Develop Shipping Consistency for a Unique Design

Dealing with consistent returns and shipping-related defects is a nightmare for any business, let alone a high-paced industry like automotive. In our example, the automotive tier supplier was dealing with shipping problems that threatened to undermine their partnerships and their reputation.

Ultimately, the tier supplier was getting too many rejections from an automotive OEM regarding one of the head lamp reflectors they were producing. These reflectors were arriving with scratches and scrapes on the exterior surface, thereby rendering them unusable.

The challenge was to figure out how best to protect the reflector in packaging, shipping and handling to ensure successful final installation at the automotive OEM’s facility. The situation was made even more difficult as these reflectors weren’t flat — they were molded to match the contours of the automobile’s body. This made the measurement of the individual pieces difficult.

The tier supplier provided Evans EVCO with rejected reflectors in order to determine dimensions, test tape backings and adhesive formulations for compatibility — and we determined a few main objectives: 

Objectives:

• Develop a tape piece to cover the entire outer surface of the reflector, and conform to the unique shape

• Have a low-tack non-transferring adhesive

• Have a backing that was scratch- and scrape-resistant

• Have the ability to be manually applied by someone wearing cotton gloves.

Additionally, the die-cut piece needed cut-outs so fasteners could be used at the final attachment of the reflector on the automobile without removing the entire protective tape piece.