At Kondex, we know that the most effective solutions result from strong vendor/customer collaboration…and our trademark “will-do” attitude.
Kondex received an inquiry about a year ago from an OEM looking for a vendor committed to the development of a difficult-to-manufacture part for large seeding equipment. Although the part looked simple, it presented manufacturing and heat-treating challenges that discouraged other vendors from working on the project. The OEM wanted to replace the current production part because its many sub-components made assembly and maintenance in the field very time-consuming. The desired one-piece replacement had to save the company valuable time and money.
This case study demonstrates Kondex’s commitment to our customer’s vision – a commitment that goes beyond the manufacturing of parts to a true collaborative partnership.
The productivity and reliability of large seeding equipment is critical to guaranteeing maximum yields for farmers. Seeders must perform in all types of terrain and soil composition, and often under extreme conditions. The design presented to Kondex was a sub-component intended to scrape mud build-up from discs engaged in soil. To be effective, the scraper has to withstand constant wear and maintain its true position next to the disc. The design was relatively thin steel that required forming because of its multiple bends, and required heat-treatment to ensure the part could withstand the rigors of the field. The early trial runs resulted in parts that were not flat and did not hold the required tolerances – it became a challenge for both companies.
To resolve the multiple challenges, our Engineering team, in collaboration with the OEM, evaluated every aspect of the new part, including material selection, original design concept, and true position of the part in relation to the disc. The OEM supplied a sample seeding unit so the trial scrapers could be installed to ensure they met all of the performance requirements. Kondex was able to develop a one-piece replacement that met all the OEM’s requirements through:
- Improvements in the design of the piece
- Minor improvements in the processes
- The addition of a thermal spray coating to mitigate external wear
- An optimized production process developed by manufacturing hundreds of prototypes
- Investment in tools and equipment to ensure the highest quality possible
From start to finish, this project required a great deal of machining and engineering expertise and resulted in a collaborative partnership between Kondex and the OEM. The parts were released for production and are now installed on the seeding equipment; sales are anticipated to exceed the original market forecast. Through Kondex’s “delivery-ready” packaging support, service parts are kitted so the OEM’s customers have an easy field changeover.