This company is a leading manufacturer of ‘after market’ storage solutions for light delivery vehicles. The client wanted assistance to implement a fast track programme to reduce total manufacturing cost. We identified that a significant saving could be made by manufacturing the existing sheet steel fabricated removable storage bins as injection mouldings and that additional product options with bins and double length drawers would bring customer benefits and extend the market. The project was split into stages. The first would be the design of plastic bins and the second would be the adjustments to the existing range to incorporate the bins and drawers and reduce manufacturing cost elsewhere.
The design of the plastic bins developed through sketching and CAD modelling and rapid prototypes. The design was optimized to use a 20ft shipping container for a fixed quantity of 5000 storage bin sets. As the tooling deadline approached this was a busy time which required constant communication with the factory in China to rework calculations for cartons and packing combinations. Once we had agreed the overall sizes of the Racking and the Bins we commissioned the injection tooling and master cartons and issued a shipping container loading specification.
The next stage was to implement the design changes to the Racking. This required the design of over twenty new sheet metal parts which were specified as blanks for CNC punching and formed parts for the CNC brake press operator. We attended several prototype builds and short production runs to debug the build. The CAD data and models were good enough to be used for photo realistic renderings and we were able to use computer generated images to incorporate into library photos of vans to show the racking in situ. This saved the client the significant cost of a professional photographer and allowed them to go straight to marketing via website and trade catalogue.