Innovation In Manufacturing

A large defense contractor was not able to find a vendor that could consistently manufacture a critical mirror component for their product.

Challenge:

The concave-plano coated mirror included a center hole with extremely tight tolerances for concentricity and a “no chips allowed” requirement. The centered hole and its tolerance were problematic for all optical vendors, including JML. This was forcing the contractor to place orders with multiple vendors to produce enough certified quality mirrors to meet their production schedule. Dealing with multiple vendors added cost and delay and increased waste while still not meeting demand.

Solution:

JML developed and implemented a non-traditional fabrication tooling and setup process that offered a creative manufacturing solution, which no other supplier was able to devise. JML’s engineers and opticians formed a team to study new ways to accomplish the job.  This cross-functional team devised a series of tools, set up rigs, and procedures that constituted a distinctly unique manufacturing approach.  The results proved that JML could consistently meet the tight tolerance specifications in the quantities needed by the defense contractor.

Results

JML’s innovative fabrication approach led to a reduction in defect rates, which eliminated the high quantity levels required within the client’s multi-vendor supply chain. JML was made the sole source supplier. On-time and reliable deliveries decreased from 10 to 6 weeks, which lead to an increase in product profit margins.

 

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