Over the years, we have had the pleasure of having participated in numerous Collaborative Engineering events, several of which were quite unforgettable. One instance occurred about ten years ago and began with a rather panicked phone request from an owner of a machine shop. As it stood he was seriously delinquent on a contract because multiple casting suppliers had proven unable to produce a particular casting to print. They had suggested their customer that O’Fallon Casting might be able take one of the existing two molds and manufacture “good” castings from it.
On receiving a blueprint, we found that as the part was drawn, we couldn’t possibly manufacture a compliant casting to the existing requirements of the drawing. We spent several hours analyzing the drawing, revising its datum structure, dimensional tolerances, and deleting some features that should have been machined. Once we had arrived at a solution they invited us to come and help them present this proposal to their customer.
The delivery issues had become so acute that the solution we presented was truly welcome and gratefully received. Drawings were redlined on-the-spot and a purchase order placed for new tooling that very day as, unfortunately, the necessary drawing changes had obsoleted all of the existing molds. Needless to say there was considerable “interest” in OFC delivering its castings ASAP. Fortunately, the program did move forward very smoothly and deliveries commenced without a single “hitch”. We later had an opportunity to visit the customer’s shop floor and receive the thanks from the team of people assembling the OFC castings into their product.
In this situation, there was plenty of “blame” to go around. The point is, however, that the entire situation could have been completely avoided had Concurrent Engineering taken place at the beginning of the program rather than after a catastrophe had occurred.
To avoid these types of scenarios, O’Fallon Casting provides its customer with free Concurrent Engineering Services. If you would like further information please contact your O’Fallon Casting Sales Engineer.