In an effort to ensure quality of its first major product, Projectavision Inc. of New York recently completed formal manufacturing alliances with its suppliers, including its custom molder. Como Plastics Corp., a custom injection molder in Columbus, Ind., was selected to supply the plastics components for Projectavision's patented, large-screen Digital Home Theater system. The agreement was accompanied by initial product projections of 20,000 units.
Digital Home Theater will offer consumers the flexibility of a 60-inch rear-projection TV, a front projection home theater with image sizes of 60-260 inches, and a large-screen computer monitor all in one.
The Digital Home Theater is scheduled to enter the market by November.
Steve Wiggins, vice president of sales for Como, said this is the first project the company has done for Projectavision, however it has similar manufacturing agreements with other customers.
``It makes us part of their team, which means we're involved at the beginning of the project,'' Wiggins said. ``We're their manufacturing arm working with their designers and engineers, and helping them with the product's manufacturability.''
Monica Dettling, spokeswoman for Projectavision, said the company wanted to approach the manufacturing of its first major project with an eye toward establishing long-term partnerships with its suppliers.
``In the end you wind up with a better product when you get [the supplier's] input early on in the development stage,'' Dettling said.
Another advantage to a manufacturing alliance, said Dettling, is that when suppliers know they're in the program for the long haul, they are more willing to invest the extra time and effort it takes to get a new product to market.
``You can react quicker to the marketplace with a partner that's with you every step of the way,'' she said.
The company also has an agreement with C-MAC Industries Inc. of Sherbrooke, Quebec, which will supply the electronics components.
``We feel that to bring a new product to market, maintain quality and keep costs under control, we need to bring [suppliers] in early,'' Dettling said, ``and make them aware of our cost goals and target manufacturing goals. It's always better in the long run to let everyone know what your goals are up front.''
Dettling said Como will mold and assemble the cabinet, which will be structurally foam molded from Noryl, a PPO/PPE blend, and numerous other components molded from styrenic resins. Projectavision chose Como Plastics because of the company's experience molding products for the consumer electronics industry for customers that include Thompson Electronics and RCA.
With an employee base of 240, Como Plastics operates 21 presses with clamping forces of 230-3,000 tons, and is a primary supplier to the consumer electronics and office furniture industries. Como is a division of LDM Technologies Inc., headquartered in Troy, Mich., which is a major supplier of structural plastic components for the consumer electronics and automotive industries.