With flatness being one of our most critical characteristics many of our thrust washers, shims and spacers require advanced heat treatment. Northern Industrial needed a way to ensure our product met the tight flatness specifications coming out of heat treat. To increase the value we provide to our customers we have vertically integrated to include heat setting in house. Leveraging our engineering experience with metallurgy we have developed a process that will allow for the parts coming out of heat treat to be flattened. The heat set process allows us to enhance the value we provide by:
- Improving Flatness From Heat Treat
- Improve Product Quality
- Flexibility In Supply Chain
- Lower Cost
- Reduce Lead Time
- Relieve Internal Stresses
- Reduce Scrap
When selective thrust washers, shims or spacers are required, there are many cases where volumes outside the “heart” of the part number usage are not as high. Because steel suppliers require relatively large steel minimum purchases, and customers may not always have demand for the equivalent volumes of parts made from the minimum steel purchase, we have vertically integrated to include steel reduction in our portfolio. If there are situations that arise where we have steel that is close in thickness, we have the ability to reduce its thickness, allowing for smaller volumes of spacers, shims or thrust washers to be produced. This allows our customer:
- Reduced Lead-times
- Lower Min Order Qty
- Supply Chain Flexibility
- Reduced Inventory
- No one knows the struggles of forecasting selective thrust washers, spacers and shims like Northern Industrial. Having extensive experience with selective products, we have become a highly critical supplier to our customers who have traditionally had a very difficult time maintaining their supply on selective thrust products.
Leveraging our relationships and communications with the customer, we have become accustomed to vendor managed inventory. Customers like General Motors, Chrysler and ZF have looked to us to ensure their assembly lines are stocked. Although forecasts for tomorrow are not known today, they entrust Northern Industrial Manufacturing to take their data and forecast on their behalf. There are many benefits to our vendor managed inventory programs, some of the greatest values we provide are:
- Product Availability
- Inventory Reduction
- Customer Through Put
- Reduction in Slow Moving and Obsolete Materials
- Supply Chain Flexibility
- Reduced Non Value Labor Hours
- Reduced Air Freight Expenses
- Reduction in Stress
- Happier Employees
Having capabilities of running up to 6,000 pieces per hour, Northern Industrial Manufacturing is setup very well for relatively larger production runs. In addition to performing well on high volume production runs, we also can provide our customers with cost effective production intent parts in lower volume prototype samples, for PPAP validation or prototype testing. Because we only use compound tooling, we are able to significantly reduce the upfront investment needed to launch your program. Northern Industrial can install production intent tooling in as low as 6 weeks from time of order. This helps streamline your engineering departments project ramp ups and PPAP approval. It is not uncommon for our customers to get tooling and prototype parts from Northern Industrial off of production intent tooling less expensive than it would cost them to purchase solely the prototype parts from low volume job shops.
With a number of presses operating daily and the speed in which they operate being high, we have developed a method for maintaining our customers tooling investment in house. The ability to maintain our own tooling has led to an inherent flexibility to provide our customers with preventive maintenance, ensuring that our production tooling is maintained on our schedule.
By vertically integrating to include the maintenance of our production tooling we have been able to:
- Improve Customer Tool Life
- Enhance Quality of Stamping Product
- Improve Up-Time
- Reduce Costs to Our Customer
- Increase Our Supply Side Flexibility
- Increase Our Process Control
Our shipping department was originally designed to accommodate the strict needs and demands required by the automotive industry. We currently have the capability of receiving customer releases via:
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Daily shipment windows are maintained and in some cases we are notified at the start of the business day the requirements needed to be shipped to our customer later that day. We understand that because in many cases the product is selective, or family part numbers, a forecasted demand may not always be available.
Our material control department is set up to receive incoming releases electronically per AIAG standards. Furthermore, we have bar coding capabilities, the ability to transmit advance shipping notices (ASN), electronic commerce and electronic mail when shipments are released. Our staff will work with appropriate customer personnel to design a system that makes sense for the specific application and meet all customer specifications.