Autoliv&#;CurtainAirbag

Client Background

Blue Chip Automotive Company is a market leader in automotive safety and supplies many major automobile manufacturers across the world. The company was set up 60 years ago and now its products save around 25,000 lives every year. They supplies specialist airbags, by weaving the raw materials and then coating them and they contacted ReAgent through our website for the development of their coating.

Business Objective

Blue Chip Automotive Company aimed to develop a bespoke chemical blend to coat airbags with and needed a company in the UK that could manufacture this. They wanted to create an alternative coating to the existing product, in order to ensure that their products are the most innovative and they can stay ahead of their competitors.

Requirements

  • Create an alternative to widely used silicone-based treatments
  • Use the formulation from Autoliv to create a manufacturing system
  • Prepare a PPAP (Production Parts Approval Process)
  • Quality is critical because this is a safety-related product

“We found ReAgent via its toll manufacturing website. We were really pleased to find a quality-approved chemical manufacturing company with the flexibility and enthusiasm of ReAgent.”

– Gary Wooton, Development Engineer, Blue Chip Automotive Company

Our Solution

Development, Prototype and Full Scale Manufacture

Blue Chip Automotive Company were able to visit our laboratory and factory to look around. Once they were happy with the quality we provide, we began to make trial blends of 25 kilos at a time. Following successful trials, we scaled up the operations some more so we could carry out coating trials, before scaling up again for them to test the product.

This then led to the up-scale of one-tonne batches, which we have been manufacturing for Autoliv for nearly two years. In the near future, we will increase this to seven-tonne batches in order to keep up with demand and cope with the expected growth. We validate the testing methods, manage the inventories of raw materials and ensure we always have sufficient supplies to meet their demands.

A Flexible, Adaptable Partner

This was the first time ReAgent had been asked to prepare a PPAP (Production Parts Approval Process), which is essential for Autoliv to meet the stringent requirements of their automobile industry customers.

All staf worked closely to prepare PPAP documentation for the new performance chemical, including preparation of process flows in chart and graph format from raw materials to finished goods, preparation of a control plan for all process flows as a contingency should anything not go to plan and production of MSA (Measurement Systems Analysis) tests on all ReAgent equipment to ensure consistency of product.

“We knew that once the green light was given for this specialist solution to be manufactured, we would need to be able to step up to the mark.  It was essential to have everything in place so that we could act quickly. Blue Chip Automotive Company kept us fully informed of each stage of the process and ReAgent’s flexible manufacturing facility meant that we were fully able to respond when asked to go into large-scale production.”

– Richard Hudson, Managing Director, ReAgent

Benefits

Blue Chip Automotive Company have developed an alternative to silicone-based airbag coating, and the new product is of a lower coat weight than silicone, ensuring they remain a pioneer in automotive safety. The new product is water-based which is more user-friendly to operatives, as this means they do not have to make their own adjustments to the airbag. Safety has remained the main focus.

“At ReAgent we now have the skills and experience, working in conjunction with our customers, to offer and deliver automotive industry leading PPAP documentation. At ReAgent we are proud to offer this service as part of our total quality management system for future automotive or similar sector business.”

– Graham Bayliss, Systems Manager at ReAgent

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