One of the strengths with Production Materials is our ability to find ways of doing specialized jobs cost-effectively; ones that other component suppliers might sense as too costly to present their clients. Case in point: a prominent company involved in the grooming industry approached us about five weeks ago, and presented us with a complex problem they were facing. A new robotic tool they’d been using to pick up individual parts (eventually assembling them into a finished product) had difficulty in completing its assigned tasks.
One of the robot’s main jobs is finding a required part from a feeder bowl, taking it in its grasp, and then placing it into the proper hole per specification. Once the robot locates the hole, it then screws the component into the mating part. The robot was having trouble locating a particular screw because the screw point was too wide in diameter to fit into the hole in question. We needed to find a way to make the point smaller without compromising the other dimensions or adding a costly secondary operation.
It seemed at first like a difficult task ahead of us. The obstacles were many. But by collaborating with our supplier partner, and strategizing some innovative approaches using various software tools, we were able to come up with a new screw design at no additional cost.
We’re still working with our client, but the feedback thus far has been immensely positive. The trial run – some 25,000 pieces and counting – continues to run great. We look forward to completing the task and getting the job done right. All’s well that ends well, and so far, so good.