The need for ERP Suites Advisory Practice insight

As one of the world’s leading waterworks manufacturers, Ford Meter Box’s success flows from quality and innovation. Revolutionary patents and ideas mark their long history in the waterworks industry. When new U.S. regulations threatened to disrupt the business, invention would prevail once again.

Waterworks brasses are high-copper, corrosion-resistant alloys. One cost-effective alloy was popular abroad. However, U.S. law demanded a more expensive option. To serve global and domestic distributors alike, Ford Meter Box would need to offer both. Unfortunately, many brass alloys are visually identical. At the risk of U.S. penalty, how could they guarantee the products were never mixed up or misdelivered?

Business challenge

Alloy verification was simple. Using a handheld XRF metal analyzer, Ford Meter Box could determine the exact composition of their brass components. Still, quality control was a manual process and susceptible to human error. Accuracy was the ultimate goal. Having heard about their success with automation, Ford Meter Box turned to ERP Suites Advisory Practice for help.

Digital transformation consultants at the ERP Suites Advisory Practice recommended a twofold approach. First, they built an orchestration to trigger the XRF analyzer automatically and send the data directly to JD Edwards. This enabled operations to match components with the work order on a single screen before moving them on to the factory.

Next, the ERP Suites Advisory Practice tackled reliability. Although the XRF analyzer worked wirelessly, it might lose its connection amid the many machines and interfaces at work in the foundry. Productivity depended on uninterrupted service. They could tether the device to a terminal for stability, but that limited mobility. The solution? Raspberry Pi. Connected to a Pi, the device could go anywhere within reach of a network cable and was sure to trigger every time.

Reducing risk and invigorating sales

“You can’t trigger the XRF automatically,” claimed the device’s manufacturer. Ford Meter Box put their faith in ERP Suites Advisory Practice—and their reputation for orchestration—nonetheless. And it worked. Their hands-free scanning solution guaranteed accuracy, removed manual intervention, and sped up operations in the process.

“Our business was very skeptical that we could use EnterpriseOne 9.2 to meet their automation goals…With our JD Edwards partner, ERP Suites, we said, ‘Challenge accepted.’”
Cheryl Working
JD Edwards System Manager

The Ford Meter Box Company

Environment: JD Edwards 9.2