There are watershed moments in a company’s history, times when a single decision can change the course of a business. Such is the case with WPS in the early 90’s. When we were looking to enhance our product offering with new product lines and technology, a brochure about crimp monitors arrived in the mail. The decision to inquire about this technology led to the start of a business relationship that exists to today. And which also led to two other significant connections in Schaefer Megomat and Stapla Ultrasonics.
I am pleased to introduce Chris LaRue. Chris is the President of Crimping and Stamping Technologies and one of the hardest working people in the wire processing industry.
WPS: Thank you for taking a few moments to speak to us today Chris. You have spent your career in crimp technology. Tell us a little about your background.
CL: I am a mechanical engineer by degree and started my career at Amp Connectors (Harrisburg PA) in 1984. I was a die engineer in Amp’s high speed stamping facility. I was the first engineer to be hired in the die engineering rotational program. This was a two-year training program with assignments in stamping, injection molding, plating and assembly.
After seven years at Amp, I had an opportunity to join a small start up company supplying stamping monitoring systems.
After a few years, I made the move to form C&S Technologies.
WPS: Can you provide a rundown of the product offering through C&S.
CL: C&S supplies solutions for validating and process monitoring for wire harness manufacturing.
WPS: Where are your facilities located.
CL: Our facilities are in Pittsburgh PA, Chihuahua Mexico, Juarez Mexico and Queretaro Mexico. Internationally we partner with True Soltec in Tokyo Japan. Also CTEC in Munich Germany.
WPS: Automotive assembly has driven advances in crimp quality technology. Although there are several advances in monitoring and validating the crimping process, can you highlight a few significant technology advances
CL: Crimp Cross Sectioning has been a crimp development tool for several years. But it has been limited to a lab environment. Now because of cost reduction, simplicity and speed these systems have found their way to the production floor as an additional set up validation and process monitoring tool.
With our pioneering efforts in the early 90’s, Crimp Force Monitors have become a core technology which is now widely used in wire processing. Required by Automotive and White Goods manufacturers.
Advances in electronics, software and wireless technology have made networking of production equipment in-expensive. And very powerful. Now you can retrieve real time data from any process, including crimping machines, ultrasonic welders, rotary assembly boards. To monitor and report machine up and down time, defects, production quantity to name few.
WPS: Do you see other industries following the Automotive lead and adopting new crimp quality technology
CL: White Goods is one industry that has seen significant improvement in the quality of their wiring systems due to them embracing new processing, harness designs and monitoring systems.
WPS: What do you see as an emerging technology in crimp technology.
CL: Crimp Cameras are now being mounted on automatic processing machines. What was not feasible ten years ago is now possible with the advanced electronics, software and camera technology. In the case of wire processing, high speed machines require ultra fast feedback to address defects such as high insulation, brush errors and deformed insulation crimp wings. We are on the cutting edge of this camera technology.
Thank you for your time today Chris. WPS values the association we have built up over the past two decades and anticipate helping our customers adopt new and emerging technology in wire. Thank you for your support.