Metal process

Catalytic Converter Development Process (VIDEO)

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Clint Cooper:

Hi, I’m Clint Cooper. I’m the emissions expert at AP Emissions. I’m here with Ryan McDonough, our product development expert, and we’re going to talk a bit about how we develop catalytic converters, how we develop this brand new aftermarket catalytic converter part. So Ryan, what’s the first step? How to create a new part?

Ryan McDonough:

The first thing we do is identify our needs through customer requests, inquiries through our website or phone calls through the technical line.

Clint Cooper:

Alright, VIO data. Okay, we’re looking at that VIO data as well? What is VIO?

Ryan McDonough:

This is a working vehicle, so it lets us know how many of a certain type of vehicle are in a geographic area.

Clint Cooper:

OK! Great. So you can just find out how many Camrys are in Albany, New York, for example.

Ryan McDonough:

It’s correct.

Clint Cooper:

And so from that information, we can then decide if a part should be built because there’s a lot of demand for it. There are just a lot of people who need this part.

Ryan McDonough:

It’s exactly that.

Clint Cooper:

So, once we’ve identified the part we want to build, what’s the first step? Do I go out and buy the [OE] and we copy that, or how do we do it?

Ryan McDonough:

We do this, but we also bring the vehicle to our technical center.

Clint Cooper:

OK.

Ryan McDonough:

We throw it on the lift, have our technicians strip the car, disassemble the exhaust system, and from there we begin our process of developing a new part.

Clint Cooper:

So what is the process? Do I have to go under there with a tape measure and start to figure out okay I need such a long tube and a 45 degree elbow? How do our technicians do it?

Ryan McDonough:

So they’ll just take the original off the car.

Clint Cooper:

OK.

Ryan McDonough:

Build a device around it that allows us to lock locations.

Clint Cooper:

So describe this device to me.

Ryan McDonough:

It’s a steel… You see, that’s where it gets complicated.

Clint Cooper:

It’s cool. It’s great, man, complicated.

Ryan McDonough:

It is a steel structure that employees use.

Clint Cooper:

So it’s like these… I’ve seen it before. There are these bolts sticking out of it, and these are parts where you can put the metal in and lock it so that everything is in a place where you can weld together, right?

Ryan McDonough:

Yes, it is a steel structure that holds all the components in place to guarantee assembly.

Clint Cooper:

Okay, sometimes we call it a jig. They are therefore developing this new template in order to be able to develop a new part for this car.

Ryan McDonough:

It’s true.

Clint Cooper:

So they develop the parts and from those parts they develop the jig.

Ryan McDonough:

Alright, so we’ll put the original in the template.

Clint Cooper:

OK.

Ryan McDonough:

We’ll settle around that.

Clint Cooper:

OK.

Ryan McDonough:

And then this will allow us to be reproducible at the [OE].

Clint Cooper:

Okay so once we’ve prototyped it we’ve been through it, it’s almost like an artisanal process where we develop that part and then once we’ve made that jig or that device we put the [OE] in the device to ensure that the device is accurate.

Ryan McDonough:

It’s correct.

Clint Cooper:

And so, we can now start assembling new parts? Is it time for production or are there more steps involved?

Ryan McDonough:

There are a few steps left. So we will make a sample. We will put this sample on the car to document the fitment.

Clint Cooper:

Oh, so we don’t just check it against the jig we made, but then put it back on the car and make sure it fits?

Ryan McDonough:

It’s correct.

Clint Cooper:

What if a model year is slightly different? Are we going to change this [OE] part in order to extend coverage to these other model years, or do we just make a new part for every time we need a [OE] copy?

Ryan McDonough:

That’s an excellent question. So we will be bringing in vehicles to test fit and hopefully extend our model years or postpone or postpone…

Clint Cooper:

OK.

Ryan McDonough:

And use the same design. If a change needs to be made, where we can make a small change, we will do that too, so the warehouse only has to stock one piece instead of two.

Clint Cooper:

Pleasant. Oh, so it’s less inventory on the shelves for our customers, which is great. And this single piece is going to fit multiple vehicles just by sometimes adding a hanger or a slight bend on it, where it will still fit the original purpose, but it also now fits that extended coverage.

Ryan McDonough:

That’s absolutely correct.

Clint Cooper:

Impressive. So at that point you have a fixed jig, an assembly setup, and then we’re pretty much ready to start production. We put it back on the car. Are we ready to go?

Ryan McDonough:

So we’ll have a few other processes first, like getting the part from the catalog…

Clint Cooper:

OK.

Ryan McDonough:

And to all our partners and customers.

Clint Cooper:

Excellent.

Ryan McDonough:

An NPI notification, so everyone in the field is aware of the new part.

Clint Cooper:

OK.

Ryan McDonough:

Then we’ll send it back to the production team at that time.

Clint Cooper:

And at this point, it’s time to start producing the part.

Ryan McDonough:

We produce some parts.

Clint Cooper:

Excellent. Well this has been a great video. We learned how to develop new parts. In our next video we will see how we go about making these parts, so stay tuned. Thank you for watching.

This video is sponsored by AP Emissions.