Transform Automotive and Cybernet:
Keeping a Factory Floor Humming
Transform Automotive chose Cybernet ZPC-GX31 keyboard PCs to use in their manufacturing facilities for QA gauging and testing. The keyboard PCs replace conventional PC towers that had taken up too much floor space with a mass of connecting cables to get in the way. The ZPC
keyboard computers were less expensive than the old PCs, and freed up space in the busy factory floor. The QA process is now more efficient, with reliable PCs to handle their complex analysis software.
Transform Automotive in Sterling Heights, Michigan, is an advanced metal-forming supplier that manufactures transmission components for the auto industry. They were founded in 1997, and employ 200 people in North America. Their factory facilities employ state of the art Cellular Manufacturing processes and strict ISO QA policies, and are dedicated to environmental protection.
The Business Challenge
As part of the QA testing process, gauges are used to measure and test whether the manufactured component meets required tolerances. This information is done at a gauging table, and the measurements are transmitted to sensors and then to a PC
to be processed with ASI Datamyte QA software. From the PC, the results are transmitted to a SQL server where the data is analyzed for trends and statistics by QA engineers.
The PCs used for this purpose were conventional CPU tower plus monitor and keyboard configurations with associated cables, and took up a lot of space on the shop floor near the gauging tables. These conventionally configured PCs were also quite expensive. When it came time to replace them, the IT department looked into solutions that would take up less space and were less expensive. An all-in-one PC was chosen as the best solution and specifically, a keyboard PC because it was the best fit for the workspaces throughout the shop floor.
The Cybernet Solution
The IT department had seen a Cybernet ad in a computer magazine, and decided to give one a try. They contacted Cybernet to get a test model of a ZPC-GX31 keyboard PC, which they used on the shop floor for a month. They had the primary users of the PCs, the manufacturing associates, put them through the paces of the QA gauging process. They really liked the PCs, and the IT department really liked the price – less than half of what they had paid for their old tower PCs. Transform Automotive started ordering ZPC-GX31 keyboard PCs and deployed them as the old PCs failed, which they are continuing to do now with the newer version of the ZPC – the ZPC-D5
During deployment, the IT department mounted the ZPC units on tilt-up stands that were placed on carts along with LCD monitors– reducing the PC footprint significantly near the gauging tables. They then installed proprietary cards and/or USB cables for the gauge/sensor software, and loaded operating systems and antivirus. Deployment of each unit is fast and easy, and by keeping a spare ZPC unit handy, they can quickly replace a PC system and have it up and running in minutes.
Transform Automotive has benefited from the ZPC-GX31s in several ways. These units reduced their hardware costs. They are faster to swap in and out. The ZPC units have a much smaller footprint, helping them conserve premium shop floor space. The simpler configuration means there are fewer opportunities for a cable to be disconnected, eliminating downtime. The ZPC keyboard PCs
run for two work shifts in the shop, and have been extremely reliable. The IT department found the perfect solution to save space and money.