Vaupell Molding & Tooling, Inc. is a leading full-service prototyping and production services company, providing injection-molding, composites manufacturing, additive manufacturing, machining, tooling development, assembly, rapid prototyping, and finishing services from several facilities across the United States. Vaupell is a contract manufacturing company focused on the aerospace/defense and medical & life sciences industries, and the global market leader in plastics components and assemblies for aircraft interiors.
The company’s Vaupell Rapid Solutions group operates from Vaupell’s One Innovation Center in Hudson, NH and focuses on product development services and rapid prototyping. The facility houses additive manufacturing, injection-mold tooling and molding, and CNC machining departments, and provides iterative prototyping and low-volume production services to its customers.
In 2017, Vaupell Rapid Solutions evaluated available solutions for streamlining its quoting process to turn quotes around more quickly, eliminate a quote volume backlog, win additional business, and fuel growth, according to Andy Reeves, Business Development and Department Manager. “When we initially began looking into quoting automation solutions, we thought that we ultimately might have to develop the solution in-house—at a cost of roughly $1 million—to achieve the flexibility that we need for quote automation of multiple, diverse production processes,” Reeves recalls.
“We evaluated the Printelize® solution, but that was limited to just 3D printing when we need the flexibility to automate quotes for all of our manufacturing processes,” Reeves adds. “That’s when we discovered the Paperless Parts quote automation solution. Because the Paperless Parts algorithm is based on our actual costs and inputs, it provides the flexibility that we need to streamline and automate quoting for all jobs, prototyping processes, and manufacturing methods.”
Vaupell Rapid Solutions implemented the Paperless Parts Quoting solution in 2017 and now uses the browser-based application for viewing and evaluating part geometry, pinpointing and flagging design for manufacturability (DFM) issues, and automating and extending quote development to include additional options, such as expedited delivery. Vaupell chose Paperless Parts Quoting because of its flexibility to incorporate Vaupell inputs, accessibility in the cloud, and capability for automating quote development. “We’re significantly more efficient in developing and delivering quotes with Paperless Parts,” Reeves says.
Delivering Accurate Quotes Within the Hour
Since implementing Paperless Parts to automate and improve quoting, Vaupell has completely eliminated its quote volume backlog and now delivers all quotes within 24 hours and the vast majority of quotes within an hour of receipt of a request for quote (RFQ). In addition to turning quotes around much more quickly, quote accuracy has improved, expedited delivery income is now captured, and the repetitive data entry required in the past has been eliminated.
“Time is valuable, and with Paperless Parts, we can create and send out 20 quotes in the time that it used to take us to complete one,” Reeves notes. “The way that we developed quotes in the past required several applications to interrogate the model for manufacturability, populate a spreadsheet to calculate costs, and feed our Epicor® enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. That approach required repetitive entry of the same data.
With Paperless Parts, we view the model, calculate the costs, create the digital quote, and pass the information to our ERP system with a single, automated application, entering data just once,” Reeves continues. “We can also include multiple options, including expedited delivery costs in a single quote. We’re learning that customers are willing to pay more to get parts sooner, and we’ve earned an additional $40,000 in expedited delivery income in the first 10 months of 2019.”
Driving Growth, Supporting Capital Investments
With job shop quoting automation via Paperless Parts, Vaupell Rapid Solutions has increased the number of quotes it sends out and realized greater production throughput, resulting in dramatic increases in revenue and the need for additional equipment. “The Paperless Parts solution has been transformational for our business,” Reeves stresses.
“We implemented Paperless Parts in 2017, and our annual revenue increased more than 70 percent from 2017 to 2018, with expectations for revenue growth again in 2019,” Reeves explains. “While Paperless Parts isn’t the only reason that we’ve grown, it’s a substantial part of our success. We’re now using Paperless Parts analytics to justify investments in new capital equipment, including a new fused deposition modeling (FDM) machine and a new 5-axis CNC machine.”
ITAR Compliance a Must
Because Vaupell Rapid Solutions has many customers in the aerospace/defense sector, the company also needed a solution that complies with U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) cyber security requirements. “We were one of the early adopters of Paperless Parts and really pushed them to obtain ITAR certification for a cloud-based solution because, without it, we wouldn’t be able to use it for the bulk of our business,” Reeves points out.
“Paperless Parts has grown with us, and we’ve seen our feedback and input—like their ITAR certification—implemented in their solution,” Reeves says. “We view them as a strategic partner moving forward in advancing the platform’s capabilities to help us continue to achieve our revenue and profit goals.”