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Landmark 500th company starts using new software for manufacturers
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Coventry-based Salt Engineering, a precision engineering company, has this month become the 500th firm to download and activate the finite capacity scheduling system.

Launched just a year ago, Preactor Express is free, downloadable software that allows companies to schedule production to make optimum use of finite resources.

It is a fully-functioning, entry-level version of the Preactor family of scheduling products. It allows businesses to enter all their information, such as resources, machines and orders, into the model to determine the optimum way to use their resources to meet their manufacturing deadlines.

Companies can download the software for free from If they decide to carry on using Preactor Express after 30 days, they simply activate it, which is also free, and can carry on using it indefinitely.

More than 2,600 firms have downloaded the software since its launch in January 2011, and now 500 have activated it to carry on using it.

Terry Hudson, Managing Director of Salt Engineering, said the firm was using Preactor Express to schedule production of tooling, gauges and fixtures for the manufacture of components in the aerospace and motor industries.

He said: “Until now we have been using a spreadsheet system along with a weekly production meeting to manage job numbers. But recently our order book has really increased so we need a more efficient way to schedule jobs in order to meet deadlines.

“We have just employed a new works manager, who had used Preactor in a previous company and suggested we try this free version to see how it works for us and whether it improves productivity, before we commit to buying anything.”

Mike Novels, Managing Director of Preactor International, said: “We launched Preactor Express in 2011 as a way for companies to try out scheduling software without any financial outlay. The firms who download it have often been using an Excel spreadsheet to schedule their production until now, and haven’t experienced how their productivity could be improved by using a specialist scheduling software package.

“It has proved so popular that we’ve already translated it into four more languages – Polish, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish – with further languages being developed to launch soon. Now there are 500 companies who are getting a taste of how they can use this sort of software to improve their productivity.”

Free online training videos are available for firms starting to use Preactor Express. Users can also choose to pay for individual technical support.

Companies using Preactor Express who later decide to integrate the product with their other systems, such as ERP or data collection, or who want to bespoke the software to meet the specific needs of their business, can upgrade to one of the full Preactor scheduling products.