– Reposted from Parts and People
Langhorne, Pa.—Eastern Catalytic’s unique industry manufacturing process and robust R&D department has arguably differentiated the company’s converters from the competition in the California marketplace and its stringent CARB requirements.
“Making the commitment to enter the California market is one of Eastern’s priorities,” said Henry Hippert, executive sales director, Eastern Catalytic. He added that CARB requirements include extended warranty periods, specific emissions goals and require advanced catalyst selection with higher precious metals loading. “In just a few short years, Eastern has obtained 22 Executive Orders with an additional one expected shortly.”
Eastern’s constant testing of new vehicles has produced more than 28,000 vehicle applications and over 1,200 new part numbers that meet California regulations and are available for immediate sale, he said. Applications include everything from Direct Fit converters to Universal Fit converters and include a selection of Direct Fit manifold converters designed specifically for each vehicle. “Eastern takes pride that our Federal parts are already designed with the quality required for these extended warranty periods and is able to adapt to the CARB regulations with catalyst loading alternatives.”
Eastern’s ECO CARB Converters are designed using the strict requirements of CARB, Hippert said, and when compared to competitors, buyers will notice the quality and attention to workmanship required for the extended warranty period (50,000 miles). “Our in-house R&D department ensures proper fit for all our direct fit converters by bringing vehicles in-house and designing all our units from OEM products.”
Eastern’s manufacturing process is unique in the industry by using work cells and personal attention to each converter assembly, said Charlie Pantano, Eastern’s emission certification engineer. Live in-line multiple quality control and SPC techniques are used throughout the manufacturing facility, and every Eastern converter is subject to multiple tests that include substrate pressure and converter leak testing using sophisticated equipment to assure produce quality and fit. “Using our in-house vehicle lifts and certified mechanics, Eastern can replicate catalytic converter systems that offer guaranteed fit and finish,” he said.
While CARB specifically limits manufacturers’ ability to claim converters are any better than the OE that they are replacing, it doesn’t stop Eastern from building converters of the highest quality using industry leading parts and welding techniques, Pantano said. “An example is Eastern’s understanding of OE manifold cracking problems and our addition of extra material and mechanical design changes to eliminate factory mistakes.”
California, known as one of the strictest states for enforcement, imposes fines for selling or installing non-compliant converters, so it’s important that installers follow the law and install CARB-approved converters using the correct vehicle application data, Hippert said. “Judges usually impose penalty based on the severity of the offence and whether a repeat offender is involved, and a fine of up to $2,500 for each violation may be assessed, as well as some jail time.”
Eastern values input from installers and end users, and responding quickly to their needs is a priority, Hippert said, adding that over the years, the company has responded by providing everything needed for the converter installation, including hardware and gaskets in one package. “Our commitment to the installer shows with the inclusion of hardware and gaskets required to complete the job. It’s very rewarding to hear the many customer success stories and product suggestions. Installers can be confident that they can order one part number and get everything required for the installation including heat shields when required.”
Eastern recently doubled its production capacity along with the inventory of its CARB Converters Series in order to meet the growing need for CARB-compliant converters.
“With Eastern’s expansion came increased inventory and quicker delivery time,” Hippert said. “Now, as one of the leaders in the industry, we are capable of on-time delivery and next-day shipping if required. We are continuously making improvements to our quality and shipping departments, assuring that parts are in stock and we are adding more application coverage at a faster rate than anyone in the market.”
In addition California and New York, other states are considering adopting CARB standards, he said. “It is Eastern’s understanding, through our affiliation with MECA, that although Maine has approved the CARB standards they have elected to wait until 2017 to implement. In addition, several Northeastern states have had preliminary discussions to adapt the standard, including Maryland and Pennsylvania.”