Some things are just better together. For our Filtration teams in North Carolina, it’s the partnership of WIX and Purolator product development teams. In 2016, as WIX joined the MANN+HUMMEL family, the WIX and Purolator teams entered new territory. Formerly competitors in the aftermarket, they embarked on a journey to work together, building from each other’s strengths for the benefit of our products and customers.
Our WIX and Purolator Product Development teams are a perfect example of collaborative success achieved since the merger. In 2016, the WIX and Purolator teams met to determine each other’s capabilities and strengths. At that time, Purolator was looking to launch a new super-duty truck panel air filter that required new pleater rollers, which help to form the unique fan-folded filter media. Luckily, just three hours away, in Gastonia, North Carolina, the WIX team had recently developed new machining capabilities that could handle the development of the pleater rollers that Purolator needed. And so it began the journey to work together, with the perfect blend of technology and opportunity!
The next several months were a demonstration of teamwork. The Purolator product development team, led by Mike Beauchamp, gathered and shared their tooling and engineering drawings with the WIX team. The WIX group evaluated the drawings, sketches and data, and then generated 3D models. After a few setup trial runs, the team successfully generated the CNC programs required to machine the new part.
After the production rollers were built, the WIX and Purolator product development teams reconvened to review the designs. Together, they found a few areas for improvement, made some tweaks, and were able to fully assemble the tool. The new tool was installed and filters were produced to test to the new design. It was a perfect fit for Purolator’s customer.
The joint effort resulted not only in cost savings, but was a great reflection of teamwork between the WIX and Purolator teams. The project was also completed several weeks ahead of schedule, allowing Purolator to focus their efforts on other aspects of the product launch. The Purolator team has plans to launch several more new OE Air Filter programs in 2017 that will require additional pleater tooling, and I’m confident our teams will work together to make these programs a success.