Design Verification and Low-Volume Production for RV Industry
2020 has been one of the most profitable years for recreational vehicles; An already growing industry experienced a influx of business as more people seek alternative travel methods in the wake of COVID-19.

THOR Industries, a leading manufacturer of RV's, was no exception to this trend. While an influx of business certainly drive profits, it also puts constraints of the industries supply chain. A typical RV unit contains between 8,000 and 10,00 parts and supply chain delays can significantly impact business.
THOR's Innovation and Development Center (IDC) has been researching Additive Manufacturing practices for some time. However, with the latest advanced in 3D materials and technology, they wanted to test it first hand.
The Recreational Vehicle (RV) industry was already experiencing significant growth prior to COVID-19, but travel bans and other restrictions has driven the industry to new heights. The extra demand meant that supply chains were stressed, but the industry is traditionally very slow to adopt new technologies.
THOR Industries is the sole owner of operating subsidiaries that when combined, represent the world’s largest manufacturer of RV’s. With a significant product portfolio and a variety of customization options available, individual parts are often produced in small batches. This increased the overall part count, adding additional stress to the supply chain in an already difficult time.
THOR Industries Innovation Development Center formed a collaborative partnership with Henkel to test various designs, workflows and materials. Parts for a seat belt assembly were optimized for 3D Printing and were tested ofr quality and safety. Ultimately, LOCTITE 3D 3172 HDT50 High Impact and LOCTITE 3D 3843 HD60 High Impact meet THOR Industries’ high standards. With Henkel’s assistance, the workflow was validated from design to final production.
Benefit
Reduced lead time from 90 days to 30 days
Cost reduction from $10,000 to $7,000 (compared to outsourced machining)​
Keep Intellectual Property in-house
Allows for further product iterations
Allows for future part consolidation
www.henkel.com

 

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