AJ Manufacturing Produce ‘Just-In-Time’ Products Faster Than Their Competitors by Using DriveWorks
AJ Manufacturing is a lean, just-in-time manufacturer of some of the world’s best custom made commercial stainless steel HVAC products. They have a strong presence in the HVAC industry and continue to grow and diversify their product lines. Many of AJ Manufacturing’s products are featured in the world’s most successful hospitals, laboratories and commercial buildings today.
In 2004, Bob Haake, owner of AJ Manufacturing, wanted to incorporate new technology into their process. Later that year, they began using SOLIDWORKS in order to move their engineering and product design data away from 2D to 3D.
After realising the power of SOLIDWORKS, AJ Manufacturing began making smart models driven by design tables and equations. This significantly cut the engineering time associated with producing many of their custom, one off products that make them a unique supplier to the industry.
As their products and models became more complex, they began hitting the functional limits of SOLIDWORKS design tables and equations. Their search for a more powerful design automation solution for SOLIDWORKS led them to DriveWorks.
Now DriveWorks has been integrated throughout their entire product delivery process. Not only are many of their products being driven by DriveWorks, but DriveWorks itself has become a bridge between ERP, engineering and manufacturing.
Utilising Core Functionalities
By utilising many of the core functionalities of DriveWorks Autopilot, AJ Manufacturing’s process has evolved from several manual intervention steps to near full automation.
By using built-in DriveWorks connectors, they are able to drive and automatically create specifications by leveraging existing data created by the ERP system. Once the ‘build’ information is collected, DriveWorks Autopilot goes to work and begins to build new specifications.
Once DriveWorks Autopilot has completed the specification, a specialised DriveWorks plugin developed by AJ Manufacturing begins to dig through the assembly and collects the BOM information, such as:
– Part numbers
– Blank sizes
After the plugin has interrogated the assembly or part, the information is then passed into a staging database table from which the ERP system can collect and leverage for reports and inventory control.
Results with DriveWorks
Once AJ Manufacturing’s projects are set up, functions that previously took a day or two to complete now take minutes using DriveWorks Autopilot.
Prior to using DriveWorks, their engineers spent many hours executing the minor tasks involved with custom products. These included renaming files, changing dimensional values, re-exporting manufacturing data and repairing file references from failed SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go functions.
“DriveWorks has saved AJ Manufacturing countless hours in production time alone.”
“AJ Manufacturing’s process, driven by the power and flexibility of DriveWorks, gives them a competitive advantage in bringing their customers higher quality, custom-made, just-in-time products, faster than anyone else in the industry.”