The airbag safing sensor posed one of our greatest challenges. A customer came to us with a complex design for a product that would act as the primary crash detector for a new generation of airbag systems. It was designed to be extremely reliable but also very expensive. We spent over a year redesigning the product to be cost effective without sacrificing quality or performance.
Forced to think way outside the box, we developed a stamping approach that reduced the tooling costs by 50% and the part price by 25%. We reduced the number of stampings by half and combined them on a single carrier strip. We developed, and subsequently patented, a new way of insert molding to handle these .003" thick stampings which had to be placed in the mold on edge without the use of slow robotics.
Our "Insertion Head" as it is called allowed us to load 16 of these intricate stampings inside the cycle time of the mold. The result is a part that performs as needed at a price the market is willing to bear. It also gave us an opportunity to combine innovative thinking with our ability to deliver what we can imagine.
Windshield Wiper Controls
This product, used in every Ford vehicle in the past five years, was the result of MicroContacts ability to optimize our customers' designs for performance and cost effectiveness. When first introduced to this product it was comprised of five components: two stampings, two rivets and a complex plastic molding.
Originally run in-house by our customer, the product was experiencing double-digit defect rates detectable only after final assembly. We put our engineers to work and developed the current part. The result was significant cost reduction through reducing the assembly to two components with one assembly operation. MicroContacts delivers approximately four million parts annually with a 5-PPM defect rate.
Throttle Position Sensors
Used in similar automotive applications, these two distinctly different products are excellent examples of MicroContacts capabilities.
The product on the left is a tip polished bimetallic contact riveted to an insert molded steel shaft set in a thermoplastic component. The product on the right has 52 precious metal wires (.003"dia) welded to a copper carrier that is formed and riveted to a thermoplastic component. Both products are 100% force checked and shipped in custom tubes for ensured quality.