With the increasing demand to deliver quality products at an accelerated pace, contract manufacturers are often looking for ways to increase their productivity. Serving a robust customer base since 1966, PEKO Precision Products, Inc is a contract manufacturing company that specializes in designing and manufacturing equipment and machinery. We sat down with Ian Sherman, Quality Control Manager, to find out how our portable metrology services and solutions provide them with the precision and flexibility they need, and that their customers depend on.
Kyle Pheland(KP): Ian, can you tell me a little about PEKO Precision Products and the services you offer?
Ian Sherman (IS): PEKO is a full-service contract manufacturer that specializes in building machinery, equipment and instrumentation. Our vertically integrated solution drives the economic success for the premier OEMs we work with to ensure their equipment is produced, tested and shipped. Our customers rely on us to deliver machinery that exceeds their expectations, which means that our quality control needs to be accurate and repeatable, utilizing the latest technological advancements. We have decades of experience in manufacturing for the medical and defense industries, which has reallyhelped us develop our expertise to perfect operations throughout our entire Quality department.
KP: What makes PEKO different from other full-service manufacturers?
IS: PEKO’s differentiatorshines through in our New Product Introduction (NPI) on-boarding process. More often than not, customers come to PEKO with great new technology, but their hands are tied when it comes to manufacturability. Our dedicated NPI engineers are fully prepared to make sure all proper steps are taken while they work diligently to vet our customer’s new technology, ensuring all documentation is up to par to ensure the success of manufacturing by embarking on prototype designs. Through this process, we finish manufacturing packages, work on cost-down options and everything else that is involved with bringing a customer’s print into a successful production stage.
KP: Tell me a bit about the parts you manufacture. What do the specifications need to look like in terms of accuracy for you to be successful?
IS: At PEKO, we don’t have a “typical” part. The variety of industries that we serve combined with the wide range of manufacturing capabilities that we offer culminate in a diverse population of parts with wildly different requirement sets and tolerancing schema. As such, our needs from a metrological perspective range from the inspection of large sheet metal fabrications with generous tolerances and assemblies to small, intricate machined components that push the state of the art in terms of the limits of CMM accuracy.
KP: During yourdecision process, what attracted you to Hexagon solutions? What made the product or service stand out?
IS: We have an excellent relationship with Hexagon that has spanned many years and as such we always consider Hexagon when the need arises to expand our capabilities. In terms of our recent acquisition of a laser tracker and Absolute Arm, there was an immediate need to check very large, feature-dense machined items with rather tight tolerances. The integration of a laser tracker and portable measuring arm was the best solution for the sake of overcoming item size, accuracy, line of sight and reach challenges.
After considering various offerings from Hexagon and its competitors, Hexagon emerged as the winner for a number of reasons, including the history of effective and timely training and support, the fact that the laser tracker would integrate nicely with the portable measuring arms we already possessed, the universality of the PC-DMIS metrology software platform between devices, and the innovative nature of the ToolLOK system that was ideally suited for our application.
KP: How quickly did your team pick up on the products?
IS: The training provided was effective and tailored to our specific needs. We were measuring in days with the occasional call to tech support. The option to use PC-DMIS as a single software platform for all of our devices really helps with the rate of integration of new technology.
KP: What does quality mean to you?
IS: That’s an interesting question with many angles of approach. In the most general sense, superior quality is integral to customer satisfaction and themutual success of PEKO and our partners. However, if I had to pick a single most important facet of quality in terms of its meaning to me personally, I would have to go with the notion of its special criticality to the regulated industrieswe serve. In the medical device and defense sectors, compliance with specifications can be a matter of life and death. A good Quality Control department will always have this in mind, be uncompromising in its integrity, and help to lead inthe propagation of these principles throughout the organization.
KP: What’s next for PEKO?
IS: Currently, PEKO is in a growth period and has recently acquired a seventh building for our operation. As we continue this expansion, we are looking for new, high-tech industry leaders to partner with. Along with our expanding footprint, we’re also growing our workforce to sustain our overall company growth. We continue to seekout hard-working intelligent people with diverse work experiences and educational backgrounds.
As of 2019, one of PEKO’s newest initiatives is to implement sustainable manufacturing practices to promote financial and environmental stability within the PEKO community. This idea is fairly new at PEKO, but we understand our corporate responsibility in moving the company towards more sustainable practices. We are excited to see what new possibilities this initiative opens for our company and employees as we look towards the future.