This Time-to-Market Success Delivered 13,200 Cable Harnesses!
A recent article in Assembly magazine discusses several case studies in wire harnessing. Author Jim Camillo speaks of the importance for wire harness assemblers to use the latest processing equipment, workbenches, and testing system. He also highlights, when sharing Fourstar’s time-to-market success story, the vital role collaboration played in our project with Coghlin Companies (its prototype, DCI Engineering, and electronics manufacturing services, Columbia Tech, reached out to Fourstar in 2013).The original proposal asked for support building prototypes that required 100 assembly configurations to be outfitted for a cloud computing mobile data center solution. By the end of the project, Fourstar produced over 500 individual configurations of cable and electro-mechanical assemblies for the project—consisting of 13,200 cable harnesses—contributing to the manufacturing and deployment of 39 mobile data centers to support cloud computing infrastructure.
Collaboration Is Critical
Time-to-market timelines require communication and cooperation to meet quick-turn deadlines within the project and for final delivery. As Camillo points out in his article, “To help Fourstar resolve engineering challenges early in the project, Coghlin assigned a DCI engineer to work at Fourstar’s Hudson, MA, facility. The person was there to address technical questions in real-time. Fourstar, in turn, deployed some of its people to work in CT’s facilities, and help them in any way possible. Both companies maintained daily contact, and their employees even worked seven days a week at times during the project.”
According to Jim Coghlin, Columbia Tech’s Chief Operating Officer, this was the “largest technology order of its kind placed—ever.” As such, Fourstar sought manufacturing support form Tornik LCC, further helping us to meet our production commitments to stay on schedule and within budget. A project with this scope and timeline pressure would not have been possible without dedicated collaboration throughout the supply chain and within all the stages of development, production, and delivery. Flexibility and the ability to make decisions and changes in a very tight timeline were the two top criteria necessary to navigate through the layered reach of this project.
We have deep experience meeting tight time-to-market deadlines. So, how quickly and efficiently did we mobilize ... and get the job done? Fourstar assembled all the harnesses from March 1 to October 15. As Camillo reports, we delivered the System 1 prototype set within five weeks of the first contact between the two companies. There were many engineering changes for the System 2 build (approximately 200 new wire harness configurations). This was followed by 23 additional System 1 sets being completed within four months. We started making them
in mid-August and finished in mid-October. Click here if you’d like to read the PDF of Camillo’s Assembly article.
We’re happy to report that there has not been a single quality issue since deployment of these mobile data centers, and Columbia Tech’s client has offered very positive feedback. As such, Columbia Tech was a top-10 nominee for its client’s President’s Quality Award.
Let’s Find a Better Way for You
Fourstar has been delivering the highest quality cable assemblies, wire harnesses, electronic assemblies, and full-turnkey complex box builds to our industry-leading customers for 30 years. As an electronic manufacturing services provider, we assess your needs and objectives and recommend the most effective manufacturing solution with emphasis on optimizing your total cost, quality, and lead time.
Fourstar excels at helping high-tech companies finish the last leg of the dash to new product introduction and production delivery. We have the program management and manufacturing capability to support a fast-turn production build (large or small) or preproduction prototype run.
Fourstar partners with leading companies to “find a better way” for new product introduction (NPI), design for manufacturing (DFM), and time to market initiatives. How can we find a better way for you? We helped Columbia Tech get to market with a massive project and discuss it in more detail in this case study. We think you’ll find it an interesting read.