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Optimas opens door to value with standardized truck locknut

31/08/2018 09:04:47
 
 
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ImagesClick Image for 300dpi jpg fileOptimas opens door to value with standardized truck locknutOptimas opens door to value with standardized truck locknutOptimas opens door to value with standardized truck locknut

Installing the door assembly on a heavy truck doesn’t sound like the starting point for a business success story. However, for one leading manufacturer of heavy duty trucks, the fact Optimas Solutions had its foot in the door delivered just that. A global industrial distributor and service provider, Optimas was able to deliver a substantial materials and labor saving to the manufacturer by standardizing a single locknut on a truck cab door.

With the introduction of Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 emissions laws by the US Government to curb levels of greenhouses gases , OEMs must strike a balance between weight, value and suitability - while providing durability and performance to safely maximize payload. This tradeoff is currently pushing manufacturers to find versatile component solutions to help achieve the equilibrium, so fastener policy is constantly evolving. Introducing entirely new parts can take time and investment, but, by using an already existing standard part that meets engineering specifications, manufacturers can enjoy a double benefit of an efficient implementation and added value.

For this global manufacturer of trucks and advanced diesel engines, the success story hinged on a free spinning nylon hex nut and washer assembly that secured the cab door to the vehicle itself. The assembly was installed by an operator who fitted the nut and washer assembly to a stud. As part of a program of development, the business wanted to make improvements by consolidating parts to improve production line efficiency. It partnered with its integrated fastener supplier, Optimas, who quickly identified the hex nut as an opportunity for improvement.

Chris Herling, Applications Engineer at Optimas, and the man on the ground for this project, explains the approach: “To simplify the assembly, it was clear we would have to unite the nut and washer within a single consolidated component. After joint assessments working with the OEM, our engineers came to the conclusion that a single metallic captive washer lock nut was the primary option, as this would provide an optimum solution for achieving the required clamping loads of the previous assembly.”

While the new solution would undoubtedly offer parts consolidation, adding the component as a custom solution dedicated to the manufacturer would have represented an increased investment compared to the existing nut and washer arrangement. Furthermore, a custom component takes longer to sample and manufacture, which is not ideal for the fast-paced manufacturing activities of the heavy truck industry.

Due to Optimas’ vast fastener and component portfolio, and supplier partner network, a more expedient and cost-effective alternative was identified.

“As we supply fasteners to OEM and Tier 1 manufacturers globally, we have a huge portfolio of high quality component suppliers that we can lean on to solve these sort of challenges,” Chris says. “With some research, we discovered a captive washer locknut currently utilized by a leading American car brand that was an exact fit for the truck door application.

“As an already existing part, we could supply samples to the customer almost instantaneously, while manufacturing lead times were minimized as the part was already in production. Just as important, the part required a much lower investment compared to a custom solution, so added value to this assembly for the manufacturer. We call this standardization, and it offers the attainment of highly engineered, cost-effective components.”

Even on a piece by piece basis, the saving was substantial. The original nut and washer came to an overall cost of 45 cents, while the new captive locknut amounted to 13 cents – a 71% decrease in cost per item. Considering that 640,000 of the new locknuts were specified subsequently by the manufacturer, the saving on materials was more than $200,000. Furthermore, this does not account for the labor saving during installation. For this manufacturer, a study asserted that 3 seconds on the production line equated to 9 cents expenditure, so speedier installation of the door assembly has undoubtedly delivered compound labor savings since implementation.

Ultimately, the combination of speedier installation and value added is the elixir of manufacturing operations. Time efficiency means that a manufacturer can focus on other aspects of the business, or utilize the time to achieve higher production volumes. A standardized solution delivers a simple, consistent methodology in terms of specifying, purchasing and use on the line, as all processes can be streamlined towards greater efficiency. In an industry where every second and saving counts, its an approach applicable to any manufacturing business.

Chris concludes: “By sourcing an existing fastener solution that met the needs of the manufacturer, we could deliver value, speed of response and a highly suitable component simultaneously; with minimal disturbance to the manufacturers operations that will deliver compound benefits throughout the product life cycle.”

Image 1:OEMs must strike a balance between weight, value and suitability - while providing durability and performance to safely maximize payload.
[Source: Optimas]

Image 2:In an industry where every second and saving counts, its an approach applicable to any manufacturing business.
[Source: Optimas]

Image 3:Due to Optimas’ vast fastener and component portfolio, and supplier partner network, a more expedient and cost-effective alternative was identified.
[Source: Optimas]

About Optimas Solutions

Optimas is a global distributor of fasteners and c-class products. Optimas at its core is a provider of integrated supply chain solutions and engineering support focused on delivering highly engineered fasteners to world-class customers around the world. Optimas has a diverse, global team of approximately 1,600 individuals, over 60 distribution centers, 9 quality labs and 2 manufacturing locations to support the complexities of our customers’ industries, enabling them to achieve their goals and be successful.

The image(s) distributed with this press release may only be used to accompany this copy, and are subject to copyright. Please contact DMA Europa if you wish to license the image for further use.

Editor Contact

DMA Europa Ltd. : Carly Ellis
Tel: +44 (0)1562 751436 Fax: +44 (0)1562 748315
Web: www.dmaeuropa.com
Email: carly@dmaeuropa.com

Company Contact

Optimas Solutions : Gill Palethorpe
Tel: +44 (0)161 406 2800 Fax:
Web: global.optimas.com
Email: info@optimas.com

 
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