How a global EMS unified operations and reduced manpower requirements

By Shirley Segev

Deploying multiple Siemens solutions throughout its multinational organization enabled Connect Group to easily move production between sites, resulting in significantly reduced downtime and manpower requirements.

Connect Group NV is an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) contractor that provides printed circuit board (PCB) assembly and cable assembly services. When it acquired several European electronics manufacturers with locations in Spain, China and Mexico, it needed to standardize and unify manufacturing operations across all company sites.

“It wasn’t an easy task,” says Wouter Peene, operations manager for Connect Group. “We had machines from different vendors at each site. All of our engineering and testing departments were using different software and a lot of manual processes.”

None of the company’s existing solutions could support the entire operation because they lacked interfaces to many of the machines and could not generate the required documentation. “We needed an end-to-end solution that would serve all our production sites,” says Peene.

Since Connect Group was already using Valor Process Preparation software in some of its factories, the company decided to deploy it company-wide. “Valor Process Preparation allows us to connect to all of our machines as a company-wide solution,” Peene explains.

Connect Group also adopted the comprehensive Valor Parts Library component database to accurately simulate each component’s shape. “Using Valor Parts Library helps us eliminate costly design errors before production starts,” he says.

In addition, Connect Group began using Valor NPI software, Siemens’ design-for-manufacturing (DFM) solution. “We offer the Valor NPI DFM as a service to our customers,” says Bart Allaert, head of the company’s technology-as-a-service group, “It is part of the shift left concept, encouraging the designer to be aware of manufacturing constraints. Using Valor NPI helps us bring higher quality products to market, faster, as part of a First Time Right strategy,” Allaert explains.

The centralized solution enabled Connect Group to easily move production between sites whenever necessary and reduce manpower requirements by an estimated 6,600 hours per year. Connect Group reported a full return on investment (ROI) within six months of implementing the Siemens solution, thanks to the improved manpower and reduced downtime on its production lines.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at