RFS Paves the Way to Industry 4.0 as New Manufacturing Facility in China Starts Full Operation

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), the global wireless and broadcast infrastructure specialist, today announced that its new manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, is in full operation

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The facility was built to meet global demand for RFS’ base station antennas (BSAs) and filters, and to enable RFS to bring more innovative manufacturing techniques and more advanced research and development (R&D) to China and the rest of the world.

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 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.

Karl Kirschenhofer, Chief Operating Officer of RFS, said: "We know how important our products are to our customers’ success, and this is why we put so much emphasis on delivering superior-quality products that are innovative, reliable and effective. To achieve these goals, we’ve introduced the cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and advanced production lines needed to deliver the highest-quality products to our customers. Every weld, installed part, reinforcement and inspection is completed under strict controls to ensure the end-to-end quality of each and every product. Throughout the implementation and installation process, we also follow the highest quality standards for excellence to ensure that our products and systems operate in a stable, safe and reliable way."

RFS President and Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Merz, makes clear the significance of the new facility. “The full operation of RFS’ Suzhou facility reaffirms China’s critical role in our global strategy. We expect this facility to provide valuable support to telecom operators and communications equipment manufacturers by providing continuous product and technology innovations. And we are very pleased to put into action our stated commitment to invest heavily in China and to strengthen our relationships with our Chinese partners,” he said. “RFS will continue to drive forward R&D and advanced antenna production by pursuing and upholding the highest standards for product manufacturing. The opening of the Suzhou facility 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. And we can bring local expertise in these technologies to our Chinese partners.”

The Suzhou plant started trial operations in early 2017 and since then, has been ramping up to full production levels to support R&D and manufacturing of higher frequency and multi-band antennas and filters. The facility required only 6 months to pass RFS’ global manufacturing standards certifications and was able to do so while completing relocation and other logistics requirements.

The Suzhou facility is currently operating at high capacity with 6 production lines for BSAs and 4 for filters with a back-up production line to accommodate increasing global demand for RFS antennas. Today, RFS can produce up to 100,000 higher frequency and multi-band antennas annually or 300,000 16S antennas. The factory located in Daxin Industrial Park in the Hushuguan Development Zone is constructed on a 42,000 square meter site and covers 36,000 square meters.

Trademarks: Radio Frequency Systems® and RFS® are registered trademarks of Radio Frequency Systems.
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