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Encompix Manufacturing Software and B&K Profiled in InMFG Magazine

According to Thomas R Cutler, author of the feature article, in the November issue of InMFG Magazine ( focuses on Encompix ETO (Engine...

According to Thomas R Cutler, author of the feature article, in the November issue of InMFG Magazine ( focuses on Encompix ETO (Engineer-to-Order) ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Manufacturing Software and B&K Corporation.

Since 1952, B&K Corp. has been designing and building assembly and test systems for the automotive industry. Six years ago the firm was purchased by a German organization, IWKA, which is an international network of nearly one hundred mid-sized companies. B&K is currently part of the IWKA Powertrain Manufacturing Group and customers include Harley Davidson, Nissan, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, Allison Transmissions and many other automotive top tier clients. B&K does not manufacture simple products; in fact the products are quite complex, taking six months to a year to produce. The price tag for complete system ranges from half a million dollars to $2.5 million. Recently, the company received its largest order, worth over $20 million. The Saginaw, Michigan facility manufactures the test equipment, and the Fenton, Michigan location builds the assembly equipment and completes the overall system.

B&K CEO, Scott Orendach, noted the increasing challenge of global competition, "The marketplace has become far more global. We are dealing with competitors in Europe and in Asia. Our customers are looking for suppliers that have common manufacturing practices all around the globe, so we are now facing some pretty serious competition. We have currencies working both for us and against us. All of these things put pressure on B&K to address its cost issues, and standardize and modularize its products."

B&K identified that the new system allowed the business to move towards standardization. B&K was especially pleased with "The Item Master" in the new ERP systemHealth Fitness Articles, "It plays a central role in this initiative. We used to have a cultural problem with our engineering department towards standardization and modular design. We also needed to control our raw material costs and purchasing; we can now look at historical pricing so that we know when we're are getting the best buy."

Encompix has filled the manufacturing software requirements of Engineer-to-Order companies since 1992. The company name reflects the commitment to developing business application solutions that encompass the complex areas of project-based and job-based manufacturing.

Roger Meloy

Article Tags: Manufacturing Software, Inmfg Magazine

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