The sauna heater control unit is a simple regulator. Designing such a device would be easy, if one would not have to heat the small room until it is fiery hot and not throw water on the heater.
The sauna has the toughest conditions for a modern building, if we talk about building technology. Strict standards have been enacted for heaters, steam generators and lighting. The control of the heater must never fail. Otherwise both the building and people are in danger.
Reliability is one of the cornerstones of the cooperation between Ouman and Harvia. Ouman designs and manufactures all the electronics needed by Harvia.
The OEM cooperation has continued uninterrupted already for twenty years. Ouman has had an important role in Harvia becoming the world’s leading heater manufacturer.
”Ouman has delivered tens of thousand of products to Harvia. The share of faulty devices is insignificantly small,” says Pasi Manneros, director of Ouman’s OEM services.
According to Manneros, only the top quality is good enough for the heaters. One cannot afford to mess up with a part that costs only 20 cents, because its breaking causes a bill of many hundreds of euros.
”Even if the building did not burn, people don’t like the maintenance man bothering them. It causes a lot of bad will.”
Ouman is the customer’s product development department
The cooperation between Ouman and Harvia is exceptionally tight. The companies plan together how the products could be made more desirable, durable and inexpensive.
In practice, we can say that Ouman is Harvia’s product development department for electronics. The OEM partnership has developed into an ODM relationship.
”A mere idea is actually enough for us,” Manneros says. ”We can design a product, delivery chain and logistics around it. After this, we will also know the price of the product.”
In addition to sauna electronics, Ouman designs and manufactures for its OEM customers thermostats for the rooms’ heating systems, ventilation and heat pumps. The service range also includes temperature sensors and controls for household appliances.
The mid-sized moves faster
A mid-sized Finnish company can react to the changing needs of customers faster than Asia’s large mass producers. Many development versions of one product can be made during its lifecycle, and new versions can quickly be introduced in production and sales.
”We do well with flexibility, quality and delivery reliability,” Manneros says. Companies also compete with price. It must be appropriate considering the quality of activities. ”Of course we also have to deal with cost pressures, Manneros says. Similar but cheaper goods are constantly coming through from Asia. We will do everything that is humanly possible, so that our product is better.”