P+F invests by replacing old sensors

One of the most useful edges that companies can use to fight competitors is customer service. For instance, General Motors' Saturn Division (Spring Hill, TN) recently found that sensors on the machining and assembly line at its L-850 engine manufacturing facility were deteriorating too quickly. Another company, Pepperl+Fuchs (P+F, Twinsburg, OH), had purchased the original sensor supplier, Hone...

02/01/2003


One of the most useful edges that companies can use to fight competitors is customer service. For instance, General Motors' Saturn Division (Spring Hill, TN) recently found that sensors on the machining and assembly line at its L-850 engine manufacturing facility were deteriorating too quickly.


After acquiring another firm's sensing business, Pepperl+Fuchs supported and replaced old and insufficient sensors and connectors at General Motors' Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Another company, Pepperl+Fuchs (P+F, Twinsburg, OH), had purchased the original sensor supplier, Honeywell's Sensing and Photoelectric business units, shortly after the Saturn installation. Consequently, though P+F inherited this situation, it decided that finding a solution would be a good investment in the future. Watts & Co. (Ashland City, TN) was called on to help work out a solution.

Eventually, the application's German OEM, Excello, revealed that the sensors in question had been in storage for quite some time before installation. Housings had become brittle and failed at the point between the metal sensor body and the plastic connector. Original plastic sensor housings had aged prior to installation, and they were installed in a harsh environment.

Ultimately, P+F decided to replace 400 sensors, worth $40-50 each, at no cost to the plant. These new sensors featured Pepperl+Fuchs' standard metal connectors, designed to prevent future connector failures. In addition, a second machine in use at the Spring Hill plant, built by Supfina, also used P+F sensors. Initial specifications were found to be incorrect, and the sensors didn't have sufficient range. Again, P+F replaced the sensors free of charge.

As a result, more than eight months later, Saturn is ordering P+F's equipment almost daily. Some GM engineers at Saturn report they're specifying P+F sensors because the company stood behind its products.

-Jarrett Watts, owner, Watts & Co.

For more information, visit www.am-pepperl-fuchs.com
Comments or questions: email Jim Montague at jmontague@reedbusiness.com





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