Customer Success, Process & Discrete

Manufacturer Saves $1.6M with ATS Solution for Obsolete OEM Part



A leading global power management company that has more than 96,000 employees and operations in 175 countries provides products and services that help businesses effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power.

One of their plants in Oklahoma produces star parts for hydraulic pumps. A machine located in this facility is the only one that produces this specific part for another of the company’s plants in Minnesota, which is a major hydraulics equipment supplier.

The industrial manufacturer was faced with a challenge as its Oklahoma team experienced a problem with the controls on this critical parts-production machine. They called the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and the OEM identified a defective graphic card and informed the plant that card was no longer produced; however, they had four used cards and offered to send a technician to install them to see if that would solve the problem.

The OEM technician visited the plant and tried all four cards. None of them worked. He recommended sending all of the cards to Germany for evaluation. This would take at least four weeks, and there were no guarantees the OEM could help due to the age of the Optronics involved.

There was also a possibility the machine would be down for seven to eight months while the OEM headquarters in Germany completed troubleshooting and built a replacement card. Meanwhile, the Minnesota plant had no other source for the star parts it needed to meet customer demand.


ATS technicians understood that the show must go on — a months-long pause in star part production was unacceptable. So they gave their emergency repair idea of using components of the cards from the OEM to create one functioning card a try. After a few false starts, they built a card that worked, and the machine was back up and running less than a week after the problem first surfaced. The OEM technician noted that without ATS’ intervention, the star parts machine would have down for months — and possibly indefinitely.

As a proactive measure, the ATS technicians sent the remaining cards to the OEM headquarters in Germany to produce a repaired card that could replace the card they created or to keep as a spare. Meanwhile, the star part machine ran as usual and five months later, the repaired card arrived from the OEM.


The ATS technician’s timely solution generated an estimated $1,654,249 in cost savings, when calculating the cost per inches of production over a 12-month period. The actual cost could have been even higher if the OEM ruled that the obsolete card couldn’t be repaired.

Thanks to the ingenuity and persistence of the ATS team, hydraulics production kept moving forward for the leading power distribution company with minimal downtime occurring and significant cost savings. For ATS, it was another example of going above and beyond to solve a problem and deliver exceptional value to customers.