Manufacturer Increases Customer Loyalty and Orders with Error-Free Bar Coding Solution
Bar Coding Ensures 100 Percent Shipping Accuracy
Twoson Tool Company and its sister division Twoson ESP comprise the Mursix™ Corporation, an integrated, multi-disciplinary enterprise serving the appliance, automotive, marine, electromechanical, and other industries. Along with affiliates Dakota Engineering and TFX Plating Company, Twoson has developed a reputation as a "one-stop solution" for its diverse customer base. Mursix solutions include tool design and construction, punch press and multislide stamping of precious metals, CNC and screw machining, in-machine processing, and sophisticated multi-part assembly.
In business for nearly 60 years, Twoson Tool manufactures 300 million component parts annually for a prestigious list of automakers, appliance companies, medical applications, and aircraft and marine craft manufacturers. That's 250,000 parts every day.
With that many components, precise identification is critical. For one customer, an automotive company, that meant distinguishing two nearly identical parts. Both parts—each for a different type of vehicle—are designed to allow drivers to tilt the steering wheel.
"The dimensions on the parts vary slightly. The customer wanted to make sure that the parts were not shipped incorrectly and accidentally installed in the wrong vehicles," said Roger Richards, general manager, Twoson Tool.
Twoson turned to EMP Technical Group, a systems integrator specializing in data collection, labeling, marking and coding. EMP recommended printing, bar coding and scanning solutions from Zebra Technologies.
Now, Twoson uses a combination of Zebra® QL 420 Plus™ barcode label printers and Motorola® MC9090G scanners. By bar coding each part and the corresponding shipping boxes, Twoson ensures that the correct components always ship in the correct boxes.
Twoson stamps the metal parts at its 50,000-square-foot Muncie, Ind., facility. The parts are then overmolded at the Matthews, Ind., sister company, Twoson ESP. After close inspection, Twoson tags each part with a barcoded label. A team member then uses a fixed scanner to verify that the label is readable.
From there, another individual boxes the parts. He or she scans the part and then the label on the box. If the codes match, the Zebra printer automatically prints out a verification sticker that goes on the outside of the box. If the part and box do not match, the employee sees a red "X" on the scanner's display and knows the part should not go into the box.
Twoson's employees find the solutions simple to learn and use, and the company's IT department appreciates that the Zebra printers and the scanners require minimal IT maintenance.
"The solution is standalone. It's not tied to any back-office software and Twoson's IT department doesn't need to be involved," said Dave Mattingly, Technical Group President, EMP Technical Group.
The verification solution assures both Twoson and its customer that errors will not creep into the process—increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. That confidence has led the customer to award the company with additional manufacturing jobs.
"We have had zero defects," Richards said. "We have a satisfied customer with 100 percent confidence in us."
Next, Twoson plans to roll bar coding solutions out to track incoming raw materials, manage inventory, tag more finished goods, and even apply for financial and human resources functions.
"You name it, it can benefit from bar coding," Richards added.