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The River Bend Cost Solution - There’s an old adage that say’s You’ve got to spend money to make money. At River Bend Industries, we’ve turned that around a little bit; We spend money to save money, to save money for our clients that is. This entire section is devoted to illustrating how we go about saving you money every step of the way.

Because we know, when it's all said and done, it usually comes down to one thing – cost.

Understanding this as a reality of our industry, cost management is given big picture consideration at River Bend as well as individual project emphasis. Steps are taken each day to reduce costs for all of our customers, not just the ones demanding it. In many cases the tools to keep costs in check come at a considerable investment to River Bend – to better serve our clients.

The following section presents a summary of what RBI goes through to hold your costs down.

Unit & Tooling Cost Advantage - The first area of cost control we refer to as Unit Cost Advantage. It covers three simple areas:

  • Material Purchasing - Silo storage and distribution allows us to leverage our buying power over 40 million pounds of material annually.
  • Labor Optimization - Sophisticated press robotics allow manpower to be redirected into value added operations press-side or in assembly cells.
  • Factory Overhead - Operating in Arkansas and Iowa, which has the second lowest infrastructure cost in the nation, River Bend's growth has been organic in nature, resulting in no acquisition debt.
Next, Tooling Cost Advantages, three more key areas.
  • In-House Tooling - With on-site capabilities at our Technical Center, the engineering and maintenance history of each tool is well documented and easily accessible.
  • Global Sourcing - River Bend relies on its global sourcing network in North America and Asia to lower tooling amortization costs reducing the total tooling payback.
  • Complete Capabilities - Whether produced in-house or abroad, timely maintenance, repairs and upgrades are possible with on-site engineers and tool makers.

Opportunity Cost Advantage - Speed to Market: The sooner a product gets to market, the sooner it begins to generate revenue for your company. We’ve impacted in a positive way many of our client’s speed to market, here are some of the tactics we employ.
  • Early Supplier Involvement (ESI) - Combining your desired outcome with our production knowledge early on offers the best opportunity to work quickly and cost effectively. According to McKinsey Consulting, 80% of the final product cost is contained in the product design.
  • Optimized Design - Starting with your designs, River Bend's Design Engineers utilize the latest technologies to accelerate the process of producing a single piece or a complete product.
  • Dedicated Program Managers - As we shift the management responsibility from our clients to ourselves we involve Dedicated Program Managers whose function is to follow your project through the entire process, they are involved, informed and invaluable to our clients.
  • Material Supplier Partners - Since manufacturing is our core competency, partnering with reliable suppliers is at the root of our core. Whether we're buying plastic resin or electronic subassemblies, long term relationships and high volume put us in good stead with those serving our industry.
We’ve also reduced tooling timelines.
  • On most projects the amount of time required for prototypes is as little as 3 - 6 weeks.
  • Small Tools, 500 Tons or less - Took 12 weeks in 1999, with our advanced technology and global sourcing that number has been cut to 8.
  • Large Tools, 1000 Tons or more have had 6 weeks shaved off their timeline from just three years ago. 14 weeks has become our new benchmark.

Supply Chain Management - One key advantage of River Bend's end-to-end production is taking over the supply chain management for our clients. The responsibility for numerous suppliers becomes ours – dramatically reducing the management and paperwork required by our customers.

As well, when we take on this management position it also reduces or even eliminates the inventory our clients would normally maintain in the production process.

The diversity of our manufacturing experience enables you to get a multitude of things accomplished, with a single source of responsibility. Your communication is reduced to a single dedicated program manager knowledgeable about every facet of your project.

Concurrent Engineering - One of the most costly aspects of any project under development is backing up. Rethinking, reengineering or retooling all come at a price most projects don't have built into their budget. With early supplier involvement (ESI) the chances of these costly reversals are minimized as the process begins with the end in mind. We get involved prior to final drawings being released and work as a team to reduce the number of design revisions.

Concurrent Engineering touches each of these areas:
  • Material Selection - Our Engineers fully understand the raw materials available to our industry. What's new, what's time-tested, what runs and what doesn't. Victor offers suggestions as to the best materials available for your specific job across a wide range of processes and components.
  • Product Development - Early Supplier Involvement usually begins with our Business Development Engineers working jointly with our Product Development team. We work to design parts that are easily tooled and manufacturable. With a rich working knowledge of materials and their specific characteristics, and understanding fully the capabilities of their toolroom, our engineers are in a unique position to address any areas of concern and design to the strengths of the material and systems employed.
  • Analysis - ESI includes FMEA discussions that often bring critical-to-function characteristics to the forefront to determine if modifications should be considered prior to the tooling stage. At this point, if alterations or enhancements are required the cost is still minimal as part of a computer program rather than cold hard steel.
  • Prototype Development - A wide range of options can be sourced including SLA, SLS, Urethane, and Machined Foam.
  • Tool Design - With the material selected and the part designed and approved, project engineers and tooling engineers work together to evaluate tool designs and optimize manufacturing cycles.
  • Value Added Services - Understanding what's going to happen to a piece once it's molded before it's molded can often impact how it's molded. Experience based knowledge in the application of secondary processes from pad printing to complete assembly offers key insight into best practices for the completion of each project.
  • Innovative Processes - When clients involve us early on we can often make suggestions involving unique and innovative processes that can enhance their product or decrease their cost. Gas Assist and Counter Pressure are two such processes that offer distinct advantages in areas such as strength, weight, cycle time, material cost, and finish.
To find out more regarding these and other unique processes offered by River Bend Industries contact us now.

Quality Systems Certifications and Awards - A strong quality assurance program has been vital to River Bend's growth and success over the years. We seek out key certifications, work hard to keep our people trained well and are relentless in the verification that established standards are met or exceeded on several fronts. These include:
  • ISO 9001:2000 Certification Since June 2003
  • FMEA or Failure Modes & Effects Analysis
  • FAV - First Article Verification
  • Six Sigma Programs
  • PPAP - Production Part Approval Process
  • Client Awards recognizing our qualifications within their specific corporations.
Training for our people is ongoing and includes:
  • Corporatewide SPC Training
  • US Government Approved Apprenticeship programs in Mold Making
  • Operator Training via the Paulson Video System
  • Mold Setter Training
  • Work Instruction for every Associate on Each Job
Verification - Consistency in our industry is everything, from cycle to cycle, run to run, month to month, year to year. Confirmation that all the steps along the way have been successfully made with strict quality assurance measures is imperative. Verification at River Bend Industries is made daily in each of the following areas:
  • Dimensional
  • Statistical
  • Process
  • Material
  • Color
Hopefully it’s apparent that the many systems and programs we employ to hold down your costs also ensure your quality, advance your turn time and provide you with peace-of-mind.
  ISO 9001-2008 Certified and UL Certified!