Cost-Effective EMS Mechanisms

The team at Vulcan Industries offers expertise in manufacturing and assembling specialized products for a wide range of industries. Here is a case study demonstrating how we helped a global leader in the power distribution and circuit protection vertical develop two new cost-effective EMS mechanisms.

Project Overview

• Industry: Electrical power management

• Processes: Stamping, machining, plating, assembly and tooling

• Company Background: Global leader in power distribution and circuit protection for utility, commercial and industrial applications

• Challenge: Existing mechanism designs are submersed in oil, so corrosion of the steel components used in the assembly is not an issue. As this new product will be exposed to the atmosphere, wear and corrosion resistance are critical to lasting performance.

• Assessment: Evaluate design concepts for performance and cost, and produce prototypes to validate the results

The Vulcan Solution: Testing, Design, Prototypes, and Successful Validation

At the start of the project, baseline information for the current high-performing product was not available which made identification of key product characteristics unknown. The Vulcan team took the following steps to develop a successful solution:

• Product cycle testing was conducted to identify any areas for concern.

• A variety of material grades and plating finishes were considered, and costs estimated.

• Individual mechanisms were prototyped, and the performance evaluated.

• Several iterations were constructed to maximize the performance which resulted in a final design.

• Individual mechanisms were grouped together and tested as assembly and adjustment issues were uncovered.

• Meetings were conducted at the customer site to review the adjustment issues, and present options.

• Another round of prototypes proved the feasibility of a new side plate design that positions multiple assemblies in the same plane relative to the adjustments.

• New tooling was built at Vulcan Industries to produce the new side plates, testing was conducted, and the validation was successful.

The Final Result – Best Quality at the Best Cost

When Vulcan Industries has the opportunity to partner with our customer at the start of a new program, the benefits include design for manufacturing and cost estimating, thus allowing our client to realize the best quality product at the best cost.

Vulcan Industries offers expertise in cost reduction plus exceptional customer service. Contact us today to find out how we can help you develop high-quality, low-cost electrical power management solutions.

Automating Pushrod Tube Polishing for Harley Davidson Motor Co.

The Vulcan team offers expertise in manufacturing processes to improve quality and output while reducing cost. Here is a case study demonstrating how we helped Harley Davidson Motor Co., a market leader in the power sports industry, automate their metal polishing process, and increase their production capacity.

Project Overview

• Industry: Power sports

• Processes: Tube Mill, automated metal polishing and chrome plating

• Company Background: A market leader in the 600cc+ motorcycle industry

• Challenge: Our challenge was to meet forecasted growth and cost / quality objectives.

• Assessment: During our initial review, it became clear that automating the polishing process was necessary.

The Vulcan Solution – Automated Polishing Machine to Streamline Quality and Cost

With the demand changing exponentially, increasing capacity, improving quality, and reducing cost were paramount for our customer. The existing operation consisted of a team of 5 metal polishers, 4 belting operators and 1 buffing operator polishing on manual lathes.

Our review uncovered the following problems:

• Material removal was inconsistent at each of the operations

• Inconsistencies were also driven by different operators performing the same jobs

• Variations in the unpolished material surface

To resolve these issues, we developed an automated polishing machine in conjunction with Vulcan Industries Century Plating, and Dan Technologies of Coccaglio, Italy.

Here is how this new machine works:

• The machine consists of 4 belting stations and 1 buffing station on a carousel with 1 idle station, and 1 station for loading and unloading parts.

• 7 fixtures are mounted on the carousel and rotate the parts as they are presented to each of polishing stations on the machine.

• The carousel then rotates and presents the next part in line to the next station in the machine.

• The automated polishing machine maintains consistent material removal to the specified depth to remove surface imperfections.

• This provides a more consistent finish for chrome plating with the ability to maintain current production levels as well as meet increasing demand.

The Final Result – 50% Lower Cost, 40% Capacity Increase, 60% Reduction in Errors and Waste

Our customer was ecstatic as the cost to polish the product was reduced by 50% while capacity increased by 40%. They were also able to realize 60% reduction in rework and scrap.

At Vulcan Industries, we offer custom solutions to mitigate your manufacturing challenges. Exceptional customer service ensures your complete satisfaction and repeat business. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with efficient solutions for power sports equipment and parts manufacturing.

Design and Assembly of New Lighting System

The team at Vulcan Industries Corporation has years of experience manufacturing and assembling quality products for a wide range of applications. The following case demonstrates our ability to assist manufacturers with design improvements for enhanced quality and performance.

Project Overview

• Industry: Scooter, power chair lifts

• Processes: Metal stampings, powder coated finish, plastic housing and assembly, and testing of electrical components controlled by a Kanban system

• Company Background: Manufacturer of independent living aids

• Challenge: Offer manufacturing-based design assistance to develop a superior product

• Assessment: A review of the current assembly uncovered a multitude of quality issues due to the product not being designed to meet the latest lighting requirements

The Vulcan Solution – New Product Design, Testing and Assembly, Waste Reduction Strategies

When a wheelchair lift is located on the back of a vehicle, it blocks the license plate. As a result, the plate is relocated above the wheelchair lift. New laws for third brake lights prompted a lighting review of an existing wheelchair lift product. An initial redesign by the customer added a brake light to the license plate bracket. However, numerous quality issues provided Vulcan with an opportunity to partner with the customer on the development of a new design.

A review of the quality problems with the existing design helped us determine how the new product should perform. Meetings with the customer offered additional insight on new product features they wanted to consider. Updated requirements included a new plastic housing and the use of solid state components in the electrical circuit.

The Vulcan engineering team presented three concepts for the customer to review. Design and cost were important considerations. Upon design selection, additions were made to the original specifications, after which cost estimates were finalized.

The Vulcan team was overjoyed to receive the project. We built tooling to produce the main components and constructed assembly fixtures to assist in the assembly and test operations. We shipped the product to the customer in conjunction with existing “milk run” used for other parts. Returnable containers eliminated packaging waste. We also established a Kanban inventory to ensure a consistent flow of product to the customer’s production line.

The Final Result – Improved Product Quality, Cost-Effective Manufacturing Process

The customer was extremely appreciative of Vulcan’s cost-effective solution that incorporated quality standards into the product and manufacturing process.

At Vulcan Industries, we are experts at reducing costs and providing superior customer service. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with scooter and power chair lift solutions.

Softail Footboard Manufacturing Improvements

At Vulcan Industries Corporation, we are engaged in continuous innovation to enhance our manufacturing and assembly capabilities. This case study demonstrates how we re-engineered one of our assembly fixtures to reduce operator fatigue and provide our clients in the motorcycle industry with faster turnaround and enhanced quality.





Project Overview


• Industry: Motorcycle

• Processes: Final assembly on this footboard cover requires a piece of die-cut leather to be threaded and tied in place

• Company Background: Vulcan internal efficiency improvement

• Challenge: Eliminate operator fatigue to improve efficiencies

• Assessment: Operator wrist fatigue and frustration resulted in scheduling production runs to a maximum of 3 hours. The current process also caused around 1% scrap due to operators tearing the leather.

The Vulcan Solution – Assembly Fixture Redesign and Build


We gathered a team to review the current process. A variety of manufacturing efficiency problems were identified in the final assembly; the main one being that the operator was trying to hold too many parts during the assembly process. A total assembly fixture redesign was discussed, created, reviewed, and built at Vulcan. The new fixture included clamps to hold the footboard cover in place while threading the leather piece through it. The cover sub-assembly could also be flipped up to provide a more natural position to tie the leather in place.

The Final Result – 85% Increase in Assembly Efficiency


The new fixture enabled our operator to concentrate on assembly of the parts rather than fighting with the process. Minimizing operator fatigue allowed for a full shift of production with an overall assembly efficiency increase of 85%.

At Vulcan Industries, we work closely with our clients to provide design-build solutions that will improve product performance and quality. Our solid commitment to reducing your manufacturing/assembly costs and providing superior customer service helps ensure you are fully satisfied. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with motorcycle solutions.

Cost-Efficient Increase of Tube Feed Cell Production



At Vulcan Industries Corporation, we offer innovative manufacturing solutions to meet your unique needs. The following case study demonstrates how we developed a manufacturing cell capable of forming multiple sizes of steel or aluminum tubes to increase tube feed cell production capacity in a cost-efficient manner.



Project Overview

• Industry: Motorcycle

• Processes: Manually loading pieces of tubing into a magazine that allowed our punch press to continuously cycle and form the tubes

• Company Background: Vulcan internal cost improvement

• Challenge: To automate the tube loading process

• Assessment: Automation was considered the best solution to improve our efficiency and eliminate the potential for carpal tunnel injuries from repetitive motion

The Vulcan Solution – Integration of Processes to Eliminate Operator Fatigue and Increase Output

The need to increase production volumes while remaining cost-competitive, challenged us to create a manufacturing cell that is capable of forming multiple sizes of steel or aluminum tubes. This required us to integrate a tube cutoff machine and forming press. Automating the feeding of tubes to the forming press would increase the machine uptime by eliminating operator fatigue, and allow the cell to be tended by one person.

Here are the highlights of the new, automated cell:

• After considering a variety of tube feed approaches, we decided to utilize a vibratory feed table system that allowed for simple adjustments between tube sizes.

• Tubes from the cutoff machine were conveyed to a hopper that provided a buffer of parts before the vibratory feed table to assure an adequate supply of tubes for continuous operation.

• PLC controls for the feed system are independent of the cutoff and the forming press, with only a magazine sensor in the forming die that controls the automation

The Final Result – High Quality Tubes, Enhanced Forming Press Capacity, Elimination of Repetitive Motion Injuries

The new Vulcan system allows us to provide competitive pricing to our motorcycle industry customers while maintain high product quality and increasing forming press capacity by 20%. We were also able to eliminate the potential for repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel among workers.

At Vulcan Industries, we are experts at reducing manufacturing inefficiencies and costs. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with motorcycle manufacturing solutions.

Successful Fueling System Development

The highly skilled team at Vulcan Industries Corporation produces specialized assemblies for a variety of applications. The following case study demonstrates how we helped the world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles develop two products for use on new models.

Project Overview

• Industry: Motorcycle

• Processes: Stamping, machining, welding, plating, and assembly

• Company Background: World’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles

• Challenge: The assembly needs different manufacturing processes with some requiring development for validation

• Assessment: The assembly is a great fit for the competencies offered by Vulcan. Developing processes to remove potential cost will help secure the business.

The Vulcan Solution – New Part Design and Manufacturing Process, Prototype Testing

To produce the new design, the Vulcan engineering team had to develop a process to join two dissimilar steel alloys. Although welding appeared to be our best option, spot welding was considered too risky due to strength requirements as one of the pieces was made from a high carbon spring steel. The development phase included several steel types, part configurations, and welding processes.

Here are the highlights of how the new design was developed:

• Prototype samples were produced and tested at our customer’s laboratory to assess strength.

• Subsequent changes were made to the part design and manufacturing processes to enhance and improve performance.

• In addition to welding spring steel, a spot welding process was developed to simplify the assembly of a tubular fitting into a stamped component.

• MIG welding was replaced by a specially-designed fitting that allowed the product to be assembled using a less expensive spot welding operation.

• We produced an electrical terminal and fuel tank gasket as the welded assembly is zinc-plated, and several additional parts are assembled, including a specialty valve.

• The assembly was pressure tested and packed into returnable dunnage for shipment directly to the customer’s assembly line.

The Final Result – Design Changes Enhanced the Product Performance

The experienced Vulcan engineering team assisted our customer in developing two products for use on new model motorcycles. Our focus was to incorporate a safety enhancement while reducing the cost of this new assembly when compared to the existing design. Manufacturing process development produced design changes that enhanced product performance and achieved our customer’s objectives.

At Vulcan Industries, we are experts at cost-effective process-driven manufacturing solutions, and superior customer service. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with motorcycle manufacturing.

Cost-Effective Welding of Dissimilar Materials



The experienced team at Vulcan Industries Corporation offers custom solutions to improve product quality while streamlining manufacturing costs. The following case study demonstrates how we helped a leading lithium-ion battery manufacturer weld dissimilar materials and reduce cost.



Project Overview

• Industry: Power storage

• Processes: Stamping, annealing, and assembly

• Company Background: Lithium-ion battery manufacturer

• Challenge: Consider a variety of methods to join dissimilar materials

• Assessment: Welding the materials appears to be the best option, even though mechanical options were also considered.

The Vulcan Solution – Design-Build of a New Prototype Die and Tooling Process

A customer challenged the Vulcan team to join two dissimilar parts—one made from soft copper, and the other from nickel. Following our existing process, the soft copper was stamped, formed, and carefully packaged for a subsequent annealing operation. A variety of welding options were reviewed in order to join a hard nickel material to the annealed copper.

Vulcan’s engineers consulted with a local welding system integrator. A prototype die was built, and raw material purchased to produce nickel washers to develop the process. While we have advanced spot welding capabilities, specialty equipment was required to provide for a more precise control of the weld joint variables. The weld system integrator has a variety of equipment to develop the process but required tooling to locate the two loose parts in the proper orientation.

Vulcan designed and built the locating nest tooling as per our integrator’s requirements, and samples were produced. Welding these sample parts allowed us to define the process and evaluate future strength requirements for the product. In addition, samples of the welded product were provided to our customer for design validation, and the new process was approved.

We then purchased proper welding equipment from our weld system integrator. The PPAP samples were produced, submitted, and approved by our customer.

The Final Result – New Assembly Process Delivers Higher Strength and Cost-Efficiency

The new spot-welded assembly provided remarkable strength, and achieved our goal of creating a cost-effective sub-assembly.

At Vulcan Industries, we never walk away from a challenge. We are experts at manufacturing and deliver superior customer service. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your power storage solutions.