Electro-Mechanical System Integration and Assembly

Case Study

Problem Statement:

Increased competition leads all companies to search for lower cost solutions.  Our customer – a supplier of electromechanical systems to the military and aerospace markets – needed to reduce the cost of a sophisticated assembly in order to meet market price requirements, and expand their business.

Hutchinson met cost reduction targets by providing a complete assembly – building the entire assembly into which our critical components fit.  This allowed us to save on the components, and provide cost savings and procurement simplification to our customer.

Hutchinson brings value to our customer by reducing the supply chain from at least seven vendors to a single vendor, component count from fifteen to one, and by adding value to the assembly by performing electrical testing and environmental stress screening to ensure the assembly will meet all system level requirements. This saves time and money at our customer’s facility while also reducing supply chain complexity. The graph below shows the benefit of partnering with Hutchinson.

The electromechanical assembly discussed is similar to that presented below – an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) connected to other electrical components and installed into an isolated housing.

Technical Situation:

The customer’s components required specialized shock & vibration analysis and customized isolator design to meet their performance requirements. They also required AS9100 and US manufacturing.  (ITAR and NOFORN Compliant)

To meet cost targets the mounting system needed to be designed and developed by a single source, rather than traditionally sourcing many parts from multiple vendors.  Hutchinson was up to this task.

Incorporating the overall system performance requirements into the system’s sub-component design can significantly optimize the design, time required for development, and cost of protecting and stabilizing sophisticated electromechanical systems.

Technical Solution Discussion:

Hutchinson engineers solved this problem by working with the customer to define 1) The electromechanical system performance requirements and 2) Within the specific environmental parameters and parameter ranges specified, how to cost effectively meet requirements for consistent performance of the electromechanical system.

Once #1 and #2 above were defined, Hutchinson proceeded to invest in the capabilities to supply this assembly fully compliant to specifications and at customer cost targets.

The Hutchinson team developed custom designed thermal chamber fixtures optimized for minimal thermal mass and higher rates of thermal change. Internally designed fixtures were also manufactured in-house at Hutchinson, saving on outside machining costs. Once installed in the thermal chamber, Hutchinson was also able to define a highly efficient thermal profile that met environmental stress screening requirements while minimizing test time for improved throughput. Some of Hutchinson’s electromechanical assembly capabilities include:

  • ESD Handling Procedures IAW MIL-STD-1686, ANSI/ESD S20.20 and associated ANSI/ESD specifications – Trained personnel capable of handling IPC Class 3 Electronics
  • Electric assembly system with dedicated torque controller for consistency and process control
  • Thermal Chamber designed to heat and cool assemblies between -70°C and 180°C. Peak rate of change exceeds 15°C per minute. Temperature uniformity within the thermal chamber of +/- 0.5°C.
  • Environmental Stress Screening processes IAW MIL-HDBK-344. Custom thermal test profiles based on customer specifications.
  • Assembly and test cell features automated climate control, air purification and FOD prevention.
  • In-house capability to design and build custom test software to meet customer test requirements

With extensive data collection/analysis & design capabilities, Hutchinson’s new investment in system integration & assembly is ready to help customers optimize their electromechanical system’s performance. We are solution providers – bring us your problems and let us help. By integrating the assembly and testing into a single supplier, Hutchinson is able to optimize all aspects of electrical testing and thermal cycling into a single package for maximized cell capacity.

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