WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Sheet metal company AMX Contracting Corp. had a dilemma. Last fall, officials had signed a number of new contracts.



Photo by Robert W. Jones.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Sheet metal company AMX Contracting Corp. had a dilemma. Last fall, officials had signed a substantial number of new contracts, all with very aggressive schedules.

Tony DiGuglielmo, AMX's president, said he knew that he needed to quickly expand his fabrication capacity.

"We needed to get this accomplished in short order," DiGuglielmo recalled. "We needed to find a company that understood the hvac contracting business and had a proven product line in order to meet our tight deadlines."

DiGuglielmo contacted several plasma-cutting-system software manufacturers. He told them he was looking for something that would allow the company to meet its increased needs for fabrication capacity. After conferences with representatives from several different firms, he picked EastCoast CAD/CAM.

"We became convinced that a partnership with EastCoast CAD/CAM would be the right choice," he said.

EastCoast officials told DiGuglielmo that their system would meet the company's needs.

"When we put our proposal together for AMX we specifically addressed AMX's fast-track scheduling requirements, need for operator training, financial limitations, logistical considerations, shop-flow and all other issues that a contractor takes into consideration when making critical business decisions of this kind," said David Derocher, EastCoast's president.

Jason Darling runs a cutting machine. Photo by Robert W. Jones.

'Careful analysis'

"After careful analysis by our own industry experts, we recommended that AMX subscribe to a plan that included multiple, state-of-the-art, Windows XP downloading EC-CAD stations, an EC-1000D double plasma-cutting table, and an EC-1000SA, combo acoustic lining and plasma-cutting system. This seemed to be just what AMX needed to achieve the leap in capacity and productivity desired."

DiGuglielmo wasn't so sure. He was concerned about whether his company could afford this all-inclusive plan and whether EastCoast could deliver on its proposal. EastCoast officials told DiGuglielmo their system and the company was up the challenge.

"The key to providing computer-aided machine tools that maximize productivity and return on investment is the brain of the machine, its software package," Derocher said. "For this reason we¿ (explained) that when AMX, or any customer for that matter, buys a computer-aided machine it is critical that the machine is capable of providing a homogenous product, one that offers single source responsibility for the total operating package, machine and software.

"Most users don't realize that the machine they just purchased is driven by software and controls acquired from outside sources." Derocher said. "Our single-sourcing of machine, operating package and software helps ensure timely and direct support. We believe that purchasing a computer-aided machine without written assurance that the manufacturer will be able to fully support another vendor's software is like buying a new automobile without an engine warranty."

DiGuglielmo was convinced. He gave EastCoast the go-ahead order in November 2002.

By early January 2003, AMX was in full production using its new downloading EC-CAD in combination with its new EC-Plasma and EC-Acoustic Lining cutting systems. "No one thought we would be up and running so quickly and smoothly," DiGuglielmo said. "Who would have thought we would have an increase in production and productivity that would give us this kind of return on investment? We were producing CAD drawings and downloading directly to our new cutting machinery in a matter of weeks, not months."

DiGuglielmo said he feels AMX have been able to keep commitments to their customers and, for the foreseeable future, have a significant competitive advantage over the competition in southern New York state.

"We have become a force to be reckoned with in the hvac contracting business in this area," he said.

(This article was supplied by EastCoast CAD/CAM.)