Contrinex opens new US production site in Dallas, Texas
Since 2014, Contrinex has operated a logistics hub in Dallas, USA. The company has recently moved into a new modern building, fully air-conditioned, with lots of natural light and direct access to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Contrinex USA has now almost 1,400 m2 (15,000 ft2) of logistics, production and administrative office space. The new layout was purpose built for Contrinex and optimized for efficient, hyper responsive production and commercial support for its USA and Canadian clients. This investment demonstrates Contrinex’ continued commitment to automation professionals and their requests for more inventory, local technical support and just-in-time production.
Managing Director Adrian Johnson and Operations Manager Jean-Luc Riedo oversaw this expansion and outline some of its benefits.
What advantages does the new US production site offer for customers?
AJ: Local US production increases product availability to our sales and distribution network so they get the right product, in the right place at the right time. We expect to cut lead times by 40% for locally produced sensors and safety products. Our team has the ability to ship products on the same day for orders received before 4 pm CST.
North American engineers and automation designers are very sophisticated customers. We know they have lots of choices, and that they are also dealing with the pressure of shortened development cycles and compressed lead times. Having production in the USA allows us to respond in real time. This means our machine builders, integrators and OEM clients can respond quickly to changes in demand. Their success is our success.
JLR: In fact, all these advantages will also extend beyond US borders. Since Dallas is a key logistics hub for North and South America, US production will ensure faster delivery not only to our US customers but also those in Mexico, Canada and Brazil.
How many production sites does Contrinex have?
JLR: With the addition of the new US facility, Contrinex now has five production sites worldwide for its sensors, light curtains and RFID systems. These factories not only bring us closer to our global customer base, but also give us exceptional flexibility. For example, if capacity at one factory is adversely affected by local holidays or a sudden increase in demand, we now have a choice of four other production sites. In this way, we can ensure timely delivery to our customers worldwide, whatever the circumstances.
Which Contrinex products are now made in the USA and what are your plans?
AJ: We began limited local production last year with the production of the Type 4 Safetinex light curtains. This recent expansion includes inductive proximity sensors, in particular our popular Miniature and Classics smart sensors with IO-Link. Both of these production lines set the foundation for continued growth, including some very exciting new technology. In future, we also plan to produce smart photoelectric sensors in Dallas.
Are there any differences between products made in the USA and those made, for example, in Europe?
AJ: We have a long standing install base in both regions, so it is important to us that the customer receives a consistent user experience regardless of the country of origin. The products we build in the USA will have the same high Swiss quality standards and global best practices we have been perfecting over the past 45 years. That said, these products will carry additional certifications and approvals required by the American and Canadian industrial electronics marketplace.
What about the future?
AJ: In the past four years we have rapidly grown from the early years as a field sales office, to a logistics hub and now this production site. We could not have done this without an exceptional team of people.
New programmable (or smart) sensors with IO-Link require knowledgeable and trained technical support staff. We have the best team in the industry in this area. It is important that we continue to build a culture with a bias towards action.
Our legacy as an R&D company means we have a strong pipeline of new products due out in the next 18 months. We know that the combination of high technology and high service is what our customers need from us.