Project: Four die contract tooling package
Dates: December 2009
Challenge: National automotive manufacturer, Trico, needed four dies for a windshield wiper blade assembly. The tool needed to accomplish this would have to meet tight dimensional requirements, hold up to strict quality expectations and be built with an aggressive deadline.
Execution: To accommodate workload and comply with Trico’s deadlines and specifications, Ultra Tool and Manufacturing assigned multiple toolmakers to the job and extended the tool room’s hours into a second shift. With extra sets of eyes evaluating the progress of the die’s build, potential problems were identified early and solutions were compiled using multiple perspectives. To keep lines of communication open, the customer was put in direct contact with the tool room manager at Ultra Tool, who in addition to offering a one-on-one channel of communication also devised a spreadsheet which outlined progress on a weekly basis.
Not only were the dies all completed on time, but the customer expressed much satisfaction with the quality level of the tools’ build, as well as the extra effort the tool manager took to keep them apprised of progress.
Client: Honda Power Equipment
Project: Build a prototype in one week
Dates: September 11, 2009 – September 25, 2009
Challenge: Engineers at Honda Power Equipment designed a state-of-the-art hydrostatic transmission which included a reduction cover (exterior case cover) reengineered with fewer components and increased robustness. The design included two highly critical round sumps with flat surface areas, a task that required a series of draw reductions. For the design to work, the material couldn’t thin in the round sumps, and the sumps’ walls had to meet a set straightness range in order for the clutch shaft to fit.
The problem was that engineers at Honda were having a difficult time finding a shop willing to try the design, but had already booked a flight to Japan to sell the concept. By the time Honda sent the designs to Ultra Tool and Manufacturing, timing was crucial.
Execution: In a conference call one week before Honda’s flight to Japan, engineers from Ultra and Honda discussed the design’s elements. The part was a critical component to the transmission and the threshold for thinning and fracturing was slight before it would be susceptible to leakage. Up front engineer-to-engineer communication allowed Ultra to understand the scope and function of the design and gave them the confidence they needed. The conference call ended with Ultra’s acceptance of the design challenge to come up with a workable prototype in a weeks time.
Ultra Tool was able to provide Honda’s engineers with a series of working parts cut into cross sections, dimensional studies, and computer simulation specs; and when the time came for production, Ultra Tool’s persistence, attention to detail and strong lines of communication both internally and with the customer earned them the job.