Case Study: Cost Optimization

Extruded & Machined Washing Machine Insert

Case Study: Cost Optimization

A household name of kitchen and laundry appliances were under pressure to complete a product cost reduction project to remain competitive in the market. Gait’s process and material engineers utilised automation and material analysis, to deliver significant cost reductions and enabled the client to remain a leader in the product category.

The Opportunity

A global appliance manufacturer supplying over 60 countries worldwide, was under increased price pressure for one of their cornerstone projects. They did not want to make any changes to the premium design aesthetic or high-quality functional aspect of the product. They had tried to solve this issue internally but had not been able to come up with a viable solution. 

Gait had already been working closely with the engineering and procurement team for this client and had an in-depth understanding of the premium design and functionality requirements that they would need. The client saw an opportunity to work with the Gait process and material experts to look for alternative solutions. 

The company expected to reduce their costs by working with Gait’s experienced team and innovative supply base.

The Solution

In-depth Product and Production Review
Gait’s Design for Manufacture Engineering team reviewed the component and focussed on optimizing the production processes so that the high quality of the component could be maintained while ensuring the cost per unit was reduced. Exhaustive material finish testing was conducted to ensure the most efficient materials were being used to meet the products’ functional and aesthetic needs.

In-depth Product and Production Review
Gait’s Design for Manufacture Engineering team reviewed the component and focussed on optimizing the production processes so that the high quality of the component could be maintained while ensuring the cost per unit was reduced. Exhaustive material finish testing was conducted to ensure the most efficient materials were being used to meet the products’ functional and aesthetic needs.

Process Automation
A custom production line was built with full automation to load and unload the parts into the CNC machine. Removing this manual process greatly reduced the production cycle time and product defect rates.

Material Assessment
Through a matrix of material testing, the anodizing surface finish was removed from the process as the test results proved that the process cost was greater than the functional and aesthetic benefit received.

The Results

Reduced Product Cost
Product cost was the key focus of this project and the Gait team over-delivered on the expected results. The overall changes resulted in a >10% decrease in product cost.

Increased Production Yield
By automating the process and removing the anodizing step, the requirement for human interference and touch points were decreased thus greatly improving yield.

Decreased Process Time
Due to the changes made, the processing time for each component was greatly reduced, enabling a faster and more efficient supply chain.