Finnish Planmeca Oy manufactures state-of-the-art technology for the dentistry sector: digital dental units, CAD/CAM solutions and 2D and 3D imaging units. Planmeca exports its products to more than 120 countries around the world. Every unit carries inside it wire harnesses manufactured by Crimppi.
Crimppi manufactures a wide range of wire harnesses for Planmeca on a continuous basis in all its factories in Finland, Croatia and China. The deliveries include both large batches and individual prototypes for different product development projects. According to Planmeca’s Purchasing Manager Pasi Häyhä, such excellent collaboration would not be possible without Crimppi’s top technical know-how and flexible service.
“When we order prototypes from Crimppi, they are almost always excellent right from the first piece. They understand what we want, and we can always rely on their expertise and quick response times,” he says.
Large stock of materials and excellent supplier networks speed up the service
Häyhä explains that sometimes Planmeca orders prototype wire harnesses at a notice of just a week or two when they need to make quick progress with a product development project. As the largest manufacturer of wire harnesses in Finland, Crimppi and its extensive stock of materials are worth their weight in gold in situations like this.
“For us, it is a huge advantage that Crimppi manufactures large batches for us and also maintains a large stock. Their reaction times for prototypes and other special circumstances are always very short,” he says.
“Even when Crimppi doesn’t have the material we need in stock, they deliver very quickly. Crimppi’s purchasing unit is doing an excellent job, and its effects reach all the way to us, their customers.”
Outsourcing wire harness manufacture was a smart move
Planmeca manufactured its own wire harnesses for its dental units until 2013, when it decided to outsource them. After putting wire harness manufacture out to tender, Planmeca chose Crimppi as one of its main manufacturers.
When we order prototypes from Crimppi, they are almost always excellent right from the first piece. They understand what we want, and we can always rely on their expertise and quick response times.Pasi Häyhä
According to Häyhä, outsourcing the manufacture of the harnesses turned out to be a wise decision. While Planmeca was still taking care of their manufacture on their own, they were only able to buy small volumes of materials, which meant that procurement was not cost-effective.
“At times, we had to buy up to three years’ worth of materials at once, which tied up both capital and storage space,” Häyhä explains.
Because Crimppi specialises in wire harnesses, it buys components in large volumes, which results in considerably more effective procurement and production processes.
According to Häyhä, the transition from Planmeca’s own production to outsourced manufacture has gone extremely well, although, at first, they were worried about what might go wrong. A particular worry at Planmeca was the flexibility of production now that they were no longer in control of it.
“When we got used to the new arrangement, everything went surprisingly smoothly. Crimppi is able to serve us extremely flexibly even in special situations, which is of paramount importance to us.”
Cutting edge technology requires wire harnesses with guaranteed quality
Crimppi meets Planmeca’s special demands also with products destined for the North and South American markets. There a manufacturer of wire harnesses for dental care equipment is required to be UL certified by Underwriters Laboratories.
“UL regularly audits Crimppi’s manufacture to make sure it meets their standards. This makes our own auditing process at Planmeca easier, because we are buying harnesses from a supplier whose production has already been UL approved,” Häyhä says.
Because Planmeca’s products represent high technology, there is no room for compromises in the quality of their wire harnesses. Generally speaking, the most important prerequisite for quality is crimping firmness. If the cable crimps inside the equipment break or come loose, this results in very costly repairs. According to Häyhä, there have been practically no problems with quality at all with Crimppi.
“It would be particularly annoying if a wire harness in a dental care unit malfunctioned somewhere in the Australian bush. A serviceman would then have to travel thousands of kilometres for a very expensive repair job because of a faulty harness that costs only a few euros,” Häyhä points out.
“That’s why it is extremely important that the wire harnesses are reliable. The fact that we can trust Crimppi a hundred per cent is priceless to us. It allows all of us at Planmeca to sleep soundly,” he smiles.