Heather Castleman, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Services at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, recently spoke to Rubber & Plastics News about the Service PLUS program, which is designed to give original equipment manufacturers across all industries a customized approach to solving their most complex problems.
“It's designed to help customers simplify their processes in every part of their value chain,” said Heather. “It’s all about the customer and our ability to help add value to them as they accomplish their goals and objectives for their businesses.”
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions seeks to work with its customers to understand their manufacturing process and overall goals, then help guide them to the services that will best complement them. The Service PLUS program has four main pillars – engineering, logistics, manufacturing and aftermarket.
With logistics, Trelleborg optimizes the customer’s internal supply chain by simplifying the replenishment process. Heather said this can occur by consolidating vendors and having Trelleborg manage different vendors and stock levels.
“We’re helping the customer improve the total cost of ownership of our product while also increasing their throughput within their own manufacturing processes so they can deliver more value to their business quickly,” Heather said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every customer is different and as a result we have different services that different customers would find valuable.”
On the engineering front, Trelleborg provides easy access to information about the different applications for Trelleborg's sealing products. Heather said this
includes digital tools, rapid prototyping and other support to make the front-end design process and new product development more efficient.
Trelleborg also offers a seal scan system that allows customers to replenish based on usage.
“As customers’ production schedules change, they can be assured that the products that they need for their line are available and ready to use,” Heather said. “It gives the customer a lot of flexibility in their manufacturing processes overall.”
Trelleborg takes on some of its customers’ manufacturing process internally through sub-component assembly. Heather said rather than just providing seals, gaskets or bearings – whatever the product may be – and having the customer install them, Trelleborg will assume that responsibility by taking their components and install its seals, delivering a finished sub-assembly to the customer's production line.
“That gives the customer the ability to manage a single supplier,” Heather said. “The seal installation can be tricky. Since we have that knowledge, we make sure that they get the highest quality. T hey have a single vendor and a single SKU to manage, and they can be confident that the quality of that installation is correct.”
The final pillar is aftermarket support – Trelleborg assists its customers in better controlling their aftermarket. Heather said this includes doing some private branding and specialized packaging solutions.
“We have a variety of different packaging solutions,” Heather said. “We’re mindful that our customer’s customer is often in environments that are potentially dirty or have a contamination component to them. Our ability to provide packaging that's resistant to these environmental conditions helps ensure quality as re pairs are being done.”
Heather said the program is constantly evolving as Trelleborg continues to expand its capabilities through acquisition. Most of the capabilities it offers through the Service PLUS program have come from many of the deals it's made in the last decade.
The firm’s 2007 deal to acquire the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions business area gave Trelleborg deep insight into advanced delivery systems. Heather said adding Anderson Seal – a deal completed in 2017 – helped the firm learn more about just-in-time delivery and additional component assembly.
“We want to take the best of both organizations – the legacy Trelleborg organization and the newly acquired business – and create scalable solutions that enables us to serve all of our customers. Service PLUS is a great example of that.” finishes Heather.
Service PLUS unites various enhanced solutions across the entire value chain, simplifying the processes of engineering, logistics, manufacturing and aftermarket for the customer. Beside Advanced Delivery, these components are part of the Service PLUS concept:
Refers to the numerous individual packaging solutions on offer, as well as additional surface treatment or marking options. This not only includes special protective packaging or replacement part kits, but also streamlining measures, such as vendor reduction or reducing warehouse stock.
Covers short-notice needs for seals; depending on material these can be manufactured in one day of order.
Trelleborg is willing and able to offer pre-assembled parts put together by specially trained staff, delivered directly to the customer.
Online resources and apps developed to make an engineer’s life easier.
Engineering Support Services:
World-class engineering solutions and supporting services – from extensive design & compound competence, to ample product testing, Trelleborg provides expert support for your engineering needs.
Further pillars will be added to the Service PLUS concept in the future.