The 2018 reporting year at Cicor was marked by a high growth and successful project implementation. With a strong end-of-year position, expectations for sales and operating profitability for the whole year were exceeded with new maximum figures. The new factory in Arad (Romania) was completed on time and within budget, whilst the cost of moving was considerably under budget. Cicor enters the new year well, driven by an order book filled to record levels as well as strategic projects for the future.
Romania has been one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe since its economic opening in the early 1990s and in particular after its accession to the European Union (EU) in 2007. The Cicor site in Arad was founded in 1996 and today, 23 years later, employs over 700 people at a new, best-in-class production facility. As a globally active electronics manufacturer, the Cicor Group is responsible for the engineering and production of numerous electronic substrates, assemblies and systems for leading technology companies. As a reliable partner, Cicor offers engineering services, high-quality printed circuit boards, hybrid circuits, printed electronics, electronics assembly, tool design and fabrication as well as plastic injection molding and box building from a single source. Cicor produces at ten locations worldwide – from market to market.
- Read more about the new production site in Romania
The Cicor production site in Arad (Romania) offers comprehensive services for the manufacture of electronic components, devices and systems. Since its foundation 23 years ago, the site has grown strongly. Especially after 2013, the plant achieved annual growth rates of 20 % and more. Since this positive development meant that capacity bottlenecks and space problems in production and warehousing were foreseeable, the Cicor Group managers were able to look for possible solutions at an early stage. The size of the property made further expansion plans at the existing location impossible. The search for a suitable property which could be acquired for a realistic purchase price was started. In order to retain loyal employees and make the move more efficient, the new factory was to be built near the existing site if possible. A further criterion was the size of the property, which, in addition to providing sufficient space for the new building, should also offer the opportunity for future expansion. The new property optimally meets all the above requirements. It is located in the same industrial area and is only 200 meters away from the old location linear distance. In addition, the building land reserve would allow a future expansion in the form of a doubling of the current building area.
CONSTRUCTION TIME LESS THAN ONE YEAR
After the planning phase, the ground-breaking ceremony took place at the beginning of September 2017. Although construction over the winter period in this region of Romania usually brings additional challenges due to the climatic conditions, the ambitious schedule envisaged completion of the building in June 2018. The whole team around the project manager, who was involved in the construction, did everything in their power to make up for the weather-related delays and also to take into account Cicor’s requests for changes. This was achieved thanks to a very impressive team effort. At the end of June 2018, the new building was finally handed over to the Cicor Group on time. Thanks to strict cost control during construction, the work was not only completed on schedule, but also within the defined budget of a high single-digit million euro amount. The result is a modern industrial building with a total area of 13,500 m2. This corresponds to 7,400 m2 total production area, 3,100 m2 warehouse and logistics space, 1,500 m2 office space as well as 1,500 m2 for technical and social rooms. The energy efficiency class A building was already optimized in the planning phase specifically for electronics production and its logistics requirements and has all the functions required to operate a modern production environment. It is fully air-conditioned and equipped with LED lighting, water- cooled chillers, air conditioning, air humidification systems and state-of-the-art building management systems.
MOVE DURING ONGOING PRODUCTION
Since all those responsible were aware that the move of the entire building during ongoing operations would be a major challenge, the corresponding planning for the moving of the production plant was started at the beginning of 2018. A dedicated internal project manager monitored all activities and was also able to benefit from the experience gained at the Bronschhofen site (Switzerland). Only two years ago, the Swiss colleagues had moved their site to a new building without interrupting production. One production line after the other was stopped, dismantled, transferred to the new building, installed and validated before production could resume. During the move, a backup line took over the production load of the equipment, which was currently in transfer. In this way, the Arad team was able to move the equipment and continue production without interruption. The biggest challenge during this time was to ensure material availability for production in both sites. The entire move was carried out in July and August 2018 as planned within two months.
ADDED VALUE FOR CICOR CUSTOMERS
With the move to the new plant in Arad, significantly increased capacities with optimal production and logistics processes are now available. There is enough space for future development steps with existing and new customers. The building layout is flexible and offers the possibility of increasing production capacities or introducing new technologies on site as required. All process steps in electronics manufacturing are carried out reliably and efficiently under one roof. Together with the engineering and production site in Bronschhofen (Switzerland), which was newly established two years ago, the Cicor Electronic Solutions Division is now the most modern electronics contract manufacturing partner in Europe. With the electronics site in Thuan An Town (Vietnam) and the ongoing expansion of the Batam site (Indonesia) into a competence center for precision plastic injection molding, Cicor is further strengthening its position as a leading provider for electronic and electromechanical components and systems.