Extron’s versatile design and manufacturing expertise is utilized in Uponor Infra Oy Technology’s international licensing agreement projects around the world. Next, the successful collaboration will introduce the VASTE cloud service in Kenya.
“Uponor Infra Technology (former KWH Pipe Technology) was founded in early eighties. Our main business is to supply lines, units and equipment to produce plastic pipes,” says Jari Mylläri, the director of Uponor Infra Oy Technology.
The company’s primary flagship product is the patented Weholite pipe construction. It is manufactured under license agreements around the world.
“We supply production equipment to licensed companies, and Extron is our partner in equipment manufacturing,” Mylläri explains. “They are the primary supplier and development partner for our projects. We know each other, and both know what the other is capable of and what the partner wants. Communication is easy, and collaboration is smooth and natural. Mutual trust is really important in the project business and development work.”
Great tool for production, development and sustainability
In addition to Uponor, Extron’s new VASTE cloud service is of global interest.
“We are really interested in adding the service to our portfolio,” Mylläri says. “We are preparing for a license delivery to Kenya, and Extron has a major role in the project. We are also going to introduce VASTE for the first time.”
As a traditional pipe manufacturer, Uponor has been involved in VASTE’s development work. They have valuable insights into what features industry players expect from the service.
“First, cloud services have made it possible to collect large amounts of data,” Mylläri says. “VASTE is a great tool for both production and development, as it collects data extensively enough. It also plays a major role in maintenance anticipation, as well as production and logistics planning.”
According to Mylläri, the need for information to be collected about production is not always unambiguous.
“The factory staff is interested in technical details, but VASTE is also a great management-level tool,” he notes. “It enables real-time monitoring. For example, in a larger pipe project, VASTE can be used to monitor schedules, raw material consumption and the amount of scrap, i.e. bad pipe. It gives a real-time picture of whether the project is progressing according to the plan. Information is especially valuable when management and production are located in different places.”
Mylläri adds that VASTE can also be used for troubleshooting. In addition, the service is of great benefit in achieving the goals of sustainable development.
“Pipe suppliers are required to provide documentation to prove certain sustainability issues. At Uponor, for example, we measure electricity consumption per unit and per line, and VASTE allows us to collect information and report on how consumption changes per kilogram of pipe produced. VASTE can also be integrated into the company’s ERP system.”
The first VASTE project of Extron and Uponor Infra Technology is now underway, and Mylläri has high expectations for the future of the cooperation.
“Next year there will be a licensing seminar with all licensing partners, and now in the project to be delivered to Kenya, VASTE will also be presented to other licensees,” Mylläri says. “Of course, new applications are always better to present in action than on a slideshow.”
Mylläri hopes that the cooperation will continue and develop in the future as well.
“We are very pleased with Extron’s position as the main equipment supplier for our projects,” says Mylläri. “VASTE is also constantly evolving, and Extron is always ready to tailor it to the customer’s needs. The design is always based on a high-quality basic product, but data collection and reporting can be customized to the desired format.”
According to Mylläri, Extron’s main strength is versatility.
“They have strong overall knowledge and understanding of plastic production processes as well as experience in smart design. International competitors usually focus on either modification or automation, but Extron’s expertise covers not only automation but also plastic production processes.”
Another strength is Extron’s flexibility.
“Competitors around the world make standard products in high volume. Extron takes the customer’s needs into account and always designs its products and services accordingly.”