page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116

January 08 www.bus-ex.com 55 KSRInternational the cost of shipping from Mexico to the northern US assembly plants would wipe out any gains.” So Mexican production goes to other Latin American plants and to auto manufacturers in the south of the US. As well as Detroit’s ‘big three’, KRS supplies to Nissan and other Japanese manufacturers. Altogether, the company produces between 40,000 and 50,000 pedalbox units each day. Worldwide, it employs in the region of 1,500 people, around 200 of them in Ridgetown. That level of output from a relatively small workforce is an indication of an automated production process. “We have invested quite heavily in automated systems, that’s correct. The drivers have been cost and quality,” said Nunn. “We started our improvement process, including automation, over ten years ago and it has become embedded in KSR’s culture.” Innovation, too, has been a core KSR value since it was established in 1945. Over decades, its latches and door handles have become the standard for heavy trucks. The next step, which it has already taken, is to provide customers with single-source electronic, plastic and metal control systems. “Everything from brake pedals to throttle pedals are becoming drive-by-wire,” said Nunn. “We’re developing a line of ETC (electronic throttle controls) and non-contact ETCs that are just going into production in Brazil.” That came about because KSR undertakes some positioning sensor work for Ford and extended the concept to the pedalbox. The Blue Oval has already placed a number of orders for them. “It’s a challenging part of the business because electronics develop so fast. We’re not the only company that offers ETC but, as we have electronic expertise in-house, we are in a somewhat unique position, as we’re able to combine mechanical and plastic components with electronics. We do electronic brakes as well and provide the whole assembly, including clutch for various world markets, throttle and brake products in a single assembly—we’re a complete one-stop shop.” Both KSR and Ford had experienced some problems with suppliers of electrical components. KSR’s solution was to bring the expertise inhouse. Ford’s solution was to come to KSR for the solution to its engine positioning sensor. After a trial period, in which there were no warranty problems, Nunn expects KSR to be in full production by summer. Electronic braking systems aren’t as advanced as throttles but KRS is working towards full brake-by-wire. The key seems to be non-contact resistors. “With non-contact electronics, if the mathematics are correct, it will work,” he explained. “We have a quite sophisticated testing facility, which puts the brake system through a large number of cycles at various temperatures. They have to pass a lot of tests of durability before they’re passed safe to incorporate.” But there is also the question of ‘feel’—the resistance of the pedal that the driver becomes familiar with. “We use a system called historesis to give the feel on the pedals. It feels exactly the same as if it’s connected to the engine.” Possibly even better, as there are no cables to stretch or mechanical connections to work loose. “Drive-bywire isn’t such a leap for the system itself, but it is a challenge for the wheels. We have to be sure the sensors will stop the wheels with a sensor-based system. We’re a few years from full production yet but we can see the day when brake-by-wire will be standard fi ttings.” Over the next fi ve years, KSR expects its Mexican operations to expand but not necessarily at the expense of established operations in its major markets. “We’ll probably get bigger in Europe; our location in the Czech Republic is favored for delivery to all parts of the Continent,” said Nunn. “We expect to grow globally, faster outside of North America and to broaden our customer base. We will continue to develop electrical parts in conjunction with our plastics and metal capabilities. We have that unique capability and it’s a major competitive advantage.” DeSantis Industrial Springs & Stampings Inc. (DISS) has been supplying custom designed springs, wire forms, stampings and assemblies to a worldwide market since 1974. A reputation for quality, reliability and service, coupled with manufacturing versatility, makes DeSantis a valuable partner to any business. Our goal is to continually satisfy the expectations of our customers through the implementation of TS 16949. DISS Our relationship with KSR dates back to 1981, and we have since enjoyed a close business relationship with them, developing cost effective solutions in the replacement of steel and magnesium components with engineering grade plastics. We look forward to a continuing successful business relationship with KSR for another 26 years at least. Scott Douglas Plastics