The fourth blog in our UNITE series where we highlight each of our values in more detail. Today we arrived at the letter T, which we relate to the words ‘Transfer Knowledge’. Everybody knows the phrase “knowledge is power”, which, in essence is correct, but it is often misunderstood or even abused. People tend to keep knowledge to themselves because they have the illusion that it gives them power. Our view is that when knowledge is spread it works much more powerful than when you keep it to yourself and box it. MPC is actively encouraging its co-builders to share knowledge with each other.
Transferring knowledge, sharing information… It may seem like a natural thing to do, but in daily life it is not. People tend to be protective of the knowledge or the information they have in hand. Transferring knowledge or information often lies in small things, but the underlying value is always trust.
For us, transfer knowledge starts with seemingly simple things, though we probably all have examples where it was proven that it’s not that easy. For instance, with product information and production information. We will always share as much information as possible to make sure the customer has all the necessary details, and in the same instance we’d love to hear about the application itself. Bringing all this information together gives us a better position to advice and create a better solution for the customer.
Transfer knowledge for MPC
Because we value this transfer of knowledge so much, we don’t just apply this among our co-builders. It also applies to our partners, meaning our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. By doing this, it creates a mutual sense of responsibility for everything we know or have learned.
To extend or maximize the needed knowledge we offer our co-builders continuous training or learning. We have developed E-learning modules for our customers. We have our suppliers participate in development issues. We co-develop new products and adapt products with our customers. It also means we are looking for either confirmation or positive criticism.
When our customer TE connectivity asked us whether we could do a “torque-cap” we simply replied “why?”. We wanted to know about the application first to understand what was behind the question.
It turned out that what TE needed was a clamp that could be used in the field in a way where it would not matter what kind of tool is used and still get the same result in application torque over and over. A torque cap would do the trick, but would not guarantee that their customer would actually use the cap to put the clamp on the application.
We already knew TE has a lot of know-how and knowledge concerning shear-technology on threaded applications. We suggested that we could come up with 100% tool-proof concept in the form of a clamp, if they would give us access to their knowledge concerning the shear technology. And that is what happened: we co-developed a new product for TE. That means we needed each other’s knowledge to get to a product that is tool proof. So, no matter what tool is used, the clamp will always tighten at 8Nm in the field.
Actually, it is a little bit more sophisticated than that: the clamp basically has 3 different heads, all in 1 screw head. The first one is meant for pre-assembly at TE in the factory and breaks off at 5 Nm, the second head is used in the field by TE’s customer and breaks off at 8Nm, no matter what tool they use. The third head is for MPC to test. These clamps are certified at 10Nm, so we need to be able to test them at this value. The third head can also be used to undo the clamp after years of service on the application.
Transferring knowledge both ways led to a new product that fulfilled TE’s expectations 100%, with no more clamp-trouble along the road. For those curious about our work with TE connectivity, we have a case about this on our website.
In our next and last blog in this series about the UNITE vision we will talk more about the value tying it all together, Excel.