The devastating earthquake that occurred in Japan, March 2011 forced many businesses to re-think their supply chain. Foreign-based automobile manufacturers were especially impacted. Many experienced month-long delays in supplying parts and automobiles to their dealers, causing a major hiccup in their sales and severely denting their profit margins. These companies had to protect themselves from any future delays in manufacturing or delivery of their vehicles. Because of their locations throughout the U.S. and Asia, GMN Automotive was a top consideration as these auto manufacturers began exploring re-shoring key components of their supply chain. The key fob emblem program, like those of Honda, Toyota and BMW provides an interesting case study.
A premium solution
Taking into account the unique situation and requirements of the key fob program, GMN Automotive was able to provide a perfect fit for the project using their own Lensclad capability. Lensclad is a process that enhances the 3D effect of a logo. Not only does the logo look more vivid and colorful, creating a high-end branded effect, Lensclad also protects the part from scratches and dents that can be experienced both inside the vehicle from typical wear and tear to more hazardous conditions outside the vehicle. The manufacturing process starts by printing the logo on a thin piece of aluminum. Once the emblem is created, the Lensclad layer is applied. This proprietary self-healing coating protects the emblem enhancing the overall look and feel of the logo and perceived value of the vehicle. Then, finally, the part is blanked to precise size specifications. During the manufacturing process, GMN made many trips to the customer’s facilities to observe the emblem’s application process. It was on one of these visits that the GMN Automotive team noticed the customer was experiencing a scrap rate of over 20% during the application process. With GMN’s help the customer was able to realize a significant incremental cost savings.
Going the extra mile
Not only did GMN Automotive help to stabilize the supply chain, they also found a way to eliminate a significant portion of scrap and reduce shipping and logistical costs. In addition, GMN made this part more affordable by utilizing an existing transfer adhesive. With a cost savings of over 30% and a more reliable supply chain, GMN Automotive’s innovative approach to the traditional manufacture process significantly improved the overall quality standards of the customer’s key fob program.