OEM Metal Components

Disposable OEM Metal Components

The Opportunity:

A pharmaceutical manufacturer was in need of engineering support for the redesign of a single use applicator. The applicator consisted of a mixing unit, which is a bag filled with solution, and a mixing disc that is used to mix the solution. The disposable 316L stainless steel disc has a special webbed design that oscillates with up and down strokes. The original design was made from plastic, but the OEM needed something stronger to withstand the two strokes per second. The OEM’s core competency is in the mixing solution, and not in the processes required to manufacture the applicator. Their total costs in procuring a complete, sterile manufactured product was extensive, and included managing the entire supply chain, as well as manufacturing, finishing, logistics, and administrative support. Price stability is a major concern, and is required in order to maintain their customer base. The complexity of the process combined with the fluctuations in material costs made the stable pricing requirement a difficult goal to achieve. The Solution: PCI worked with the OEM, providing value-added engineering and prototype support during the re-design phase. The supply chain was consolidated to provide a sole source solution to the OEM. PCI partners with its stainless raw material supplier, providing a 6-month forecast per the OEM’s usages, which allows for fixed pricing with a volatile raw material type.

The Results:

The OEM and PCI jointly approached the re-designs to stainless steel with universal concepts across several models. PCI offered value-added expertise around how the OEM’s design application would react to the heat generated from the laser cutting process required for manufacturing. The laser offered advantages for cutting clean webs and configurations that helped provide a stronger/stiffer product, without compromising the design integrity. PCI offered quick-turn prototyping so the OEM could get actual immediate feedback during the R&D phase. These value added engineering services maximized the use of PCI manufacturing capabilities, gleaning higher value products with superior engineering. PCI offered a complete, sole solution where the OEM now buys a complete product from PCI, which is delivered to their facility. Administrative costs are now more focused and refined with one supplier, which has resulted in a lower total cost of ownership. Strengthening PCI’s competencies for the entire manufacturing scope has allowed the OEM to flatten their learning curve, and implement a universal approach to other product lines and models. As a result, the OEM provided PCI with a six-month forecast for heavily-used models. This visibility was shared with the material suppliers to lock pricing for an extended period of time. The six month window protected the OEM from as much as 20% in raw material cost swings. It also reduced administrative support by updating pricing and fixing invoicing errors with price fluctuations and lot charges.

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Laser cutting OEM support

Laser Cutting Capacity Support

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