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Video: Bring Plain Bearings From The Prototype Into Series Production
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 11:39
Steffen Schieszl: Mostly it's about performance. To increase performance, we can make recommendations regarding the materials or design of a component.
Mark Erlwein: Compared to the automotive industry, much smaller quantities and smaller lot sizes are required, but the quality standards remain just as high. Furthermore, the product creation process in industrial projects only takes a fraction of the time than in comparable automotive projects. Inquiries must be processed extremely quickly and sample components created much faster. The decision to go into series production is often made much faster by the customer. The way of working, systematics and structure of the processes is therefore very different from that in the automotive industry. The Industrial Competence Center with an integrated industrial cell and prototype manufacturing help to meet these requirements.
construction practice: What is the process like that follows after a customer request?
Schieszl: After we have received an inquiry, we conduct a calculation discussion as a team. The feasibility is staked out. It is important that the customer's first drawings or hand sketches are available at this time. Then we determine the process steps that have to be implemented later in the series in order to be able to determine a first price. Technically, we naturally check whether the component has been correctly selected for the application. If necessary, we also make recommendations for execution with regard to the material or design.
construction practice: If we assume that the customer likes the offer, what happens next?
Schieszl: In the next step, the customer orders appropriate prototypes. The tool design and manufacture takes place at the internal specialist departments. We collect all the technical information that we can use for series production. The finished prototypes then go to the customer and are validated there. After approval, we prepare for series production. However, there are several returns with modified components in between. It is not uncommon for two to three iteration loops to be rotated for this.
Additional information on the topic of prototype production and the competence center industrial
In addition to the automotive sector, KS Gleitlager GmbH is increasingly focusing on industrial areas. The Industrial Competence Center for advice and service on plain bearing technology in industry was created two years ago from prototype production.
Competence center enables industrial plain bearings from batch size 1
construction practice: How many of the prototypes ultimately end up in series production?
Schieszl: It is difficult to answer in absolute numbers, the success rate for us is at the industry standard level of 10% to 15%.
construction practice: And how much time passes from prototype production to series production?
Schieszl: We have to finish prototypes quickly. It only takes a few days to a few weeks. Validation at the customer then usually takes longer, which can be very different.
construction practice: back to the process: what follows after successful validation?
Schieszl:When it comes to series ordering, the customer first requests PPAP samples. The term comes from the automotive sector, but in the industrial sector you want to have such patterns increasingly. PPAP means production part approval process. It defines all process flows and regulations regarding series production that we have to comply with. At the same time, we go to tool design and manufacture. Both usually stay with us in the house. It also happens that we make a comparison of whether the creation of a tool or the manual processing of the components is more economical - this of course always depends on the order volume and customer requirements. Sometimes we can also use existing tools from previous projects and modify them accordingly. We also initiate material production.
construction practice: after all these steps, do you still keep the price mentioned at the beginning?
Schieszl: If the design or tool is changed in the course of the process or another material comes into play, the price mentioned during the development phase can of course also change. Therefore, close customer contact and transparent processes throughout the entire process are important.
Plain bearings - basics, properties and applications
construction practice: What trends do you see in the future in the area of warehouse technology for industry?
Erlwein: What has always been of concern to our customers and will continue to do so in the future is the increase in performance in application at the best possible price-performance ratio. Because increasing efficiency and cost sensitivity are increasingly in the foreground.
construction practice: Can you give us details?
Erlwein: Specifically, we are working, for example, on a two-component material - more precisely a metal-plastic composite - in which we do without the usual bronze layer. This enables us to offer a tailor-made, even more economical alternative for specific applications, depending on performance requirements. Our goal is to offer the customer the ideal slide bearing solution that is ideal for their application, with the greatest possible economic advantage and the best possible performance.
construction practice: Thank you very much Mr. Schieszl and Mr. Erlwein.
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