When Holiday House Distributing, the largest distributor of OCS, water and vending parts in North America, needed a modification to a ball valve design, there was no question that it would ask The Specialty Manufacturing Co. (SMC) to create it. Although Holiday House could have chosen to continue to perform manual assembly of the fitting, or instead farm out the assembly, experience told them that Specialty would be able to reengineer an existing part and supply all the expertise needed to do so.
Holiday House needed a 1/2 inch male NPT end for the Specialty Manufacturing 074-Series plastic ball valves that would not leak under pressure, while replacing two existing parts. The existing solution used by Holiday House required multiple operations and sub-assembly to arrive at the intended outcome.
According to Blackie Ouellette, Holiday House general manager, “We asked Specialty to create a ball valve that could eliminate two existing parts and be more streamlined and easier to assemble. In this case, we knew that they had the knowledge and were already creating the required fitting. Since we’ve been a long-term Specialty Manufacturing customer, we knew that they readily go out of their way — just like we do for our customers.” “We typically look at their product catalog to see what they have that’s close and then we ask if a part can be modified,” added Ouellette. “In this case, it was to remold an end and shrink it down to a half inch in size. When SMC knocks out a solution and sends me a sample, that sample is spot on. I’ve never had to send one back to have it redone.”
“This one was a case of changing what we currently had, eliminating the parts and having a more cost-effective unit and have a variance that would be easier when assembling the unit,” said Ouellette. “Specialty saved us time and money because there were fewer things to put together.” In the case of Holiday House, providing the 1/2 inch male NPT end and eliminating the cost and need for additional fittings. Specialty not only designed a new end that met requirements, it also agreed to absorb the tooling costs based on volume purchasing by Holiday House, without changing their distributor pricing. The design was completed in 17 days from original inquiry to receipt of purchase order and a 10-week lead time for tooling and production. Not only did Holiday House receive the solution it needed, the company had a new end configuration that it could add to its catalog.