Atlantic Casting and Engineering (ACE), a privately held company, was established in 1937 by a group of engineers from Curtis-Wright Aeronautical Corp. Their plaster mold casting process supplied customers with non-ferrous castings of close tolerances, high integrity, intricate detail and smooth surfaces. The company utilizes the latest technology in the shell investment process, guarantees that all its aluminum alloy suppliers conform to the United States Conflict Minerals Law and in addition has a separate division that specializes in CNC machining and other value-added operations to supply completely finished parts. The company, which sells internationally, holds numerous certifications and awards.
Brian McGrady, the President of Atlantic Casting & Engineering Corp (ACE), had two objectives: complete the development of new job descriptions and resolve some issues on the factory floor that were hampering output.
Mr. McGrady turned to New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc, (NJMEP). He explained, “NJMEP previously assisted us with a number of projects including ADA compliant job descriptions and with process improvements in our plant so we naturally reached out to them as we have a long successful history working together.”
NJMEP brought in two specialists to assist Mr. McGrady in meeting his objectives. First Job Descriptions were addressed. NJMEP and its resource met with ACE Principals to discuss organizational structure, reporting line, job titles, physical requirements, work environment, interview managers/supervisors or employees to determine job duties. Once information was gathered draft job descriptions were developed then reviewed with management. Once finalized ACE Principals received both hard and electronic copies of the descriptions.
Over the course of six months the factory concerns were addressed by assessing output problems. This assessment resulted in identifying capacity, flow and quality as the issues. To rectify these problems a plan was developed using various lean tools, techniques and training to improve the situation.
Upon completing the work on job descriptions and factory output ACE achieved its objectives.
The new job descriptions, which meet ADA requirements, act as organizational development tools, assist in recruiting, help with orientation of new hires and meet a requirement when going for Quality Certifications.
The plant work improved capacity, flow and quality. It also reduced part shortages while greatly enhancing inventory management.
When reporting the impact of the project work done with NJMEP to NIST, Mr. McGrady cited:
- Increased sales of $3,400,000
- Hired 10 new employees
- Achieved a cost savings of $350,000
- Invested $65,000 in new products /processes and $25,000 in its workforce
He added, “NJMEP has been extremely helpful in the growth of our company over the years.”