Here we're proud to present case studies on how we have recently helped customers succeed.
Case 1 : The Phantom Factory
A couple of years back, we got a call from a Nordic company leading in the market for portable barcode scanners. They had built-in a small PCB mounted vibration motor, which offered haptic feedback to operators.
The parts were apparently coming from a 'factory' in Guanzhou, China, but the last batch of parts had not been delivered. The supplier had made some vague excuses about production problems and the order was now over 2 weeks late.
The Nordic company had enough inventory for another 4½ weeks, after which their production line would either have to stop, or they would have to ship products without vibro-alert feedback. Since haptic feedback was a selling feature and mentioned in all product literature, their priority was to source a compatible part from a more reliable supplier.
As the discussions progressed, and the customer revealed the rock-bottom price they had been paying, it was painfully obvious that they had been buying the left-overs from someone else's surplus / obsolete stock, and that this had now run out. This was further confirmed when they admitted that the failure rate had been more than 5%; something which would be completely unacceptable by our standards.
The vibration motor in question was challenging, because it had an unusual mounting bracket. After cancelling their original order and placing a new order with us, we modelled the samples, characterised them on our automated vibration test machine, and then sent one of the samples via expedited courier to our production team in Shenzhen, China.
By the time the sample arrived, our production team had already got quotes for the manufacture of the unusual mounting cradle, and selected one of our stock motors with similar performance characteristics to fit within it. Sample production started followed by full production.
Within 10 days, we had some production samples which the customer OK'd and within another 23 days the customer was in receipt of 3000 vibration motors, made to specification and delivered just in the nick of time.
Understandably we couldn't match the surplus pricing of the previous supplier and their 'phantom factory', but by using a stock motor we were able to keep the costs within commercially acceptable bounds.
Our Nordic customer was relieved and pleasantly surprised at the very low motor failure rate of our parts which eliminated costly reworking.
Warehouse operators and parcel services around the world continue save time and reduce mistakes from mis-scanning, thanks to the haptic feedback provided by a certain 4mm vibration motor.