FRABA has announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. This new facility, which will begin manufacturing operations in the spring, will operate in parallel with FRABA’s existing European factory. This increase in capacity will help the company meet a growing demand for its products.
Christian Leeser, CEO and principal shareholder of the FRABA Group explains: “With a steady increase in the sales of our sensor products, we are outgrowing the capacity of our Polish factory”. Leeser continues: “We are also seeing an evolution of our product mix. So far, we have specialized in a high complexity/low volume approach to manufacturing that we term ‘mass customization’. The encoders and inclinometers we sell under our POSTIAL brand are designed to meet the needs of machine builders and other specialist customers who required sensors tailored to their specific needs. More recently though, we have introduced products – such as our kit encoders and Wiegand sensors – that will be produced in larger quantities for large-volume OEM customers.”
While the product mix for the new factory will differ from the output of FRABA’s European facility, both operations will make use of FRABA’s custom-developed digital production control system. This system supports every step in the production process – from order receipt, through assembly and testing, to delivery. Making use of cloud-based computing and data management resources, this system supports manufacturing processes that are flexible and responsive, while also assuring high product quality, product traceability over the full manufacturing cycle, and – very importantly – competitive prices. FRABA’s CREDEMUS business unit offers these production support tools – along with consulting support for their implementation – to other manufacturers of complex technical products.
Products slated for the new 18,000 square foot (1,700 m2) factory include kit encoder assemblies and Wiegand sensors. Kit encoders are minimalist versions of POSITAL’s self-contained rotary encoders that are designed to integrated with electrical motors or drives. Eliminating separate housings or shafts makes these items compact and inexpensive. They provide accurate rotary position feedback for motors, enabling these to function as servomotors or feedback-controlled steppers. Wiegand sensors are unique products that provide highly reliable triggering signals in response to changes in an external magnetic field. These can also be used to energize high-efficiency electronic circuits by harvesting electrical energy from a changing magnetic field. Wiegand sensors are used in a variety of measuring systems, including fluid meters and POSITAL’s popular line of battery-free multiturn magnetic encoders. Wiegand sensors are marketed by FRABA’s UBITO business unit.
Lesser concludes: “Our products have found many enthusiastic buyers worldwide and our new Malaysian factory will help us to serve our customers quickly and efficiently. Our highly portable production model will enable us to open similar factories in other locations in the future, supporting our strategy of developing FRABA as a truly international enterprise.”