SMT & Inspection | October 27, 2006
OKi celebrates 60 years
This year marks the 60th anniversary of OK International. OKi has come a very long way since 1946, when it first opened its doors for business, but the company's direction and success today owe a great deal to its early years, and the vision of its founders.
At its inauguration, OK Machine & Tool Corporation was a specialist in the precision machining of metal parts, primarily for the defence industry. Over the following years, its focus evolved to the point that by the 1970s, it had moved into the manufacture and distribution of wire wrapping products for telephone switching systems. Drawing on its expertise and knowledge of the telecommunications industry, it was then just a short step for OKi to make its processes available to the broader electronics industry. Later, in 1989, OK International made the strategic decision that was to initiate the formation of the company we know today: it resolved to dedicate its resources to the development, manufacture and marketing of its own products, primarily for solder/desolder and rework. Over the next few years, in alignment with that strategy, it acquired Metcal, Techcon and Impell. Together with its own acquisition in 2000 by Dover Corporation, these acquisitions strengthened OK International's competencies in the manufacture and development of soldering, dispensing and fume filtration systems, and broadened its product line with patented technologies and products. They also helped it to expand its customer base, markets, and geographic presence. Today, thanks to these developments, OK International employs 300 people in 8 sites worldwide. Its tools and systems are supplied to the global market through various channels including over 100 leading local distributors, and it counts the world's top OEMs and blue chip companies among its clients. If getting to the top is no mean feat, staying there is even more of a challenge. With this in mind, the company determined in 2005 that the time was right to strengthen its position by rebranding all its products under a single name. The New OKi brand was launched at Productronica in the same year; a move that, for Paul Weaver, OK International's Vice President of European Sales, was faultless. A year on, he notes: “The principal benefit for our customers, our distributors and OK International itself, is clarity. Before, with our multiple brands, it was sometimes difficult to deliver the message that we supplied equipment for every player and every part of the assembly workbench. Now, our message is unequivocal, we offer the full range of soldering, rework, fume extraction and dispensing products, at all levels, from entry level to high-end tools and systems. Now our clients are clear that they can source all of their equipment from us, whatever their application, whatever their technical requirements, whatever their budget". Of course, the message is important, but the messenger is even more important, and for OK International, its distributors are partners, to be supported locally, with a local sales message. Again, where this was prohibitive as a multi-brand strategy, the single brand has facilitated its introduction. Weaver: “With our new localised marketing resources, we can concentrate on the specific needs of our local markets. This is particularly important for our European distributors and customers, who receive local support and a local, rather than a global message". OK International has also opened up new sales channels, such as catalogue sales of its more mainstream products; a move that has proven highly successful in bringing in new clients. The new message, new energy, new sales support and distribution channels, and new products mean significant growth in sales volumes. This, in turn means more base materials handling, and more products coming off the manufacturing lines and moving through to the final customer. It is clear that this must all be managed properly, as Weaver emphasises: “The differentiator between us and our competitors is in our management of our total supply chain – from our vendors to after sales customer care". To this end, the company has been busy setting up new systems such as e-Kanban to streamline materials and production handling, and improving its consignment inventory management systems. The result is lower cost manufacture and improved lead-times, all to the benefit of OK International, its distributors and its clients. In driving these recent changes, OK International continues to demonstrate the determination and vision that have been the hallmark of its management since its inception 60 years ago, and there is no doubt that these qualities will continue to benefit the electronics industry well into the 21st Century.
Bel acquires CUI Inc. power assets Bel Fuse Inc. has closed on its previously-announced deal with CUI Global for the majority of the power business of its subsidiary, CUI Inc.
Accel Robotics more than quadruples initial funding San Diego-based start-up Accel Robotics has announced a USD 30 million Series A funding round led by SoftBank Group Co.
General Motors, LG Chem partner in Ohio General Motors and LG Chem have announced plans to form a joint, equally-owned company to mass-produce electric vehicle battery cells.
Swissbit opens electronics production facility in Berlin Swissbit has been manufacturing in Germany since 2002 and has now official opened its new electronics production facility in Berlin.
Revenue ranking of global top 10 IC design companies The newest analysis from TrendForce shows that several U.S.-based IC design companies experienced continually expanding losses in 3Q19 revenue because of the ongoing China-U.S. trade war and because Huawei had yet to be removed from the Entity List.
Mycronic receives order for an upgrade of a Prexision system Swedish production equipment specialist, Mycronic AB, has received an order to upgrade a system to a full-scale Prexision 8.
Kurtz Ersa inaugurates new extension buildingin Asia Kurtz Ersa Asia Ltd. celebrated its 15th anniversary in China and at the same time opened its extension building in Zhuhai.
Clover Wireless acquires Teleplan Illinois-based Clover Wireless has acquired Teleplan International N.V., a global electronics supply chain services and solutions provider.
FLIR Systems, Providence Photonics finalize deal Oregon-based FLIR Systems has completed its strategic investment in Providence Photonics, developers of advanced software used to quantify invisible gas emissions using FLIR optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras.
Lucid Motors sees EV facility groundbreaking Lucid Motors has officially begun phase-one construction of its EV manufacturing facility in Arizona, representing an investment of more than USD 300 million.
Precogs’ CEO: ‘If we can’t help you, it won’t cost you’ The business model of Precogs, the company that has created a global marketplace that connects a buyers ERP with component distributors, is quite intriguing; you will only pay out of what the company can save you.
Cre8tek invests in robotics to increase efficiency and quality Danish-Chinese electronics manufacturer, Cre8tek, has recently invested in added automation in the shape of robots; which are currently moving into the company’s production plant in Shenzhen with the aim to increase efficiency and quality.
Global semiconductor sales increase 2.9% MoM in October The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced worldwide sales of semiconductors reached USD 36.6 billion for the month of October 2019, an increase of 2.9% from the previous month's total of USD 35.6 billion, but down 13.1% compared to the October 2018 total of USD 42.1 billion.
Standex International buys Torotel Inc. Standex International Corporation and Torotel Inc. have reached a definitive agreement for Standex to acquire Torotel for approximately USD 48 million in cash.
SPEA unveils new digs in Chandler, Arizona SPEA, a provider of in-test equipment for electronics, semiconductor, MEMS, and sensor industries, has opened a new office in Chandler, Arizona, in the metropolitan area of Phoenix.
SUSS MicroTec, BRIDG team up on NA applications center SUSS MicroTec has announced a broad collaboration agreement with BRIDG, a Florida not-for-profit microelectronics fabrication facility with 200 mm (8-inch) wafer fab capabilities.
Universal adds software center in Bratislava Universal Instruments has extended its EMEA capabilities with the addition of a Software Center in its Bratislava, Slovakia corporate facility.
Sono Motors launches community funding campaign The German mobility provider Sono Motors launched one of the biggest community funding campaigns in Europe yesterday. The company’s campaign target is to generate EUR 50 million between now and December 30, 2019, with preorders from existing and new supporters.
Filtronic expands hybrid microelectronics manufacturing facility Filtronic, the designer and manufacturer of antennas, says it has invested over USD 1.3 million in new equipment for its manufacturing facility in Sedgefield, UK.
ACM Research aiming for R&D facility in Shanghai ACM Research Inc., provider of single-wafer wet cleaning equipment, has begun the bidding process to acquire land rights in the Shanghai, Lingang region.
DirectMed acquires Medical Systems Technologies San Diego-based DirectMed Parts & Service has acquired Medical Systems Technologies (MST), a specialist in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) component level repair and testing.
Gowanda acquires RCD Components New York-based Gowanda Components Group has picked up New Hampshire’s RCD Components, which will be folded into the company’s Magnetics Division.
Eurocircuits biggest investment to date One thing has always been clear for PCB manufacturer Eurocircuits – continues investments have been the key for the company’s success, and investments have been made.Load more news