Switzerland Country Report 2013

Polydec's tiny parts build big industries

Discovery Reports

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 April, 2013, 6:56pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 May, 2013, 4:45pm

Size does matter in manufacturing, and micro-turning specialist Polydec proves its small, high-quality parts play a huge role worldwide. Globally, five out of every 10 cars use Polydec parts.

Barely visible to the naked eye, many of Polydec's complex pieces are less than 1mm in diameter, and in some cases even 0.1mm.

Though its company size mimics its product size, Polydec has had enormous influence on major sectors for 27 years. "We are small, yet we produce 35 to 40 million parts monthly," says Claude Konrad, owner, president and co-founder.

Polydec maintains close contact with clients and ensures their requirements are met. The company is often tapped at the beginning of a client's production process and customises parts accordingly.

As a leading global automotive supplier, Polydec supplies more than 300 million micro-axles for dashboards annually for Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Ford and Toyota.

Polydec's parts have also become highly desirable to Switzerland's luxury watchmakers, for which it makes high-precision parts used in timepiece movements. An established producer of test probes for semi-conductors and printed circuit boards, Polydec also makes speciality connectors and other parts for electronics.

Medical devices likewise use Polydec's parts in insulin pumps, hearing aids, dental tools and endoscopic instruments.

The company safeguards its specialised know-how in the hands of its staff, most of whom have been with Polydec for more than 10 years and are expert engineers.

Polydec maintains its quality control via enterprise resource planning systems usually found in much larger companies. This tool helps it meet production deadlines with the lowest parts per million (PPM) defect ratios, achieving zero-defect PPM for certain special projects. The company has had no defect-related complaints over the past four years with certain major customers.

Polydec remains committed to zero-defect PPM with certain parts after increasing its capacity by 20 per cent following its acquisition of new machinery and facilities this year.

Recognising Asia's importance in manufacturing, Polydec has begun to enlarge its footprint on the mainland. "We would be interested in finding a partner in China that is in the same line," Konrad says. "Our markets have different needs, so having customers and partners that appreciate our unique expertise enables us to identify and take advantage of business opportunities."

Polydec welcomes mergers and acquisitions to find other applications for its small parts. The company will continue to grow its automotive and electronics business in Japan, Malaysia and on the mainland.