OEE Case Study | Samtec: Hi-Tech Manufacturer

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For more than 40 years, Samtec has been a leading global provider for computer industrial connector technologies. They manufacture interconnects including cables, board-to-board connectors, fiber optics, and other components. In addition, Samtec caters to their customers by offering tailored solutions to address each customer’s unique needs. Once engineering is done, Samtec offers their customer a quick-turnaround prototype to test, distinguishing them from their competitors.


Manual Data Collection Gets an Upgrade

Prior to implementing the Sepasoft® OEE Downtime Module as a solution, continuous improvement was entirely dependent on manual data collection and user input. Data collection was therefore unreliable and askew, hidden from the process engineers and the manufacturing floor.

Built on the Ignition® platform, the Sepasoft® OEE Downtime Module helps Samtec maximize efficiency thereby transforming their entire manufacturing data process, from a time consuming manual effort to a more robust automated process. Samtec needs constant visibility of process variables in real-time, as well as monitoring for key quality and process indicators like chemical compositions, temperature, and line or plating speeds. Samtec was able to harness their raw data in context, using it to drive continuous improvement, resulting in a more efficient production environment with remarkable cost savings.

One key element Samtec capitalized on was tracking the consumption rate of gold during their plating process. The Sepasoft® OEE Downtime Module helped eliminate waste and ultimately realized a substantial cost savings benefit solely from managing their gold plating process. Furthermore, efficiency made significant gains for Samtec due to their ability to monitor their production in realtime, a big upgrade from their prior monthly manual tracking process.  

Reliable Integration to Implement a Robust OEE Solution

To ensure reliable integration, Samtec initiated the project with a systems integrator. Following that initial phase, internal engineers who had Prior to implementing the Sepasoft® OEE Downtime Module as a solution, continuous improvement was entirely dependent on manual data collection and user input. Data collection was therefore unreliable and askew, hidden from the process engineers and the manufacturing floor.completed hands-on training and received design consultation support filled out their tailored solution. Sepasoft® guided Samtec every step of the way to ensure their solution was ready to hit the ground running.

Since completing implementation a handful of years ago, Sepasoft® continues to provide Samtec with Design Consultation and Tech Support solutions as needed. Support is simply a phone call away, no long wait times, no pre-recorded messages, and after hours availability for those issues that simply cannot wait.

Customizing our MES Modules to Fit Samtec’s Business Structure

One of the ultimate successes realized during this OEE implementation was the dexterity and flexibility to customize the MES software to accommodate Samtec’s business needs. Sepasoft® takes pride in their ability to provide a basis for customization regardless of what the current landscape may be. By offering features, such as custom scripting, Samtec can capitalize on flexibility to add to an existing manufacturing process and help enhance the production environment moving forward.

Samtec already had their manufacturing systems in place, machines in operation, and people trained to utilize their current structure. By introducing Ignition® and the Sepasoft® OEE Downtime Module featureset, they were able to connect, enhance, and provide deep value for continuous improvement.

“It [data collection project] quickly turned into using the MES modules from Sepasoft® due to the easy integration with the Ignition® platform.”

―Oscar Salcedo, Global Systems Integration Manager

Samtec OEE Case Study Transcript

Oscar Salcedo (0:00)
Samtec was established in 1976. We have manufacturing locations all over the world.

Jeff Matheny (0:12)
We specialize in interconnects for industrial computer components, cables and board-to-board connectors, some circuit board connectors and getting into fiber optics and some new technologies that are leading industry and high-speed data transfer.

Jordan Rajchel (0:29)
We’ll work directly with customers to engineer products specifically for their needs and then give them a free sample of that product and we can do that very quickly. So that’s kind of what differentiates us from other connector companies out there and it’s what we really pride ourselves on.

Oscar Salcedo (0:48)
Analyzing all of our processes was a very manual process itself. We were not doing data collection. We were not exposing the data to the process engineers or the people on the floor.

Jeff Matheny (1:03)
Having visibility of those process variables in real-time, seeing that data, seeing the temperature of our baths, chemical compositions of the baths, the speed of the line, the rate of our plating from our rectifiers is very important to make quick informed decisions for manufacturing. So we were looking for a system that could connect to our devices on the floor and provide that data to us real-time and also provide some historical data to review the manufacturing process after the fact and make improvements.

Oscar Salcedo (1:36)
It quickly turned into using the MES modules from Sepasoft due to the easy integration with the Ignition platform.

Jeff Matheny (1:45)
PRISM is the acronym we came up for our Ignition platform. It stands for process reporting and integrated systems management. So the process reporting is us being able to see that process data both real-time and historically. The integrated systems management is where we’re taking the Ignition platform and integrating into our ERP module to our quality system, to our ITS which is the inspection tracking system, our quality data and we’re pulling all that together and allowing the operator to see it in one place.

Jordan Rajchel (2:21)
Certified integrators came in and helped us and we implemented one machine first and we started with that machine, got it as solid as we could. We built it in a way that could be scaled out to multiple machines.

Jeff Matheny (2:34)
We were able to quickly identify opportunities that we could improve with real-time data. Upon doing that, we were able to show other opportunities for Ignition to not only manage process-driven data but OEE and efficiency data. The managers in stamping just could not live without the Ignition platform over there right now to manage their information.

Oscar Salcedo (2:59)
The main thing for us was having that internal champion that would follow through on a day-to-day basis on making sure that the data was accurate, that the operators were using the system as they should and communicating any potential issues to us so we can resolve them. You gain mindshare, you gain trust from the lowest level on the floor, and that was a huge, huge benefit for us.

Jordan Rajchel (3:29)
Tech support has been awesome from the time that we’ve used the [OEE] module and used Ignition, always very responsive and it allows us to continue to focus on providing value to the company rather than getting down in the weeds. If I could be on the phone with Sepasoft right now and be talking to Keith in two minutes and he’s walking me through trying to understand the processes we go through and get us a solution as quickly as possible.

Jeff Matheny (3:55)
Our gold saving numbers have been our biggest financial benefit from this. Raw materials are a big cost for us. We plate with gold. So being able to monitor in real-time our consumption rate of gold has been big for us; now where we used to wait till the end of the month and balance our gold numbers. Now we can see that on a daily basis by line, by part number, and by operator, so we can quickly identify areas that we’re using too much gold.

Jordan Rajchel (4:24)
Samtec picked Ignition and Sepasoft because of its flexibility and its ability to quickly connect to machines and to get us the real-time data very quickly to be able to throw up dashboards and all these things just very rapidly.

Jeff Matheny (4:40)
As far as OEE, the real-time monitoring on our stamping presses has been huge. We’ve been able to see which dies are running efficiently. If an operator decides to turn the rate down on a die and run it slowly, that’s a big opportunity for us to go and find out why. If there’s a problem we need to address, that’s not allowing him to run at rate.

Jordan Rajchel (5:01)
We have the ability to pretty much integrate with any system that we have already built, and to build alongside those things, just like the Auto-Tech dashboard, that’s completely based on data from one of our Samtec-built systems, but it shows it in a different way that they never did before.

Jeff Matheny (5:19)
From the minute we implemented the Ignition platform we started to see additional opportunities for the software. We started out in plating as a process monitoring system and quickly learned that it had value in OEE.

We’re always looking for new opportunities to be able to get data real-time and get reports out and provide the engineers what they need to do to advance the manufacturing production process and our products going forward. So, as we advance into the glass core technology, microelectronics, cables, and backplane connectors, there are all kinds of opportunities for us to use PRISM out of the gate, to collect that data, and to help define our manufacturing processes and perfect as we go.