Decades of experience at the Tier 1/2 level provides insight to solutions, not only for customers but for our customer’s customer! See how SGE has helped with:
The RFQ cited an OEM stipulation that the buttons be molded in clear plastic, painted white, and then painted black and laser etched to assure the right color/lighting result. SGE’s original quotation recommended an alternative with the buttons molded in translucent white, painted black, and then laser etched. The proposal cited reduced costs and higher quality as SGE had been approved previously on this color by the OEM on other programs. Due to SGE’s experience, this cost saving change was implemented prior to any development by the Tier 1 customer...saving all parties time and money.
A prospective customer was facing the high cost of using a multi-shot decorated part that also had a high scrap rate. So SGE assisted the customer with design alternatives that led to an innovative manufacturing method, which also resulted in a significant cost savings and substantial improvement in quality. SGE not only won the business but forged a lasting relationship that embraces the true spirit of a mutually rewarding partnership.
A customer’s assembly operators wanted to reduce handling time by improving the way parts were delivered to the assembly line. SGE redesigned a tray and doubled the number of parts carried in the production process, while maintaining the integrity of the product during production through shipping. The collaborative efforts with SGE engineers led to greater manufacturing efficiencies and a higher level of customer satisfaction.
A customer was troubled with button graphic illumination uniformity on a rubber keypad. To assist, SGE developed a prototype tool for testing different geometrical changes for the button underside, allowing the customer to assess the LED lighting balance through the buttons. This prototype allowed the customer to determine which geometry provided the best results. The preferred option was then implemented into the production tooling, solving the light uniformity issue and improving the quality of the end product.
The customer was having issues meeting night-time backlit graphic color requirements with their current LED. To assist in solving the problem, SGE conducted a Design of Experiments. The purpose of the DOE was to evaluate different silicone rubber material formulations, each of which would shift the illumination color. Upon completion, SGE presented the DOE results to the customer, who was then able to easily choose the best option for meeting the specifications of their OEM customer.
A major automotive Tier 1 customer approached SGE with a redesign challenge of their assembly to a lower cost, and to one that was also re-workable. The current assembly could not be reworked due an epoxied housing that formed a water proof seal for the keypad. This inability to take the unit apart for repair or replacing components created a high scrap rate. SGE’s new design allowed the assembly to be re-worked while maintaining the water proof seal. As a bonus, the new design reduced the total number of component parts. The end result saved the customer money by reducing both scrap and components.
An automotive Tier 1 customer was having problems with their radio switch actuation. The customer’s internal evaluation first concluded the keypad was causing the problem. However, the common parameters that would lead to keypad failure mode were confirmed to be in specification. When the customer next questioned unrelated part dimensions, it became evident there were other more complex factors in the assembly associated with the root cause.
To help the customer identify the true root cause, SGE first performed an extensive analysis of the assembly in its lab. The lab analysis concluded that the most effective way to solve this problem was through face-to- face collaboration at the ustomer’s manufacturing site. SGE sent a two man team to Mexico for several days of brainstorming and analyzing the complete assembly. This led to a discovery that the backer which was assembled to the bezel was out of specification. Since the keypad was assembled to the backer and the backer was registered to the bezel, this created a misalignment of the button actuator and switch, which caused intermittent electrical switch contact.
With the root cause confirmed, the supplier of the backer made corrections and the problem was resolved. The key to success was working closely with the customer to solve the problem, rather than placing blame on any particular party.
Total cost of ownership is important when evaluating supply alternatives. With international suppliers, a large part of the total cost of ownership is attributed to the freight cost of getting product from the supplier’s dock to the customer’s warehouse. Further, there are risks associated with transfer of ownership that are critical in determining the proper INCOTERMS.
A major SGE customer had always taken a conservative and protective approach when deciding the INCOTERMS by insisting on FCA: Supplier Plant, and utilizing air freight from Asia to North America. In spite of SGE’s experience in managing international supply chains, this customer wanted all control of shipments and chose air freight to shorten the supply chain.
Understanding the premium this customer was paying for such a supply chain, SGE worked hard to build the customer’s trust and confidence before proposing a change in ship mode from air to consolidated ocean freight (consolidating products from other SGE customers and shipping all through the SGE warehouse). The customer ultimately allowed SGE to manage the entire supply chain and move product to North America by sea freight, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual savings.