Hamlin makes sensor change easy for snowmobile leader.
Client: Arctic Cat Inc
Arctic Cat Inc. (Nasdaq: ACAT) produces all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles under the Arctic Cat brand name, as well as related parts, garments, and accessories. The company, with annual revenues over $700 million, markets its products through a network of independent dealers located throughout the US and Canada, and through distributors representing dealers in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and other international markets. Based in Thief River Falls, Minn., the company is widely recognized as an innovator and technology leader in the recreational power sports market. The Arctic Cat brand name has existed for more than 40 years.
Time to market is key in innovation; Arctic Cat were looking for rapid development of a new track-speed sensor to be set inside the gear case of engines for snowmobiles and ATVs.
A magnetic circuit design using Hall Effect Technology met all of Arctic Cat’s specifications. Hamlin’s ability to provide designs, products for field testing, preproduction parts, and production parts in a very timely manner, made the transition for both the snowmobile and ATV versions as seamless as possible.
“Rapid development and good communications really make the difference.”
Hamlin and Arctic Cat initially started discussions in the Fall of 2004 about a new design of a Hall Effect Sensor for track speed on snowmobiles to be set inside the gear case. By March 2005, a design was frozen, and field test parts were built for trial at the end of April 2005.
After three months of field testing, hard tooled parts were built in September 2005 and first mass production was scheduled for January 2006. Currently Hamlin is in full production on the snowmobile speed sensor.
The success of the track-speed sensor was quickly followed by another major sensor project now coming to completion. In early 2006 Arctic Cat decided to build an engine plant in Minnesota to produce engines for their ATV’s and Snowmobiles. Hamlin were asked to design a new Hall Effect Speed Sensor, in preference to an existing overseas supplier. This speed sensor would have a right angle header and be attached directly to the engine.
Design work was completed by the end of May in 2006, field tests completed by August and preproduction parts shipped August of 2006. The new sensor is now in full production.
The deepening relationship between Hamlin and Artic Cat has been based on the quick turn around for new designs, more cost effective products, and easy transition to new designs. Excellent communications with all departments are critical to this success.