Steel Door & Cabinet Manufacturer

Mate Forming Solution Leads to $93,000 Savings from Redeployed Resources


Every activity in business is either value added or non-value added. A value added activity is something that changes the form, fit, function or nature of the product or service, which is valued by the customer. Non-value added activity is waste; something the customer really doesn’t care about and doesn’t want to pay for. Secondary operations are perfect examples of waste because they add cost and processing time. One such example is spot welding to join two pieces of metal.

A manufacturer of steel doors and cabinets wanted to save money on spot welding, and contacted Mate sales engineer Peter Visser to offer a solution.

Eliminating Secondary Operations

Having worked with the customer before, Peter knew what was in their tooling cabinet. They had used a Mate SnapLock™ tool in another application a few years ago. SnapLock is a lance and form tool which produces self-locking, spring loaded tabs that snap securely into pre-punched holes. A mechanical lock is formed, eliminating the need to utilize other fasteners or welding. Peter used this tool to demonstrate its value in the current application, enclosures for fire equipment.

Sitting with the programmer, Peter integrated the existing SnapLock into their enclosure design. He then worked with the company’s press brake operator to explain the set-up and how to bend the parts consistently to make them snap and lock together. The enclosures produced by the initial demonstration passed all required strength tests, allowing them to eliminate the secondary spot welding operation. Since the initial demonstration, the company purchased three additional SnapLock tools and implemented them into all of the other boxes and closures they manufacture.

Existing Resources Redeployed = $93,000 Savings!

Eliminating the spot welding operation allowed them to redeploy three experienced employees to other operations. Doing so eliminated the need to hire three new full time employees, saving the company $93,600 (3 employees X 2,080 hours X $15.00).

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