Modern Machine Shop

MAY 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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ERP Software and ISO Certification Modern Machine Shop 87 way because ERP made the job easier. In fact, E2 has an entire module dedi- cated specifically to ISO. Other func- tions helped as well, such as a white- board-scheduling feature that has made it easier to plan, spot bottlenecks and to conduct and eval- uate the results of "what-if " experiments. Meanwhile, working toward ISO certification strengthened the foundations of the ERP data foundation even as the staff began to realize the extent of the system's power. After all, attaining ISO 9001:2008 in 2014 required thoroughly documenting processes and revising where neces- sary, and developing corresponding checklists to guide employees and ensure compliance with the newly tightened quality standards. (Mr. Dumoulin says "We measure it twice and cut it once.") This process not only codified procedures that had become rote for machinists, but also forced them to acknowledge and address inefficiencies. Some of the resulting savings go directly into employees' pockets as part of a 10 percent prof- it-sharing plan. Such direct payback has made it easier to argue for the merits of a more business- like approach, Mr. Dumoulin says. In early 2016, for instance, he could link the recent earning of ISO to other new achievements, such as the shop's first 99 percent on-time delivery rating. Ensuring such messages get through by keeping communication open is critical. In addition to regular "state of the company" meetings, there is an insistence on discussing every problem with every job, with a focus on finding fault in process rather than people. Mr. Dumoulin says this open- minded approach has been a big part of changing culture and freeing capital for investment. The numbers bear out these claims. In 2015, loss due to quality (that is, revenue lost due to scrap, rework or simply not meeting the target operating margin) dropped to $150,000, down from $225,000 in 2014. That same figure reached $70,000 in 2016 and $40,000 last year. As this Depending on the share of complex automotive lighting and interior molds, the shop machines 35 to 100 new injection molds annually and repairs/modifies another 300 to 350. Most new molds are within the 200- to 750-ton range, although repair work trends larger.

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