The Power of Data Analytics in Custom Workholding and Automation

3 Ahaus workers talking about custom workholding and automation analytics

In the fast-paced and highly competitive manufacturing landscape, companies are constantly seeking ways to enhance efficiency, improve productivity, and reduce costs, especially when it comes to custom workholding and automation. Data analytics has become a critical component in unlocking new levels of precision, adaptability, and predictive insights.

Leveraging Information in Real Time

Ahaus has been leveraging business and organizational analytics for over a decade, from the executive 30,000-foot overview to the day-to-day operations, keeping track of teams, processes, goals, outcomes, and overall project life cycles. Everyone on the Ahaus floor uses data analytics in some way.

Ahaus’s IT manager James Cooke elaborates: “Everybody in this organization currently has a device of some sort, a lot of people have laptops, but our manufacturing team all are equipped with ruggedized Apple iPads and are looking at some sort of analytics constantly, using multiple points of data to help streamline their performance or make data-driven decisions. And something that’s a little more unique to us in the industry is we allow that report to be visible to every member of the team. Our goal is to capture data from many points, manually, Excel spreadsheets, Salesforce, and our own ERP system, to name a few, and bring that all into a single pane of glass for the organization to help streamline performance and make data-driven decisions.”

Ahaus puts a large focus on empowering its employees, and data analytics helps with that by enabling employees to track their performance, solve problems more effectively, personalize processes, enhance career growth and skills, and proactively anticipate potential challenges.

“Within our ERP system the project engineer is able to assign projects with key milestone dates and display these projects on our Current Project Status Dashboard,” says Eric Partin, project engineer at Ahaus. “Specifically, when it comes to project risks, the project engineers can go into the ERP system and label projects ‘at risk’ or ‘on hold’ based on the information the project engineers’ have at that time.

“We can use that data to determine whether we want to ‘crash’ the project to speed it up or continue to ‘fast track’ parallel work with some of the other project phases.” (‘Crashing’ refers to the practice of adding resources to your project so you can finish faster).

With real-time insights into any project on the floor, in the queue, or ready to ship, Ahaus team members are able to gain a comprehensive understanding of performance, production rates, and potential bottlenecks. Armed with this knowledge, Ahaus engineers can make evidence-backed decisions in order to fine-tune the custom workholding or automation systems for optimal efficiency.

Enhancing Customization and Adaptability

Every manufacturing process is unique, and every Ahaus customer has unique needs and requests. Ahaus’ custom workholding and automation systems are often inherently designed to cater to specific requirements, but data analytics takes this personalization to the next level by allowing manufacturers to fine-tune and adapt solutions based on real-world performance data.

By analyzing the data collected from each custom application, engineers can make informed adjustments, improving precision and accuracy on future projects, continually improving our builds and design choices, and ensuring we meet ever-changing demands with ease.

Improving Quality and Embracing the Revolution

Ahaus’s commitment to quality is unmatched. Data analytics plays a crucial role in quality control with insights enabling early detection of defects or deviations from desired specifications, ensuring immediate corrective actions are taken. As a result, the number of defective parts is reduced, minimizing waste, improving our customer satisfaction, and safeguarding our customer’s reputation.

“Data analytics has helped us tremendously, possibly more than any other aspect of our business,” says Mark Price, engineering operations manager and 30+ year Ahaus veteran. “When we go into our weekly project status meetings, every project has a story attached to it. Data is being pulled and compiled from multiple sources, which tells us a story, from live projects to the ones going through operations. This has been the most powerful tool we’ve ever leveraged.”

From predictive maintenance to streamlined supply chain management, data analytics is revolutionizing manufacturing. At Ahaus, we believe embracing data analytics is not just a choice; it’s a necessity to stay at the forefront of modern manufacturing.

To learn more about Ahaus’s Data Analytics capabilities, contact us directly.