Research & Development

Innovation through R&D

KST’s continuous growth is fueled by its strong commitment to research and innovation. Within the company’s R&D department, a team of 59 dedicated individuals is responsible for formulating and executing medium and long-term product development strategies.

This multifaceted approach encompasses various aspects, such as the creation of new products, the implementation of cutting-edge process technologies and equipment, the exploration of novel materials through research, the refinement of development processes, and the active cultivation of design talent.

To enhance the design and manufacturing capabilities of products, molds, and fixtures, KST extensively employs engineering drawing and analysis software, including AUTOCAD, Pro-Engineer, Uni-Graphic, ABAQUS, and other CAD/CAM computer design assistance systems. Furthermore, the company has implemented a PLM project lifecycle management system, which significantly strengthens the management efficiency of the product development cycle and technical data.

With 50 years of experience in product development and a profound expertise in mold design, KST has successfully created an impressive portfolio of approximately 30,000 products and over 4,000 sets of molds. Leveraging our professional experience, abundant resources, and comprehensive services, we are fully equipped to collaborate with you on your designs or assist in the development of new ones. KST is committed to being your ideal engineering and manufacturing partner.

Product Focus

The company’s product line has experienced substantial growth, surpassing the boundaries of terminals, connectors, and cable tie series. It has now evolved into a comprehensive collection of offerings, catering to a diverse range of industries. These offerings include solar junction boxes, electric vehicle charging connectors, stainless steel and nylon cable ties, heat-shrinkable tubes, crimping equipment, and handheld crimping tools. These products serve a variety of sectors, including automotive, agriculture, machinery and equipment, shipping, distribution, and transmission, as well as the ever-expanding field of green energy. This expansion demonstrates the company’s commitment to meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base.

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)

Phase 1

Planning and Program Definition

Evaluation, Prototype Control Plan

KST is IATF 16949 certified and utilizes Advanced Product Quality Planning to manage its workflow.  It defines a process for the introduction of a new product with a minimal amount of risk.

When a customer requires the introduction of a new product or the redesign of a mature one, preliminary planning becomes essential, even before discussions of product design or redesign. In this APQP phase, planning is directed at understanding the customer’s needs and product expectations.

Planning activities include collecting key data to prospectively define what the customer wants and through collaborative discussion further solidify product characteristics.

Ultimately, the output from this phase of work results in the delivery of project scope (design, reliability, and quality goals), project resources, and project timing being identified.

Phase 2

Design and Development of a Product

Tooling Design & Manufacture, DFMEA

Design and development of a product, or production design change becomes the focus activity. At this time Design Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (DFMEA) created in support of the design activity.

Resulting outcomes from work in this phase include:

  • Completed design review and verification
  • Defined material specifications and equipment requirements
  • Completed Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (DFMEA) to assess failure probabilities
  • Established control plans for product prototype creation

Phase 3

Design and Development of Process

Tooling Manufacture & Trial, PFMEA

This phase focuses on planning the manufacturing process that will produce the new or improved product. The goal is to design and develop the production process while keeping product specifications, product quality, and production costs in mind. The process must be able to produce the quantities needed to meet expected consumer demand while maintaining efficiency.

Examples of outcomes in this phase include:

  • A completed process flow configuration
  • A completed process failure mode and effect analysis to identify and deal with risks
  • Operational process quality specifications
  • Product finishing and packaging requirements

Phase 4

Validation of the product

ISIR | MSA | PPAP | Product Control Plan

Validation of the product, process, or any changes to the production process is being made. At this point, a significant production run takes place which is used to collect information to confirm the that resulting product and process have the potential to produce the conforming product at the required rate, under normal production conditions. Also, the product quality planning activities culminate in the customer approval activity often referred to as the Product Part Approval Process (PPAP). Successful PPAP flags the project as being fit for entering into production.

Steps in this phase include:

  • Confirming capability and reliability of the manufacturing process and product quality acceptance criteria.
  • Performing production trial runs
  • Testing product output to confirm the effectiveness of the deployed manufacturing approach
  • Reconciling needed adjustments before moving to the next phase

Phase 5

Feedback, Assessment and Corrective Action

Internal Quality Audit & Improvement Activities

Continuous improvement of the product and process with a focus on improvement in safety, quality, delivery and costs.

Research & Development Features & Benefits

Research and Development (R&D) serves as the cornerstone of KST’s sustainable growth strategy. R&D extends beyond the mere creation of cutting-edge products; it encompasses the formulation of medium and long-term objectives for advancing the design and implementation of safer, environmentally conscious manufacturing processes and equipment. Additionally, it involves the exploration and evaluation of novel materials through meticulous design and testing procedures. Equally vital is the establishment of a workplace culture that fosters mentorship, training, and the professional growth of engineers, thus instilling a profound appreciation for continuous learning and career development.

Development of New Materials
Research and Development of new products
Training and career development
Safe and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes & equipment
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