Early adopter continues to improve functionality whilst retaining continuity
Seiki Systems, a specialist provider of real-time production management solutions, has announced that Hope Technology Ltd has successfully upgraded to the latest version of its Jobpack DNC system and rolled this out to its entire production facilities. Seiki Jobpack DNC has been developed for users that require a higher level, easily maintained shop floor communications and NC data management control system.
Established in 1989, Hope has been at the leading edge of engineering technology for over two decades supplying high-end, precision mountain bike components. The ISO 9002 company which employs 85 people designs, test and manufactures the vast majority of components in-house at its Barnoldswick facility. In addition to relying on the latest Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to develop 3D models and prototypes, Hope has for many years entrusted the management of its growing production facilities to Seiki Systems.
Simon Sharp, a Director at Hope explains why the company upgraded its systems: “We have been long time users of Seiki’s Networked DNC system, originally linking this to 6 of our production machines. As a company we have seen substantial growth and have made considerable investments in our production facilities and now have 55 CNC machines which are running 24 hours a day. The decision to upgrade to Seiki’s Jobpack system running the latest software, version 5, and to extend this to the company’s entire suite of CNC machines was therefore very much a logical one. At the heart of this was the need to control the storage and manage the transfer of our NC files.”
The installation was carried out in 3 phases beginning with the 21 CNC machines and 3 Seiki industrial PCs in the Milling shop followed by the 26 CNC machines and 4 industrial PCs in the Lathe and Sliding Head area. The final stage was the Tool Room and Laser facility which comprises 8 CNC machines and 1 industrial PC.
Sharp comments on the real-world benefits that this has brought to the company: “It’s still early days but one of the main benefits is that we now have everyone in every department using the same system. It’s like having a really well organised filing cabinet where everything is kept. Not only is it easier to find all of our files, it’s also quicker to update any of them when this is required. The addition of touchscreens on the production floor has also helped because they remove the need to have bulky computers on the shopfloor and help those using them focus on the task at hand. Once we have completed this stage, we can then investigate adding machine monitoring and ultimately linking this to our ERP system to help with our production planning.”
Seiki Sales Director Paul Lane comments on the project: “Centralised management of manufacturing data, as provided by our Jobpack DNC software, should enable Hope Technology to build a firm foundation based on a trusted factory knowledgebase where performance and quality can be achieved through control and continuity. Fast, effective and simple shop floor communications also help eliminate waste and reduce non-value adding activities. Hope is also a great example of how the Seiki solution offers companies the flexibility to upgrade progressively. We are delighted to be able to continue to support their changing manufacturing system requirements as the company grows.”