The team at Challenge Europe recognise that manufacturing today is very much a partnership operation, based on mutual respect and trust, succeeding on the varied skills of the parties involved and the strength of their relationship, often forged over many years. Such is the case with sub-contract suppliers of specialist components and small quantities where efficiency at small scale is key to achieving desired outcomes.
Typically, a “special” can be something as simple as a modified standard item – probably ex-stock plus a second operation but difficult to fit into an established assembly process. Or it may be a designed-from-first-principles component requiring ground-up manufacturing in its own right but requiring special parameters, skills or equipment in its production. This may require anything from knowledge-based sourcing of base components through creation from raw stock, fabrication and assembly dependent on specific needs.
These Specials and Custom small-volume manufacturing projects are frequently jobs that are a problem for bigger manufacturers, where it is not cost-effective to program large and expensive automated equipment. So, when standard fastenings are not suitable, a custom option is needed from a specialist sub-contract manufacturing facility. This capability is useful for small quantities and extends to partnering arrangements with fabricators and finishers so that a wide range of items may be covered from specialist threaded fasteners to sheet metal or cast fixings. In-house machining is often coupled with a global sourcing and supply infrastructure and in-depth expertise of the manufacturing cycle.
This capability enables production of components from alternative materials at short notice and incorporation into packaged sub-assemblies. In this way customers gain an overall package of high quality and low cost for their standard mass-produced items and for small-quantity specialist components.
Examples of this sort of special cover the gamut of:
- Screws – lengths, non-standard threads, machined e.g. shoulders, holes for locking wire, tapered lead-ins, thin/shallow heads
- Brackets and special fittings, stand-offs etc., small assemblies for manufacturing
- Complete assemblies, e.g. specialist light fittings, electronics fitted to housings, electrical equipment fitted to chassis
- Components – machinery, thread forming
- Manufacturing kits for lineside supply
Further information on Challenge Europe products can be found on their website – www.challenge-europe.co.uk.