AESSEAL wins “Best use of Technology” Award

06.08.2003

AESSEAL has won “The Best Use of Technology” section of the National Business Awards 2003 for the North East Region.

AESSEAL, who designs mechanical seals for rotating equipment, was given the award for its innovative, web based, product selection technology.

A typical AESSEAL product could have over 100 million different variations of components, materials and sizes. With so many options it was becoming difficult for AESSEAL to provide customer service for quotes and as a result it was faced with a dilemma. They had to either employ hundreds of engineers and designers or develop a system to reduce the administrative burden.

Director of Engineering, Alan Roddis said ”We wanted a platform available to anyone, at any time which makes time zones irrelevant and maximises business hours. The obvious platform for this was the internet. The problem was then to develop a system that worked effectively and efficiently on this platform for our requirements.

“Firstly we looked to see if we could purchase a system from an existing supplier but we could not find anything that matched the brief. So we had to develop our own solution, totally in house.”

Their answer was to produce a Patent Pending, internet based tool, which allows staff or customers to generate assembly drawings of its products as well as check prices and availability from anywhere in the world.

This unique development has saved thousands of man-hours and helped improve AESSEAL’s service to customers. It has also removed the possibility of making errors because it is fully automated.

In the last three months around 1500 drawings have been generated on the system which would have traditionally taken 8 hours each to produce. This has now been reduced to 4 minutes each.

AESSEAL are now on target to produce 6000 drawings this year and it is estimated they will save around £2 Million in production costs.

Chief Executive, Gordon Bridge said “The company has grown at an average rate of 20% year on year, over the last 20 years. AESSEAL is now a £33m operation which plans to grow a further 15% in 2003. It can only achieve and sustain such growth if it consistently looks inwardly at its processes, to make them more efficient and reduce non-value adding activities.

"This unique technology has allowed the company to expand at such a rate whilst maximising staff efficiency. If this technology had not been developed, then the size of the engineering function would be at least five times its current level. This would have made the company slow and uncompetitive."

AESSEAL have now been asked to apply for the National final where winners will be announced in November.

Source: AESSEAL plc.

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