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Ontario Centre of Innovation
Increasing productivity from design to shop floor

Success Stories

Increasing productivity from design to shop floor

Strategically located in Wallaceburg, Ont., near a cluster of major automotive industry facilities, AarKel Tool & Die focuses exclusively on tool and die making for the auto parts manufacturing industry.

To remain competitive, AarKel needed to invest in software that would optimize shop floor data. This technology helped improve productivity for both the design department and on the manufacturing shop floor.

With support from the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP), the company received support to adopt new software and hardware that is helping them accomplish their goals and remain competitive in the marketplace.

“It took a lot of time, effort, and resources, and ASCIP was there to help us meet our needs and pursue this opportunity,” says Larry Delaey, President and CEO of AarKel. “It really helped us make that challenging move from a plan to a reality.”

Implementation of the software quickly started yielding benefits for the company, as it now sees less need for re-work and employees are more adept and productive, with better uptime on equipment.

“The new software eliminated steps in our process, from engineering to use of the machines,” says Delaey. “We can release just one type of file that all of our machines can use. Now, it’s seamless, clean data going to the shop floor.”

As a result of this solution, machining, drilling, and other types of the business are more straightforward than ever, leading to user-friendly data, Delaey adds. “We can now focus on training our employees to streamline processes so that we’re all using one software and not translating the data so many times.”

The process improvements have led to other benefits, including an increase in sales and significant job creation.

“Currently, there are around 180 AarKel employees. By bringing in more work as a result of the ASCIP project, we’ve grown by about 20 employees over the course of the project,” Delaey says. “Business and industry are doing well, it really allowed us to bring in more sales, which allowed us to hire more employees.

“We are continuing to grow, we’re looking at additional equipment, and in the next year or two, we’re hoping to grow to over 200 employees.”

Return on Innovation

  • Created /retained 155 jobs
  • 2 new customers
  • Incremental sales in Canada: $100,000
  • Incremental international sales: $4,000,000