The world’s most instantly recognisable vehicle, the trusted London black cab, has been on an exciting journey, transforming into a zero carbon mobility technology company. TR Fastenings is delighted to play its part in the story, helping this icon of London heritage evolve its production for a greener future.
The demand for electric vehicles has been rapidly growing across the world, putting pressures on the traditional automotive supply chain. This has driven providers to find new ways of working and be more committed than ever to the changing needs of their customers – a trend that was brought into sharp focus when TR was approached by the London EV Company (LEVC) with a time-critical problem.
LEVC is part of the Geely Holding Group and is on a challenging but ambitious journey with its innovative and market-leading electric TX taxi. Working in a just-in-time environment, it needed a reliable automotive components provider that was able to supply a consistent and seamless service. When that was suddenly no longer possible, LEVC had to find a new provider that could step in and help keep production moving. The company needed to enhance and secure its supply chain, embrace operational changes and focus on technical and engineering support coupled with a robust logistics service.
During this intense transition period it gave TR and LEVC an opportunity to review each part in tandem. Rationalisation of the number of parts used, the types of fasteners and eliminating bespoke special parts where feasible. TR was selected as the supplier of choice as its years of experience of designing and manufacturing fasteners for automotive applications was a key deciding factor. Additionally, TR also supplies other companies within the Geely Holding Group, including Proton in Malaysia, Lotus cars in the UK and the major Tier1’s supplying into Volvo.
As a global fastener specialist, TR’s design and engineering teams were involved from the outset. An internal review was conducted to understand LEVC’s exact needs and project teams from both TR and LEVC were immediately assigned to work together. It was critical that there was a constant on site presence at LEVC during this time working across the different disciplines. This was important in instilling confidence and working to a very tight timeline.
TR was quickly able to establish a stable full-service provision for LEVC, especially important for a new product launch. TR now provides some 350 components used in the vehicles, and to the Tier 1’s that supply the drive train, brakes, lighting clusters, car seats, IP console and battery pack.
Dan Pereira, Engineering Manager, UK & Ireland, TR Fastenings said: “This was a challenging project where time was a critical factor. We needed to act fast to understand the customer’s exact needs and put in place a system that worked. Thankfully, we understand the pressures automotive manufacturers are under and this project was a great example of how TR Fastenings can step up to any situation, working with the client to be that safe pair of hands they need. It showcases our commitment to fulfilling the needs of our customers, no matter the size or complexity of operation.”
LEVC needed support quickly to meet demand, and TR was able to step in, providing additional on-site customer support. It set about reviewing stock quantities to understand any gaps in the system, it established working relationships, collaborated with the engineers on the ground to understand their needs and ensure a seamless transition. TR as the supplier shared data sheets with engineers and purchasing, agreeing specifications and this sped up the process of producing product and gaining PPAP approvals. Additionally, TR was asked to manage other bespoke parts on LEVC’s behalf and these too were added to the bill of materials.
Supply of critical stock resumed, and production suffered no disruption.
TR’s complete, full-service approach, prevented manufacturing disruption and enabled a lasting relationship with a new customer. This could not have been done without the close collaboration with LEVC and its key managed suppliers.
To celebrate a successful transition, TR was delighted to showcase the electric TX taxi on its stand at the recent Automechanika Show in Birmingham and there was great interest shown by many of the attendees over the three-day event.
Sven Brehler, Global Director of Engineering at TR Fastenings, said: “The TX was a great talking point which opened up conversations about our capabilities and vast product range. As the EV market continues to expand, TR is well placed to lead on fastening solutions for this sector.”
TR is leading the way in design engineering and manufacturing with more than 55,000 products across its portfolio. It supplies components to more than 5,000 companies globally across a wide range of industries from its global facilities in 18 countries encompassing 7 manufacturing sites.