Strong sales, capacity limitations and moving in a new division contributed to a challenge for a major packaging company. The organization’s purchasing manager and buyer determined they had to outsource a large and complex frame weldment – the first time for this specific frame. They also knew that the frame had to be done in four weeks to meet the delivery goal.
The company turned to Ace Metal Crafts company. To completely understand the specifications, Vice President of Engineering Kevin Bailey and welder/cell leader Dan Johnson made the trip to meet with the group. Kevin and Dan returned to ACE with a clear understanding, an armful of prints, and a CD with the CAD files and a 3-D model from Solid Works.
Our team collaborated with the Value Stream to discuss the short delivery and project requirements. We discussed using a water jet in place of milling the rectangular bars that made the top deck of the frame. The advantage of the water jet became clear because of the flatness requirement of the top deck – the method would help greatly reduce the number of butt welds. In addition, we discussed using 200 mesh glass bead finish for a uniform appearance, instead of brushing welds clean. We also used laser cut locating combs and locating marks to locate component parts – reducing the chance of measuring errors on the shop floor.
Our Layout Engineer Kris Rozecki worked through the details in Solid Edge with clarification from the client. The ACE Pacemaker cell members prepared the project for weld assembly, with Dan taking the lead. During weld assembly, members of the company visited us to verify the requirements and answer questions. They were impressed with our utilization of fabrication aids and gave the good news back to the team: the frame was looking good. Our second shift completed the glass bead finish and the frame shipped the next morning.
The packaging group successfully delivered the frame on-time and we furthered a partnership as a reliable fabrication partner. Collaboration and communication were the keys to this successful project.