Design-to-cost tool raises dividends for aerial platform maker JLG

JLG Industries is a global manufacturer of design-to-order forklifts and mobile aerial work platforms. No longer relying on complete vertical integration of its design/production process, the McConnellsburg, Pa.-based company sources parts from multiple suppliers for assembly of orders to customer requirements.


"A part will cost least when it’s most closely aligned with the parts supplier’s production process."

—Wayne MacDonald,
senior VP of engineering, JLG Industries

JLG Industries is a global manufacturer of design-to-order forklifts and mobile aerial work platforms. No longer relying on complete vertical integration of its design/production process, the McConnellsburg, Pa.-based company sources parts from multiple suppliers for assembly of orders to customer requirements.

Until recently, when initial designs proved too costly, lengthy back-and-forth iterations with part suppliers were issued to create new part designs and secure supplier quotes that met constraints. That process was eliminated when JLG deployed a design-based enterprise cost management system from aPriori .

“We wanted to avoid a process that was taking much longer than it did when design and manufacturing were in the same building,” says Wayne MacDonald, JLG's senior VP of engineering. “When we weren't happy with a price quote, we'd either have to redesign parts and get new quotes from our supplier, or find a new supplier. It took weeks. By that time the design engineer had moved on and was involved in something else. Now with the aPriori tool, when we're finished with a design, we're finished.”

The aPriori Enterprise Cost Management software determines costs for manufactured parts directly from a CAD model, factoring in material and production costs based on virtual production environment (VPE) models created and stored within the system.

“A part will cost least when it's most closely aligned with the parts supplier's production process,” says MacDonald. “By optimizing design to be in sync with the process, we can achieve the lowest cost.”

JLG also uses the software to review and improve the design for parts that are already in production.

“Better yet is evaluating current part prices and uncovering suppliers' prices that aren't in line with what they should be,” MacDonald says. “It provides you with the information you need to get a better price.”

JLG first implemented the aPriori Enterprise Cost Management system in late 2006. In late 2007, it upgraded to newly released aPriori V5.5 that with more functionality—most significantly, support for sand casting of designed parts. The new version supports a variety of sand casting mold methods and discrete subprocesses, including melting, core making, pouring, cooling/solidification, shake-out, cleaning, finishing, and in-line inspection.

“In small volumes, we tend to use parts that can be fabricated, but as volume grows, casting becomes more economical,” says MacDonald. “Support for sand casting is a big enhancement for us.”

JLG is benefiting from aPriori's system via an accelerated redesign process, and better price quotes from suppliers for existing parts that effectively reduce cost of goods sold. Consequently, meeting customer requirements and profits are both on the upswing.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me