This technical information has been contributed byALSIP, Ill.—Advanced Network Devices (AND), a pioneer in PoE (Power over Ethernet) devices, was faced with significant cost and lead time challenges when it was developing a new low-volume electronics enclosure. The Arlington Heights, Illinois company approached Versatility Tool Works and Manufacturing Company, Inc., to inquire about using Versatility Tool’s QStep® Process as a means of achieving cost control and reducing delivery time.
Versatility Tool Works & Manufacturing Company
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OEM Reduces Cost, Shortens Lead Time for Electronics Enclosure
Customer engagement process reported to reduce unit cost by 34 percent, delivery time by 54 percent
Lead time was a concern because Advanced Network Devices’ products are often used in new construction projects, where customers demand quick delivery to avoid impacting build schedules. The company designs and markets sophisticated multi-media products utilizing world-class video and audio technology. Its IP Speaker and IP Clock technologies are widely deployed in a variety of markets around the world.
Engineering is a strength of Versatility Tool Works (VTW), a company known for its manufacturing of complex fabricated metal assemblies. In addition to sheet metal fabrication, VTW offers stamping, tooling, and machining services to customers in diverse markets. The company’s engineers employ QStep, a proprietary customer engagement process aimed at improving quality, cost, product performance, lead time, and delivery through value-added services that involve discovery, engineering, tooling, fabrication, and fulfillment. The QStep Process incorporates Versatility’s engineering experience and expertise, as well as cutting-edge design capabilities and advanced manufacturing technology.
Advanced Network Devices’ original design was welded, painted, and had a long delivery time.
Versatility Tool’s QStep engineers met with AND to review the product application, exact design requirements, and desired price point. They then recommended some key design changes and submitted virtual 3D prototypes for AND’s review.
One of the design changes involved changing the material from raw carbon steel, which required post-fabrication finishing, to pre-finished electro-galvanized steel. Another was the development of a “snap-together” enclosure design that didn’t require painting, welding, or hardware insertion. Versatility Tool’s tooling engineers designed and tested the “snap-together” shear form feature, which was incorporated into the final design following approval by the client.
The new enclosure is formed in the press brake and snaps together, eliminating the entire welding secondary operation. Also, by combining laser, punching, forming, and tapping into the blanking operation, Versatility Tool eliminated the need for downstream operations. Hardware insertion, using PEM fasteners, was unnecessary because holes were extruded and tapped during the blanking process.
Versatility Tool was able to deliver the enclosures using Just-In-Time (JIT) concepts, further shortening delivery time and eliminating its client’s need to hold inventory. The new enclosure was reported to have met all of AND’s exact design requirements while significantly reducing cost and delivery time, and improving quality. First pass yield quality reportedly improved to over 99 percent, unit cost was lowered more than 34 percent, and delivery time was compressed from 22 days to 10 days, a 54 percent reduction.
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