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Reinventing Accuracy, Efficiency, and Safety with the 2021 Innovator Impact Award Winner

Manufacturing Intelligence, PowerPlex, Impact Award
June 14, 2021
Hatch Stamping - Impact Award Winner

Innovators don’t just push the envelope; they push the world forward. Without them, assembly lines wouldn’t exist. Cell phones would still be the size of a brick. And Netflix would still be mailing you DVDs.

That’s why we’re celebrating the achievements of the 2021 Product or Technology Innovator Impact Award recipient. This is a company that embodies the smart manufacturing movement while driving innovation in new and exciting ways. Over the last year, they reimagined their approach and changed the game for customers and employees.

No stranger to the awards stage as a previous Transformer Impact Award winner, Hatch Stamping Company has proven over the last year that they are the definition of the word innovator.

Hatch Stamping Company

Founded as a small family business back in 1952, Hatch Stamping Company began their focus on parts for model trains. As the business evolved, the Army reached out with an opportunity to produce components of the famous M-1 rifle. No matter what industry it was supporting, Hatch Stamping Company found ways to do things faster and better than others.

That’s why, today, the company is considered a leading manufacturer of highly engineered metal stampings and assemblies for the automotive sector. All of Hatch Stamping Company’s 13 facilities operate on the Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform, including two in Mexico and one in China. But the fact that they’re the best at what they do or have an international presence isn’t what makes them an innovator.

Fostering True Innovation

Simply put, technology and innovation are baked into the core of why Hatch Stamping Company exists. That’s why they were able to leverage the power of Plex IIoT in conjunction with Mach2 so well. This allowed the company to serialize piece production and generate labels for each individual part made. Scanners automatically checked dimensions and record parts for traceability across the manufacturing process, resulting in greater accuracy and increased customer visibility.

On top of that, Hatch Stamping Company uses Mach2 to auto-record status changes down to the detailed reason based on machine health, status, and operation. This real-time view catches production slowdowns or downtime events as they happen, informing supervisors immediately. Plex acts as the center of innovation for Hatch Stamping Company, automating parts of the process and eliminating the need to manually record data.

Of particular note, in the last three years, Hatch Stamping Company has made a significant investment in improving their technological goals and objectives by not only continuing to use PLEX in innovative ways, but by looking inward and improving the Hatch Stamping Company Plex technology team. Imparting the same urgency to improve and perform onto the technology team would not have been possible three years ago. Hatch Stamping Company focused on rebuilding the team, resulting in a team that exercises teamwork, effectiveness, accuracy, intensity, passion, and persistence. The results of these efforts proved to be overwhelmingly successful. The current team is cohesive and ready to meet any challenge, which enabled them to support Hatch Stamping Company in being awarded a PLEX Impact Award the last two years.

Improved accuracy and efficiency are only part of the story. Hatch Stamping Company also relied on Plex to ensure the safety of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Standalone screening stations and new workflows allowed employees to answer health screening questions by scanning their ID badge with as little physical contact as possible. Using the same badge, employees log into a work center without the need to touch a screen or a key. Every action an employee could take has been reevaluated, limiting opportunities for the transmission of germs.

A Wide-Ranging Impact

By leveraging Plex IIoT and Mach2, Hatch Stamping Company revolutionized their business in measurable ways. Overall equipment efficiency rose, throughput improved, downtime detail reporting improved, as did actual downtime. Most impressively, production errors decreased significantly.  Combined with safer working conditions for employees, it’s clear that the company had a landmark year.

Hatch Stamping Company has set an example not just for automotive suppliers, but for the entire automotive industry. They’ve harnessed the power of connecting their operations to improve quality and agility, something only made possible by Hatch’s continuous drive to evaluate and adopt innovative technology. In a new era defined by Industry 4.0 and COVID-19, the company proved that manually updating spreadsheets or whiteboards is an antiquated process. Empowering employees with real-time data that helps them make decisions while working safely is the key to future success, and for Hatch Stamping Company, the future is already here.

The 2021 Product or Technology Innovator Award

With core values that include harnessing technology and building a culture of innovation, Hatch Stamping Company began their smart manufacturing journey long ago. That’s why they were able to adapt so well over the last year. It’s also why they we’re recognizing them with the 2021 Product or Technology Innovator Impact Award. Congratulations once again and thank you to all the nominees, including finalists Dart Aerospace and HI-LEX!

Want to learn how Hatch Stamping Company transformed their data management practices? This case study is for you.

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.