A Collaborative Approach Leads to Enhanced Safety, Quality and Quick Delivery
For customers and markets that manufacture equipment with heavy duty applications, safety and field performance are top priorities. When potential safety concerns, design failures in the field or other performance-related issues arise, a proactive and responsive approach is critical in mitigating further risk.
A leading manufacturer of forestry and tree care machinery needed to redesign an optional safety control assembly. The vibration and g-forces present while its machine was in operation caused functional issues in one of the control system's key components. Rather than trying to find a potentially inadequate quick fix, the manufacturer sought an experienced supplier that could help design a permanent solution to correct the issue and provide additional safety and operational functionality.
Acting as an extension of the customer's engineering team, MCL was commissioned to design and deliver functioning prototypes within a two week deadline. With the combined expertise of the customer's engineers and those at MCL, they perfected a new design utilizing solid state components on a printed circuit board (PCB) encased in potting.
By removing all moving parts, the naturally occurring vibration of the customer's equipment while in use did not have an impact on the functionality of the system. The component required a newly designed, custom enclosure. In order to redesign a robust enclosure, MCL further collaborated with a sister company within its Village of companies - Metal Fab Solutions - to work through early stage design changes. This partnership approach ensured that the extremely tight delivery schedule could be met while providing a quality enclosure. Contributing to the flawless coordination of the fast redesign is MCL's Front Office Value Stream. A cross-functional and technical sales team focused on project management and kept in daily contact with the customer's engineering team to ensure design inputs and timelines were met. In a parallel path, MCL's engineering department worked on the assembly's PCB design, keeping its sister company updated on size specifications for the enclosure. The focus of this cross-functional, customer-focused team allowed for transparent communication, streamlined project management and ultimately a solution that met the design output requirements and tight timeframe.
The OEM's openness to collaboration and design enhancements, and its reliance on MCL's quick yet measured response and prototype units which validated the design, led to a strong partnership and an improved end product. Production volume orders were placed, and the customer received shipments of its new control assembly within six weeks of the initial conversation about the challenges it faced. Because the new assembly is much stronger, the OEM can reassure its own customers that their machines are safer and will perform better overall in the field, reducing the maintenance burden on customers.
As a first-time customer, this OEM was thrilled with the collaborative and innovative partner approach to problem solving and will continue to rely on MCL to demonstrate its technical expertise, responsiveness and scalable production capabilities. Additional design projects and enhancement opportunities are underway, further benefiting the customer, its products, and ultimately, the markets they serve.
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