cham- Semcon sponsors Robert Andersson and he will pionships the same year,” he says. compete in the European Championships in a Practical shooting originated in the U.S. and new kit bearing the Semcon logo. came to Sweden in the late 70s. “It feels terrific to have support from In practical shooting, contestants must combine work and it feels great to be able to have precision, speed and endurance. Participants shoot Semcon on my jersey when I’m out from different stations, and it is important to be there competing.” 1 42 futu r e by semcon 2.2010
  • 43. 30 years of Semcon Semcon started out in Västerås in 1980, very much on a local level. Since then, development has been exciting. Today - 30 years later - Semcon is a global technol- ogy company with operations in 45 locations on three continents. Its customers include many of the world’s most attractive brands. Today, Semcon has nearly 3 000 employees and had sales of around SEK 2.3 billion last year. Who would have thought that 30 years ago? Growth in India Semcon India is expanding and now has more than 60 employees. Together with customers such as AB Volvo, BMW and Reva, Semcon is continuing to grow in India. They have extended their coop- eration with Semcon in Germany and have three consultants onsite in Munich. Semcon India has also started working with Semcon’s office in Rhein-Main, Germany. “The outlook is very good and we will continue to expand as fast as we can in CAD, CAE and Elec- tronics, while preserving quality and focusing on long-term profit- Anton Gellebring thought ability,” says David Orth, head of it was great fun to go in a Semcon India. Porsche on a racetrack. XLPM – a unique An action-packed day new project methodology sEvEral criTically ill childrEn had their wishes fulfilled in XLPM (Excellence in Project June when they got to ride in a real racing car at the MinSto- Management) was launched by raDag (MyBigDay) event. When the STCC City Race was held in Semcon this autumn and is the Göteborg, the children got to ride with racing driver Micke Ohls- new project methodology for son in a Semcon Porsche. project, programme and portfolio “It feels great to be able to contribute to a positive experi- management. ence, and it adds another dimension to our STCC investment. Semcon’s Porsche made “Not only does XLPM help to Seeing how happy the kids were after they’d gone around the the kids really happy at clarify how users shall achieve course was priceless,” says Anders Atterling, IR and PR manager MinStoraDag. their goals, but it also shows at Semcon. 1 them what to do and how they can provide IT support,” says A new way to effective testing Torben Grut, R&D manager for Semcon Project Management. With XLPM businesses and organizations can take a holistic coMTEsT® is a measuring and control system used for auto- Senior Software Engineer at Semcon Göteborg. approach to their operations. mated testing in test rigs. For over 25 years, Semcon has delivered ComTest Express is an entry-level system - a complete easy- The new XLPM has a simple, hundreds of different ComTest solutions to testing departments to-install testing package, so that planning time is short and clear, practical methodology for at leading industrial companies. Now it’s time to release a new decisions are taken quickly. With this smaller and cheaper system everyone, in both top-level and product onto the market - ComTest Express. customers with smaller test rigs get the opportunity to use an operational functions. The meth- The system has been developed for functional testing and en- advanced test system. odology is suitable for all sizes of durance testing in industry. It ensures that real-world conditions ComTest Express will launch in October 2010, and although it is projects and can also be adapted can be tested in a supervised and controlled environment. new, the system has a solid base. to particular needs. “You could say that ComTest Express is really ComTest lite, “There is stability and security because the system is based on “Of course, I think that XLPM which means that customers’ investment costs are lower and our experience in supplying test systems to the industry,” says is excellent and I’m very proud of the system can grow and expand,” says Lars-Olof Willquist, Lars-Olof Willquist. 1 the product,” says Torben Grut. futu r e by semcon 2.2010 43
  • 44. ECONOMY If undeliverable, please return to: P. P. Swiss Post Exchange Office SPI STO CH-8010 Zürich 8010 Zürich-Mülligen Switzerland Mülligen Your global partner in engineering services and product information www.semcon.com