DC Developments relies entirely on Lantek Integra ERP to achieve the rapid turnarounds that make it a highly successful subcontracting company. Based in Norwich, it has five laser cutting machines including a 4kw Mazak 612, an impressive range of fabrication machinery and a full machine shop which includes a Mazak Nexus machining centre and Mazak Super Quickturn turning centres.
Matthew Cambell, Director, says, "We offer our customers very fast delivery for their parts and sub-assemblies, which means we have to have highly efficient systems for quotations, job management, stock management, purchasing and invoicing. Lantek Integra manages our whole operation, and we would not be able to offer 2-3 day deliveries on laser cut parts without it." DC Developments services a wide range of markets including motor sport, agricultural, medical and automotive, laser cutting stainless steel up to 20mm thick, aluminium up to 12 mm and mild steel up to 25mm. Once parts are cut, they may then go on to have folding, machining and welding operations carried out, enabling the company to deliver complex assemblies to its customers.
Formed 34 years ago, DC Developments installed Lantek Expert CAD/CAM software in 2002 and, as well as its subcontracting operation, has a marine division specialising in parts for pleasure boats such as stern gear, catches and railings. The addition of Lantek Integra ERP has enabled it to integrate its CAD/CAM with the overall management of the company, moving it closer to the Lantek Factory concept, where every aspect of manufacture is linked and coordinated in real time. Matthew Cambell explains, "The system starts with a quotation, which we prepare from the customer’s drawing. Once the order is received the bill of materials and sequence of operations, laser cutting, machining and fabrication, is logged in Lantek Integra. Purchasing and stock levels are handled by the system, which generates alarms for low stock levels. Last year we managed everything within the company from paper to sheet metal, bar material and nuts and bolts. The job sheet from Lantek Integra goes to the laser machines where operations completed and lost parts are recorded on a shop floor terminal, allowing us to regroup shortages as necessary. Finally, Lantek Integra generates delivery notes and invoices, exporting information to our Sage accounting system."
Efficient handling of remnants is an important benefit of the Lantek software as, to achieve the short deliveries it promises, DC Developments sometimes has to laser cut partially filled sheets. Not only does Lantek Integra keep track of the remaining material, but it also keeps track of the test certificates associated with each sheet to provide essential documentation to the customer.
Currently DC Developments uses separate job sheets for its machine and fabrication shops, but it plans to automate these and move to real time data collection for the whole factory, in line with the Lantek Factory concept. Matthew Cambell says, "We are currently investigating the use of bar codes with Lantek Integra which we anticipate will enable us to automate every aspect of our business, reducing administrative effort further and giving us live information about costs and the progress of parts through the workshop. The system is an essential part of our operation."
Lantek is a leading global multinational in the development and commercialisation of software solutions for the sheet metal and structural steel industry. Its capacity for innovation and its firm commitment to internationalisation and the development of emerging markets has led Lantek, founded in 1986 in the Basque Country and with head offices in Vitoria (Alava), to become a global reference in the industry with its CAD/CAM/MES/ERP solutions. Today, the company has over 13,000 clients in more than 100 countries, offices in 15 countries, and a wide network of distributors providing worldwide coverage. In 2012 its international operations provided 85% of its turnover.
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