The new opportunities from a state-of-the-art factory in Brno in the Czech Republic make for exciting times at Andrew Corporation. Michael Schwartz has been speaking to Andrea Cassini, Andrew Corporation's President of EMEA Sales and Marketing.
Just opened in the town of Brno
is Andrew Corporation's new manufacturing facility for producing base station antennas. Principal customers will be wireless operators in the
Middle East &
Africa (EMEA) regions.
plant significantly expands Andrew's European presence and enhances the company's ability to support the network requirements of customers in the region from a localised facility. The new
facility will in turn be closely tied to Andrew's EMEA product design centre in
. This came into being last year to provide region-specific design, qualification, and system specification services. The infrastructure for testing in place in
will assume even greater importance when the
facility commences regular production.
Andrea Cassini expresses Andrew's aspirations for the new plant clearly: "Brno
offers us low labour costs but high efficiency. We are looking forward to making
a major focus for production. There has been little market share in the region to date."
John DeSana, Group President of Andrew's Antenna and Cable Products Group, offers further clarification: "Our expanded manufacturing presence in Europe enables Andrew to offer high quality products, local engineering assistance, and experienced support to our many customers in the region...We have now further invested in this important market, where base station antenna customers can more easily visit our production facility."
The new custom-built 1,850 m2 factory in the Slatina area of
currently employs approximately 50 people. It has been constructed with enough capacity to triple production from its current levels, reflecting rising customer demand for base station antennas in the region. The new Brno plant produces a full spectrum of Andrew's Decibel base station antennas, including high and low band sector; 2.5G and 3G single band, dual band, and tri-band; and concealment solution models. All electrical variable-tilt antennas are compatible with Andrew's Teletilt remote electrical tilt system.
The Slatina plant is Andrew's second Czech plant, joining a cable and microwave antenna manufacturing facility about 10km away in the Modrice area. The
will now play an even more important part in Andrew's commercial activities with the opening of the new plant. A logistic warehouse and facilities to manufacture microwave antennas complete Andrew's involvement in
Brno, and explain why the city supports most of the company's European business.
Turning to specific markets, Andrew supplies equipment to two major German mobile network operators, as well as to the
. While Andrea Cassini sometimes wishes he could: "change the mentality of some operators towards newer and more flexible methods" he is on the whole optimistic: "We are expanding directly into
as a whole -