When Telos Global began in 2016, no one could have foreseen its rapid rise to success. Growth has been steady, with no signs of abatement. Using leading-edge technology, the company looks to the future for more business opportunities in the automotive industry. We spoke with the company’s Engineering Manager Garrett Melton about the consulting side of the business and growth prospects.
Chief Executive Officer Rick Teague had planned Telos Global long before founding the company in 2016 and brought his experience as a mechanical engineer, tool and die maker, and tooling engineer. The new company hit the ground running with a hot stamping line and a press, five-axis lasers, tool room equipment with computer numerical control (CNC), and all the manual machine equipment.
“We have a fully capable tool and die shop as well. The lab equipment was installed, so we have a fully capable metallurgical and metrology lab. In September of 2017, we had the process line fully commissioned and ready to run production,” says Garrett.
Telos Global has the largest roller hearth furnace in the world for hot stamping, at 2.7 meters wide, with the throughput of 7,600 kilograms per hour. As a comparison, most furnaces of this type can produce a maximum of 5,500 kilograms per hour.
“The competitors’ typical atmosphere process only allows the dewpoint to reach between -10 and -5 degrees Celsius. Our process allows us to reach an atmosphere of -40 and -20 degrees Celsius on average. This gives us a more controlled environment and allows for less contaminants,” says Garrett.
Nineteen controllable zones in this furnace allow for better control of the process. The line controller monitors energy consumption, scrap, overall equipment effectiveness, and other process parameters, giving Telos Global a view of the entire hot stamping process from one screen. This system also allows the company to control each piece of equipment on the hot stamp line.
The company designed the furnace to handle massive body panels, so when an automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) comes up with a design, Telos Global is one of the only companies in the world that can produce it, regardless of the size of the part.
“One other thing we are currently working on is being able to run more throughput of parts through the furnace. We can run six parts at once through the furnace, which nobody else, to my knowledge, is able to do as well,” says Garrett.
Telos Global offers turnkey solutions when approached by a customer or OEM for equipment. It examines the part geometry and the desired throughputs and then proposes the equipment that includes the automation components, furnace, press, personnel, and training plans.
The company handles all the design and manages the millwrights and contractors who install the equipment. What makes the service unique is that the equipment it installs will be like what it has at the plant, so it can also provide training, getting the systems up and running much quicker than from a typical supplier.
“If it’s a new supplier, then they have to wait until the equipment is installed to work through all the bugs and training. You are looking at, at least, a couple of months of additional training and testing to work through the bugs and getting all personnel to the point they need to be,” says Garrett.
Another aspect of the turnkey services are its tool and die builds. Telos Global will provide a company with a proposal for producing a certain number of the part per year. It can provide reverse engineering, portable scanning, automation tooling, and do all the process development on site to prevent unneeded downtime, or it can schedule downtime for a client to get this tool operational at their facility.
“It significantly reduces the time needed for their equipment by being able to try it out and do all the development versus what would occur in their production line. The same goes for laser fixtures, check fixtures, and things along that line,” says Garrett.
Production intent prototyping is another service provided by Telos. “We run it through the furnace as it is, as it would during production to all the automation transfer, in and out of the press, perform all the metallurgical testing, thermal couple testing, and the laser cutting here on site and full layouts in our metrology lab,” says Garrett.
Since 2016, Telos has been growing significantly. Without any concerted marketing efforts or advertisements, it has gained recognition throughout the world for what it can do and produce. There is no shortage of work, and Telos is getting approached by many OEMs and most of the Tier 1s to help them either with engineering production, service work, or on electric consulting.
“From a consulting side, everyone here is what you would call seasoned – from a stamping perspective, manufacturing, and cost stamping,” says Garrett.
The company has six full-time tool makers to assist Tier 1 OEMs or anyone that needs support for cold stamping, or anything related in the stamping world. “These are engineers and tool makers that we contract out to customers, and we have a full team of journeyman tool makers who are experienced in hot stamping, conventional stamping, and assembly. Our least experienced tool maker has been in the stamping industry for over fifteen years. Our engineering team has had the ability to perform process development, tooling design and simulation, flow simulation for hot stamping tools, and fixture design (both laser and check fixtures),” says Garrett.
On the consulting and training side of the business, Telos may get approached by a company that has an issue with their equipment not working as needed. This company may have parts that it is unable to produce with correct geometry or there are failures with assemblies, and it will reach out to Telos for support.
Telos also travels around the world, if there is a customer in another country that requires help with hot stamping consulting and training. “The aim is to be one of the premier, leading-edge technology companies in hot stamping and manufacturing. We are on track to accomplish that. We are known worldwide for being the size of company that we are. We have earned world recognition for what we can do and for how quickly we provide it,” says Garrett.
Telos wants to change how hot stamping is viewed and how it can be accomplished. Research and development of hot stamping and working with new materials are the next goals to accomplish on the road to possibly becoming a Tier 1 stamper for the automotive industry. One of its aims is to draw its tight-knit team of engineering and research and development staff to venture into the aluminum side of the automotive industry and maybe look at some other lightweight materials.