Robert Bosch Thermotechnology, well known for its Nefit brand, is one of the companies with which HSV shares a long history.
Commercial Purchaser Michel Ankoné : „On three crucial aspects, HSV proactively works with us: in technology, in cost-down engineering and in production locations.” This has offered HSV the opportunity to enhance its supplier’s position within the Bosch company internationally – an opportunity that was seized.
From packaging material to insulating parts
It started with the supply of EPS, now airpop® engineered air, by HSV as material for our transport packaging.”
HSV has since grown along with the specialist in thermo technology. Ankoné: “Thanks to their knowledge of materials and their production capacity, HSV has proven itself to us as an important supplier of insulation parts. Thinking along with us on their own initiative has created opportunities for HSV – opportunities that HSV has seized with both hands. Thanks to that, the company is now our number one supplier in the materials group.
Cost savings and Efficiency in assembly
By starting to specialise in EPP also, HSV has been able to make the step from packaging around Nefit-products to components in Nefit-products. The temperature and sound insulating properties and the heat resistance of EPP are perfectly fit for several applications, even though the material itself is somewhat more expensive. “A very important feature is that you can integrate clips for assembly that don’t break easily”, says Ankoné. “This knowledge inspired HSV to integrate insulating slabs with cable conduits. These integrated parts are designed in a genuine co-creation process and are the result of a joint effort by both development teams.”
The approach makes several clips and mounts superfluous and diminishes the number of assembly steps. A good example is a part from one slab that combines three panels and the cable conduit. The assembly operators at Robert Bosch Thermotechnology can mount that part in a single action. Ankoné: “Every percent assembly time saved is more than welcome. On top of that, we now need less different parts, which makes logistics and storage easier. Furthermore, the cables are nicely attached, which gives the interior of our products a neat and high quality look. That is important to heating fitters, the people who not only install the products but also provide their customers with a purchase advice. It speaks for itself that they are more inclined to advise appliances that are neat, high quality and easy to maintain to their customers.”
It is not easy to become a supplier to an international corporation such as Bosch, Ankoné indicates. “HSV has been a supplier to us for ages. This position has enabled the company to further grow within Bosch. All Bosch companies rate the performance and quality of their suppliers in a corporate system. The fact that HSV scored very well with us according to this system was noticed by our sister companies. That was the reason for them to ask quotations from HSV. If your price is right, you get the opportunity to grow as a supplier. HSV has responded well to the opportunities they have got. Because HSV delivers upon promise for us and for other customers, the company has been able to scale up its activities. HSV operates sites in various markets were Bosch has production locations, from Great Britain to Poland. HSV as a supplier keeps pace with the growth of Bosch – not only when it comes to scale, but also in geographic spread. When the local market is sufficiently attractive, HSV has shown itself willing to establish itself near our production locations. And because we like to collaborate as much as possible with the same suppliers, we value that policy a lot.”
Ankoné is very satisfied with HSV’s proactive stand. “Not only in the technology field, but also when it comes to cost down engineering. HSV’s developers inform us about opportunities they notice, also when that is only favourable to our cost price level. They understood that the change to EPP meant a cost rise to us because of the material’s price level. This surplus expenditure is worth our while, but unwanted nonetheless. So they they designed a mixture of Airpop® and EPP which preserved the necessary heat resistance, insulation value and flame-extinguishing properties. It is very nice that they take action in this direction.”
Likewise, HSV thinks along on the deployment of moulds. “The products we procure from HSV are produced in moulds. For a continuously innovating company as ours it would be quite inconvenient if each adjustment would necessitate a costly new mould. Therefore, they consider how they can keep on using the same mould by only making minor tweaks to it.” Not every company would do that, Ankoné suggests. “Those are the actions that enable a long and fruitful relationship.”