“Well, the challenge to build a solid grate mold in the shortest possible time was already well known. But to build six complex grate molds (almost) simultaneously and in addition in a throughput time of only a total of 14 weeks– that was really something new!”
Head of Planing + Control
Member of senior management
“Our customer, a premium automotive manufacturer, had a warranty problem in some countries and several models in the running series production with the speaker grates in the dashboard area. They depended on the fastest possible help from us”, said the project manager who was responsible at that time in mold management for our customer, an established 1st level supplier. “The job was short and concise”, Gerhard Platzgummer, who is responsible for planning and control at Rathgeber remembers about the initial situation at that time.
“At that time it was only possible, because we already had extensive experience with grates and thus had flexible employees that could shift the capacities with very careful planning of the work steps and adapt them appropriately in short notice. That is true passion!”
This was the summary of the project manager of the OEM customer, after the last mold of a mold set was delivered to the customer on site and taken directly to the series production machine, without having been sampled by us beforehand.
“An absurdity, to cut such exterior components of a high runner still by hand” - Oliver Schwaiger, the production manager at Rathgeber, still remembers the statement of the OEM project manager at that time.
“Strictly speaking, the throughput time given by our customer was too short, to produce several of these complex molds in such a short time for the production of high-quality PMMA pillar panels for a top runner. But we were already familiar with this challenge from other projects. And we gladly accepted it again!”
How did this happen? Our customer ordered the first mold set for this component from a competitor in Portugal – however, the supplied quality did not meet the requirements and made manual rework necessary on each component, which is why the customer decided at short notice to order a new mold set from us.
“This is the way the person on the other end of the telephone line formulated the verbal invitation”, remembers Christian Pröller from the Consulting & Sales branch, who took the telephone call at Rathgeber at that time.
“Basically there is nothing unusual for a mold constructor to receive an invitation for a company presentation at the start of the call for bids for a project. However, this invitation was definitely unusual.”
“But that is not the most exciting thing about the story”, continues Christian Pröller, who has already coordinated continuing work with the development department of an OEM for a few years.
The exciting thing is what finally became of this. We have never experienced such close and international team work with a process and development department of an OEM and it is still very exciting. To have a view into what is technically possible and then be able to work together on the implementation of very challenging technical developments is time and again a great challenge, but at the same time gives us great pleasure. Especially for us to be able to continue to bring into this area our decades of experience with new technologies from plastic processing into the area of custom machine construction.”
The hidden stars of the middle class, Volume 2 / Production, Cay von Fournier (only available in German)
We will be happy to send you a copy of the book on request (only available in German)!