A motor vehicle manufacturer was experiencing delivery and quality issues with one of its stamped parts. The stamped assembly was being manufactured and welded overseas. The component is part of a circuit board assembly that includes a stamped part and a welded-on machined boss. The boss is a raised feature on the part that serves as a mounting point for the circuit board, providing a stable and secure platform for it to be affixed to the part. It ensures proper alignment and positioning of the circuit board within the assembly and, therefore, has very tight tolerances.

Quality and Delivery Dilemma

The company was experiencing delivery issues because of overseas manufacturing. They were also experiencing dimensional and weld quality issues. If the quality issues were found after the company received delivery, the parts would have to be shipped back overseas for rework, further delaying delivery. Poor quality and delivery directly impact the company’s production lines and its ability to get vehicles to its customers. The issue had been raised to the management group and had become a high-profile issue in the company. While the cost associated with this issue is unknown, one can surmise it had an adverse financial impact. 

A Partnership for Problem Solving

Chris Hayes, an HTT sales rep, had scheduled a routine visit with the motor vehicle manufacturer when he learned of the issues they were having. He asked if the HTT engineering team could look into the problem and provide feedback, and she agreed, giving him the blueprints and CAD files. 

“After looking at it and going over all the quality issues they were having – and on top of that delivery – our engineering team was able to come up with a plan. They were having weld issues, so in order to fix those, we actually rerouted the way the part was manufactured. The other quality issues were dimensional issues that we were able to fix with a new tooling design,” said Chris. “We fixed all the quality issues, and then the delivery issues were also fixed because we made them in the U.S. and not overseas.”

Engineering a Solution

The primary quality issue was with the welding. The overseas supplier was stamping the part, machining the boss, and then welding the boss onto the stamped part. When the company tried to mount the circuit board, the dimensions were off from the weld spatter, which is droplets of molten material splashed during the welding process. 

Once HTT took over the project, they changed the sequence of the assembly. The HTT engineers came up with a plan to weld a blank (unmachined) boss onto the stamped part. Then, when the boss is machined, the tolerances are to specifications, eliminating the issue of weld splatter changing the dimension. 

Another quality issue was holes were misplaced and dimensionally out of spec. HTT engineering was able to quickly fix this with new tooling. 

“Ever since we have had this business, they have been very happy. At HTT, we are more of an advanced engineering resource. We have seasoned employees who have worked on many different applications,” said Chris.

A History of Engineering Excellence

The Motor Vehicle company knew they could count on HTT’s technical expertise. HTT has a reputation for engineering excellence and delivering on time. 

 “A few years back, a group of about twenty-five custom parts were being made for this customer by another manufacturer, one of our competitors in the United States, and they were having all kinds of quality and delivery problems,” explained Chris. “Our customer decided they wanted to move all the business out of that particular stamping company. So, we went down, got all their stamping dies, and took over the parts.”

Over the years,  HTT has taken on numerous stamping projects, including those for new vehicle designs. HTT doesn’t do the primary design of parts but offers suggestions for part improvement, such as redesigning an assembly from 7 or 8 components down to 3. HTT uses a Value Analysis and Value Engineering (VAVE) approach. It focuses on maximizing the product’s functionality relative to its cost to achieve the same or better performance at a lower cost without sacrificing quality. 

The Importance of a Strategic Partnership

Overcoming these challenges required not just a technical reevaluation but a strategic partnership built on trust, technical expertise, and a commitment to excellence. HTT’s approach, focusing on innovative engineering solutions and taking advantage of its local manufacturing capabilities, was not just about fixing a part; it was about rethinking how the part was made from the ground up. By shifting manufacturing to the U.S., HTT not only solved the immediate quality and delivery problems but also enhanced the overall reliability and efficiency of the manufacturing process.

HTT’s ability to listen, innovate, and execute solutions turned a high-profile issue into an opportunity for improvement and growth. It underscores a critical lesson for manufacturers: the right partnerships can transform challenges into vehicles for success. The value of responsive, local engineering expertise cannot be overstated in an industry where production issues can ripple through supply chains with significant impact. 

Contact HTT today to leverage the value of our strategic partnership for your project needs.