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Perfect pour

By Gretchen Salois

A digital thread connects every step of the manufacturing process from shop floor to back office

May 2019 - The perfect pour is achieved using an engineered draft beer system that controls everything from temperature to the amount of pressure used to push the beer to the tap. Manufacturing cooling systems that transport beer hundreds of feet are commonplace for Perlick Corp. in Milwaukee, a city with a long history of brewing.

Perlick provides customized beverage dispensing equipment, including air-cooled dispensing towers, faucets, hardware and glass washing. Each customized setup differs from customer to customer, depending on bar setup and types of beverages. “Our work requires us to be flexible depending on customer requests,” says Debbie Zenisek, manufacturing engineering manager at Perlick. “We needed a software that could integrate into our ERP system to connect our shop floor through sales.”

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Information attached to each part, nest, job or order can be transferred between Lantek’s CAD/CAM or MES and the customer’s existing ERP.

Perlick has worked with Lantek software for nearly two decades. “We’ve stayed with them. We still use lasers we had back in the early 2000s and have added more lasers since then, including different brands and other machine changes—[and throughout] we’ve stayed with Lantek,” Zenisek says. “We recently updated our ERP and were able to again work with Lantek to integrate the ERP jobs into the nesting.”

Made for metals

Lantek’s software creates a “digital thread from the part through the manufacturing processes as well as invoicing and analysis,” says Kevin Must, U.S. marketing manager for Lantek. In order for Lantek to integrate with a customer’s existing ERP, engineers begin by determining the connection points between the two systems.

“Next, we outline the overall look and feel of that system for each specific user. From there, we define the import/export paths, file structure to export from the customer’s ERP to Lantek, and file structure to export from Lantek to the existing ERP.” This information includes inventory information, such as weight of metal sheet and quantity used, as well as production orders and other processing information.

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Each of Perlick's configurations differ from customer to customer, depending on bar setup and types of beverages.

Software engineers’ intuition, coupled with expertise, is a result of actual experience working in the manufacturing sector or by operating machines on a shop floor. “Having a background in the metals/manufacturing sector allows our support team to have a better understanding of the challenges the programmer or operator experiences. They are able to rely on their own real-life anecdotes in the event they need to create a quick work-around for a problem before our developers can address any larger issues,” Must says.

There is a push/pull data transfer system between the customer’s existing ERP and Lantek software. Information attached to each part, nest, job or order can be transferred between Lantek’s CAD/CAM or MES and the customer’s existing ERP. “This connection eliminates the need to manually export and import data,” Must says. “Lantek also uses system specification milestones and then conducts the rollout and training before going live.”

Reducing the time needed to communicate between steps was paramount. “Instead of searching for orders, the entire system is up to speed as soon as information is entered. We’re high mix, low volume. Lantek has worked with us to develop the custom systems we need to help us connect our lasers, punches and other fabrication processes on the shop floor for anyone to look up.

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Users can access machine status updates using Lantek’s Control Panel from mobile devices while away from the shop floor.

“We’re doing dynamic nesting all day long,” Zenisek continues. “We’re constantly working on how to improve how we nest parts and prioritize jobs. Smaller jobs and smaller nests are now quicker to complete. The sooner that step of the process is complete, the sooner we’re able to get the paperwork through to complete the job for the customer.”

Software updates are released annually for Lantek’s CAD/CAM software. “We also update our MES and ERP customers on a case-by-case basis,” says Must. Lantek’s updates each of its MES and ERP customers individually because each has different needs and requires varying levels of complex solutions.

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Lantek Analytics is easy for users to customize and read. Graphical insights display business production and sales data.

When customers add new machines to their production floors, Lantek adapts its modular solutions. “This allows greater scalability for Lantek implementations to meet the demands of any sheet metal fabricator depending on each set of needs,” Must says. “This modularity affords manufacturers the ability to start with the software solution that benefits them the most, while continually adding modules as their business grows.”

Lead times are shorter using an ERP integrated with Lantek software, Zenisek says. “We can agree to customize products for customers and can be more receptive to customer requests. We can provide the custom designs with shorter lead times, and those lead times keep shrinking.” FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc.

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. Rolleri USA Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss UFP Industrial

PRESS BRAKES

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

AMADA AMERICA, INC. BLM Group
Tishken Advanced Gauging Technologies Automec Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

MC Machinery Systems Inc.

WATERJET

Mayfran International Cincinnati Inc. SafanDarley Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

LVD Strippit

PUNCHING

Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation Scotchman Industries Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Trilogy Machinery Inc.

SAWING

WELDING

Osborn

METAL FORMING

Behringer Saws Inc. American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Cosen Saws Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers MetalForming Inc. DoALL Sawing T. J. Snow Company

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

HE&M Saw

 

Beckwood Press Co. Titan Tool Supply Inc. Savage Saws

 

Triform

 

 

 


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