Ackley Metal Products is a medical products manufacturer located in Santa Ana, California. Once a small tool shop, Ackley Metal Products has grown by developing high end precision machined medical with a team of experienced engineers. Ackley Metal Products has been using a local laser job shop to permanently mark and identify each of the precision machined components but became dissatisfied due to quality and delivery issues.
Alan Ackley, VP Ackley Metal Products Inc., states, “Jimani has been laser marking for us for 4 years. We had heard of them from word of mouth from one of our customers and were very grateful for the suggestion. Our last supplier littered us with late deliveries and an unacceptable scrap rate. Jimani, on the other hand, was quite the opposite with snappy turnaround times and a very high acceptance rate. They are also very easy to deal with when designing new products with their doors wide open with a knowledgeable crew to help. ”
Ackley initially placed a few trial orders with Jimani leading eventually to all of the laser job shop work being sourced to Jimani.
After a few years Ackley received a large contract requiring a lot of laser marking. Jimani worked with them for six months developing marking processes for the different parts and materials eventually marking trial production runs of hundreds of thousands of parts.
One of the issues that came up was a difficult to mark combination of materials. Stainless steel and Peet materials were required to be marked with the same laser. Jimani developed a custom laser configuration to mark both metals using the same optical configuration.
The decision to job shop laser marking versus bringing the work in house and buying the laser equipment hinges on the cost per part ratio compared to the cost of equipment and labor to in source the same work. Another key driver in the decision making process to in source the laser marking is the expertise required to develop particular laser job configurations and applications engineering.
Ackley Metal Products decided that not only was the time right but the right partner was available to guide the in sourcing process – Jimani knew the materials, applications, and technology required to make the transition to bring the work in house.
Ackley says that, “the time did come though where we wanted to bring the jobs in house, which is quite nerve racking when it’s a new process and your supplier does such a good job. The volume was worth the machine investment though and it made business sense. Fortunately for us Jimani builds and sells the same equipment they use on production so the decision was easy. They are very friendly about the switch over and work diligently to get the machine to you, which by the way, was delivered on time as well. They include all the programs they used and settings so the switch over required very little man hours to get productions up and going in our facility. “
“Jimani built the Custom Langolier to the correct specifications and trained the Ackley Metal Products team in the use of fiber laser marking systems. In fact the transition was so smooth that Ackley Metal picked up the laser one afternoon and it was running production parts the next morning.
“The lasers have been with us almost 4 months and has almost paid for itself. It works flawlessly and is very easy to train others on it.”, said Alan Ackley, VP Ackley Metal Products Inc.