Jason Peters, President & CEO, Custom Engineered WheelsJason Peters, President & CEO
Lead times always matter. In the realm of manufacturing, a company that delivers a product that accurately meets a customer’s changing demands and stringent quality requirements and, most importantly, on time not only trumps the competition but also boosts the bottom line. Although it is easier said than done, Custom Engineered Wheels (CEW) has the perfect recipe to deliver high-quality products, which are priced competitively, with the shortest lead time.

CEW is a full-service custom manufacturer of injection molded thermoplastic components specializing in composite wheels and tires. An ISO 9001:2015 company with over 30 years of plastic injection molding experience, CEW’s core focus is on North American OEM production. The company’s state-of-the-art shop floor boasts of 31 new injection molding machines, a rarity in the market, with sizes ranging from 300 to 1200 tonnes. “While 90 percent of the machines have robotics, our engineering teams work toward developing machinery and automation to reduce labor costs further and bring forth a more consistent process that results in higher quality cost-effective products,” says Jason Peters, president, and CEO of Custom Engineered Wheels.

Peters draws attention to the fast-changing market, where the OEMs in tune with customer demands go in for design changes and model refreshes frequently. In lockstep with these customer demands, CEW is making sure that they have the resources in engineering and processing to support the OEM’s designers and marketing personnel in their quest to give wings to new ideas and make product goals a reality.

However, what places CEW a notch higher than its competition is the demonstration of consistent actions and behaviors as they perform their tasks on a day-to-day basis. The team follows a set of 28 behaviors called ‘CEW and ME way’—where ME denotes manufacturing excellence—that drives them in their pursuit of excellence. The same standards of expectation and behavior that define the organizational culture and is the foundation of excellence is followed throughout the organization and across locations.

“We bring a lot of value to the OEMs by working with their engineers to come up with innovative solutions that reduce the material and labor cost while enhancing the performance of the product"

This helps in building a high performing team that works in perfect alignment to resolve customer issues quickly and deliver the best value.

In an implementation highlight, CEW worked with a particular manufacturer that needed a system that was currently imported from China. CEW worked with the client to develop a patented design to creatively perform the same function as the imported design, but at a lower cost. CEW worked with the client from ideation to production process, including the tool construction and production implementation. Another familiar story for the CEW team is when customers come to them with their existing products to meet market demands for new and lower price points. “We work with them to incorporate cost-saving ideas into the design of the product, which will bring down the manufacturing cost without interfering with overall product performance,” says Peters. “We bring a lot of value to the OEMs by working with their engineers to come up with innovative solutions that reduce the material and labor cost while enhancing the performance of the product.”

While giving a glimpse into their future endeavors, Peters mentions about CEW’s three-year plan to maximize the efficiency of their current footprint and add new machines that are needed to support the demand in their footprint. The company is also looking to grow through mergers and acquisitions in the wheel type service industry or the injection molding industry. Peters concludes, “We are expanding our product offering to existing customers and looking at the diversification of our customer base by adding new customers into our organization.”