New components for a Scanner Challenge

A business equipment OEM designed a new device that required a total of 30 new injection molded components ranging in size from 2g to 2 ½ lbs. EAU for the project was only 2000 units, and tooling cost was a large concern for the OEM. To keep tooling costs down, the OEM was considering using an overseas supplier. This posed numerous problems: None of the overseas suppliers that quoted the project were able to commit to the required 14 week start-to-finish timeline for some of the large, highly complex parts; The suppliers quoting the project had issues with some of the part designs, indicating that the parts couldn’t be tooled as designed; Production lead times were prohibitive because of the transit time required for overseas shipments, which conflicted with the OEM’s lean philosophy of just-in-time delivery. The project would require numerous design changes and design meetings, which proved difficult with the overseas suppliers because they were unable to participate in hands-on collaboration sessions. Solution: Met2Plastic proposed using a combination of imported and domestic tooling to complete the project. Smaller components that were subject to fewer engineering changes were tooled with overseas tooling, providing an up-front cost savings. The larger and more complex parts were tooling domestically with aluminum tooling, providing a cost savings and shorter lead time over steel tooling. This allowed Met2Plastic to meet the OEM’s tight delivery requirements and providing a cost savings over the overseas tooling. Prior to tool launch, Met2Plastic worked closely with the OEM’s engineers to ensure that the parts were moldable as designed. This included design meetings with the OEM’s engineers, prototype part sample reviews for form-fit-function, and material selection assistance. As the part design iterations were completed, Met2Plastic’ engineers ran Moldflow® predictive modeling software to ensure the parts would fill and quality issues would be minimal. This resulted in a high initial sampling success rate that was critical in meeting the tight timeline. Once production started on the project, Met2Plastic worked with the OEM to setup a stocking program with kanban pulls and a 24 hour order processing leadtime. Result: The OEM was able to meet tooling budget requirements and delivery requirements, resulting in a successful product launch, and was able to establish a kanban program to complement their lean operations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *