Team 1 Plastics Expands Value-Added Assembly Capabilities
Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the mobility industry, has recently expanded its capabilities in value-added assemblies by adding three new machines in its Assembly Department.
According to Shelley Lewis, Lead Assembly Captain, two of the new machines are for pressing small components, such as collars and ball bearings, into plastic parts. Lewis explained the process. “The components are placed into the machine by the Operator. The Operator starts the machine which presses the small components into the larger plastic parts. The force of the machine holds the parts together. The assemblies are then inspected for quality and placed into packing containers.”
Lewis said that the other new machine uses automation to place o-rings onto by-pass caps for oil filters. Previously, the Assembly Team had manually placed the o-rings onto the by-pass caps. Lewis said that this new process is faster and more efficient which saves time and money for its customers.
According to Michele Warner, Estimator for Team 1 Plastics, “Team 1 is always looking at ways to reduce our costs and pass those savings onto our customers. For example, recently we’ve begun quoting the equipment costs for a new Assembly machine as a machine run rate – rather than asking the customer to make an upfront investment.” Warner added, “We’ve also partnered with our customers by re-purposing pieces of equipment they no longer are using for in-house assemblies. We are willing to be creative to make it a win-win for both Team 1 and our customers.”
Team 1 focuses on assemblies that allows for part consolidation and labor and freight savings. “Our assemblies can save our customers time and money because they don’t have to certify or manage multiple suppliers. Rather than having shipping costs from multiple locations for delivery of multiple parts, customers incur only a single delivery charge for the finished assembled part,” Warner said. She added, “It saves them steps in their own assembly processes. Also, they don’t need to manage multiple components in their inventory, and it saves them storage space – of which none of us ever seem to have enough.”
Increasing Assembly sales is a strategic objective of Team 1 Plastics. In 2017, Assembly sales were 17.25% of Team 1’s yearly sales. This year, it’s projected to be 23.5%. Next year, it’s expected to increase to 24%. Warner said that the slow and steady pace of the growth of the Assembly Department has been easy to manage and to integrate.
And Team 1 Plastics is looking for creative ways to continue to grow its assemblies. Warner said that the company has recently quoted several jobs that would not include parts manufactured by Team 1, and it has also quoted assembly jobs that are not in the automotive industry. Warner said that historically, all of Team 1’s assemblies have included at least one part manufactured by Team 1.
Along with sales growth, the Assembly Department will also be growing in Team Members. Lewis said that they expect to hire another part-time Team Member in 2020.