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Preactor Delivers Just In Time, Every Time for Metaltech
April 2001

Metaltech Precision EngineersMetaltech Precision Engineers Ltd is a progressive and versatile medium-light engineering company offering broad based services in the precision sub-contract machining environment.

With over 25 years manufacturing experience in the automotive, aircraft, pumps and hydraulics serving the requirements of such prestigious clients as Rolls Royce Plc and Specialist Car Products Ltd, Metaltech has seen a multitude of changes within this rapidly evolving marketplace. With an ongoing commitment to implementing the latest technology, the company turned to Preactor International for a scheduling solution that delivers Just In Time, every time.

Keith Crow has been Production Controller at Metaltech for over 3 years, and has over 15 years experience in this sector. He outlines the typical problems facing companies like Metaltech. “In any subcontracting environment, the Customer dictates the business model.

Customers want shorter turnaround times, and increasingly accurate ones too with no decrease in quality. Hence the move to wholesale adoption of the JIT model which effectively moves stock control issues further up the supply chain.   A problem at any stage puts pressure on the rest of the chain, and it is not infeasible for problem links in the chain to become bypassed.”

Customer dictates the business model. Customers want shorter turnaround times, and increasingly accurate ones too with no decrease in quality. Hence the move to wholesale adoption of the JIT model which effectively moves stock control issues further up the supply chain.   A problem at any stage puts pressure on the rest of the chain, and it is not infeasible for problem links in the chain to become bypassed.”

The company’s next step was to contact Stan Jonik of SFJ Systems, the Preactor solution provider from whom the initial system had been purchased to integrate Preactor into these existing systems. The first step involved building a 2 way link to the Access database and a one way link with Perform by which information could be read into Preactor.

The next step involved introducing all the available information into a customised Work To Report which determined whether a given resource or operation was available and showed raw material availability. Nigel Jonic of SFJ comments on the implementation.  “Preactor’s in-built integration tools enabled us to configure the system the way Metaltech wanted so that it was not a case of making the data fit Preactor but making Preactor fit the data”.

Metaltech is now able to work in a much more efficient way. Each month, the order book is interrogated to determine existing customer commitments. These are valued and set against the necessary breakeven budget figure. Relevant jobs can then be selected to meet this which are then fed exclusively into Preactor. This allows an immediate accurate assessment of whether the plan for the month will be successful or whether a different model is required, including possibly bringing forward other orders.

This increase in accuracy and visibility can then be passed on to the customer in terms of realistic proposed delivery dates and work progress updates when required. This has helped increase confidence in Metaltech’s customer base which, in a market where referrals can be a significant sales stream, can lead to new business.

The company is understandably enthusiastic about the success of the project. “Everything is now much more organised, with a vast increase in resource management and optimisation. This leads to increased worker satisfaction as the software takes into account how they work and some of the unplanned scenarios that can occur. The combination of Preactor’s software and Nigel and Stan’s deep understanding of the actual engineering environment has enabled us to work to Just In Time, every time.”