During 2015, APT (Automatic Precision Turning) celebrated 60 years in business and is now looking forward to further success in 2016. The company's PSL Datatrack production control software will feature as the cornerstone of its operations.
As one of the UK's leading sub-contract engineering companies, APT has a very successful strategy of continuous investment in its production capabilities, including high precision CNC Multi-Axis Turning Centres and Vertical Machining Centres. These are a testimony to the company's core aim of offering reliability, precision, speed and high quality service to its customer base. Alongside these investments, the first involvement with PSL Datatrack came in early 2012 after the software had come to their attention through its successful implementation within other engineering sub-contractors and as a result of PSL Datatrack's publicity campaigns in the engineering media.
APT supplies high precision turned parts and components from 1mm to 42mm diameter, as well as intricate prismatic parts in batches of up to one million, produced in materials as diverse as aluminium, brass, steels, plastics and high temperature alloys. Their broad client base covers industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical, motor sport and security with many customers taking advantage of APT’s AS EN 9100 and ISO 9001 accreditations. With so many manufacturing permutations, APT had recognised the need to improve its administration and PSL Datatrack provided the ideal solution.
“At the time we were looking to replace our many separate Excel based recording systems and our previous manufacturing control program from another software supplier. We needed to combine our various databases and resources into one integrated system that would provide overall complete control of the many variables within our production processes and PSL Datatrack fitted the bill,” recalls Nick Baller, Operations Director at APT.
As a modular software system, PSL Datatrack is designed to integrate different manufacturing and administration routines, thereby saving time and money. APT subsequently invested in the PSL Datatrack software in order to have total control over their processes from customer enquiry through to delivery and invoicing - reflecting their own commitment to giving customers an engineering service from initial drawing to the finished part.
PSL Datatrack handles APT's quotations, works orders, purchase orders, stock, non-conformance reports and much more, ensuring traceability, close batch control and full compliance with its quality accreditations. “No longer do we have to switch painstakingly between each of our previous standalone reporting and monitoring systems.“ continues Nick.
Working closely with PSL Datatrack to ensure that the software is fully tailored to meet on-going, changing requirements, APT has also been a very active contributor to PSL's customer “wish list” programme. This ensures that the PSL Datatrack system is regularly updated and configured from the user's viewpoint and not just from the developer's own ideas for improvement.
"We have seen many of our suggestions actioned and included in new versions of PSL Datatrack. This shows us that the customer “wish list” is not just an ideal but is taken seriously by the company as a real means of implementing practical improvements to the software's functionality. It has been very useful to have an input into this development,” adds Nick.
PSL Datatrack has proven to be an easy to use system for APT, with the interlinked modules delivering significant time-savings, whilst the benefits of traceability that the system provides are making auditing quick and easy. As a result, the company is now looking at further investment in PSL Datatrack Time & Attendance and Assemblies modules as well as Status Boards to take efficiency to even higher levels by automatically distributing information and instructions to any department.
APT feels that the support they get from PSL Datatrack is first rate with the provision of concise, well written Help Files, effective telephone support and if a query cannot be solved immediately, then a prompt call back from PSL Datatrack is always provided, giving APT great confidence in the service.
Continuing investment in the latest manufacturing technology has seen recent acquisitions of new Star sliding head lathes, a Haas vertical machining centre and the latest Firbimatic solvent cleaning plant, to ensure customers’ get the superior clean product that they demand, Alongside this technology, PSL Datatrack software will play a pivotal role in maximising the benefits of these investments. “PSL Datatrack software is the industry standard and will be at the heart of everything we do as we move into our 61st year of operation and beyond,” concludes Nick.