Ashley Ward's Manufacturing Process
Every project starts with the customer need. Customers submit engineering drawings, specifications, and overall project requirements to the Ashley Ward sales team for initial review. The sales team will then qualify the project as a fit for the organization or determine that it is not a fit. This determination is based on Ashley Ward’s overall capability to furnish the component, available machine time, volume of product needed and so on. If the part is deemed to be a fit, the information is passed on to engineering.
The second part of the Ashley Ward process involves submitting the part to our engineers who determine how, when, and where the part will be produced. After reviewing the print, they decide which machine(s) will be needed to produce the part in the most efficient manner. After machine selection, a cycle time is produced. Cycle times are estimation of the time it takes to complete a machining operation. Cycle times vary based on machine selection, material, and tooling. Engineering also determines what specific tooling is needed for the job and how much this will cost. Once the cycle times are finalized, the information is turned over to sales, who works up the pricing. Pricing is determined by the details the customer has provided in regards to annual usage, lot quantities, etc. Once this information and data is organized, the quote is sent to upper level management where it is approved for submission to the customer. This process is thorough and can take up to one week to complete.
After the customer reviews the quote and decides to release a purchase order, production scheduling begins. In this stage, we first perform a thorough engineering and production review to make sure nothing was overlooked during the quoting stage. Different members of the Ashley Ward team are included in this review. When the OK is given internally, the planner reviews the order, customer due dates, as well as current machine time and enters the job and operations into the system. This entry triggers purchasing to order material and tool engineers to move forward with purchasing job specific tooling. A formal order acknowledgment is generated and sent to the customer.
Machine setup must take place before samples and full production can start. Once the specific tooling for the project has arrived at our facility, our machine operators and engineers begin to install tools and make necessary adjustments. Ashley Ward is a high volume production shop. We set up our equipment to run large quantities of parts to eliminate costly and timely changeovers. After set-up, samples are furnished for the approval of our quality team. Samples are approved and sent to the customer for their approval. Samples are often mandatory and can require dimensional inspection documentation and material certification.
Once the samples have been approved by the customer, we are able to begin producing parts in large quantities that are necessary to fulfill shipment deadlines. In addition to quality checks performed at the machine, every production run is checked for quality before being packed and shipped to the customer.