Kimball Electronics has decades of experience working in a wide range of industries. Our comprehensive skill set helps customers take their ideas through design into development and manufacturing. We take pride in being able to solve your toughest problems with our diverse manufacturing experience.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Fiber Optic Shelf
Like many of the projects with which we get involved, this one had a particularly tight timeline. Our customer needed functional, production-representative samples of three fiber optic termination shelves in four weeks. There were 45 different components in all plus painting and assembly.
With our decades of experience in telecom products, this project was right in our wheelhouse. Our team pulled together and with many processes running concurrently, were able to present samples three weeks after the order was placed.
HEALTH CARE: Pharmaceutical Demonstration Kit
A pharmaceutical customer approached us with a single-use syringe, needle and vial inside a disposable, thermoformed tray that they were using for clinical studies. The relative complexity of self-administering the drug dictated that the user be trained. We were asked to design a demonstration kit that could be reused hundreds of times by health care educators and pharmacists. Our designers provided multiple conceptual designs in a matter of weeks and prototypes followed soon after. Production tooling for 11 injection molded parts was completed along with initial production runs in less than 12 weeks.
In the end, our customer had a very robust, intuitive and reusable demonstration kit that we distributed to hundreds of thousands of health care educators and pharmacists in 30 countries and 32 languages.
ANIMAL HEALTH: Cattle Ear Tag
Flies cause economic losses in the hundreds of millions and the problem with today’s chemically impregnated polymer cattle ear tags is that their payout of a lethal dose of insecticide reduces linearly over time. As a result, flies are exposed to sublethal doses for an extended period of time and build up resistance. We were challenged to develop an ear tag that delivered consistent lethal doses up to the end of the tag life and then stop. After exploring many technologies including developing a piezoelectric pump, we landed on the use of porous bundles packaged in tubular form.
This is now patented technology and provides for much longer ear tag life and very precise dosing until the tag is completely paid out. Our team also optimized the design for production in the millions.
FOOD SERVICE: Dry/Moist Warmer
Anyone in food service can tell you that keeping potatoes, like french fries or hash browns, warm without becoming soft or greasy is very difficult. Our customer wanted to introduce a new potato menu item but there wasn’t any equipment available that could hold the product for more than 30 minutes. Our engineers accepted the challenge and developed a warmer that utilizes a “ThermalBreeze” to keep potatoes tasty for up to two hours.
This revolutionary technology uses digital controls and energy-harvesting hot air recirculation to keep dry foods, like potatoes, hot and crispy. In addition, this warmer can also hold moist foods, like eggs, and keep them hot without drying them out for hours.
AG SCIENCE: Termite Elimination
We’ve participated in many projects that started with a “napkin sketch” but this project began with a sausage and piece of PVC tubing. The goal was to create a housing that could be used to monitor termite activity and then, when detected, used to kill the colony.
Our engineers worked with our customer’s termite experts to develop an injection-molded assembly that is both buried in ground and exposed to the elements in all regions of the United States. Kimball Electronics designed, prototyped, field-tested, built production molds and ran millions of assemblies.
In addition, because wood sticks with relatively tight tolerances were used inside the housing, it was in our best interest to control this component. Consequently, we set up wood ripping and cutoff cells that fed the fully automated assembly equipment.
AUTOMOTIVE: Bump Stop
This customer has extensive knowledge in urethane production and applications. In this particular automotive application, the urethane is an excellent shock absorber. While our customer was close to a final design, they asked for our input with regard to reliably attaching a metal collar to an injection-molded piece. A metal collar was used to strengthen the assembly and after experimentation, determined that ultrasonically swaging the ring in place worked best. They also needed our help with slicing their urethane into thin sections. After many trials with various cutting methods, we developed a process that consistently produces slices with very tight tolerances.
An automated assembly cell that includes the ultrasonic welding and pull testing to 100% verify ring presence was designed and built at Kimball Electronics.