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A Tale of Two Tool Rooms

Tool Die CAD Royal Power Solutions

Abstract: When Royal Power Solutions (RPS) began planning a new production facility located in Mexico’s thriving Bajio Industrial Corridor, they set out to deliver the same outstanding safety, service, quality and delivery enjoyed at their flagship Chicago-based headquarters. Today, Royal offers uniform tooling capabilities in Mexico and the U.S. to better serve customers in two major auto manufacturing markets. How Royal optimized energy efficiency, reduced waste, and increased production capacity during a global pandemic is a testament to the company’s values, leadership and culture. Learn more.

How Royal Power Optimized Energy Efficiency and Capacity in North America

Nate Hollin has two decades experience in the planning, design and construction of the stamping process starting from product inception through the production tooling build.

Stamping a Foundation for Tooling Innovation

Over nine decades, Royal Power became a recognized leader in the stamping industry.

This foundation paved the way for us to pursue new roads in energy efficiency, power connectivity, waste reduction, and environmental sustainability.

And our tool rooms are a nexus of applied science, art and innovation.

Led by supervisor Steve Krass, our die engineering team is always exploring how to simplify tool design templates to expand the common component library.

Combining continuous improvement practices with expression-based modeling, we’ve reduced production time for core products and unique tool designs; resulting in improved agility, adaptability and customer service.

And, thanks to toolroom manager Shawn Davenport’s focus on FPY and preventive maintenance, we simultaneously increased capacity for additional projects.

Yet even with our pursuit of faster, safer and more reliable products, the world’s appetite for hybrid and electric vehicles requires exponential solutions.

To help meet the growing global demand for energy efficient power connectivity, we replicated tooling capabilities at our state-of-the-art production facility in Querétaro, Mexico.

Formally dedicated in November 2019, Royal now stands above and apart from the competition by offering the same level of technical expertise and service in Mexico that our U.S.-based auto customers have long enjoyed from Carol Stream.

Kevin Reed, Royal’s Vice President for Supply Chain explains it this way:

“We’ve worked hard to create a scalable, sustainable model to support the growth of an increasingly diversified customer base and innovative new products.

Everything we’ve done up to this point, has helped us execute against the plan.

Before the first shovel went into the ground in Querétaro, we had a strategy, systems and knowledge base ready.”

Leveraging Engineering Experience & Efficiencies

And that knowledge base includes Karen Villasenor, a veteran industry executive who manages our Querétaro facility, known as “RP Tech.” Under Karen’s leadership, and together with Joaquin Cerda and Ubaldo Munguia, we’ve developed a skilled team who embrace Royal’s core processes, values and deliverables. As Karen describes:

“Querétaro’s full-service tool room is a scaled version of Carol Stream with the same machining capabilities and tooling expertise from design to fabrication. Joaquin has been a valued employee of RPS for many years and was the perfect fit for our new facility. He and Ubaldo spearhead new tool builds, core tooling and production maintenance.”

Today, less than a year after officially opening, RP Tech’s engineering department is a seamless extension of headquarters. With direction from engineers Carlos Reyes and Sergio Rivera, seven new tools were designed and produced in Q1 for auto industry manufacturers in the region.

Sergio Rivera

Carlos Reyes

To uphold our rigorous quality and safety standards, all designs released for build are reviewed by a team from both shops to ensure consistency and process reliability. Along with the day-to-day reviews, we hold joint weekly training sessions focused on tooling fundamentals and continuous improvement goals.

Our commitment to a unified process between two tool rooms ensures that we can design and deliver power components with shorter lead times to a greater number of production destinations.

Staying Connected & Committed to Our Mission

As the world continues to meet the challenges of a global health and economic pandemic, our team remains engaged and committed to our mission. We’ve learned how to be extremely effective, flexible and agile on the design side while working remotely.

And, we stayed focused on establishing synergies in common practices with RP Tech even as the Mexican government required all manufacturers to halt operations due to COVID. Fortunately, RP Tech safely resumed production in July. 

On the positive side, this increased knowledge base and capacity at RP Tech has allowed more senior team members in Carol Stream an opportunity to take on more complicated projects. And, we’ve implemented VA/VE (Value Analysis / Value Engineering) processes resulting in better work flow and material utilization.

Our software integrates tracking and tool maintenance data into our SIOP review process, providing advanced visibility to potential bottlenecks in manpower and asset capacity at each step. We’ve captured data and capitalized on those insights to scale up and improve our capabilities.

Driving a Sustainable & Safe Future

While events this year have made even seasoned prognosticators leery, Royal’s recent growth has shown me that vision, teamwork and innovation make some things more certain. As designers, engineers and fabricators who help move people and goods, we recognize that sustainability and safety will drive the future of transportation.

It’s also why our compass is set to “do more with less.” Having a positive impact on the world’s environment is one of our core values and commitments. We use renewable and recyclable alloys and our innovative products create lower resistance and less heat, allowing for reductions in all that comes with the manufacturing and resources associated with them.

And safety – of our colleagues, customers, and their customers – is always priority number one.

Learn how Royal Power tooling capabilities can help your company drive sustainable and scalable solutions. Email or call us today to learn more or schedule a virtual tour.

About the Author: Nate Hollin has two decades experience in the planning, design and construction of the stamping process starting from product inception through the production tooling build. Outside work you will find Nate on a ball field or in the stands with his three sons.