An Unexpected Payoff

An Ethernet communications system purchased to improve productivity on one part family ended up having a broader impact on this printing press manufacturer’s business.

 
Have you ever made a decision that not only turned out well at the time, but also delivered more substantial, unanticipated benefits later? Steve Sander has first-hand experience. As machining manager at Nilpeter, a printing press manufacturer near Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Sander played a key role in the company’s decision to purchase a new lathe, bar feeder and vacuum unloader. The ability of these three pieces of equipment to exchange data via e-Connect, an Ethernet-based communications system from LNS (Cincinnati, Ohio), proved critical to improving productivity by 90 percent on an important family of parts. The video above, produced by LNS, provides further detail about that application.
 
As the video shows, it wasn’t long before the company began to apply e-Connect more broadly, taking advantage of the system’s benefits to produce additional parts and part families on the new turning center with fewer change-overs. Even then, however, the company still hadn’t realized the system’s full potential. By the time I called Mr. Sander for more information about Nilpeter’s use of the system, a lean initiative was well underway, and e-Connect had proven useful in reaching some of the most important goals associated with that effort. This article, slated to run in our upcoming November issue, details how.