DESIGN FOR MANUFACTURE
[CONCEPT TO PRODUCTION]
A client of Midwest Turned had a new business opportunity and needed assistance in several areas of the supply chain. The goal was to design 4 connector housings which are to be used for premium quality musical instrument cables. There were many challenges which needed to be addressed. The client had no specific part geometry, so MTP would need to design the shape and functionality of the component. The finishing requirements would be critical. The project required 4 unique versions of the connector housing; all must be cosmetically appealing and durable. The connector housings would also need to possess a logo which could not easily be rubbed off or distorted when used by the end customer. All of these challenges needed to be analyzed so that MTP could assist the client in providing a high quality and cost effective solution for this project.
A team of our engineers and technicians collaborated side by side with the client on the shop floor of Midwest Turned Products in order to establish the desired part geometry for the connector housings. Two versions of the part would be produced from hardwood, while the other two versions would be produced from an aluminum alloy. Once the final part geometry/raw materials were finalized the focused shifted to the necessary finishing operations. In the end, the 4 unique versions of housings would require 3 different finishing operations in order to achieve the desired cosmetic appearance as well as required durability. The two parts produced from hardwood would require extensive processes of sanding, staining and sealing, while the aluminum parts would require either industrial plating or powder coating. The final hurdle was the logo, and how to transmit this onto a round surface with without any loss of adhesion between the ink and the precision machined housing. In the end, pad printing was the best solution. Midwest Turned invested in the necessary equipment in order to keep this process “in-house.” Once each step of the production process was implemented, tested, and approved, Midwest Turned was able to hit the ground running in order to fulfill the high production requirements this project yielded.
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