Solved by Evans EVCO The Right Tape Protects Reflectors for an Automotive Tier Supplier, Resulting in a Smoother Ride to Their Destination
Premise Helping an Automotive Tier Supplier Eliminate Rejections
Evans EVCO recently contracted with an automotive tier supplier to several domestic and foreign automakers. This company molds and assembles both colored and clear plastic reflectors that are attached over head lamps, tail lamps and other exterior lamps on an automobile.
With the current supply chain crisis hitting the automotive industry hard, it’s important this company gets its clients the reflectors on time and in perfect condition.
Challenge 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:
- 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.
SOLUTIONS BY EVANS EVCO: Custom Die-Cut LDPE Protective Tape Protects Lamps During Shipping
After thorough consultation and review, Evans EVCO found the perfect solution in the form of die-cut LDPE protective tape.
Using the samples of the rejected reflectors the tier supplier provided, as well as reviewing a variety of material samples from our tape supplier, we were able to quickly identify an LDPE protective tape having a low-tack removable rubber adhesive which had the required elastic properties needed to perfectly conform to the reflector shape.
Additionally, due to the type of material, quantities needed, and the various shipping and handling requirements, we decided to use a rotary die-cutting process with a mixture of slitting, rewinding and cold laminating capabilities.
With the help of our tooling supplier, the final dimensions were measured to a tolerance of ± .002” which was within specification, and they were also able to engrave micro perforations so the assembly crew at the automotive OEM could fasten the reflector to the car without removing the whole die-cut piece.
Furthermore, we opted for a C1S rigid liner, which allowed the workers to remove the die-cut piece without removing their cotton gloves.
RESULTS Salvaged Parts, Salvaged Relationships
Before we were involved, the tier supplier was at risk
of being de-certified by the automotive OEM due to production rejections reaching 27%, and OEM rejections reaching 32%.
We are proud to say that through collaboration with our suppliers and full utilization of our converting capabilities, Evans EVCO was able to completely eliminate cosmetic damage to the reflectors from production to attachment.
Most noticeably, since the successful completion of this project, the tier supplier has been able to use this process on other reflector products they produce for other automotive OEMs with the same success.