One of Mueller Custom Cut’s best services is showing our customers alternate materials for their applications.
When another material works as well as (or even better than) the original, and making the switch saves a client money, we’ve done our due diligence.
Because Mueller works with a wide variety of materials, we can often find one that serves a purpose for multiple industries for different reasons.
Here’s how we helped three different industries—power generation, automotive, and medical—find better solutions by using the same material.
What Type of Material Was Being Used for Power Generation?
A power generation company was using foam to line the enclosures of outside units to make them quieter. However, if a door was left open, water could seep into the enclosure and allow the foam to hold moisture. This created a safety hazard that surrounded an electricity source.
We decided to use vertically lapped nonwoven fiber to replace the foam. It has the same acoustical benefit, but it doesn’t absorb water. Nonwoven fabrics, such as vertically lapped, have a high total surface, so they’re ideal materials for acoustical insulation.
Mueller can develop sound-absorbing and dampening materials due to our ability to nest and create kits, which greatly increases material utilization. This results in more effective dampening material.
How Were Other Mueller Customers Able to Use This Material?
The Mueller team saw the value of vertically lapped nonwoven fiber and started offering it to customers in other industries.
“We’re showing them innovation by crossing over with these different materials,” said Mike Bryant, sales manager.
Our automotive industry customers liked vertically lapped nonwoven fiber because it was not as heavy as the foam they’ve been using to fill gaps in the A, B, and C pillars of vehicles.
“Anywhere they have a dead air space, they put in acoustical absorbers to make it quieter in the car,” Bryant said.
By replacing foam with vertically lapped nonwoven fiber, our automotive customers can now add less weight to vehicles and improve gas mileage.
“There are standards they have to meet for fuel efficiency every year,” said Bryant. “Every time we talk about a part we sell them, we have to put down to the grams of what it weighs, and they start adding stuff up. It’s a big deal.”
Since vertically lapped nonwoven fiber has the same acoustical benefits as foam, this alternate material proved to be an innovative solution for the automotive industry.
Our customers in the medical industry were drawn to vertically lapped nonwoven fiber for the same reason as the automotive clients. The material was lighter than the foam they had been using for oxygen concentrators, but it performed the same acoustical absorption function.
Because oxygen concentrators are mobile devices, the goal for manufacturers is to reduce weight and noise for the patients who use them.
“That’s a big deal, too,” Bryant said. “Because they’re out in public places and people’s homes.”
How Do Mueller Customers Benefit From Crossover Materials?
When Mueller is providing the same material to multiple industries, we typically have a larger buy-in volume. This makes the material less expensive for our customers. We can survey the materials we’re currently selling by interviewing customers and suppliers, then find out whether we can lower costs for another client without losing performance.
Our customers also benefit from the innovative ideas Mueller creates or discovers from other clients. Our competitors may only work with one industry, such as automotive, which limits their options for coming up with creative and alternative solutions.
“They may miss out on innovation opportunities because they’re only selling to automotive,” said Bryant.
When you work with Mueller, you can take advantage of the extensive database of materials and solutions we’ve provided for a variety of industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, power generation, lighting, meters, and health and safety.
Our cost-effective, innovative design solutions allow us to work with you to think outside the box when it comes to your product’s possibilities.
Mueller: Alternate Materials, Better Solutions
Now you know Mueller helped three different industries use the same material to improve their applications.
While the power generation, automotive, and medical businesses all needed acoustical absorption, the power generation company needed to keep out water, while the automotive and medical companies wanted something lightweight. Vertically lapped nonwoven fiber fit all of these requirements.
The possibilities are endless when you trust the Mueller team to help you find innovative ways to make your business more efficient. Contact our team today to discuss your options and discover your best solution!