How NBP helped two OEMs overcome material and component shortages

How NBP Helped Two OEMs Overcome Material And Component Shortages

OEMs are struggling to keep production lines running and new product launches on schedule due to the perfect storm of material shortages and congested freight lines on land and at sea.

To take advantage of increasing consumer demands, OEMs are trying to ramp up quickly. However, when critical materials and components aren’t available, the situation requires some quick thinking and creative problem-solving.

New Berlin Plastics has been helping its customers minimize production disruptions by identifying, managing and working to solve shortage issues – and to limit the impact on their operations.

Resin shortage threatens product launch

Last year, New Berlin Plastics was awarded several functional and cosmetic nylon parts for a power sports vehicle to be introduced in 2021. After designing, testing and validating the parts, an unexpected resin scarcity hit the industry. This threatened to delay an important new product launch. 

Years earlier, New Berlin Plastics had helped the company transition to adding ASTM standards on its part prints. This step proved extremely valuable in finding a fast resolution to the shortage problem.

“Delaying the product launch was not an option, so the only solution was to identify an alternate resin,” recalls Joseph Mechery, Vice President of Sales. “We presented other nylon options that met the ASTM standard which were readily available so they could maintain their original production schedule.” 

Since the OEM had already identified the ASTM standard, the process to choose and validate an alternate resin went quickly, and the new vehicle was introduced on schedule. 

A diverse supply chain network prevents parts delays

As shipping containers sit at clogged ports around the nation, OEMs are challenged to get all the parts they need to keep production moving. New Berlin Plastics has been making parts for a major marine manufacturer for years. But recently its supply of offshore sub-components was held up at port.

When a batch of compression bushings from a global insert supplier was stuck at a port in California, New Berlin Plastics identified the risk early and considered alternatives. Alerting the customer and switching to a U.S. supplier became the most viable solution.

New Berlin Plastics has a network of trusted suppliers overseas and domestically that it can tap into to ensure the best pricing and availability for many types of components.

“Our philosophy is to communicate risk early with customers and do everything possible to get them the parts they require,” Mechery emphasizes. “In this case, we found a domestic supplier to make the component they needed. Communicating early gave the OEM ample time to test and validate samples so there was no negative impact on their product. The bottom line is that we helped them to avoid an assembly line shutdown.”

While there will always be risks of resin and component availability problems, OEMs that work with New Berlin Plastics have the peace of mind that there’s always an advocate looking out for their best interests. 

With June marking the start of hurricane season in the regions that produce resins, there’s heightened concern that resin shortages may persist or worsen this year. New Berlin Plastics continues to monitor resin supplies to identify potential risks and mitigate their effect on its customers.

“We continually monitor all components across the industry, and we have access to a vast network of suppliers that enable us to go the extra mile for our customers,” Mechery concludes. 

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