Our customer – a member of an international group manufacturing automotive lighting systems – was seeking a solution for a part, which has been manufactured and distributed and started to show functionality issues.
Such part was manufactured by ETMA, pursuant to the requirements set out by the customer. Therefore, our collaboration was requested in order to find a solution for such issue.
The affected part is a terminal behind the lamps in some car rear lights, ensuring the electric contact with the lamp. Therefore, it should be springlike. When used in some models, the distributed part no longer showed its elastic response, thus losing its springlike effect. ETMA should propose a solution for such issue.
Considering it was a serious issue requiring affected owners to take their cars back to the factory for replacing such part, ETMA’s collaboration was requested to work on a solution as soon as possible.
Since such part was manufactured by ETMA and due to the existing professional relationship and mutual trust, we took on this challenge in a partnership with our customer.
Customer’s initial proposal was to change the part material from pre-hardened stainless steel to carbon steel. Then, it was a matter of deciding between C45 or C55. Our customer made no requirements to ETMA in such scenario, except that such solutio
n should use a tempered material.
From this point on, ETMA’s role was to ensure the functionality of such part to the customer. Thus, we started the process by examining an alternative material meeting the specifications as to size and mechanics that ETMA would be able to produce and reproduce consistently.
The first step was to analyze the material features, whose chemical composition was perfectly acceptable, using chromium and nickel to ensure stainlessness. The candidate was carbon steel, since it can be tempered and presented an optimal expected behavior due to its mechanical features as per the requirements.
After selecting the material, the next step involved preparing prototypes and moving on to mechanical and functionality trials to validate ETMA’s choice, delivering optimal results as to elastic and cyclic responses. At the same time, a coating to the part was defined to ensure corrosion resistance.
ETMA felt the need to purchase optical measurement equipment enabling the dimensional variation analysis during such process. This demonstrates ETMA values: upgrading its equipment as well as everything supporting the company in delivering effective solutions to our customers.
Eventually, looking back at the definition and production process as a whole, not only the raw material changed. ETMA – upon customer’s consent – defined the functionality trial for such part in the design itself.
For developing that part – referred to as Terminal P21w VU in the project – the following production processes were adopted:
ETMA successfully overcame customer’s challenge by delivering a solution using steel as raw material, which then undergoes heat treatment, zinc-plating – including dehydrogenation process, aiming at removing its hydrogen. This prevents it from becoming fragile and enables it to produce its springlike effect during its service life.
With ETMA’s collaboration, several units of such part – with the long-desired springlike effect – were incorporated to the final assembly in the car rear light. It should be pointed out that such parts aim at ensuring the electric contact while pushing against brakes or enclosures in the assembly for fixing the lamp.
By working on this project, ETMA has once again proved its flexibility and capacity not only to develop projects from the ground up, but also support its customers in solving issues.
BENEFITS TO CUSTOMERS AND ADVANTAGES OF BEING ETMA’S PARTNER
Benefits arising from this project are mutual and crucial both for the customer and ETMA, built upon a partnership and trust developed between the companies.
Our customer found a solution to its existing issue – which was causing great embarrassment before the end consumer – enabling it to manage the project in a safer way, with no need to seek another supplier.
Relying upon its efforts, resiliency and technical know-how, ETMA could propose a solution to the client, enabling it to overcome any past embarrassments – a win-win situation.
In view of the solid technical, technological and human capabilities of adapting to customer’s requests, as well as teams’ effort to adapt to new projects and solve any issues, ETMA always strives to exceed customers’ expectations by providing value-added services supported by flexible, innovative solutions.
Good partnerships are based upon mutual learning and trust to continuously take one step towards evolution and to make ETMA better prepared for the future.
If you have a new project to develop and/or if you are looking for a better alternative for an existing project, ETMA is available to collaborate and help finding the best answer.
We are confident we can help you! Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org