Cutting costs and time with custom handle design
09 May 2016
Groupe Atlantic is a global leader in thermal comfort solutions. When the company needed a custom solution for its new product range, Essentra answered with increased product functionality while cutting production time and reducing costs.
Groupe Atlantic wanted to launch a new range of boilers called Varmax. The boilers required a swing handle that was secure, yet that standard tools could open. The handle also had to adapt to a high-panel thickness, fit flush with the boiler design and open safely.
Groupe Atlantic needed a swing handle that worked with the boiler’s ergonomic design. Essentra Components studied this request with its Access Hardware R&D department and made a first drawing of 2D and 3D examples that were sent to the customer to bring the concept to life. The 2D and 3D CAD drawings were key to initially validating whether the proposed handle and lock solution would work for Groupe Atlantic. A sample was produced using 3D printing and these pieces were assembled on the prototype of the boiler and tested. Here it was possible to change something and produce another 3D sample.
Once the final plans and 3D printing was validated by the customer there were production tests of 20 handles put into real tests. Groupe Atlantic tested the wear and tightness and then tested another short production run of 50 pieces before the final validation.
Essentra also created bespoke tooling for the customer to produce recessed handles needed for the side of the boiler. The final solution included a silicon isolation cap to help fix the insulation around the main boiler part.
Essentra worked directly with Groupe Atlantic, ensuring the smooth flow of information and the ability to act quickly, which resulted in a custom solution that provided:
• Time savings - decreased production time in the assembly line by rationalising key parts.
• Improved performance - increased the boilers’ functionality with a tailored made solution.
• Safety and security - specially reinforced parts ensured boilers’ were secured and safe to open.
• Easy access - guaranteed the boilers’ could be opened with a standard tool for servicing efficiency.
Groupe Atlantic also realised additional return on investment:
• Cost reductions – choosing Essentra as a preferred provider for its capabilities allowed a reduction in suppliers.
• Direct savings – paid considerably more for parts with previous suppliers and is now saving with Essentra’s solutions.
• Stock availability – Essentra has a global presence with a wide range of solutions, offering more stock options.
Essentra continues to provide ongoing support by providing a buffer stock agreement in line with the production of the Varmax range. This guarantees that the customer will have the parts needed in future.
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