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Siemens A and D Electronics Assembly Systems has announced Siplace SX, which comprises interchangeable gantries and the Siplace Multistar CPP placement head.

The company said the capacity-on-demand concept of the SX Series uses ‘Rent-a-Gantry’ to open the door to new business models that are becoming increasingly important for electronics manufacturers in today’s business environment.

With the help of these models, short-term seasonal as well as medium-term utilisation volatilities can be absorbed to achieve a production that ‘breathes’ in line with demand.

The interchangeable gantries of the Siplace SX make it possible to scale the placement performance of an existing line flexibly and in accordance with demand while protecting liquidity.

Some early examples show how these capacity-on-demand business models, which Siplace refers to as Rent-a-Gantry for Peak Demand and Rent-a-Gantry for Floating Demand, work in practice.

As part of Siplace’s capacity-on-demand concept, electronics manufacturers can select from two types of Rent-a-Gantry to meet their production objectives in the most efficient manner: Peak Demand and Floating Demand.

The Peak Demand model was designed for short-term requirements such as those caused by rush orders or seasonal fluctuations with durations of up to four months.

For this scenario, Siplace offers short-term gantry rentals for up to four months, which can be renewed if necessary.

The Peak Demand model is said to fit perfectly into the flexible Siplace SX system architecture.

Renters can install a complete gantry equipped with their choice of Siplace 20-nozzle Collect and Place head, the Siplace CPP head or the Siplace Twinhead easily into their existing, accordingly prepared Siplace SX1 and ramp up production immediately.

The rental fee is based exclusively on the contract’s duration and not on the placement head.

Each rental contract also includes a full equipment warranty.

With the Peak Demand model, electronics manufacturers can adjust their investments in-line with capacities and concepts on their average needs and not on their demand peaks.

If necessary, they can ramp up their capacity within the shortest time and scale it down again when business returns to normal.

In many cases, a simple rental can eliminate the need for expensive extra shifts.

If the demand fails to rise, they do not incur any costs.

The lower initial investments improve cash flow and supply additional room for business operations.

In addition to these financial benefits, the new model also makes the balance sheet look better as the rented capacity does not add to the company’s assets and helps to improve asset productivity.

The Rent-a-Gantry for Floating Demand model provides an alternative to purchasing that will interest customers who consider risk minimisation, long-term asset productivity, and liquidity as key issues.

Demand fluctuations caused by economic factors create an increasingly challenging business environment, adding to the already existing issues from short-term fluctuations.

In the past, manufacturers had to invest when demand rose, but there was no certainty that the investment would actually pay off.

If the economy declined, the capital was tied up and not available for short-term liquidity needs.

As a result, the underutilised equipment represented primarily an inflexible cost pool.

With Rent-a-Gantry for Floating Demand, Siplace now offers electronics manufacturers a solution that provides more freedom.

The approach is simple: the customer initially invests in the number of Siplace SX+ machines (frames with no gantries and no heads), feeders and accessories that are needed to meet the anticipated placement performance and feeder capacity requirements.

For each Siplace SX+, the customer also acquires 20 ‘gantry vouchers’, each of which entitles him to use a Siplace SX gantry with any type of head for a period of three months.

The price for each voucher does not become due until a gantry is requested.

The vouchers are good for a period of five years.

With its Rent-a-Gantry for Floating Demand model, Siplace thus takes on part of the business risk.

The manufacturer saves on gantry investment and instead purchases gantry vouchers, which do not have to be paid until the gantries are needed.

The gantries remain on Siplace’s balance sheet, in effect not burdening the customer’s books.

Cost for gantries and heads only occur if they are actually utilised – hence making money.

Being operational cost and no investment, they can be taken off tax at the same period.

At the same time, the model offers a level of flexibility that is said to exceed traditional leasing models.

Mixed models are conceivable, too.

For example, a customer can purchase a small number of gantries the traditional way and rent additional gantries when needed by using vouchers.

The impact of this business model on the balance sheet and the budgets required for new investments is significant, according to the company.

In one example, a customer was able to reduce investment requirements for a line with three Siplace SX placement machines by roughly 50 per cent.

The savings in the initial investment can be spread over time and used for ongoing operating costs and other budget items.

The contract itself expires when the last voucher is used, there is no fixed duration.

Additional vouchers can be purchased after that.

During the entire contract term, the Siplace SX is covered by the regular warranty agreement, while gantries are covered by the business model and come with parts warranty for the full time they are used.

Gantry vouchers enable electronics manufacturers to respond flexibly to fluctuating demand over the medium term.

If the order situation is positive, they can produce the required number of boards by installing the maximum number of gantries.

When orders decline, they request fewer gantries.

In either scenario, the manufacturer incurs the cost for the gantries only when they are used, thus optimising asset account by turning traditional fixed costs into variable costs.

Siemens A and D Electronics Assembly Systems

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