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HK Metalcraft’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Approach: A Family Legacy

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
January 3, 2017

Joshua Hopp is the fourth-generation owner of a manufacturing business that specializes in precision metal stampings. His father, Raymond, installed a company-wide ERP system back in the 80s when no one else in the industry even considered it.

Nearly three decades later and that once cutting-edge ERP now required customization after customization to keep pace with customer demands. Joshua and Raymond began searching for an ERP system that their sole IT employee could more easily manage instead of spending most of his time programming endless customizations. But there was some level of hesitation in moving to the cloud.

Then, Joshua showed his father solid data to prove that cloud ERP is secure and fit the company’s business continuity plan. Raymond, who was famous for saying “Act on Fact” accepted the move to the cloud. Joshua made the first step by moving all company e-mail and files to the cloud with Google Business. But before HK could move forward with a cloud ERP service, the unthinkable happened—Raymond passed away.

After dealing with the grief of his loss, Joshua stepped into his father’s shoes to carry on the Hopp legacy. One of his first technology decisions was to choose a new ERP solution. Joshua narrowed his decision to two different solutions and relied on input from a trusted source: the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

Today Joshua runs a modern manufacturing company with the Plex Manufacturing Cloud as its backbone, complete with mobile devices and mobile workcenters. Each operator has a portable cart with computer, digital inspection devices, Plex console, and label printer. When operators go from workcenter to workcenter they can unplug their cart and plug it back in at the next location. The company’s forklift driver even has a tablet enabled with mobile ERP software and logs all transactions on it.

Joshua says his company plans to continue leveraging cloud ERP to build out an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) strategy which includes connected press counters, digital scales, optical inspection systems, and shop floor dashboards to display performance in real time. His team is also eager to dig into Plex Insight to leverage even more of the shop floor data for making better business decisions.

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About the Author

Plex Team

Plex Systems, Inc., a Rockwell Automation company, is the leader in cloud-delivered smart manufacturing solutions, empowering the world’s manufacturers to make awesome products. Our platform gives manufacturers the ability to connect, automate, track and analyze every aspect of their business to drive transformation. The Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform includes solutions for manufacturing execution (MES), ERP, quality, supply chain planning and management, Industrial IoT and analytics to connect people, systems, machines, and supply chains, enabling them to lead with precision, efficiency and agility.