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Choosing a transmission for serial production – which stages do manufacturers go through?

8 September 2020  |  Reading time: 8 minutes

As a manufacturer of mobile machines, you know like no other how important a high-quality transmission is for your machine. You might even have an idea for a potential serial production. At Zuidberg, we live and breathe transmissions. We are happy to brainstorm along with you. In this blog, we will explain in concrete terms how we help, advise and support manufacturers in choosing a transmission for a serial supply and we will explain the steps involved in that process.

Step 1: Good ideas start with good coffee

We always start with an introductory meeting, and a good cup of coffee. Big decisions are made later on. During this initial meeting, we get to know each other and take stock of all your wishes. Quality is in the details. When you come to us in your search for the perfect transmission for (your) mobile machines, there are three possible scenarios:

  1. A standard transmission;
  2. An adjusted standard transmission;
  3. A newly-designed, custom-made transmission​

Step 2: In-depth analysis and tailored advice

Based on our meeting, we analyse the options. We look to see where there is an existing transmission that meets your wishes or whether we might have to develop a custom transmission, using as many standard parts from our stock as we can. One thing is certain: we look at the best long-term solution, providing you with a detailed analysis of all the costs, times, advantages and disadvantages.

After our analysis, we will get back to you with impartial, tailor-made advice. That advice includes:

the advantages and disadvantages of each option
the costs of each option (indications of mould costs, development costs, tooling costs, etc.)
in the event of a new development, an indication of the lead time
an overview of the expected completion dates

What is important to know: the higher investment for designing a specific transmission should be justified by the expected advantages of the design. Of course, a specific solution entails higher costs. It is up to you to weigh the advantages of a specific solution against the costs.

It can be worthwhile to develop a specific solution for amounts of 100 units per year or more. (But we can also consider orders for 50 units or more. We can easily do 1500 units, for example.)

Answers to all your questions

Together, we will go over all the options in detail and answer all your questions. You can take the analysis with you, and we will schedule the next appointment.

Step 3: your final decision and the next steps

When you have made your decision, our job begins. We draw up a design brief together. That includes the following:

technical and commercial objectives
exact product specifications
look and feel of the product
test protocol
and much more

When the design brief is confirmed and approved, it’s time for the actual work. It is good to know that at Zuidberg, we produce everything in-house, from the first sketch to the final production of the series. We work with Lean methods and allow departments to communicate a lot with each other. Clear communication makes better products.

Always up to date on everything

Throughout the development stage of the transmission – no matter which stage we are in – we will keep you updated. We will call you regularly with a general update from the Zuidberg departments working on your transmission.

We have a lot of experience with the requirements large(r) manufacturers demand of their suppliers and we supply many of those manufacturers. And that is always with results we are proud of. We produce almost everything in-house, which enables us to operate very quickly and efficiently. No challenge is too great!

Step 4: approval, tests and start of serial production

When the first prototypes are production and quality-approved, we start testing. That is done in many ways. We recommend tests run by ourselves and by the client. We run functional tests and, in consultation with you, put together a test protocol. This can include Zuidberg-provided trails for durability, endurance and functionality. Simultaneously, we recommend you to set up your own field tests.

When we are both satisfied with the transmission and the obtained results, we start serial production and write a custom manual. Because a new product means a new manual.

Congratulations! We are ready and hope you have a great product launch.

That's not it, we'll keep in touch!

The product has been approved, production of the series has started and the product has been added to your range. We work hard on lasting relationships with our clients and therefore, we will stay in touch with you. We will come by at least once a year to ask about your experience. What went well and where is there room for improvement?

Changes may have to be made. If so, we will make those changes. We will look at what needs to be done and provide insight into the consequences of those changes. One thing is certain: we will keep you updated!

Our transmissions: more information

Our transmissions are known for their versatility. We offer solutions for nearly all industries. Whether you are active in agriculture, transport, infrastructure, forestry or the automotive industry: there’s always a Zuidberg transmission that meets your needs. And if not, we’ll make one.

Ask our specialist

Martin Kalter - Sales Manager OEM

For more than 20 years Martin has been the internal expert in the field of gears and gearboxes. A strong communicator, his past as an engineer means he guides customer projects along the path to the best solution. 

See the production possibilities for yourself

See the production possibilities for yourself

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