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Enhancing Product Validation and Testing with the 2022 Innovator Impact Award Winner

ROKLive, Success Stories, Impact Award
August 22, 2022

Innovators are determined to trailblaze in their field. They must take new ideas and push the envelope to achieve amazing results. This year, one company in particular stood out for leveraging Plex to reimagine their approach to manufacturing, enhancing product validation and product testing in major ways. For this reason, we’re once again celebrating the achievements of Accuride Corporation, our 2022 Product or Technology Innovator Impact Award recipient.

Not only do they take full advantage of Plex’s SaaS model and multi-tenant model to unify their global centers, but they have previously won the Plex Transformer and Leader Impact Awards. With Plex, Accuride launched two new testing and validation centers in Germany and France during the global pandemic, demonstrating the ease with which companies can transition to Plex UX and begin enhancing their business.

Accuride Corporation

Accuride Corporation, headquartered in Livonia, MI, has history dating back to the early 1900s. In the years since, Accuride has acquired plants in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, manufacturing steel and aluminum wheels as well as wheel end systems for the automotive industry. In 2006, they went public as Accuride Corporation and have been finding new ways to succeed ever since. In 2016, Accuride went private, allowing the company to double in size through acquisitions.

Going private allowed Accuride to become a foundational piece of a global growth strategy that involved multiple acquisitions. This innovation allowed them to grow significantly and increase their presence in the automotive market. Accuride has also recently diversified their supply chain by acquiring a similar company that specializes in engineering and distributing product manufactured by offshore suppliers.

What Makes Accuride an Innovator?

Accuride self-implemented Plex in 2014 and currently has nine facilities across the United States that are using Plex. During the digitization of their plants, Accuride kept a close eye on testing and validation centers. As a company that prides itself on the innovation of high durability products, they knew that the successful recognition and analysis of product failures could make the difference between a fortified customer relationship and a costly product recall. Thankfully, they found Plex to be the perfect system to give them everything they could possibly need.

Because program management, suppliers, and parts were already integrated into Plex workflows, Accuride was able to include natural validation points such as new product and new supplier material into their system. This allowed them to see more opportunities with Plex. Plex had enhanced not only their accessibility but also the value of their test data, while simultaneously standardizing global procedures and enabling cost reduction.

Using Plex’s multi-tenant model, Accuride’s global centers created a single testing and validation center tenant where they created specialized process routings that did not impact their plant-level production routings. Accuride has also benefited from and taken full advantage of Plex’s versatile MES system. Due to Plex’s intuitive and friendly setup process, Accuride was empowered to launch modules in weeks rather than months or even years. Plex APIs and VisionPlex enabled the dynamic scope of failure data and images as well as real-time data visibility. Plex’s APIs are also allowing Accuride to look to the future, exploring further IOT opportunities in 2022 and 2023.

Increasing Productivity by 50% and Reducing Costs with LEAN Strategy

The digitization of their plants has made Accuride Corporation an innovative leader and allows them to continually improve their products, processes, and systems. Accuride innovated the first steel wheel with a corrosion warranty, the lightest durable steel wheel globally, the lightest commercial truck wheel available, and the first 10-year trailer and 7-year truck warranties on hub products. During all these incredible product innovations, Accuride also applied innovation to their operation processes through what they’ve dubbed their “LEAN journey.” This process reduced their average lead time by 50%, increased productivity by 50% and reduced cost by 20%. They have even published a book describing their journey.

Accuride is also an active member of the Plex Community. They have been a part of the Plex Customer Advisory Board for multiple years, working with Plex and other CAB members to build the world’s best manufacturing ERP. Many members of the Accuride team also serve on product advisory groups and give their feedback to ensure that Plex is making the best decisions for its customers. Accuride showed other customers how they’ve achieved consistent results with Plex in at least three sessions over the past five Plex annual conferences, receiving consistently positive feedback from customers and employees alike.

The 2022 Product or Technology Innovator Impact Award

Clearly, Accuride is an Innovator through and through. Their constant eagerness and willingness to innovate and lead in their field enables them to succeed year after year. Their product testing and validation solutions are not only innovative, but they’ve had consistently positive impacts on business. Accuride has extensive experience with Plex products which has enabled them to innovate a solution and use case for the core MES that Plex’s manufacturing audience could immediately benefit from.

Accuride also demonstrated how implementing Plex in global testing centers can enable positive change on business. The most notable impact is the appeal of their product testing centers’ ISO-17025 accreditation, which Accuride credits Plex with having helped them achieve and sustain for years.

Overall, Plex has dramatically enhanced the quality and value of Accuride’s testing and failure data, provided real-time workcenter status and reporting, and allowed them to trace back each part of the producing workcenter of the supplier. Accuride’s story is one that will greatly benefit other Plex customers. Their resilience through the implementation of numerous core Plex MES modules remotely, across time zones, and in two countries during a global pandemic and supply chain shortage speaks volumes about Accuride’s innovative abilities as well as the benefit of Plex’s Smart Manufacturing Platform. We couldn’t be happier to award Accuride with this year’s Product or Technology Innovator Impact Award and can’t wait to watch them do more great things in the manufacturing field!

If you’re interested in learning more about how Accuride leveraged Plex to drive innovation, you can view their case study here.

About the Author

Plex Team