For more than 120 years, Minimax has been one of the leading brands in fire protection. The cooperation with REIFF also has a long tradition. We supply Minimax primarily in the area of hose technology for large-scale plants. When in 2017, the tool for the production of stand cams for fire extinguishers showed first signs of fatigue, we got the chance to participate in a tender for the first time also in this product segment. Four more years were to pass before the contract was signed. Therefore, it is even more pleasing that the Minimax fire extinguishers now stand on pedestal feet from REIFF.
In the event of a fire, fire extinguishers must be quickly and easily accessible. For this purpose, the devices are mounted directly at their place of use or on the wall using appropriate brackets. In order to guarantee stability during transport and maintenance, Minimax equips its fire extinguishers, which have an inherent weight of between 15 and 20 kg, with five stand cams as standard. In other words, parts with an elementary function that need to be manufactured and assembled with the appropriate care and precision.
As early as the 2017 inquiry stage, we extensively examined the customer’s specifications in terms of technical feasibility, material processing, tooling requirements and production flow. In line with these requirements and the anticipated purchase quantities, the right manufacturing partner was brought on board directly, whom we deliberately evaluated in the European environment. This diligence in the evaluation phase paid off in retrospect, as we were able to keep not only the price framework but also the associated performance promise with this partner when the 2021 task was specified in concrete terms. “Together we designed and optimized the production process – based on the customer’s drawing and material specifications – so that the downstream assembly of the parts, from pre-sorting to assembly, functions fully automatically and smoothly,” explains Helmut Wolfram, application engineer at REIFF.
In order to meet the acceptance volume of 2 million parts per year at the agreed conditions, we decided on an injection mold with 24 cavities together with our toolmaking partner.
Each part, regardless of its position in the automatic production line, must not only fit perfectly on each of the five cams, but must also be loss-proof. Based on the initial sample test report, the company went into pre-production of 12,000 parts. Extensive tests were carried out with the small series on Minimax’s automatic assembly line. “This phase was of great importance for process reliability, because a single ‘tearout’ is sufficient to bring Minimax’s automatic feed unit to a standstill. The demand on precision, which is also monitored by means of 100% control, is correspondingly high,” Helmut Wolfram continues to emphasize. In June 2021, the time had come and REIFF went into series production with a monthly production volume of 200,000 stand-up cam feet.
“To present the entire process, from order placement to series production, in just 3 to 3.5 months was quite sporting. Especially since we ran into the plastic supply crisis during this time window. It is good that our purchasing department acted with foresight and secured quotas in good time due to the quantity contracts,” emphasizes Andreas Harsch from technical sales at REIFF.
By the end of 2021, 160,000 fire extinguishers could already be equipped with the new stand cams. REIFF was thus able to contribute a small share to their stability. “The cooperation with REIFF takes on an equal footing,” assures Petra Budzinski, buyer at Minimax, “together we always find the best solution, and especially with the stand cams.”
– Tendering of stand cam production
– Reduction of procurement costs
– Annual contract on call as required
– Good planning capability
– Regional proximity
– Direct contact to the technical department
– Technical specification according to given sample parts
– Consideration of the requirements in the assembly
– Guarantee of functionality – stability
– Given material mix and target price
SPECIFICATIONS AND CHALLENGES
– Technical design
– Feasibility in terms of geometry and manufacturing (mold)
– Define cavities of the mold, for high volumes
– Realization schedule for sampling, series production and delivery
Realization of this challenge in close cooperation of sales, engineering and manufacturing partners.