A global leader in the design and manufacture of photonic devices, systems, and automated equipment (the “Company”) was developing a new, complex, and very large automated machine used to manufacture products such as thin-film disks for hard drives and flat panel displays. The Company, early in its product conceptualization phase, engaged Jonathan Engineered Solutions when it realized that ball-bearing slides will be required in their equipment. Upon asking a handful of basic applications-oriented questions to the Company's Engineers, JES quickly realized its mechanical engineering talents were well-suited to solve the Company's challenge at hand – which ventured considerably beyond the ball-bearing slides.
Firstly, JES guided the Company towards the optimal ball-bearing slides for the application's requirements, taking into consideration parameters such as length, travel, load-carrying capability, and cycle life expectancy. Then, when the Company developed its first prototype of their new machine, one of JES' Sales Engineers from the Industrial/Commercial Market Sales and Engineering Team paid them a face-to-face visit to see the application – with the intention of further employing JES' mechanical engineering expertise to solve the Company's remaining challenges. The Company designed additional sheet metal components, precision machined plates, hinges, fasteners, and some other mechanical components – all of which were incorporated in the same mechanical subassembly that included the ball-bearing slides. The Company's intention was to outsource the manufacturing of these non-slide components, and then assemble them on their floor with the slides (sourced from JES) into the final mechanical subassembly.
Excited to expand its offering to the Company, collaborate further with its Engineers, and consolidate the Company's unnecessarily complex supply chain, JES offered to engineer and supply the entire mechanical subassembly – slides, plates, sheet metal, hinges – everything .
The Company e-mailed its Pro/ENGINEER® models of the mechanical subassembly to JES following the visit. With the Company's end-goals in mind, and knowledge gained from seeing the application first-hand, JES value-engineered the entire mechanical subassembly. The value-engineering effort included “beefing up” the design so that it is more optimally suited for the application, reducing the amount of componentry involved via parts consolidation, reselecting materials, and enhancing manufacturability.
The resultant Pro/ENGINEER® model was e-mailed back to the Company, enabling them to insert it into their higher-level CAD model assembly to verify the interface to form, fit, and functionality.
JES nailed it – the mechanical subassembly fit.
Following final design approval from the Company, JES' Quick Response Team and Research and Development Team created five custom prototypes of the mechanical subassembly – enough for one of the Company's new machines. Full-scale production shortly followed.
JES and the Company are currently co-engineering two additional, relatively similar mechanical sub-assemblies used in the same automated machinery.
- JES applied its mechanical engineering and supply chain management exactly where the Company needed it – allowing them to focus solely on what makes them a leader in their industry – photonics devices, systems, and automated equipment.
- JES simplified the Company's supply chain by providing the entire mechanical subassembly on a made-to-order basis. The Company did not have to manage multiple vendors for the various components of the mechanical subassembly, nor did they have to perform any assembly themselves.
Contact Jonathan Engineered Solutions for assistance with drawer slides, ball bearing slides and steel slides today!