Specialty Products: How They Can Simplify Manufacturing
Würth is a trusted partner that focuses on creative supply chain solutions allowing manufacturers to get back to what they do best, making parts. When a company chooses to partner with Würth for their C-Class assembly components the natural next question is, “What other parts can you help me with?”.
The answer for many of our customers has been working with our specialty products group. The Würth SPG team focuses on finding innovative solutions for manufacturing, purchasing, and supply chain challenges. From complicated multi-process die castings to metal fabricated assemblies, the SPG team can work to provide you a solution that takes the pain out of subcontracted manufacturing. Read our case study below to see how our team has impacted our customers.
Specialty Products Case Study:
At the beginning of 2019, one of our niche agriculture customers gave the SPG team the opportunity to do a line walk assessment, or what the SPG team likes to call a “Brain Storming Session”. During these sessions nothing is off the table and questions like “why are you making part XYZ as an aluminum machining instead of a die-casting” are asked.
It was during one of these meetings that a large standard industrial valve was identified by the customer and our team as a constant pain point.
As we began to get a little back story on the part, the customer explained that when they began to develop their initial machine design they used readily available parts that could be found off the shelf. At the time, they could not afford the cost of developing a custom part specifically for the application. They were also frustrated because their overall consumption of this part was very low compared to the total volume the current manufacture is producing for others in various industries. Many times the customers’ orders were bumped to fulfill orders for “more important customers” causing them to keep larger than needed volumes of inventory to support production.
The question was asked by our team, “If you could have the perfect part for your application what would it look like?”. They explained the changes they would like to see in the part and the SPG team added suggestions for additional improvements. It’s typical at this point a customers engineering team supplies CAD files with the discussed changes. However, the customer was unable to provide this needed information that allows the project to move to the next step of quotation, tooling creation, sampling, and production.
With the help of the Würth additive manufacturing team, we were able to work with the customer to develop a CAD model and 3D print a conceptual part illustrating the customer’s desired changes.
What we have found is that most challenges in global manufacturing projects occur due to lack of communication or un-intentional cultural translation issues. The person working with the customer typically isn’t the person communicating with the manufacturer 7,000 miles away. Eliminating the status quo “he said, she said” style of communication ensures transparent exchange between all project stakeholders.
The SPG team visited the supplier multiple times through this process to insure that the customers’ requirements were being met. The outcome of the project was a success. Wurth was able to provide the customer a custom part specifically for their application, with their name molded into the part, and managed to their forecasted demand. Allowing them to feel confident that they had the right part, dedicated inventory, at a competitive price.