Home Home > Cases > Akva

Interview with CEO Henrik Breiner Nielsen from Akva

Insourcing from China for growth

Akva A/S creates high-end waterbeds. 10 years ago they decided to set up their own production in Denmark. This was to be the beginning of a longlasting cooperation between Akva and Carmo.

Akva makes a living producing high-end waterbeds for a world-wide audience
Akva A/S manufactures high-end waterbeds. For the last 10 years Carmo has been their supplier of connectors and corners in soft PVC. (photo © Akva A/S)

The Danish waterbed manufacturer Akva A/S has been in business for 16 years. At first they imported whole mattresses from U.S. for resale, but 10 years ago the company decided to set up their own production in Denmark. This was to be the beginning of a long-lasting cooperation between Akva and Carmo.

"We had a research phase, where we identified companies capable of producing items in soft PVC, and we found Carmo", says Henrik Breiner Nielsen from Akva.

"We researched for producers in soft PVC, and we found Carmo"

- Henrik Breiner Nielsen, Akva A/S

Carmos first task was to deliver a solution to a problem, that had haunted Akva for years.

"We started off purchasing a small connector, which we up until then had bought in U.S. It was a standard component, which many manufacturers of waterbeds used. We had a lot of problems with complaints about those connectors breaking, and we didn't understand why. As a result we developed our own component in close cooperation with Carmo, and this solved the problem", Henrik Breiner Nielsen says.

"This has given us a significant advantage compared to the thirty other manufactures, who is still using the component that breaks. It shows that it is imperative to get involved with the development of your own components. And this is much, much easier with a nearby partner", he adds.

Akva's cooperation with Carmo alone has enabled them to insource the work of five fulltime employees
Akva's cooperation with Carmo alone has enabled them to insource the work of five fulltime employees from China (photo © Akva A/S)

Since then Akva has insourced even more production from abroad, resulting in better quality and more efficient communication with their subcontractors.

"Now we get all our PVC foil and reinforced corners for the mattresses as well as connectors from domestic suppliers, and our cooperation with Carmo alone has enabled us to insource the work of five fulltime employees from China and U.S.", says Henrik Breiner Nielsen.

"Our cooperation with Carmo alone has enabled us to insource the work of five fulltime employees from China"

- Henrik Breiner Nielsen, Akva A/S

Critical components require critical suppliers

The critical soft PVC coners are High frequency welded to the fabric of the bed
The critical soft PVC coners are high frequency welded to the fabric of the bed. Precision and quality is critical to the final product. (photo © Akva A/S)

Carmo is now the main supplier of reinforced corners to Akva. The corners are high frequency welded onto the fabric of the mattress. The component is under a lot of strain, and a defect renders the whole product utterly useless for the end-user. Carmo delivers the high quality that is key for Akva to remain ahead of competition.

"We were the first in the business with welded-on corners. Being a first-mover always involves encountering inevitable starter-up problems, and therefore it's important that the subcontractor can react swiftly and effectively on any issues that surface along the way", says Henrik Breiner Nielsen.

"This is the case with Carmo, with whom we have an effective communication and exchange of experiences and know-how", he adds.

"With Carmo we have an effective communication and exchange of experiences and know-how"

- Henrik Breiner Nielsen, Akva A/S

The close cooperation in development of components and swift corrections of the errors that goes along with being first movers, plays an important part of Akvas succes as an innovative manufacturer of high quality waterbeds.

 
 
 
 

Carmo has a 60 year track record of delivering highly specialized technical and medical components.

We design, produce and sell quality injection moulded plastic components globally. We service industries as diverse as Medico, Maritime, Mining, Agriculture and Automotive.

Quality, Service and Flexibility are the key words of our production and in all aspects of our interaction with our customers. We are focused on minimizing hassle and maximizing service, while helping our customers turning ideas into products.

We are based in Denmark and run a highly automated production. By leveraging robotics and vision technology, we are able to deliver components with very high quality, well-defined properties and functionality at competitive prices.

We put all our knowhow and experience in ensuring our customers an easy integration and stability in their products and production.

From our sales offices and inventories in Denmark, France and the UK we are able to supply our core markets and customers within days.

Our core competency is components for High Frequency welding, with a special focus on valves, eyelets and components for medical bags. We maintain PVC as a special focus, however deliver 50% of our turnover in other plastic materials.

Our four main business areas are:

Technical Components Medical Components Modular storage boxes Product Development Services

Weldable eyelets and fittings

Valves for inflating, over pressure and vacuum

Threaded nozzles and caps

HF/RF welding machines

Market leader in drainage valves, connectors and fittings for medical bags

Customization and OEM production

Modular, high quality transparent boxes

Approved for storage of food and fragile objects

Sold under the brand UltraPlast

Product design and realisation

Pilot production, test and documentation

Ramp-up and production

In addition to above, our main manufacturing strength is quality injection moulding in all technical
plastics - including PVC. Carmo PVC products are made in a number of different PVC grades - all special and protected Carmo recipes.

We can manufacture in cleanroom down to class 10.000.
2K moulding

We have chosen quality to be the keyword for our production and
distribution. Since 1993 Carmo has been holding an ISO certification and we are today ISO certified according to ISO 9001:2008.

Carmo