The Dutch manufacturer of industrial sawing machines, Harwi, is known for the durability, quality and user-friendliness of its products. To increase its own productivity and simplify assembly, Harwi opted for tailored cable assemblies from LAPP. This saves the machine manufacturer four hours per constructed machine, which sums up to an additional machine every two to three weeks. In addition, the installation of the sawing machines on site has been noticeably simplified and the risk of incorrect cabling is reduced.
Safety, ergonomics and health – these are Harwi’s current development goals for the industrial sawing machines they have been constructing since 1960. The company from Helmond in the Netherlands is also known for its extremely durable products: “We know that there are Harwi sawing machines that have been in use since my birth, i.e. for over 35 or 40 years,” says Adrian van Mensvoort, Managing Director of Harwi. Three years ago, Adrian took over the management of Harwi as part of a generational handover in the long-established company. Although the robust, high-quality machines are highly rated on the market, he left no stone unturned when it came to finding ways to further optimise their quality and durability.
Robust sawing machines for a safe and ergonomic work environment
Since its founding in 1960, Harwi has made a name for itself with robust, easy-to-use and high-quality sawing machines for the wood processing industry, but Harwi has also long been associated with renowned DIY brands such as Praxis, Gamma and Bouwmaat. Alongside durability and ergonomics, Harwi also stands out by producing all important types of sawing machine: vertical sawing machines, radial sawing machines and circular sawing machines. “Circular sawing machines are definitely our speciality,” says Adriaan, “but our quality standards apply equally to all types of sawing machines that we manufacture.” The machines make their way to customers via a large network of dealers around the world who also take care of installation and service.
“When I became the new Managing Director, I knew that the company urgently needed innovation and development,” says Adriaan. “It was important to me to check all suppliers and dealers we work with and ensure that their services and products correspond to our newly established core values.” Harwi’s main goal has always been to supply machines for a safe and ergonomic work environment, a guiding factor in all technical and service decisions. “We want our machines to make life easier and convenient for everyone involved, from design and installation to the many years of use,” adds Adrian. “And we noticed that connection solutions were an aspect where improvement would make a big difference in this respect.”
LAPP cable assemblies make design and installation considerably easier
Before the change in management, Harwi ordered cables and connectors as individual items. During the construction of a machine, employees took what they needed from the warehouse at their own discretion. “This worked because we had and still have qualified employees, but it was not particularly efficient with regard to either assembly time or storage,” explains Adriaan. “And this made installation harder for the customer than it ought to be.” Harwi sawing machines are delivered in two parts which must be assembled on site. This also includes connecting the saw motor to the control unit. “Until recently, this meant opening a junction box and manually wiring several power cables,” says Adriaan. “It was a complex process that required a trained eye and if even one of these many cables was connected incorrectly, the saw blade turned in the wrong direction or not at all.”
Adrian approached Harwi’s long-standing partner LAPP and asked for a solution. Cable assemblies quickly proved to be the ideal solution. LAPP now supplies all necessary cables and connectors for every Harwi sawing machine as a complete, pre-assembled package. Alongside significant time savings in assembly, this also means that Harwi no longer needs specialists for this task – a major advantage in the face of increasing skilled worker shortages. Last but not least, this has made the installation process easier: instead of the previous complex process, service personnel simply has to click in one cable bundle during assembly and the cabling is complete. “This makes life much easier for our dealers,” emphasised Adrian, “and it greatly reduces customer complaints about their machine not working properly.”
Full trust in LAPP
Under different circumstances, Adriaan might have felt unsure about deciding to switch to pre-assembled cable assemblies: “Outsourcing something as essential as cable assemblies requires a certain degree of trust in the manufacturer, as you become quite dependent. But we have complete trust in LAPP.” The fact that LAPP has been a supplier to Harwi for many years has helped develop a relationship of trust. “LAPP works closely with its customers and both the sales and engineering teams understand our needs,” says Adriaan. “We noticed their enthusiasm when it came to finding a solution tailored to our application – and they did just that. And they always take our feedback on board for improvements. That is exactly the type of relationship that we are looking for with a supplier and we will definitely continue maintaining this partnership in the future.”