As a leading manufacturer of enhanced suspension systems, servicing the RV, adventure, mobility, and emergency services industries, LiquidSpring is undoubtedly committed to innovation and quality in manufacturing. Through consistent efforts to encourage innovation and improve quality, we are proud to offer products that set standards, improve efficiency and safety, and are recognized as industry best. Here is how we do it.
Focus on State-of-the-Art Equipment
Our design, engineering, and manufacturing departments demand state-of-the-art equipment in order to ensure that our products are manufactured to the highest precision and quality standards. We source state-of-the-art machining tools equipment from around the globe (and U.S.) to ensure precision and quality at every stage of production. From our CNC machining centers (sourced from Japan and Korea) to our welding equipment (built by Lincoln Electric in Ohio), we go the extra mile to ensure quality and control in every step of our production process.
Focus on Continuous Improvement
As a lean manufacturer, we are committed to continuous improvement (Kaizen), and have a dedicated Lean Coordinator on staff who leads major Kaizen events on a regular basis. These events focus on identifying and fixing large-scale inefficiencies within our manufacturing process. For smaller “events,” we also have daily Gemba Walks, or onsite walk-throughs, with all five of our manufacturing departments. The process checks in on employees, tasks, and opportunities for productivity improvements. This multi-departmental approach to problem solving ensures that all issues are thoroughly addressed and that silos are eliminated.
Focus on Lead Times
LiquidSpring does not build products to fill stock; we build them to fill orders, on a schedule. This allows us to level and schedule our production, providing the following benefits:
- Reduced waste: By building to order, we eliminate the risk of product sitting in inventory, which ultimately leads to reduced waste in build time and materials.
- Improved efficiency: Building to order means building exactly what we need for each customer – nothing more, nothing less. This allows us to reduce waste, maintain production standards, and minimize costs. Further, level scheduling, the sequencing of orders in a repetitive pattern, minimizes day-to-day variations in output.
- Improved quality: Operating on a set timeline means building with consistent standards and practices, reducing and eliminating room for errors, improving final product consistency, and ensuring quality.
Focus on Quality
We take a proactive approach to quality, with a standard of practice that is focused on preemptively eliminating obstacles in manufacturing. Known as poka-yoke, the practice involves detailed process and product analysis by manufacturing and product engineers to error-proof the build approach.
In addition to the poka-yoke process, our engineers also oversee a lengthy pre-release quality check process. During this practice, our engineering teams build a prototype of each new product and test it as they would for any external client in their install bay. This process, which can require 800-1,000 hours of product engineering development time and 200 hours of mechanical engineering dev time, allows us to find and resolve issues before releasing to production.
Response to Customer Input
We place a high priority on customer feedback, and respond with a thorough review and plan for remedy when issues are reported. If and when feedback regarding quality is received, we open what is called a corrective action. This involves first checking the floor to see where the problem occurred, and then identifying the root cause (man, material, or method). Once the root cause is identified, we implement a plan to prevent the problem from happening again.
The Results of our Commitment to Innovation and Quality
As a result of our commitment to innovation and quality, we have been able to achieve a level of manufacturing excellence that is unmatched by our competitors. Our Smart Suspension Systems are staples in a wide range of industries, moving mass transit vehicles through city streets and rescue and adventure trucks into some of North America’s most remote places. We are committed to continuing to innovate and improve our manufacturing process, and passing along the quality products that result.