Why Is Automotive Modular Assembly Increasingly Being Farmed Out By Car Manufacturers?
Modular assembly is increasingly being turned to by automotive manufacturers who have been relying on plastics manufacturers to deliver properly manufactured individual parts for years. While on-site manufacture and assembling of all elements of vehicles on the production line used to be the norm, many of today’s manufacturers are turning to companies that can not only craft specific parts, but handle the assembling of discreet modules and deliver those modules to their facilities. There are several advantages to subcontracting modular assemblies that make it a wise business decision for everyone concerned.
Specialization: Modular Assembly Made Easy
Automotive modular assembly usually requires that the plastic unit be combined with or molded to one or more other non-plastic parts. It’s a high tech process that often requires specialized equipment that is costly to use and maintain. Fortunately, many plastics fabricators have the resources and ability to quickly bring modular assembly online without disrupting their quota. Because the automotive industry is continually in need of OEM parts, it’s easy for vehicle manufacturers to find a specialized plastics fabricator with experience at all levels. It’s increasingly evident that anything from adding a simple clip to integrating tempered glass, wiring and gaskets can be handled most effectively by suppliers rather than by car manufacturers themselves. Car companies also benefit from the reduced need for specialized machinery and industrial space when they shift the focus of particular aspects of manufacturing to other facilities.
Global Supply Chains And Reduced Cost
Auto makers prefer using modular assembly companies for specific components such as tire pressure monitoring systems, center consoles, powertrain accessories and other high-mix modules because it frees the car companies up to do what they do best – make vehicles. By focusing more on their end result and allowing other companies to take over activities that aren’t part of their core production, they are able to improve their own production quality. The reduced need for a variety of highly specialized systems also keeps prices down. When the process is shifted upstream to specific manufacturing partners, final production time is reduced for car makers.
It’s particularly helpful when an automotive modular assembly provider can easily access their own extensive network of suppliers in order to get the components needed at a base price that’s attractive to all parties. Established relationships with suppliers also mean that many facilities can quickly tailor production to the rapidly changing needs of car manufacturers.
The Flexibility Of Modular Assembly
Many automotive companies are working closely with plastics companies and contract producers in order to determine the ideal level of actual assembly – one that meets the high quality standards of auto makers while minimizing cost. Since final, on-site production time is reduced for car makers and there is less need for production space or storage of individual parts needed to fabricate modules, the time from vehicle inception to hitting dealerships with new models can be significantly reduced. Last minute changes can also be more readily handled by individual, off-site facilities rather than slowing down production across the board.
Because modularization enables the automotive industry to respond quickly to rapid changes in the market, it greatly reduces the lag time between shifts in customer expectations and the industry’s response on the manufacturing floor. It’s also more convenient, less costly, and easier to monitor for quality control issues, making it a win-win proposition for everyone.