Siemens PLM on YouTube Siemens PLM on Twitter Siemens PLM on LinkedIn
Bedford Industries Balances Innovation and Customer Service
February 2015
Bedford Industries, Inc. a family-owned company founded in 1966, started as a manufacturer of wire twist ties. With an innovative mind-set, Bedford has expanded into all types of identification products, elastomer integrations, adhesive technology, specialized bundling ties, Bendable Components®, packaging re-closures, promotional marketing, tying equipment, strapping, and fasteners. Bedford Industries is more than a manufacturer, providing in both marketing concepts and product development:

Marketing Concepts
• Develop new product ideas and markets
• Work with cross-promotional programs
• Assistance with joint promotional ventures
• Guidance with special printing options
• Experts on customization
• Layout ideas for your logo design
• Color mockups for tie and tag printing options
• Assistance with customer provided artwork
• New product prototypes for marketing
• Advertising concepts for various types of media

Product Development
• Patterned adhesive coatings
• Elastomer integration
• Converting multiple substrates
• Plastic compounding
• Coating & integrating wires
• Optimized product holding & bending characteristics
• DSC plastic analysis and UV plastic analysis
• Converting multiple substrates
• Prototyping


The Problem


Bedford Industries had neither a structured means of predicting shop loads or completion dates for projects, nor a way of judging the overall capacity of the machine shop.  The machine shop is not only the maintenance hub, but it is one of the key areas for innovation so it warranted a solution to better schedule work.

The Solution

Bedford Industries is a MS Dynamics GP user and Preactor was recommended by their ERP vendor as a good, visual means of scheduling work within Dynamics GP. The project utilized the Willoware middleware to link Preactor to Great Plains. Once Bedford’s GP installation was integrated with the Willoware API (Advanced Preactor Integration), data flowed between Preactor and GP flawlessly and eliminated the need to build the integration between the systems. It was then a simple matter of filtering the data being sent to Preactor (a built-in function of the Willoware API) and training the user.  Preactor is now used on a day-to-day basis at the Bedford Industries Worthington, MN location for scheduling all of the manufacturing orders issued to the machine shop.  Information from Preactor is used to inform machinists of new projects that have been added to their project list.

Benefits Gained
Bedford had the usual issues with ERP based scheduling, infinite capacity, lack of vision as to where jobs should actually be scheduled, inaccurate completion dates and duplicative work in Excel. The goal was to create machine shop schedules they could trust and provide the production floor with accurate dispatch lists. Preactor, along with the Willoware API, succeeded in meeting all of the objectives. Bedford Industries has a better understanding of the shop load and of predicted completion dates.  They can use this data for make/buy decisions to keep Bedford's innovation and production needs balanced.  

“Quinn & Associates have given us tremendous support while we were in the process of installing Preactor.  They continue to respond quickly whenever I have a question regarding Preactor, and are very thorough in their explanations,” says Mary Kor, Engineering Coordinator.

“The project succeeded because of two factors that came into play together, Bedford’s data and the Willoware API. The Willoware API, while crucial to the project would not have worked without proper data in Bedford’s GP ERP system. Fortunately, Bedford’s personnel had done a fantastic job making sure their data was accurate and contained all the production data we needed. As a result, the Willoware API worked flawlessly 'out of the box', made Preactor’s job easy, and contributed to one of the smoothest projects we have ever done.” remarks Fraser Bonnett, president of Quinn & Associates Inc.