When you are a leading manufacturer, you tend to work with equally exceptional partners. For AirBoss, this often means contracting with leaders in their respective industries for high-volume orders.
Recently, AirBoss Engineered Products began to pursue smaller-scale jobs to provide essential rubber parts for emerging movers and shakers – the potential future of the industry. Our company sees the opportunity that the electric vehicle (EV) market presents, and we’re excited about the potential that comes with EV customer partnerships.
What does this mean for production and manufacturing? It means that AirBoss—thanks to decades of refining and perfecting our processes—is positioned to deliver high-quality rubber solutions through lower-volume manufacturing avenues.
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Low-Volume and High Quality
We’ve found that it’s almost par for the course for manufacturers to ignore and even steer clear of low-volume partners. Their reasoning? “It’s not cost-effective” or “It’s just not worth our time.” Although that may appear practical at first blush, AirBoss thinks differently.
“Typically, your high-volume is going to be around 500,000 units a year,” says AirBoss Account Manager JC Velasquez. “For low-volume jobs, that’s going to be anywhere from 50,000 to 100,00 units. A lot of our competitors aren’t looking at these kinds of customers because they don’t care about the low volumes.”
And it’s into these low-volume valleys that AirBoss shines a light. With our manufacturing methods in place and exciting new technologies on the horizon, we’re able to perfect components and advanced parts through low-volume applications. Plus, we’re usually less expensive than the competition.
“It’s given us an opportunity to break into these different platforms,” Velasquez continues. “Things like [designing] a cradle mount or a hydrobushing or a cabin mount—we can also show off to larger OEMs and show them that we’re very good at it.”
“It’s given us a platform to build these components that most [larger] OEMs wouldn’t have given us the opportunity to pursue,” says Velasquez.
And this is one of the things that AirBoss Engineered Products does best. We take our renowned ability to make high-quality products and adapt them to advanced applications.
Paving the Way with Electric Vehicles
It’s the more advanced parts that lend themselves well to low-volume production. Electric vehicles often use these more complex components to serve the same purpose as those in traditional, gas-powered vehicles.
“Difficult or advanced parts are used on the same platform as normal cars, but they’re tailor-made,” explains Paskal Tsoviakis, Senior Development Engineer for AirBoss. “They’re a little more customized for high frequencies. The design is just a little more unique and special for those [EV] applications.”
“There’s been a big push to go after those [low-volume] platforms,” says Tsoviakis, “because now the major OEMs are trying to come out with EVs. So, we wanted to have products in line with these low-volume companies that are already making EVs.”
Tsoviakis says that doing so should position AirBoss to already have skin in the game when larger vehicle manufacturers need high-quality EV components. “We’ve already been doing this. We know what works.”
Lets explore your custom, low-volume needs together.
No Opportunity Is Too Big or Too Small
What’s interesting about low-volume manufacturing, at least from an AirBoss perspective, is that it’s an opportunity to experiment more. Tsoviakis explains that if AirBoss already makes a component or a part, it’s likely not going to be one that’s pursued for low-volume manufacturing.
“I think the company wants to innovate and make parts we’ve never made before,” he says. “Anything we can do on a low-volume platform is something we want to go after. Even if that’s just 5,000 or 10,000 units, we’ll pursue it.”
Bottom line: If it’s innovative and within the AirBoss wheelhouse, there’s no opportunity too big or too small. If that kind of low-volume project gives us a chance to perfect the manufacture, assembly, and presentation of a product AirBoss hasn’t made before, that’s a no-brainer at this stage in the game.
“You have to take the risk,” says Tsoviakis of expanding into markets and building lasting relationships, “We’re heading in the right direction.”