Cable Assembly Design Solution for Industrial Product Vending Machines
A customer approached Epec for a quote on a cable assembly used as a component in a vending machine that was being used on factory floors in industrial environments. These vending machines dispense small tools, safety equipment, or small MRO type items to the factory workers to enable better inventory management.
The customer had an ongoing demand for these cable assemblies. There was a strict 30-day window from initial RFQ receipt by Epec to the submittal of finished prototype assemblies. Epec was told that there needed to be cost savings in the final assembly and any suggestions we had for alternate materials would be entertained.
The data package was reviewed by Brian Morissette, Epec's Cable Assembly Product Manager. He noticed that the cable called out on the engineering drawing wasn't appropriate for the application. The cable that was called out on the specification was a twisted pair design with dual overall shields and a PVC jacket. This cable was a special order and wasn't carried in inventory by any distributor. It had a high MOQ with a long manufacturing lead time. Epec mentioned this issue with the cable assembly specifications and selected cables far more appropriate for the design at a competitive price. The cable that was selected was an off the shelf hookup wire that met all the performance criteria of the customer at a more competitive price.
Epec offered the alternative cable assembly design to the customer. Since the shields and the twisted pairs weren't needed we suggested using a hookup wire that was off the shelf which had a lower cost and a low MOQ. Working with their engineering team, we were able to recommend an assembly that was more fitting for this industrial application at a cheaper price with the same performance needed.
Our competitors also suggested alternate cable designs due to the design issue on the customer's specification and this customer asked for our opinion on the competitors suggested design. Epec was able to provide detailed comparisons showing the inadequacies of the competitors suggestion when it was compared to our solution.
Our solution was accepted by the customer and we used materials that were readily available and exceeded the qualities that the customer had specified. Working with our factories we were able to produce qualification samples in less than a week; due in large part to the materials we suggested. Our samples were inspected and tested and deemed acceptable by the customer.
Epec worked with the customer's engineering department to develop a cable assembly solution that exceeded their expectations from both a physical and performance standpoint.
The time frame from the receipt of the initial RFQ to the final approval of our sample was 30 days. The combination of the redesign of the cable along with the ability to attain approval on our prototype assembly within the customer's requested 30 day window resulted in Epec being awarded the purchased order.
The solution we provided to the customer allowed the use of readily available materials and was relatively close to the customer's target price.