Better Data Improves Profits

Better Data Improves Profits

The information-systems arm of Group Dekko needed a more accurate database for costing and scheduling, and to be a part of its strategy to gather information about production uptime and downtime at its manufacturing companies. Group Dekko consists of several, privately held, independent and vertically integrated manufacturing corporations, and integrating their operations on one database was a daunting task. The group employs nearly 1,500 people in three divisions spread over 22 locations. Its products and services include electrical, heating, lighting, fabricated metal products, plastics, and analytical testing.

Group Dekko's Information Systems division wanted a networked system that would connect to its stamping division's existing pressmonitoring system and collect error codes and other pertinent information about a job. In addition, the division wanted operators to be able to manually enter error codes if they could not be captured automatically from the press-monitoring system. Along with all this, the system had to keep track of uptime and downtime, production time, and efficiencies, and display what went wrong, when, how, where and store the data for downloading and analysis.

The system's operator interface had to be simple with an intuitive menu structure that would ensure error-free use. Information collected needed to include equipment effectiveness and production counts. And, it had to accept operator feedback on the causes for downtime. Group Dekko's Information Systems division chose the Impax TSS-6 reporting system from Process Technologies Group Inc. ( to meet its extensive requirements.

Chris Edwards, vice president of information systems at Dekko Group, says the company is winning additional business and increasing profits because of better information that allows it to quote more accurately and be more competitive in pricing. "Now we can do more accurate costing. We can identify where we have had our products over-costed and where we weren't making as much as we thought," Edwards says.

The Impax TSS-6 system also helps the company to identify products it should not be running. Those products are the ones that Dekko Group now knows it will not make money on, either because of the equipment used to produce them or the type of product.

The Impax TSS-6 automatically monitors machines and, when it senses downtime, it asks operators to enter a code related to the reason that the machine is down. Operators can plug in 64 error codes to report to the network database on the downtime.

While most reporting systems use proprietary software, the Impax TSS-6 interface, for pulling up reports and viewing information, uses a MicroSoft Excel program because many press operators and others in manufacturing are familiar with that software. Also for ease of use, Impax TSS-6 system monitors feature touch screens, so operators do not have to use a mouse and keyboard.

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