Transport Case Study | Hutchinson Engineering
Just In Time Production
Working in partnership with one of Europe’s leading coachbuilders for over 20 years has enabled us to gain a deep knowledge of the transport sector. We have spent time building an excellent relationship with all levels of the team during this time. When our client found themselves with a space problem they automatically turned to us to help find a solution.
Our customer required a larger manufacturing area, without having to build an extension to their current facility. Together we embarked on a collaborative process to come up with a solution to their problem. It was agreed that we kit direct to their line and it was something we were delighted to do.
We were able to create additional storage space in our 80,000 sq ft factory to accommodate some more stock holding. The benefits were there for both our supplier and ourselves. Our supplier was able to reduce their stockholding, releasing space for new projects, and we were able to gain a greater visibility of our customer’s schedule, allowing us to batch orders more efficiently.
Developing our Just In Time delivery has enabled us to improve our internal processes – Our advanced IT systems are central to everything we do. We have developed an Electronic Data Interchange that allows us to ensure customer orders are imported in the most efficient manner.
Linked to this is our unique schedule sharing software that allows us to amend delivery dates based on our customers demand schedule, and reduced the need to manually update any changes to schedules.
Our development of traceability from raw material to finished component gives our customers the confidence to trust us a quality supplier of sub contracted components. Finally, our Advance Shipping notifications give our customers pre notification of incoming deliveries, so they can plan their production accordingly.
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Medical Case Study | Hutchinson Engineering
UK versus far East supply
Having provided over 1 million components to the medical industry over the past 5 years, we know exactly the tolerances required. Quality is at the heart of everything we do and it’s never more crucial than in the medical industry. A customer within the medical industry was sub-contracting the majority of their components to the Far East, however they were having quality issues, as well as long lead times, not to mention the capital that was tied up with large minimum order requirements.
We wanted to help.
The main issue for the company was the fact they required revisions to components, and when purchasing in the Far East the lead time to initiate the new revisions could be up to 16 weeks as there was a large volume of stock in stores, and on the sea.
Flexibility is a key requirement in today’s market but cost is always an issue. We knew we could deliver the flexibility but could we match the Far East on price, would our location and reduced delivery costs, no import duties and the time savings all factor in to balance the price?
Initially the company was unsure as to the competitiveness that could be achieved by a UK company versus the Far East. Hutchinson Engineering put forward a business case which included competitive part price costs, reduced the minimum order requirements, and most importantly with a higher quality than the far East offering.
When the medical customer added the value of this together the cost of UK supply was actually more competitive than the landed cost from the far East. The added bonus was the fact that new revisions could be implemented within a much faster lead time of just 4 weeks, hence allowing designers to be much more reactive to what their customer base required.
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Agricultural Case Study | Hutchinson Engineering
Reduction in costs
Having formed in 1971, with our roots steeped in agriculture, Hutchinson Engineering knows the agricultural sector. Our business was founded by manufacturing calf cubicles and crushers. Every sector is competitive in todays global market, however we are aware that this sector is hugely competitive, and hence costs can often be the main driver.
Our customer within the agricultural sector had a tube component which was manufactured in 6 parts, and then welded together. To be competitive within the market they needed to reduce the manufacturing cost of the product, and asked for our help.
Our designers took time to understand the application of the product, and came up with an alternative design which allowed the product to be manufactured in 3 pieces, and bent. The saving in time was 30%. The product is now one of the most competitive in the market.
This type of collaborative working with customers is a key theme within Hutchinson engineering, as we want our customers to be successful within the global market. This project has led to other similar projects with the customer to advise on design for manufacture.
One of the ways to reduce cost is to be able to process components faster and more efficiently. Since the introduction of our tube laser it has enabled us and our customers to think differently about the way parts are designed. We see the design stage as being key to the success of any product.