Grote Industries

Madison, Indiana


Company Background:  

Grote Industries, Inc. manufactures and markets vehicle lighting and safety systems for original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket customers worldwide. The company offers forward, work, and task lighting; interior lighting products that include lamps, switches, and lenses; signal lighting solutions that include stop tail turns, clearance/markers, license/back-up, and lenses, as well as recreational vehicle, marine, and utility solutions; and power delivery solutions, such as wiring and communication, pigtails, and UBS harnesses.

Its product line includes LED lighting strips; warning and hazard lighting solutions, which include reflectors, flashers, warning and hazard devices, and lenses; electrical connections comprising terminals and connectors, air products and electrical assemblies, wire and cable products, trailer connectors, switches and electrical assemblies, support and protective solutions, battery connectors, battery cables, battery protective products, battery tenders, portable power packs, and kits and tools; and mirrors, turn signal switches, brackets and grommets, and retail displays. The company offers its solutions to heavy-duty truck and trailer, fleets, agriculture, mining, forestry, construction, emergency, municipal, and recreational industries. It serves customers through a network of distributors.

Grote Industries, Inc. was founded in 1901 and is headquartered in Madison, Indiana. It also has locations in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia.

Situation:  

Grote Industries is a market leader in the design and production of vehicle lighting systems and safety equipment.  Its proprietary products are developed and specified in-house through a combination of geometry and analysis systems.  The complexity and workflow associated with these interrelated systems allowed engineering and analysis personnel to experience geometric inconsistencies and potential errors when exchanging data.

Solution: 

Grote engaged the Purdue MEP through their IN-MaC technology adoption program.  A specifically tailored technical assistance project was formulated to further develop:

  1. A high quality, robust geometric definition of parts and assemblies that will consistently translate using the aforementioned processes.
  2. An understanding of available software configuration settings to enable better surface definition.
  3. A basic characterization of appropriate CAD modeling methodology to enable high quality surface geometry definition.

As a result of this successful project, Grote subsequently engaged the Purdue MEP for numerous other services, including training in the following areas:  Six Sigma, Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T), advanced project management, and business etiquette.

Results:  

Through the guidance of the Purdue MEP and the IN-MaC project team, Grote successfully implemented new processes and systems to achieve the objectives outlined in the technical assistance project.  Likewise, these new processes supported 12-month cost savings in excess of one million dollars, as well as new investment in excess of one million dollars.

Testimonial:  

“Grote has been in business for nearly 120 years.  Throughout this time, we have continually looked for ways to improve or products, processes, and services.  Our employees are our greatest asset and it is imperative they are continually learning to help provide the best possible products to our customers.  The Purdue MEP supports this journey and has proven to be a great asset for our training programs.” 

-- Drew Garrett, Training Coordinator, Grote Industries, Inc.

NIST

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