Malthouse Engineering specialise in flame cutting steel profiles. What makes them different from other profilers is that they can flame cut profiles from 5mm up to 500mm. The company has 20 flame cutting machines across their group. All these profiling machines are able to cut with one or multiple heads meaning they can offer one-offs or batch production runs.
Most ‘jobs’ require different operations on raw materials to turn them into finished goods. Establishing what stage a job had reached has always been a manual process. Malthouse Engineering asked the NTAILS team for assistance with creating a more automated process for tracking the location of the job card which accompanies the materials as they move around the workshop.
The format of the STEP programme enabled all participants to benefit in a meaningful way. The associate could apply their knowledge in an industrial environment. Malthouse Engineering benefitted from the NTAILS’ support and the NTAILS team were able to display their skills against the challenges of a complex industrial environment.
The project team suggested adding a unique barcode to each job card. They then researched different barcode readers and found one which could be suitable for the demanding conditions of the workshop. They also researched connectivity options so that barcode readers could be positioned in different places around the engineering shop and the office locations. In addition, the team produced a software prototype to demonstrate working proof of the concept.
The Managing Director, Mr Roy Taylor, was very impressed with the prototype and wanted to continue researching the feasibility of this job card tracking solution. He agreed to take on, Ravinder, a recent computing graduate from the University of Wolverhampton, as an NTAILS graduate placement. Ravinder continued to develop and modify the prototype, adjusting the software for the company’s own server and selecting a barcode suitable for the job cards.
About the Consultant:
Rajiv Dhanjal is an information technology consultant at IT Futures. He has more than twenty five years’ experience in utilising ICT within industry and the SME community. Rajiv currently works on the NTAILS project providing technical advice, guidance and support.
IT Futures is based at the University of Wolverhampton and brings together the expertise of the University’s School of Technology to businesses across the West Midlands Region.
For more information about the NTAILS project and how it can help your business, contact us on 01952 288210 or at