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Case Study
Metal Stamping & Fabrication
Use Cases
Data Anaytics
Cloud Data Management
Carlson Products Case Study

Founded in 1956, Carlson Products originally manufactured wall ties, window and door frames, aluminum stockroom doors, grain traps and tool boxes. Now Carlson is a major supplier of formed and fabricated component parts as well as finished aluminum products for commercial bakeware, industrial, doors, and restaurant leaders throughout the United States and abroad. Products are stamped from aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized steel, and other metals. One of Carlson’s unique specialties is design assistance for component parts or original product concepts and designs, including production of prototypes.

The Problem
Poor production visibility and manual data entry lead to inefficiency and delays
Attempts to manually track data were previously unsuccessful, and lead to what the company called "Junk data". On the heels of a new ERP integration, Carlson new it was critical to get good data to empower its success. To get data into their ERP, they relied on operators to accurately define and manually input this information into their database, which was time consuming and lead to inaccuracy. With a focus on historical labor data, it was essential to know whether or not jobs were on target. Tracking down supervisors and operators to understand why jobs were late was extremely time consuming, and employees had difficulty remembering why problems had occurred. There was no ability to identify systematic issues vs. singular issues, and the lack of historical data made it difficult for them to calculate true machine utilization as well as their potential capacity.
The Solution
The MachineMetrics Advantage

MachineMetrics was chosen because of its capability to connect to to all of Carlson's various pieces of equipment on the shop floor and collect data automatically. Leveraging the scalability, flexibility, reliability, security, and cost effectiveness of AWS, MachineMetrics allowed for data aggregation across all of Carlson's shop-wide systems, the ability to build custom applications, dashboards, and analytics that provided the right data to the right person at the right time. 

Tablets were mounted to each machine to display job performance and provide operators with an interface allowing them to categorize downtime, setups, part rejections, and tool changes. Real time dashboards were installed on large screen monitors across the facility to provide real-time visibility into the performance of jobs relative to the company's production goals. Instant text notifications were set up so Production Managers could identify underperforming machines immediately and quickly address issues in real time. 



"Firstly, upon installing MachineMetrics we found an instant bump in our efficiency. We’ve been able to take on more jobs than we ever had before because I’m able to forecast our capacity much better. It’s very helpful for planning purposes. It allows us to run “what if” scenarios more easily. Also, it’s an incredibly complimentary tool for an ERP System (we use EPICOR). They overlap in some areas that are extremely helpful to us. The integration was simple and it was easy to get data into our ERP. We use MachineMetrics as a tool to verify and change some of the bad data that gets entered into our ERP. MachineMetrics acts as a check and balance for our ERP data.

On the employee side, I think it’s just given us a much greater level of accountability. One thing we do is we use the job reports from MachineMetrics and review them every morning with my team. Everybody knows it’s coming and everyone is held accountable for their data. It’s important for us to see who’s performing well and who’s struggling in the moment. We are now able to review the historical performance of specific shifts, employees are able to prove themselves, and we can incentivize their productivity. I would never have been able to prove or implement that type of incentivization without MachineMetrics.

Lastly, MachineMetrics makes us look good; it shows that we are on top of our game, we know what’s going on, and have our act together. Thanks to our implementation of MachineMetrics we’ve recently received an award for Innovation in the Manufacturing Sector for our embrace of IIoT technology."

Austin Peterson, CEO, Carlson Products:

Carlson experienced a 24% increase in machine utilization and achieved ROI in less than 30 days.
"We've been able to take on more jobs than ever before thanks to the visiblity provided by MM. The data speaks for itself."
—Austin Peterson
CEO of Carlson Products 
The Metrics
24% Increase in machine utilization
10% Increase in total efficiency
14K Additional Machine Hours Per Year
$288K Increase in billings per year
27 Days to Achieve Roi
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Carlson products: revealing hidden capacity

This case study details all of the fantastic gains that Austin Peterson, CEO of Carlson Products, was able to see after implementing MachineMetrics including cost savings, full data visibility, and even the ability to garner a Kansas state manufacturing innovation award. Learn how MachineMetrics helped their metal stamping and fabrication shop to increase efficiency by over 20%! 

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