Case studies

Great Lakes Metal Stamping

Automation is key to new business

Great Lakes Metal Stamping automated with help from AP&T

Great Lakes Metal Stamping in Alabama, USA, faced a major challenge in the spring of 2012. The company had opportunities to gain new business, but needed to quickly acquire new presses and automation equipment to meet customer needs. The company approached AP&T for a solution to help them meet this challenge.

"Being on a compressed schedule, it was critical to the project success to stay on time, be able to integrate equipment smoothly and work any issues out quickly together," says Keith Hettig, President of Great Lakes Metal Stamping.

Great Lakes Metal Stamping in Cusseta, Alabama manufactures metal parts for customers in several different industries, including the automotive and appliance industries. The challenge faced by the company involved quickly expanding their production capabilities in order to expand its business.

Quick process 

AP&T's expertise within automation caught Keith Hettig's attention. Great Lakes Metal Stamping and AP&T spoke for the first time on March 6, 2012.

"We were able to present an initial proposal two days later, and we were in agreement on all of the details by the end of the month," says Stefan Knudsen, the salesperson responsible for the transaction at AP&T North America.

Cooperation between AP&T and other suppliers resulted in a solution with a total of nine new mechanical presses and equipment from AP&T. The delivery included two Monobar 80s, a shuttle, a control system and a safety system. The equipment is primarily used to manufacture parts for brake master boosters in passenger cars.

"Using our module system as the basis, we could quickly produce a customized solution based on standard components. The equipment was in place at the factory by the first week in August, 2012, and operations have been in full swing since then," says Stefan Knudsen.

There were less than five months from the first project meeting to production start-up – everybody had to work together right from the start. From left to right: Rick Nicholson, project manager, AP&T; Ben Jones, plant engineer, Great Lakes Metal Stamping; Stefan Knudsen, sales manager, AP&T.
Full flexibility: The nine presses can either be used as a single integrated, completely automated production line, or be divided up into two smaller lines. Each press can also be operated manually on its own.
The delivery from AP&T included two Monobar 80s, a shuttle, a control system and a safety system.

Flexible solution

An important aspect of the project was for the system to be flexible and capable of quick reset for new products. The nine new presses can either be used as a single integrated, completely automated production line, or be divided up into two smaller lines. Each press can also be operated manually on its own.

"We obtained the solution we needed within the agreed time. AP&T was an important player on our team, which joined its forces to successfully implement this important project," says Keith Hettig.

Facts about Great Lakes Metal Stamping, Inc.

  • Manufactures pressed metal parts for many industries including the automotive and appliance industries.
  • Has production facilities in Bridgman, Michigan and Cusseta, Alabama in the USA.
  • Works with prototypes and short production series as well as mass production.
  • Offers tooling, pressing, welding and assembly under the same roof. 
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