Hatch Stamping Harnesses Manufacturing Technology with Plex
A User-Friendly, Accessible Solution with Data Integration
At Powerplex, Hatch Stamping talk about the ERP software system and how Plex has helped their business integrate information from disparate databases under one user-friendly, simplified and accessible solution across the enterprise. System Specialists, Ryan McCallum and Michael Coltre Watch this video. (7:30)
A User-Friendly, Accessible Solution with Data Integration
- [Brett] I'm Brett Larson. We're at PowerPlex. We are talking today with Ryan McCallum and Michael Coltre from Hatch Stamping. You guys, tell us what it is that your company makes.
- [Michael] We're in the automotive industry. We make parts that you don't see in a car but we make them all over: fuel rings, brackets, fuel systems, roof systems. We're going into new segments of the car but... Anything else to add?
- [Ryan] Generally it's precision stamping and assembly for the auto industry.
- Okay, that's a very specific thing.
- Yeah, it's very specific.
- Any customers that you work with that you would like to note here?
- Actually Inteva, who's here, one of the bigger tier one suppliers for the OEMs, they're one of our customers.
- Alright. It's interesting when we talk about the automotive industry, because I think most people don't think about it. They get in their car, they turn the key or push the button, and they drive and they don't realize there's thousands of parts and hundreds and thousands of man hours that have gone into making your car. And that's kind of what it is you guys are doing. Prior to Plex coming into the picture, what were some organizational challenges that you guys faced in your day to day operation?
- I've only been with Hatch for about three and a half years. So they've always had Plex since I've been there, but they've been with Plex for seven years now. So we're one of the first customers that Plex implemented with.
- I have a little less time than Mike. I've been with Hatch for two and a half years now. But through some of the old war stories, we've heard that the difficulties were accessibility to the raw data and then transparency. So implementing Plex, that's helped the higher level executives identify the issue but then take more of a granular attack at it to identify it.
- Yeah, and get your hands around it. And everything's together. With one system, you get to see your inventory talks to your accounting. So you don't have to go in different systems. It makes a lot easier.
- Right. You don't have to have somebody there scratching his head, breaking pencils, going back and forth between spreadsheets. In your collective time there, how have you seen Plex change the way the organization works beyond the examples you just gave?
- Like what Ryan was saying, visibility. We have at all our plants the shop screen, which shows the whole plant layout, all the work centers. The plant managers can just look up the building and see, "Why is this machine in maintenance?" And then they can go attack the problem in an instant. Instead of having to go log into a computer, we have it going and it refreshes every 60 seconds. So that's very helpful. We also have 12 different reports. It's like a dashboard. It's live up to the minute data, so that we can react if we see a problem before it becomes a bigger issue.
- Right, sort of a proactive approach...
- Yeah, proactive approach.
- ... to what's happening there. The cloud technology, we heard a lot about it in the keynote. There's even more stuff coming into the cloud, I guess, under the umbrella maybe. How is that helping the organization and in dealing with partners and all of that having all of that stuff centralized for the most part but yet sort of spread out?
- I think again accessibility. The data's there. They can access it any time. We saw Plex bringing Salesforce on as a partner. So I think the sky is the limit.
- Looking down the road, manufacturing, I think when people hear that word, they always think there's people there and they're cutting things and they're building things. And that's definitely the case but there's also a lot more technology now in manufacturing. Down the road, where do you see technology and manufacturing going?
- More seamless. There is still some stuff that it's a little clunky, but what they showed with Google Glass and they have the scanners on your hand now so it's all hands-free. You just point at it instead of having to go grab the gun over at the work center or it's a lot less bulky and a lot more user friendly.
- Right. There are some safety aspects to that as well of having your hands free, having your safety goggles, having almost a heads-up display in front of you. With the wearable technology, how do you guys see implementing that with Hatch?
- I think one of the pieces we saw was the ring scanner. So at all of our work centers, we have the scan guns that are wired, and a lot of times, we see our guys trying to maneuver it. And they feel a little clunky and restricted. So I think maybe that's an avenue we can look at in the future.
- Yeah, right now we are cutting edge. With the material handlers, we use mobile computers like Ainol [SP] or Hailo. So they have Plex right on the Hailo and they're driving around the plant scanning stuff, moving stuff. So we're one of the only ones that are doing that currently. So that's one of our big things that people like to see.
- That's cool. How does that work?
- It's the mobile PC and Plex has the application where it'll work on it. I can't remember the name of the brand.
- It's kind of like a big GPS on the Hailo. It's got a harness and they just have a stylus and they work as they go.
- They can go through it.
- Yeah, they don't have to keep jumping off the Hailo to a computer and say, "This is just what I did." They're doing it instantly when they move it. So cut down on errors and stuff.
- Right, save some time.
- Yes, you have lots of time.
- You mentioned errors. Now what's fascinating about a lot of this technology in manufacturing and all of this data is you're able to prevent stuff from going wrong in the start to finish 'cause if we did it X way and it ended in a failure, we know not to do it X way again and we have the data to back that up. Do you get all of that information now?
- Yeah. You have the tracking of that, too. If you did see that, it's in the database where it didn't work like that. If you run back and you corrected it, then you're more proactive about it.
- We're definitely not in the habit of doing things wrong many times.
- Right, repeating the same steps for the wrong outcome. At the keynote today, what was the most exciting that you guys heard?
- I like seeing the new F5 screens and the way that Plex is gonna be evolving in the next year or so. It's gonna be a new experience for the users and how we're gonna attack the classic use of Plex and then the new screens of it. I'm excited to start using them because it looks like it's a little easier to use even than what it already is. So it's gonna be ...
- I agree. I think of the new user experience. They're kind of bridging the gap between the CFO that they used an example for an analyst. The CFO can go and run the same report that maybe he needs an analyst to do spending weeks on. He's got that at his fingertips.
- Yeah, but not as much coding. It's more everyday use where they can go pick it up and get their data.
- Right. Any other hands-on events that you guys got to see?
- Not yet.
- I haven't been able to go over there yet, but maybe tonight.
- You should try the Google Glass one. It looks very cool.
- Yeah, it does. That would be one to check out.
- Awesome, you guys. Thanks for joining us.
- Thank you.
- Thanks for having us.
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