With the opening of our new manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, RFS is set to bring more innovative manufacturing techniques and more advanced research and development (R&D) to China and the rest of the world.
The 36,000 square meter facility, which officially opens on July 25th, manufactures base station antennas (BSAs) and RF conditioning products for pre-5G wireless systems and communications networks.
The facility features new production techniques, lines and equipment that will allow RFS to improve product quality and increase production while controlling costs and accelerating delivery times. It will also allow us to strengthen our R&D efforts on BSAs and RF conditioning products so we can continue to deliver increasingly innovative products. Because the Suzhou facility is designed for expansion and growth, it will be an ideal location to make advances on other products and solutions in the future.
Our President and Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Merz, makes clear the significance of the new facility in helping RFS to prepare for the future.
"The opening of the Suzhou facility as a milestone in our evolution to Industry 4.0 puts RFS in an excellent position to provide the innovative wireless infrastructure products needed to support the industrialization of 4G technologies and the advent of 5G technologies."
An Industry 4.0 smart factory
The Suzhou facility is designed to operate as an Industry 4.0 smart factory. An Industry 4.0 factory uses advanced systems, processes and technologies, data analytics, increased automation and digitization to predict outcomes so problems can be prevented before they occur.
All of our operations — from raw material storage, transportation and production processes to quality control, packaging, shipping and supply chain — are based on lean concepts. Lean management helps to increase quality assurance and manufacturing flexibility while reducing inventory requirements and waste in every area of operations.
By combining lean management with more automated manufacturing techniques and processes, the Suzhou facility can deliver higher quality products, faster and with fewer cost overruns. The higher production capacity available in the facility will enable us to produce an additional 100,000 higher-frequency and multi-band antennas annually.
In addition, online access to key data will allow us to manage operations remotely, customize dashboards on demand and generate analytics so we can continue to refine operations and mitigate risks.
The Suzhou facility is a key part of our global strategy
The Suzhou facility is RFS’ primary manufacturing plant for base station antennas and RF conditioning products and it supplies customers in China and the rest of Asia, as well as the US, Latin America, and Europe. As a result, this facility plays a very important role in our short-term and long-term strategy to deliver innovative products to our customers globally. The location is also very beneficial in that it allows us to be close to suppliers in order to streamline the supply chain and reduce supply chain costs. Close proximity to the highway and the Suzhou New District railway station make transportation convenient.
RFS will sell products manufactured in the Suzhou facility through our own sales channels. We will also be in a better position to accommodate customer demand for wholesale offerings. And we will be able to manage import and export processes and to provide installation, maintenance, post-sales service and general technical support.