Donal Reddington on mass customization, crowdsourcing and digital manufacturing

Syspro receives innovation award for Airflow Research configurator

Enterprise business solutions provider SYSPRO, has received a “Technological Innovator” at the START-IT Magazine and Rockwell Automation-sponsored Technology & Business and Manufacturer of the Year Awards Dinner held in early September, at the European Crystal Banquet and Conference Center in Arlington Heights, Ill. The dinner closed the second annual Manufacturing Day, an event focusing on how US manufacturers are meeting market challenges through the help of leading-edge enterprise technology, plant floor technology and supply-chain management solutions.

SYSPRO was the winner in the $51 million to $200 million category, and was one of five companies honoured in separate categories. The company received the technology award for supplying its ERP and CRM software and technical expertise to Southern Calif.-based Airflow Research Inc. (AFR), which manufactures cylinder heads for sale to the general public and stocking distributors throughout the United States.

AFR has incorporated its entire catalog product line into the SYSPRO product configurator, enabling AFR order takers to customize cylinder heads to meet customers’ needs for various levels of performance. The configurator creates all the associated SYSPRO sales order documentation and also establishes a unique work order document containing a complete Bill of Materials and specific shop routing identified with a special bar coded work order number for each set of heads produced.

During the SYSPRO software implementation process, a dedicated terminal was also placed at each Computerized Numerical Control shop work center and connected to the central server through a custom DNC interface specifically developed by SYSPRO USA. Today, each individual head has a bar code label attached at the beginning of the manufacturing cycle, and the bar codes are scanned at each succeeding work center to log into and out of the operation, using SYSPRO Advanced Planning and Scheduling software to provide real time WIP (Work in Process), and a paperless work environment.

The DNC interface is also connected to AFR’s CNC programming library. Therefore, each time a job is scanned, checks determine whether the right program is loaded into the machine control and, if not, the correct program is called up to prevent machine crashes and scrapped parts.

SYSPRO CRM is also used exclusively by the AFR sales department personnel for all customer transactions. Direct links to the SYSPRO WIP Query and Sales Order Query screens enable AFR sales personnel to track the actual progress of jobs through the shop, allowing them to directly answer customer delivery questions while talking with customers on the phone.

Said Joey Benadretti, SYSPRO USA president, in accepting the Technology Innovation Award, “AFR exemplifies the creative ways SYSPRO and its resellers work with customers to apply SYSPRO technology to streamline and innovate business processes.”

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