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Customised drives `will be built in two hours`

11 June, 2007

Danfoss has set itself the ambitious goal of being able to manufacture certain fully customised drives within two hours of receiving an order. The company is upgrading its Danish manufacturing plant with the aim of building drives up to 7.5kW within two hours, and from 7.5–90kW within four hours, "within a year or two".

Danfoss production line

Danfoss already produces its VLT AutomationDrives on highly automated lines (shown above) that allow each drive to different from the next – even down to individually printed manuals that join the drive at the end of the production process. Each frequency converter is produced to order with no completed drives being held as stock, either at the factory or at Danfoss’ local subsidiaries. The company says it can deliver a custom-built drive to anywhere in Europe within 48 hours of receiving on order, and to anywhere in the world within a week.

Although the sophisticated production system had initial teething problems, the company claims that it is now operating smoothly, and its main problem now is keeping up with demand. The number of drives Danfoss sells has been growing by 15–20% each year, and it now takes 28-30 hours to build each drive – above the company’s target of less than 24 hours.

Danfoss is therefore ripping out some of its old production lines and building new ones to meet the anticipated growth and to slash the turn-around times to a few hours. By 2012, Danfoss hopes to have boosted its 2006 sales by 160%.

Ole Møller-Jensen, Danfoss’ senior vice-president for sales and marketing, says that the company is now the European market-leader for drives rated up to 90kW, and the number two globally. In the broader ratings range up to 1.2MW, the company currently lies in third position in Europe, and in fourth place globally.




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