Cablecraft Motion Controls was contacted, by an OEM, in search of a special cable or linkage for use in steering a new industrial floor sweeper. A Cablecraft team from Engineering and Sales met with their counterparts in Engineering, Marketing and Management from the OEM, to review the application. The discussion centered on the application and a potential timeline for development. It was noted that this was a completely new, custom product/application and that Cablecraft had not been exposed to these specifications in the past. It was determined that a cable product was the best technical and most cost-effective method to meet specification. This was a first in the industry using a cable to match the functionally recently introduced by a competitor, at a lower cost, without a complete redesign; saving precious time and money.
Cablecraft then developed the product, and initial prints, for review by the Customer’s Engineering department. This application required a new conduit cap and seal design. There was a cadence of weekly update meetings instituted to insure timely information exchange; the overall process took roughly three months to complete.
Once an agreement was reached, with respect to the overall concept, estimated loads, various travel dimensions, cable strength and stretch; prototype cables were constructed to validate the design parameters.
To test these parameters, an agreement was negotiated to share in the cost of the testing fixture development. The OEM and Cablecraft invested time, collaborated on the various components required, determined the geometry required to fully test the design in the context of the application. During compressed-time life cycle tests, there were product and fixture failures; both parties worked together in a cooperative manner to address each as they arose.
Once the testing was completed, to the satisfaction of the OEM, the PPAP’s were produced, delivered and approved.
From start to finish, the process took 18 months, often under pressure from anxious OEM marketing and engineering personnel. This development was another great collaboration, to solve a difficult problem, with an OEM customer and Cablecraft.