MASS Precision Uses Synergy to Manage Suppliers’ Precision
Executive Summary: Product manufacturing is the core service that MASS Precision, Inc. furnishes to a broad range of multinational OEMs in Silicon Valley. MASS is one of a very few remaining stateside companies offering vertically integrated metal manufacturing skills from product design through prototyping, pre-production and full production runs, through testing, distribution and aftermarket kitting.
September 29, 2011 | Case Study | Case Studies, Industry, Manufacturing, Outcome, Quality Assurance, Resources, ROI, Role, Software, Synergy 2000
The Challenge• Managing the quality of suppliers’ products
• Maintaining precision to 50 millionths of an inch
- Product paid for itself in 4 months
- Communicating with plating suppliers in real-time before product goes out-of- specification
- Maintaining precision throughout the production process
“MASS Precision has been in business for 28 years. For 23 years, we were in the sheet metal manufacturing and assembly business. In the last 5 years, we have increased our footprint into new areas such as automotive, medical, and military,” said Dan Heimann Quality Manager for MASS Precision. One example of the type of equipment they are now fabricating would be a guide for a gamma knife. These instruments are used to target and remove, on the cellular level, cancer cells, so precision in making this instrument is paramount. They also make precision equipment for the automotive and the military.
“One thing we particularly like about implementing the Synergy Statistical Process Control (SPC) software is the fact that we can communicate in real-time with our suppliers,” Heimann said. In the production process, parts get plated with Zinc by a supplier. MASS measures whether or not the plating is too thick or too thin. They verify the minimum amount of Zinc has been put on the part correctly. “This is vitally important for our business. We now have the ability to give a supplier a screen shot and tell them that they need to adjust the chemicals in their plating in real-time,” said Heimann. “Once we showed this capability to our suppliers, they became interested in implementing Synergy SPC software. The quality problems with plating thickness used to happen once a week, but since we implemented Synergy, it happens about once a month.”
“Supplier management and risk management for the medical industry are very important: it is imperative that you mitigate risk up front,” said Heimann. “Synergy ensures we make good parts and keep the cost of defects down.”
Another area that MASS has implemented Synergy is in their metal fabrication facility. They now use Synergy to ensure that their sheet metal punch presses don’t drift out of tolerance over time. Using Synergy and an inspection template that measures location of the punched features, they can perform preventative maintenance on the machine and ensure the location of punched features and forms over time.
“Everywhere we’ve implemented Synergy has been successful,” said Heimann. “Now we are expanding our usage into other areas of the business.”
“Eventually, we were able to show our suppliers they could save money and improve their process with the data we collected. Once our suppliers were onboard, their processes steadily improved. Because we are saving our suppliers time and money by reducing rejected products, we have found that they have become our advocates in the process.”
— Dan Heimann
Quality Manager for MASS Precision