One of my favorite activities in business development is giving customers a tour of our facilities, Especially our development labs. HTI has 10 distinct labs that total 27,000 square feet and contain $21M of equipment. As the tour moves from one lab to another, Customers are astounded at the breadth of capabilities. What excites customer the most is the possibility that they have stumbled upon a partner, A secret weapon, that can enable their product roadmaps. More than once, we have helped customers build prototype parts that previously went untested because they were unable to build the part themselves or find others that could do so.
Our customers look back and wonder how they functioned before without a supplier with a wide breadth of capabilities. Previously they struggled to get prototypes built in the right way and in a reasonable timeframe, Where they had to work with several suppliers to get to right mix of manufacturing methods. In addition to part fabrication, There is also the challenge to test the part against dimensional and performance specifications or perform failure analysis. At HTI, we have labs that cover all aspects of development including part fabrication, metrology, performance testing, and failure analysis.
You may be wondering, what would you possibly have that would require 10 different labs. Here’s a quick run-down. We have five prototype production labs that have a small version of the manufacturing equipment located in our factories. These five also have additional processes that expand our lab capabilities beyond what we have in our factories. These labs include both “wet” process such as etching, plating, photolithography, and “dry” process, such as forming, stamping, welding, and joining. These are not comprehensive lists, but a subset to give you an idea. There are two labs devoted to materials and chemical characterization, which enable us to develop and test new materials, precisely control our processes, and perform failure analysis. Two other labs are focused on the evaluation of products against dimensional and performance specifications, including mechanical and electrical performance, as well as reliability. Another lab, making the total ten, is where we develop vision systems that are used for auditing or 100% inspection of products in production.
With so much capability under one roof, more can be achieved faster, at a lower total cost, and with a higher likelihood of success. While that initial tour of our labs is exciting, What is really satisfying is the outcome months later when the customer launches their product successfully … due in part from the development and manufacturing partnership with HTI.