Injection molder New Berlin Plastics Inc. has updated its approach to product launches with proprietary software to improve communication and collaboration between its engineers and customers.
Founded in 1975, the New Berlin, Wis.-based company worked with a local software firm to put its concept for streamlining and optimizing product launches into code. Called LaunchLogic, the program manages actions required of project participants and alerts them to tasks not completed.
The new technology is being rolled out at a time New Berlin Plastics is seeing year-over-year growth serving the power sport, automotive, consumer goods, industrial, electrical and other markets.
"In order to accommodate this growth, we need to become the best we can at project launches," New Berlin Plastics President James Schneberger said.
The molder typically has 80-120 programs running through launch, be it new tools, transferred tools, engineering changes or continuous improvement projects, Schneberger said in a phone interview.
"LaunchLogic is an accelerator that improves communication, agility, and responsiveness regarding our project launches," he said.
The program improves communication by creating a single document that contains all the relevant information and updates associated with a project launch, Schneberger explained. The document is delivered weekly to all project stakeholders. Customers can choose the day the updates are sent and the distribution list of who gets the information.
Schneberger said LaunchLogic allows the launch team to be more agile by automating the compilation and distribution of update reports rather than tasking a project engineer with manually producing the documents for every project they are managing.
"This allows our engineers to focus on moving projects forward instead of writing reports," Schneberger said, noting that product launches usually take an average of 18-20 weeks depending on a variety of factors.
The software encourages all participants to respond in a timely manner about the project's schedule, scope and challenges by escalating unresolved prompts.