Habia Cable AB

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Habia Cable is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of customized cables and cable harnesses. Many of its products are used in hightech applications in harsh environments. Its cables often have unique properties and are made from high-performance materials to meet various requirements and withstand strain. Its operations are divided into two business areas: Telecom and Other Industry.

Nearly two-thirds of all the cables that Habia Cable manufactures have been developed to meet specific customer needs. The work to develop a customized cable can be summarized in a few steps, in which industry know-how, expertise in materials technology and design as well as flexibility of production are Habia’s foremost strengths.

Customer needs are the starting point. The demands on technical function and how the cable is to be installed vary. Electrical properties are important, as are the environmental factors that can affect the cable – fire, chemicals, temperature variations or even radiation.

The specification of requirements is established by the technical sales team. Customer demands are compiled using a checklist, along with the important aspects for the design work and subsequent manufacturing.

A design proposal is prepared by design specialists – this is a crucial step that ensures the design meets the customer’s requirements and is viable given Habia’s manufacturing possibilities.

When the customer is satisfied with the proposal…

Preparation and planning provide a detailed description of how and where the cable is to be manufactured, which components are to be selected and the choice of machinery prior to the start of production.

Manufacturing is carried out by Habia’s skilled operators in accordance with proven methods. Flexibility is key since custom-designed cables are often manufactured against customer orders in short series with rapid adjustments and changes of materials and tools.

Quality controls are conducted at each step of the manufacturing process and in a final control of the cable – often in accordance with an agreement with the customer regarding everything from electrical performance and dimensions to the mechanical properties of the materials.

Five questions to Carl Modigh, President of Habia Cable, about the past year.

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How would you summarize 2018?

We set a record for order bookings, which surpass a billion kronor for the first time. In Other Industry, order bookings and invoicing increased in many markets. We delivered a strong performance in the areas of defense, industry and offshore. Telecom weakened during the second half of the year, but overall, Habia increased its order bookings, invoicing and earnings

How is demand in telecom being affected by the 4G and 5G expansion?

The first commercial 5G networks will be launched in 2019, but will not affect demand for 4G antennas in the short term. Demand for our products is still driven by 4G investment projects, which were mainly conducted in the US and India in 2018. These projects can involve building or expanding networks for 100 million users and are so large that they impact global demand.

Offshore enjoyed strong growth – what was behind this trend?

We have developed a new type of product – a medium voltage cable that can handle high temperatures. It achieved commercial breakthrough in the offshore sector as a heating cable for pipelines. Heated pipelines connect new oil fields with existing infrastructure. The technology is cost-effective and attractive for customers worldwide. We are a world leader in this type of cable and signed several contracts in 2018 for delivery in 2019.

How has demand been in Other Industry?

In the first half of the year, we achieved record-breaking demand. We were unable to increase our capacity at the same pace, resulting in long lead times and poorer delivery precision. We have now caught up in terms of capacity and have resolved other problems. Despite these challenges, many customers have been understanding. This demonstrates the strength of the relationships we have, many of which we’ve had for a very long time.

How would you describe the nuclear power sector?

In terms of invoicing and order bookings, this was a weak year. However, we signed several important contracts in 2018 and can look back on a year with a broadened customer base. This is an area in which individual projects steer demand and it will take time for the projects we’re involved in to generate larger volumes.

What will the focus be for 2019?

Starting up volume production of cables for offshore customers and securing new contracts for 2020 and onward. It will be just as important to deliver on the major defense orders we have secured and gain new business. We will likely also encounter a weakening in the general economy that will need to be addressed.