YKK Stories

2018-07-16 Issue 59 Fundamental Behavior 4 Make Quality Personal

February 19, 2019
Author: YKK
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Fundamental Behavior 4What we do is much more than simply making windows or doors, or zippers, or straps, or buttons. We make things so well that we can be entrusted to make the things that keep people safe, and that even save their lives. Our Protek® line of windows, for example, shield people from hurricanes and blasts, and our Vislon®Nomex® zippers are critical for fire protection equipment. Those are only two of a large number of product lines that keep people safe. In this context, it may be easier for us to maintain our focus on quality. On April 2, 2016, the day before his 52nd birthday, our quality got very personal for Tim Harvey, our colleague at Tape Craft.

For those of you who have not had a chance to visit Tape Craft in Oxford, Alabama, they make webbing. Not just any webbing, but a tremendous assortment of highly innovative products, like lifesaving webbing for fall protection harnesses and other things. Tim Harvey has served as Tape Craft’s Controller for many years. He is a dedicated leader on a strong management team. He loves his company and he loves the work they do, but that day in April he had other things on his mind. His eighteen year old son, Michael, was driving his red Ford Focus when he was hit by a truck, quite literally. The car was completely destroyed. If the force of the crash could do this to the metal of a car, what do you think it could do to those inside?

Thankfully, the airbags deployed properly, and Tim’s son was protected from the tremendous impact. Michael was able to walk away from the accident, but was taken to hospital to make sure he was OK. Tim later went to the impound lot to get a closer look at the damage. Upon closer inspection of the vehicle, he could see a thin strip of fabric stretched across the front console.

It was a tether cord that held the airbag in place as it deployed to make sure the airbag covered the area it was intended to cover. That little cord was made by Tim’s co-workers at Tape Craft, and it did its job. It held that airbag as it deployed within 25 milliseconds of the initial impact with the truck and explosively expanded at a rate of 200 miles per hour to protect Michael. That tether was critical to the entire safety system that allowed Michael to walk out of the hospital in the early hours of April 3rd to be the first one to wish his Dad a happy birthday. Tim says it was the best birthday gift he ever received. Little parts do make a big difference, and so do you!

Jim Reed

YKK Corporation of America