Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - 46

ifm

xclusive feature

market direct philosophy puts us
in close contact with our customers,
allowing us to understand their challenges and how we may help them,"
Varma says.
"We have manufacturing facilities
in Germany, Romania, Poland, Singapore and the United States. ifm's
decision to build manufacturing
plants and technology centers has
always been a long-range decision
based on availability of skilled people for the development process of
innovative solutions and the manufacturing processes of products."
ifm is focused on safe growth.
"This means we strive to be diverse
both with our product offering and
in the industries we serve," he adds.
"We want to continue to grow the
number of customers served, providing us consistent results in the coming years."
Today, ifm has over 140,000 customers worldwide and projects sales
for the 2018 fiscal year to exceed $900
million worldwide.
As an ISO 9001:2008 compliant
company, ifm performs extensive
testing to ensure reliable perfor-

roger varma, ceo of ifm usa operations,
says the company aims to best meet
clients' needs by shipping orders
within 24 hours.

46

manufacturing-today.com VOLUME 18, ISSUE 2

mance of every product. Tests include
sensing range characteristics, electrical parameters, seal integrity, leakage
current, housing display function,
voltage drop, insulation and operator current. "Because we believe in
high-quality customer support, our
ISO audit also includes an assessment
of order fulfillment and shipping accuracy, as well as key processes and
procedures throughout the organization," Varma says.
ifm does not believe in measuring customer satisfaction. Instead,
it measures customer loyalty. For
the past seven years, the company
has measured loyalty by using Net
Promoter Score (NPS). Its NPS has
consistently been over 70, a strong

and hosting a Salvation Army "Angel
Tree" drive, just to name a few.

Manufacturing Processes
ifm's R&D philosophy is based on
failing fast. This means the company
is consistently working on rapid prototyping, and learning on a daily basis
what improvements it can achieve.
This philosophy is moving it closer to
"scrumming," a methodology that has
been applied in the software industry.
With 3-D printed parts and an ability
to turnaround PCB electronics in less
than 24 hours, the company can prototype faster.
ifm manufacturing lines may have
a change-over time of once per hour
and can have a wide variety of sensor

"our suppliers are our partners. our global
supply base is filled with these partners that
have shared in the growth of ifm over numerous decades." - Roger Varma
indicator that the company is earning
customers' loyalty.
ifm employees often gather together to give back to the community, generously giving their time participating
in many charitable events throughout
the year. Currently, employees are
busy organizing the 7th Annual Orange Run, a 5K run / 2K walk to support
local families and children fighting
cancer through donating 100 percent
of proceeds to the Breathing Room
Foundation and the Cure4Cam Childhood Cancer Foundation. This year's
Run takes place June 21 at ifm's U.S.
headquarters in Malvern, Pa.
Other events include the Rise
Against Hunger campaign, which
packs 10,000 meals to feed those
starving around the world; donating
to the Chester County Food Bank

platforms, while at the same time following a one-piece flow philosophy.
All one-piece flow lines are flexible
to takt, which means depending on
customer demand, assemblers can be
added or removed from a line to meet
the required output. Lines are designed with a three-year view output
horizon, and lean daily management
is providing valuable input for continuous improvement suggestions to
increase output.
"At ifm, we have implemented a lean
inventory management philosophy
that optimizes our inventory through
continual evaluations," Varma says.
"This philosophy ensures that we are
regularly identifying opportunities to
improve our Kanban systems, eliminate waste and respond to the changing needs of our customers. Our key


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2

Contents
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - 1
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Contents
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Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - Volume 18, Issue 2 - Cover4
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