EG Transpire helped a major car manufacturer meet market demand while lowering overall production costs. The EG Transpire Team used their combined expertise and experience, in addition to the latest plating technology, to reduce manufacturing delays faced by their customer. The result: Critical parts were produced cost-efficiently and delivered timely!
EG Transpire (EGT) was the plating supplier for the plastic injection molding division of a vertically-integrated metals and plastics manufacturer. This company served customers in the automotive, lawn and garden, agricultural, and other OEM markets. They asked EGT to plate a full wheel cover for one of their major customers, a leading car manufacturer.
Auxiliary Anode Technology
Plating the full wheel cover of the vehicle presented challenges, particularly in hard-to-reach areas surrounding the lug pockets. To ensure consistently high quality, EGT used auxiliary anode technology to plate in the deep recesses of the wheel cover where the lug nuts and bolts secure the tire to the vehicle.
At the beginning of the project, the Tier 1 Supplier told EGT that the part was a low-volume job. They explained to EGT that the part was a limited upgrade option for consumers with an estimated volume of just 10,000 pieces per year.
Complete Lot Control and Traceability
Prior to the start of production, EGT passed the rigorous Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) with the automotive OEM and built the plating racks
required to support the initial limited projected volume. In addition to high quality, all EG Transpire plants also offer complete lot control and traceability. At the EG Cleveland facility, for example, every plated part is labeled with a sticker unless the part is too small to accommodate a label. Each label bears trackable data such as raw container number, part position on the rack, rack position on the bar, bar number, the time the part was racked, and the date the part was plated.
The Quality Assurance Team of the automotive OEM found this to be quite beneficial because it gave them a way to help identify the root cause of issues should they arise at the assembly line during manufacturing. Unlike EGT, the other supplier making the parts was based in Korea and this vendor didn’t offer the OEM the same benefit. The absence of lot control and traceability for these parts, and the fact that they came from overseas, made it particularly challenging to reduce or minimize manufacturing delays whenever problems arose during production.
Switching Chrome Plating Suppliers
For this reason, the OEM began to shift some of its production by moving one of their molds to EGT from the Korean supplier. The EGT plant ran the mold 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just to keep up with volume requirements. With orders increasing, the team at EGT began building additional plating racks to support 100% of demand. To meet the target, EGT ended up working with two outside rack manufacturing companies whose own respective teams worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week to deliver a combined 120 plating racks that accommodated the greater expected volume.
Eventually, the OEM transferred all of their molds from the Korean supplier to EGT. After evaluating the molds and making necessary adjustments, EGT put them immediately into production. One of the molds was later replaced and another one re-built.
Through hard work, focus and determination, the team at EGT was able to meet the OEM’s production needs within three weeks from the time the OEM decided to switch sources. Within five weeks, all back-orders were filled. Total annual volume turned out to be 600,000 units. When the production volumes stabilized, the EGT Team reviewed the pricing for mold and plate, along with the assembly of the anti-squeak ring, lug nuts, and emblem. After a thorough review, the automotive OEM team concluded that EGT’s initial pricing was competitive with the Korean vendor’s pricing.