When Tacony Corporation’s R&D department designed a new low-profile upright vacuum cleaner, it was up to its manufacturing arm to find a thermostat that would meet the temperature requirements for the product and still fit into the small pocket area in the cleaner’s construction.
But it was not so easy. The thermostat assembly quickly became a design issue. The company needed a manual re-settable 1/2-in. disc thermostat, but standard products could not fit into the small pocket and still make contact with the terminals. What’s more, the compact cleaner could not accommodate off-the-shelf 1/4- or 3/16-in. spade terminals. “We couldn’t grow the pocket and still keep the profile of the vacuum cleaner the way we wanted it, ” said Jim Fleming, Plant Manager at the company’s manufacturing Division, St. James, Missouri. “No off-the-shelf product would physically fit. ”
The company turned to Selco/ECC for a solution to the height issue of the standard catalog thermostat version. Selco engineers recommended soldering wire leads where the terminals would normally go using quick connect terminals (tabs). Soldering the leads solved the height issue, making the electrical connection possible.
The next step was determining whether to do the assembly work in-house or to outsource it, taking into consideration the initial start-up costs for creating a soldering area, handling costs for the pieces and parts required for the assembly; and labor costs for assembly, inspection, and administration.
Since an outside company could do the assembly work economically and eliminate the extra handling and associated costs, Tacony jobbed it out. Since that time, roughly three years ago, Selco has assembled approximately 30,000 thermostat components for Tacony for a variety of their upright models, including the Riccar and Simplicity brands.
Filed Under: Appliance engineering + home automation, Sensors (temperature)