Case Study – Daimler Bus North America

SAY Plastics Delivers (Fast) for Global Customer’s New Product Launch


The Mission

Daimler Bus North America’s next generation transit bus was scheduled for production with a firm release date when it was determined that the existing plastics supplier would not be able to support the launch. Scheduling issues were compounded by the fact that several parts still needed to be finalized. Some parts were still in the design phase and had not advanced to prototype. Many parts required assemblies. Specialty “Docket 90” Low Smoke and Low Flame materials in custom colors and textures were also needed in order to meet the project’s requirements.

Daimler Bus North America needed to overcome their long list of challenges – and fast. So they reached out to SAY Plastics for help.

The Plan

SAY was initially selected by Daimler because of their ability to meet the aggressive turnaround time without compromising quality. SAY experts began designing and developing cost-effective prototype tooling to quickly move the remaining parts from design into development. SAY also developed a partnership with the sheet extruder to ensure the critical production schedules were met.

To streamline the process, SAY introduced alternative production tooling, which allowed them to develop the prototypes and deliver part samples within weeks of receiving design approval – instead of the standard 4 to 6 week turnaround. Use of internal tool building capabilities to create molds further streamlined the process.

The Results

Daimler Bus began production with zero issues on SAY’s thermoformed plastic components and met their production schedule, even after switching suppliers at a late date. This was due in large part to SAY Plastics’ ability to re-think the design-to-prototype process on Daimler’s behalf. Daimler rewarded SAY Plastics with a multi-year contract for all bus interior thermoformed parts.

“SAY Plastics proved to be extremely resourceful with their ability to quickly develop new and cost-effective components. Throughout the years, SAY Plastics has helped us re-think components, resulting in improved part-to-part consistency and reduced cost.” –Daimler Bus North America