Anixter Helps Manufacturer Expand Market Presence with READY!SM Material Management Services

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Customer

OEM wire supply company

Challenge

Supply specialty reels to production line

Solution

READY!SM Material Management Services

Results 

  • Streamlined manufacturing space
  • Served expanding market
  • Helped customer maintain production cycles
  • Improved the manufacturing process

Customer Challenge 

With employees in more than 30 countries, this company ships wires, optical fibers, cables and cable systems for the automotive market to companies all over the globe. As a global supplier, it is important that the company’s cable assemblies comply to the country specifications of its customers. 

The manufacturer was developing a new cable harness for an international maker of machines and engines. The cables used in the harness needed to be UL approved, even though the bulk of the manufacturing was being done in Europe. In order to conform to industry standards, the manufacturer needed to use a specialized spooler in its production facility in order to supply the cable to the production line. 

The company partnered with Anixter to conduct a full analysis of the supply chain process and recommend a solution to address its challenges. To help the customer’s processes, Anixter brought advanced Supply Chain Solutions to the job along with material management expertise. 

Anixter Solution 

Anixter’s sales team carefully reviewed the company’s current production facility to gain a better understanding of the current processes. The high-volume facility in Portugal had a variety of boxes housing the cable that went into the company’s cable harness manufacturing line. Under the previous system, there were challenges with wire becoming tangled and misidentified, which at times resulted in waste. Anixter and the company worked to identify a solution that would simplify and streamline the feeding of cables to the production line that aligned with the company’s need to maintain clear, consistent inventory. 

Anixter sourced a solution that spooled cable from large drums onto a cone-shaped reel that would be placed next to the customer’s production line. The cone-shaped plastic reels then sit in boxes that are fed into the company’s insulation machine. Because the cone-shaped reels are stackable, the wires never get tangled and feed directly into the machine. By creating a honeycomb wall next to the production line, the reels are stacked with the different wires needed for the cable harnesses. This optimizes the production space while keeping the entire solution streamlined for production. 

Once the reels are empty, the manufacturer sends the used spool back to the Anixter facility. Once there, Anixter reuses the empty reels to spool more cable and have it ready for the customer to order. Each length of cable is standardized, so the representative knows what type and length of cable is needed to be replaced. As part of Anixter’s READY! Material Management Services, the cable is tracked through an electronic replenishment system that makes sure there are zero stockouts. 

Results 

Anixter was able to adapt to the customer’s needs and provide a solution that addressed its overall requirements for a more streamlined and productive manufacturing space. It worked with the customer to develop a READY! Material Management Services offering that delivered per the customer’s need, helping them maintain their production cycles and meet their schedule time to market.