It should be clear from RACO Industries’ recent acquisition of Toolworx Information Products that we were big fans of the company. We were not alone. Check out some of these success stories from their customers.
BASF Elastocell (BASF) is a part of BASF Polyurethanes, which is a division of BASF Corporation. BASF has one automotive division based in Michigan that provides parts to automotive manufacturers. In November 2002, BASF contracted with ToolWorx to implement our Lot Tracking system in order to automate their manual lot track process. In addition to the standard lot track processes, there were several unique complexities associated with this implementation, including mixed lots and outside processing. We configured our standard system to account for these unique processes and delivered the working system in early 2003.
CEQUENT ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS
Cequent Electrical Products is part of the TriMas family of companies, a market leader in brake control solutions, and serves the automotive and trailer original equipment manufacturer, marine, recreational vehicle, agricultural/utility and retail market segments.
In June 2004, Cequent had an immediate need to implement an automated ship verification system to comply with one of their customer’s requirements. ToolWorx was one of four vendors under consideration and was selected due to our commitment to meet the implementation timetable. We were given nine business days to complete and install the system, which we successfully performed. As a result, we were asked to provide several other data collection transactions, all interfacing to their Mapics ERP system.
MGM GRAND DETROIT CASINO
Detroit MGM Grand Detroit Casino is a 75,000-square-foot gaming facility with slot machines and gaming tables including blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, mini baccarat, 3-card poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Let it Ride and Pai Gow Poker. It is Detroit’s first casino, opened in June 1999. In December 2000, MGM contacted ToolWorx in search of a barcode system that would support their tool crib and spare parts inventory for their slot machine operations. MGM had researched the marketplace and could not identify any one package that would support both tool checking and parts inventory with barcode capabilities. ToolWorx offered to enhance our TWTool Tool Crib Tracking system to fit MGM’s requirements.
The system was contracted for in June 2001 and operational within sixty days. TWTool not only helps MGM track tool usage and parts inventory, but it also generates inventory reorder requirements based on min/max order levels. All part and tool numbers are scanned with a portable barcode reader and uploaded into the TWTool database, eliminating keying errors and inaccurate inventory counts. This has saved MGM countless hours of slot downtime by ensuring that they have the right parts at the right time and expensive tools are all accounted for.
PHILLIPS & TEMRO INDUSTRIES, LTD.
Phillips & Temro (P&T) is a subsidiary of Budd Company, a world-class automotive supplier, and is based in Winnipeg, AB. P&T contacted ToolWorx when they were penalized by their customer for mislabeling shipments. This was due to a relabeling process in which a shipping label must be placed on top of a finished good label, making sure that the part numbers match. Occasionally, a shipping clerk would place the wrong shipping label on the wrong finished good label.
To eliminate the need for visual matching process, ToolWorx technical staff designed and documented a simple label matching solution using a batch terminal that would be quick and inexpensive to develop and easy to use on a daily basis. The hardware and software was delivered to P&T within thirty days of receipt of order and effectively eliminated all shipment errors caused by incorrect relabeling.
PILKINGTON NORTH AMERICA
Pilkington plc is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of glass and glazing products for the building and automotive markets. Pilkington operates automotive glass facilities throughout Europe, NAFTA, South America, Australia and China; 39 locations in total, in 16 different countries.
In February 2002, the Niles Michigan facility was starting a new production process for bonding glass traceability to minimize any potential product recall. In addition, they wanted to link each serial number to test result data to ensure accountability and an audit trail. Pilkington considered several companies, but selected ToolWorx on the basis of our software components that combined barcode data collection with PLC data collection in one database.
As a result of our implementation, Doug Wait sent us a letter saying “I am comfortable in saying the [TWLot] system has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars. Without it we would be constantly playing ‘he said, she said’ with our customer and it is likely we could have had to quarantine hundreds if not thousands of parts without it. I highly recommend the investment.”
PTI ENGINEERED PLASTICS
PTI Engineered Plastics is a thermoplastic injection molder and full service supplier in short run through production components. In November 2004, PTI purchased the ToolWorx TWLot™ Lot Track system in order to track components for one of their major customers. PTI had to demonstrate to the customer that, in the event of a product recall or defect investigation, they could “drill down” to determine any defective components and then perform a “where used” analysis to determine what finished products used that defective component lot. ToolWorx only had sixty days to get the system operational and give PTI enough time to gather sufficient data for the customer demonstration. With a cooperative team effort, we were able to implement the system on time. As a result, PTI has offered to co-present with ToolWorx at various educational seminars regarding lot and part traceability.
TRW Automotive is one of the world’s leading suppliers of occupant restraint systems — including Seat belts — and a pioneer in development and integration of seat belt, air bag, steering wheel and crash sensor technologies. In May, 2001, TRW contracted with ToolWorx to create a unique lot tracking system that would integrate with their existing SAP enterprise system. After an initial pilot in one of their plants in Mexico, TRW decided to roll out the Lot Track system to all production lines in all of their Mexican facilities.
From a hardware perspective, due to the need for future flexibility and expandability, TRW selected the Intermec 700 series handheld computer running Pocket PC, a version of Windows CE. This presented a unique challenge to ToolWorx as there was no terminal emulation software available that would run under Pocket PC for our Lot Track system. As a result, along with the handheld terminals, we also developed and delivered a VT Telnet client and some additional utilities to enhance the functionality of the 700 terminal.
THYSSENKRUPP BUDD COMPANY
ThyssenKrupp Budd Company (Budd) is an automotive supplier with plants across North America. Budd has been a ToolWorx customer since 2000, primarily for printing and error proofing applications. Many of their plants manufacture left-hand and right hand automotive parts that come out of the same press simultaneously and can potentially be mixed up in packing. If this were to happen, Budd would be subject to significant fines and penalties from their customers. In March 2003, Budd engaged ToolWorx in two of their plants in North Baltimore and Carey, OH to eliminate any possible shipping errors due to mixing of left-hand/right-hand parts.
We implemented several of our PLC Printers, which are connected directly to Budd’s PLC’s and send digital signals to our printers and software to ensure that the correct label is printed every time. In addition, these part labels then go though a wash and paint process and must still be scanned at shipping for complete error proofing. Since our implementations, Budd has not experienced any part mix-ups.
TWEDDLE LITHO COMPANY
Tweddle Litho (Tweddle) is a leading-edge technology company specializing in printing, information management and translation services. They are also a Tier One (direct) supplier to the Big Three automotive companies for owners manuals. Tweddle decided to bring their outsourced warehouse operations in-house and needed to implement a complete warehouse management system that was integrated with their existing order entry and accounting systems, all within thirty days (due to warehouse startup).
ToolWorx was the only vendor under consideration who would commit to the delivery requirements and timeline. Using our ToolWorx Bridge for Warehouse suite as a base, we successfully implemented the system in time for their warehouse startup. Transactions delivered included Receiving, Putaway, Picking, Kitting, and Shipping.
WEBASTO ROOF SYSTEMS
Webasto, an automotive parts manufacturer headquartered in Stockdorf, Germany, has been a Tier One Supplier of roof, temperature management, and body systems for over 100 years. Their OEM sunroof operation has manufacturing facilities throughout Michigan and Kentucky. As a sunroof supplier, one of the many quality requirements they have to adhere to is sequencing of sunroofs for specialized shipping to ensure that the particular model/color of each sunroof arrives at the assembly plant in the correct automotive build order. As such, Webasto outlined several objectives that they needed to attain:
- Ensure accurate ILVS (In-Line Vehicle Sequencing) shipments
- Eliminate costly and ineffective manual inspections
- Ensure uninterrupted error proofing process
- Build a scalable error proofing system with rapid low cost installation
To meet these objectives, Webasto implemented the ToolWorx End of Line Error Proofing System. This “Smart Printer” system eliminates the need for PCs on the shop floor and ensures uninterruptible operations even if the corporate network and/or mainframe are unavailable. At the rack loading operation, an operator scans two labels on each sunroof into the Smart Printer which then matches the labels against each other and the sequence broadcast from the assembly plant. Only after all sunroofs on the rack are verified does the Smart Printer print out the appropriate shipping label, an error proofing methodology known as “earning the label”. Since implementing the ToolWorx system, Webasto has not experienced one out-of-sequence shipment and has consistently met and exceeded all customer standards for sequencing.
For more information about former Toolworx solutions like Error Proofing and Lot Tracing that are now presented by RACO Industries, call 1-800-446-1991.