Case Study: Rehtek Machine
Solution: E2 Shop System
Industry: Machine Shop
Location: Passaic, New Jersey
About The Company
Rehtek Machine, located in Passaic NJ, is a 12-person job shop
supplying the aerospace, electronics and medical industries. Over half of Rehtek’s business is the niche precision machining of small component parts used in pressure sensors designed for controlling and monitoring fluids and gasses. Pressure sensor components have end-user demands because they need to function in extreme environments subject to very high pressures, low and high temperatures and kinetic energy.
Most of the parts manufactured by Rehtek range from .010”- 1.5” in diameter, with exacting tolerances of +/-.0002 with cross drilled features starting at .008 in diameter. Their pressure sensor component parts are machined from a variety of glass-to-metal sealing alloys including stainless steel, Kovar, 52 Alloy, titanium, Inconel and exotic alloys.
When Rehtek Machine Company owners Stephen and Paul Reh were in search of a total software solution for their machine shop, they put ISO 9001 quality certification at the top of the requirements list. Although they initially set out to meet the ISO requirements for a growing number of customers, they soon uncovered deep insights into better understanding, documenting and improving quality and productivity in their business. The E2 Job Shop system provided a solution that not only got their shop ISO certified, but provided a continuous focus on how quality touches every facet of shop operations.
When searching for a software package for their shop, Stephen and Paul scoured the landscape of enterprise-wide job shop solutions and were drawn to Shoptech’s E2 Shop System for its quality module and its ability to integrate with an existing reporting system in place at Rehtek.
“The ISO quality module did more than streamline our documentation and ultimate certification,” says Stephen Ray, who along with his brother Paul, a former mechanical engineer, started Rehtek from scratch in 1990. “It made us look at our processes and helped us put in place a quality management system that’s now part of our culture.”
Reh went on to cite how the tentacles of the E2 quality module are far reaching into other facets of the company’s operations. E2 closes the loop for us in terms of traceability,” he says. “It gives us total process, document and data control. No longer are there phantom documents on the shop floor. All internal documentation is incorporated into the job as needed, External documents such as blueprints, specs, material certifications, and pictures are easily attached at any point during the process, keeping communication with the customer current and organized.”
“Every job shop owner these days has to be sure he’s doing more than meeting customer specs,” says Reh. “We need to exceed the expectations of our customers in this type of competitive market and demonstrate our ability to think outside of the part,” which is evident in their use of thermal-formed packaging for finished product. We are doing more than machining a part to spec; we are building a brand.”
An SAP Crystal Reports user, Rehtek did not want to upend its legacy reporting system when implementing its new software package. E2 utilizes technology from SAP Crystal Reports, Intuit Quickbooks and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 for seamless integration into its core solution. Rehtek drew from – then customized their own reports – from the more than 200 report templates available in E2.
“A business our size cannot afford a disruption when implementing a new software platform,” says Reh. “So rather than having a series of disparate spreadsheets, I needed a total package to free me up to work on the business rather than in the business.” From estimates to invoicing, E2 brought all of Rehtek’s accounting functions into one module for an integrated management tool.
Results & Benefits-ISO made easy, ISO made fast
Beyond meeting Rehtek’s accounting and reporting needs, E2’s quality module fit hand in glove with the shop’s focus on quality. The Rapid Documentation System (RDS) component of E2 Shop System Quality Module was embraced by employees and Rehtek’s third-party certification registrars. Formatting is done automatically so time is saved and errors are minimized with drag-and-drop ease.
“Our ISO registrars loved it early on, and our whole team has come to depend on it. In less than ten seconds, we’ve got any ISO quality record on the screen.” ISO 9001:2008 quality standards are built into Shoptech’s E2 solution. The RDS component of E2 Shop System Quality Module speeds ISO training and facilitates job shop compliance with ISO9001:2008, ISO13485, and AS9100 certification audits. E2’s ISO quality module covers everything from document control, nonconformances, recommended corrective actions, employee training, and work center/tooling maintenance.
“Every job shop should have quality as its primary focus, but in our business, when you’re dealing with glass-to-metal seals, quality takes on a whole new dimension,” says Reh. Rehtek specializes in parts using live front-, cross- and end-working tools. The shop's ‘go to’ machines are the Star SR20R II's multi-task CNC Swiss and a hybrid Swistek multi-task machine, producing pressure sensor parts such as high-voltage contacts, connector pins, electrodes, feedthrough assemblies, glass metal headers and a variety of hermetic seal components.
Because quality requirements such as finish, edges, concentricity, and cosmetics are important to Rehtek’s customers, these requirements – measured and inspected using state-of-the-art video metrology – form the foundation of the shop’s enduring focus on quality.
Where Quality and Communications Converge
E2 facilitates process improvement through a documentation system that fosters contributions from employees along the entire workflow. “Being recognized for their observations and actions adds a tremendous amount of value to the process and the culture of quality,” cites Reh. “The enthusiasm can be contagious and very rewarding.”
In addition to ISO 9001 certification, Rehtek uses E2’s feedback and corrective action report function within the Quality Module to track any and all positive and negative aspects of a job, and automatically shares those reports throughout the entire company to drive improvement. Outside the shop, any information – quotes, tracking production, scheduling, etc. – is easily communicated with the customer using E2 Webview, enabling them to monitor job status directly over the internet.
ISO 9001 certificates of compliance are automatically generated in the shipment, segmenting out multiple shipping addresses, partial shipments and back orders. E2’s auto billing assures purchase orders, invoice numbers and packing list numbers all line up. Customers are notified of shipments automatically via e-mail.
“E2 enables us to harness the shop floor improvements all along the way. Productivity gains cannot come at the expense of quality. In one keystroke, we can track improvement, and have it printed out on the shop router. We redline every customer print for improvement and clarification and it’s attached to the router so when we make it again, we’re onto the next improvement.” Reh cites how the E2 Quality Module helped the company establish a new raw material color-coding system to speed processes and ensure raw material traceability.
Like many job shops its size, Rehtek also places a premium on communications to improve productivity and improve profitability. “Quality for us is not just corrective but any improvement action and communicating that throughout the entire shop. How have we made it better? We encourage our employees to ‘think outside the part,’ “ says Reh. E2 facilitates enhanced communications and nurtures quality improvements both within and outside the shop.
“Everyone from the estimator and machine operator to our accountant has clear insights into making the process better. When we make an improvement on the shop floor, it’s documented and used going forward.”
Since implementing the E2 Shop System at Rehtek, owners Steve and Paul Reh have a productivity tool with quality and efficiency at its core.