Domestic Fastener & Forge Inc (DFFI) photo using Zontec's Synergy 1000 SPC Software.

This is a photo of an operator at Domestic Fastener & Forge Inc (DFFI) using the Synergy 1000 SPC software.

Domestic Fastener & Forge, Inc. (DFFI) began by reworking excess inventory and producing hard to find specials into usable customer stock. DFFI found their niche by producing short run specials and standard products to fill inventory shortages or low annual usages. Its primary focus remains as a vendor that can solve its customers’ fastener needs as a supplier of cold headed, hot headed, and CNC short run specials. “Our company is known for our ability to execute short production runs of fasteners which can be anything from 500 to 25,000 pieces. Our focus is the product types of hex head cap screws, socket cap screws, and 12-point screws. We also differentiate ourselves by being able to work in a variety of materials – alloy steels, stainless steels, and exotic superalloy steels.” said Brian Brooks, VP of Operations for DFFI.

“Synergy has really become a selling point for us in our customer conversations. We have really streamlined our process. We are more proactive in our decision-making. The software is more operator friendly than how we performed SPC in the past.”

— Brian Brooks, VP of Operations for DFFI

“When we decided to implement Synergy, we had a requirement in our contract with the government to implement Statistical Process Control (SPC) software,” said Brooks. “We always knew that performing SPC by hand was inefficient but calculating data on a short run often took longer than the manufacturing process.”

Previously, when DFFI was capturing the data by hand and plotting points, there were no opportunities to make any adjustments during the production process. “Using the Synergy SPC software is a lot more user friendly, because you can run SPC in real-time. Now if anything goes out-of-specification, I get an email notification at my desk instead of having to physically be on the shop floor. In the past, we wouldn’t know if we were trending or not. Implementing Synergy saves us about 2 man-hours a day.”

“We also liked the fact that if we decide to upgrade all our data banks and data tables will roll right into the next generation product.” Zontec’s 100% Investment Protection Program guarantees that you will receive full credit for your purchase if you upgrade to the next generation of the product.

— Brian Brooks, VP of Operations for DFFI

According to Brooks, Synergy’s flexibility and the diversity of hardware platforms that Synergy runs on were critical selling points. “We selected Synergy because of its usability, because it was cost-effective, and because of Zontec’s 100% Investment Protection Program,” said Brooks. “We also liked the fact that if we decide to upgrade all our data banks and data tables will roll right into the next generation product.” Zontec’s 100% Investment Protection Program guarantees that you will receive full credit for your purchase if you upgrade to the next generation of the product. “Another deciding factor was the ability for the Synergy product to be customized to fit our unique needs. After we purchased Synergy we were able to run it on the hardware that fit our business.” said Brooks.”This was not the case with all the vendors we evaluated.”

Brooks says that using Synergy has reduced the amount of paperwork they are performing. “We’re more aware of our product tolerances and any control trends occurring,” said Brooks. “We like the fact that you can simplify the process by putting a visual aide (the software) in front of the operator. The Stoplight feature tells the operator if you are out of control or out of specification,” said Brooks. Brooks says that by using Synergy, DFFI is in a more proactive position versus being in the reactive position of the past. Previously, run charts didn’t get reviewed until after the job was completed. Occasionally they wouldn’t catch any out of specifications until the next in-process inspection or even the final inspection; in that case they would have to perform a 100% sort or an expanded sampling.

According to Brooks, Synergy really shines when it comes to customer audits. For the military DFFI must be certified every two years. Now, they provide SPC on all commercial and government jobs. ”Synergy has really become a selling point for us in our customer conversations,” said Brooks. “We have really streamlined our process. We are more proactive in our decision-making. The software is more operator friendly than how we performed SPC in the past.”

Executive Summary

Customer

Domestic Fastener & Forge, Inc. (DFFI) began operations in 1992 by reworking excess inventory into usable customer stock. The quality of craftsmanship established DFFI with their customer base and evolved their operations into a full manufacturing facility. DFFI found their manufacturing niche by producing short run specials and standard products to fill inventory shortages or low annual usages. Its primary focus remains as a vendor that can solve its customers’ fastener needs as a supplier of cold headed, hot headed, and CNC short run specials.

Challenges

  • Collecting all the data by hand
  • SPC customer requirement

Solution

  • Zontec’s Synergy 1000™

Results

  • Meeting customer requirement
  • SPC in real-time during all manufacturing runs
  • Saving 2 man-hours a day
  • Seamless upgrade path

Quote

“Using Synergy is a lot more user friendly, because you can run SPC in real-time. Now if anything goes out-of-specification, I get an email notification at my desk instead of having to physically be on the shop floor. In the past, we wouldn’t know if we were trending or not. Implementing Synergy saves us about 2 man-hours a day.”

– Brian Brooks, VP of Operations for DFFI

Download the full case study here 
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