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"Clients who don"t know us are surprised by our high level of technological development"

The Department is responsible for managing and solving the challenges and tests brought up by clients to convince them of the suitability of acquiring an ONA EDM machine

The Department is responsible for managing and solving the challenges and tests brought up by clients to convince them of the suitability of acquiring an ONA EDM machine

INTERVIEW WITH IBON JAIO, HEAD OF THE APPLICATIONS DEPARTMENT AT ONA

 

'Clients who don't know us are surprised by our high level of technological development'

 

The Department is responsible for managing and solving the challenges and tests brought up by clients to convince them of the suitability of acquiring an ONA EDM machine

Jaio highlights his proximity to - and experience of - the area he runs: 'We, the 7 technicians that make up the team, have more than 100 years' experience in EDM between us.'

 

Ibon Jaio is in charge of the ONA Applications Department - a strategic area within the company. One of functions of his role is to resolve the challenges, tests and doubts brought up by clients who are considering the possibility of acquiring ONA EDM equipment for their machining processes. The Department is made up of 7 people distributed across the different ONA branches. However, as Jaio points out, 'the team is larger in reality, as we often need to call on internal staff from fields such as software, hardware, the Mechanical Department, etc.' We do everything that is necessary and essential to convince potential new clients of the suitability of incorporating ONA technology into their solutions.     

 

QUESTION. What exactly does the ONA Applications Department do? What is its role?

ANSWER. It is the tool that finds the best solutions for our clients. And it is also a tool that is able to evaluate ONA's strength with respect to other competitors and the needs of the industry, ensuring that our product remains at the forefront of EDM. 

 

Q. When and why was the department created? 

A. It is one of the oldest in the machine tool industry in Spain, and in the EDM industry worldwide. It responds to a need brought about by the technology's own characteristics. The exact date of creation would be difficult to determine, but I would say that it was born practically on the same day that ONA was founded. It is the best way to be in continuous contact with both the needs of the client and the requirements of the market. The Applications Department is the company's technical link with the outside world, making it easier to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the industrial sector.  

Q. Do all companies interested in acquiring ONA EDM equipment for the first time require the services of this Applications Department?

A. Not necessarily. There are different profiles: the client who knows what he does and also knows what he wants to try; or the one who does not have a clear idea but knows he needs EDM. The department plays an important role for clients who are unfamiliar with EDM. We help them take their first steps and guide them in the applicability of technology in their solutions. We give those who are already familiar with EDM, but are undecided, the final push and provide them with the confidence they need, showing them that we are a good solution..   

 

Q. What would you say makes the ONA Applications Department special and different from those of its competitors?

A. Testing is always a challenge. The same test can be done at the same time by another department or application team from another company. It's kind of a competitive race where every detail counts. Our strengths are proximity and experience. We, the 7 technicians that make up the team, have more than 100 years' experience in EDM between us. This is extremely valuable.    

 

Q. What kind of tests do companies ask for the most? 

A. Every company has its own priorities. There are clients who have already established criteria in order to standardise tests and compare them fairly. Then there are companies that devise a test related to their activity, about which we must become experts in record time; we must not only beat our competition, but also show that we can be a perfect technological partner.  

 

Q. Do companies resort to using ONA's facilities and attend the test run they have requested?

A. There is no common practice in this respect. Sometimes clients ask to attend the test run, depending on the value of the application, while on other occasions they come to the see the results in situ after the test has been carried out. This is generally because the result has impacted them, and they see a significant improvement. 

 

Q. What usually happens after the tests are completed? 

A. Since we are a small company compared to our competitors, the most common emotion experienced is surprise. Clients who do not know us are often surprised by our high level of technological development. Not just in the service provided during the application of our products, but throughout: the quality of the machines, the peripheral equipment available, the department's facilities, etc. Generally, companies leave with a good understanding of ONA's capabilities. 

 

Q. Do you remember any special cases, due to their complexity, where the client would be satisfied after the tests have been carried out?

A. I remember many... We recently had an experience with a company in that area that needed an ultra-precision solution for tool sharpening. In the end we were able to offer the best option, which gave them the tools necessary to finish their project. It was a milestone for the department, since we faced competition of the highest level. I also remember another similar experience, in which a client in the aerospace industry asked us for some tests for precision cuts of fir trees on turbine discs. Today, this company is one of ONA's clients and manufactures turbines which are cut by our machines.

 

Q. Does the department also provide training on how to best use your equipment? Are knowledge and performance directly proportional?

A. Absolutely; a good machine needs a good driver. An advanced knowledge of technology is essential for optimal equipment performance. 


Q. And how do you offer this training? How do you recommend getting the most out of the machine?

A. Advanced training is usually customised. Depending on the client's needs, some themes are focused on more than others. The ultimate goal is for the client to get the most out of their applications. Not all applications are useful for everyone. It is therefore best to adjust the ultimate goal so that the client has peace of mind in knowing that what they are doing, they are doing well. 


Q. Is training more in-depth depending on the complexity of the parts to be made? 

A. Training, in the case of complex applications, becomes an R&D job. Sometimes, we carry out research together with the client in order to optimise their work or obtain solutions for their processes. We even support clients by training them to study the feasibility of future projects, work requested, etc.  

 

Do you have a challenge or test for our Applications Department? Do you need guidance on the applicability of EDM technology in your solutions? Contact us, we look forward to hearing from you.