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Reducing Costs and Gaining Shop-Floor Insights: ParkOhio – Assembly Components Group Is the 2023 Industry Leader Impact Award Winner

Success Stories, Impact Award, Automation Fair
November 16, 2023

Action and adaptability create opportunity. Answering the call to stay a step ahead, ParkOhio – Assembly Components Group (ACG) sought to level up its utilization of Plex by launching Plex MES and MES Automation & Orchestration (A&O) during side-by-side implementations at three more of its facilities in the last year.

Our annual Impact Awards recognize and honor Plex customers and highlight incredible accomplishments from the past year. ParkOhio ACG certainly accomplished a lot in 2023 with this undertaking, as they simplified their processes, increased their shop-floor accuracy, and more. As a result of their determination and initiative, they are this year’s Industry Leader Impact Award Winner.

ParkOhio – Assembly Components Group

ParkOhio is a diversified international company providing world-class customers with a supply chain management outsourcing service, capital equipment used on their production lines, and manufactured components used to assemble their products. They operate in three segments: Supply Technologies, Assembly Components, and Engineered Products. Their businesses operate approximately 125 manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities and employ approximately 7,000 people worldwide, with a customer base consisting of many of the Global 2000 infrastructure and business/personal/household products companies.

The Assembly Components Group (ACG) business segment has 19 manufacturing, assembly, and warehouse facilities in the USA, Mexico, and China that use Plex. The ACG is a leader in the manufacturing of highly engineered components used in automobiles, agricultural, commercial trucks, forklifts, engines, or industrial equipment. They specialize in metallic tube manipulation, fuel fillers, hose extrusion, molding of rubber and plastic products, hose assemblies, fuel rails, direct injection lines, and aluminum components.

How Does ParkOhio – Assembly Components Group Lead the Industry?

After their initial launch of Plex in 2009, ParkOhio ACG supported rapid growth by quickly replacing outdated legacy ERP with Plex MES and MES A&O after acquiring each new business. Their ingenuity and distinctive approach to the utilization of MES A&O functionality is truly leading the pack of customers we’ve seen. MES A&O allowed ParkOhio’s automotive business segment to automate tedious and error-prone manual processes and redirect those human resources to more value-added tasks. Their development of custom scale, scrap, furnace load, and print-label logic, plus automated piece traceability poka-yoke systems, are just some of their innovative undertakings, resulting in better satisfaction and minimized customer issues.

With Plex, ParkOhio ACG empowered its leadership with increased quality control, minimized cumbersome jobs for engineers on the plant floor, and improved utilization of real-time data. Rather than becoming stuck in the past, they continue to bring operations into the future with Plex by upgrading from previous paper processes to digital. With that, they’re staying one step ahead as leaders do, driving rapid decision-making by automating workflows and creating smart factories based on machine data.

Increased Satisfaction and Minimized Wasted Time with Plex MES A&O

There have been many wins for ParkOhio ACG in the past year: unnecessary costs have been reduced, paper processes digitized, a reduction in customer issues, increased shop floor accuracy, lower inventory, and better control of product only represent a few of their successes. For the ACG, however, creating digital, smart factories is the name of the game and their Plex MES A&O implementation has been paramount in that effort.

Vulcanizing is a critical process for producing a high-quality, safe, and durable rubber hose. ParkOhio ACG integrated machine data from this process into Plex A&O to create a data-driven poka-yoke to eliminate the risk of under-cured rubber being shipped. Any errors in the process are communicated immediately via text messages and the hose is quarantined by the system. Attempts to use the hose in subsequent operations are blocked and shipping is prevented. Truly a smart factory in action!

High-pressure fuel rails are a key component in reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy of modern vehicles and zero defects are critical to safety. ParkOhio ACG laser etches every rail and integrates machine data throughout the process with Plex to track part data and control quality. A part that failed or skipped a previous operation acts as a kill switch on subsequent machines ensuring defective parts can never reach a customer.

Rubber mixing requires tight control over ingredients. ParkOhio ACG integrated Plex into the digital measuring systems to provide real-time information on usage. For example, oil levels are monitored remotely by buyers and reorder levels trigger alerts to buyers.

The 2023 Industry Leader Impact Award

For ParkOhio ACG, there are many elements at play that allowed them to emerge as an Industry Leader over the course of the past year. Thanks to Plex, they have been able to tap into real-time data and create smart factories with automated, digital processes. This offered ParkOhio ACG increased control over their entire facility—their ability to fine-tune logistics and pay attention to smaller details all contributed to more agile operations and happier customers.

Another factor in their Leader Award are contributions by ParkOhio ACG team members to the Plex User Community, where they share both their product and industry knowledge with others on the platform. Like a true leader, they strive to carry others forward with them.

We can’t wait to see what this next year holds for them and wish the organization continued success. Congratulations to ParkOhio – Assembly Components Group for being selected as Plex’s 2023 Industry Leader Impact Award winner!

To learn more about how manufacturers exceed expectations and become industry leaders backed by smart manufacturing solutions, read a success story here

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.