Customer Success Stories
Unico Gains a Competitive Advantage with Intelligence from Altium Solutions and Supply Chain Data Services
“We are in the middle of designing several revolutionary products. Knowing what components are readily available in the market, and also knowing what's at risk in the market, is a very big deal.”
By leveraging the Nexar API, advanced analytics (SCR), and Octopart (component search/research) Unico makes smarter decisions early on.
Unico builds leading-edge variable speed drives and controls systems for companies on the cutting edge of new technology. They’re a fully integrated company, designing and building their own board-level drive components, which go into their drives, which go into their test stands. So they are not just a drives manufacturer, but also a systems integrator that works with other systems integrators.
Unico is located just south of Milwaukee. The drives they design are highly specialized, solving niche problems for auto manufacturing, both electric and combustion; metal forming and coil processing; oil and gas production; and paper converting, which includes corrugated, packaging, printing, and other paper converting industries. With more than five decades of experience, Unico is one of the world’s leading automation companies.
“Getting parts was like guerilla warfare. We wanted to get POs issued right away because we knew that if we lingered on a decision too long, we would lose inventory, and we would pay for it.”
All the industries served by Unico share a need for absolutely precise, quality performance in every application. The digital future they are helping accelerate encompasses drives and controls systems for testing electric vehicle propulsion systems; maximizing oil production with artificial intelligence at the well; optimizing metal forming with control applications embedded into the drives; and delivering precision control systems for a wide range of applications in the converting industry.
Overcoming Supply Chain Ups and Downs
“When you’re a smaller organization, each team is doing more, wearing more hats, and we don't have the luxury of time to become subject matter experts. So any information you get quickly is super beneficial. The Nexar API and Spectra SCR allow us to make a lot of educated decisions.”
Unico hired a full-time component engineer to help “manage this crazy market”, and he used the Nexar API and Spectra SCR constantly to make sure component decisions made now did not create problems later. Problems like out-of-stock components, production line disruptions, respins, and everything else that unnecessarily drives up costs.
With component data from the Nexar API and Spectra SCR, Unico can see what’s declining in the market, what they have to move fast on, and where they’re just out of luck. But even then, Altium solutions and technology can take luck out of the equation to provide and validate alternative component solutions. With Altium’s tools, the component engineer even set up a weekly report to drive proactivity on problem parts and solutions that needed speed to be locked-in now.
The Nexar API and Spectra SCR Competitive Advantage
“A smaller company like ours doesn’t have as many barriers to decision-making as a larger company would. So when something comes up we can grab now before prices change, we can make decisions quickly, very quickly, if we have to. That's where this tool has been super super fruitful.”
The Right Tools for Smart Decisions
For a company like Unico that wants every competitive advantage it can get, the Nexar API and Spectra SCR gave them data and insights to make informed decisions quickly, grab inventory on the spur of the moment if the moment was right, know when it is safe to wait on buying certain components, and confidently make moves today that would not become production delays and cost overruns in the future.
Learn more at www.nexar.com