Ehrhardt Tool & Machine Company Inc.

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Ehrhardt Tool & Machine Company Inc., is a precision Tool and Die maker located in Granite City, Illinois. Ehrhardt also designs as well as builds special machines and automated equipment based on customer specifications. Ehrhardt produces specialized metal stamping for vending machines and the nuclear fuels industries.


Ehrhardt Tool selected and implemented VIMANA for production monitoring and improvement for 14 machine tools. With over 75 years of manufacturing expertise, Ehrhardt caters to various industries including manufacturers of Electrical Installation Hardware, HVAC Equipment, Appliances, Vending Machines, Automotive, Nuclear Fuels and Medical Equipment.

Baseline Analysis

Ehrhardt used VIMANA Core to determine the baseline performance of a bottle-neck machine in their production line. VIMANA reports gave insight about the current performance of the machine tool for November 2013.

The observations made were:

  • Overall production efficiency for the month was 19%
  • Production efficiency during the 1st shift was 25%
  • Production efficiency during the 2nd shift was 11%
  • The 2nd shift had a low production efficiency compared to the 1st shift

The overall production efficiency of the machine tool was affected because of the low production efficiency during 2nd shift. The observation triggered the plant team to focus on increasing the machine utilization during the 2nd shift.


VIMANA’s increased visibility in to production activities helped the plant team take appropriate actions to improve the production efficiency of the machine tool. These improvement were carried out in December 2013, and included:

  • Appointing a foreman responsible for the 2nd shift
  • Monitor 2nd shift production on a regular basis
  • Focus on increasing the machine utilization

The visibility given by VIMANA on production activities led to an increase in machine tool performance, and the improvement was measurable in January 2014 as follows:

  • 21% overall increase in the performance from the baseline
  • 74% performance improvement from the baseline during 2nd shift


In summary, the improvement was quantified as:

  • Annualized producing hours before improvement = 1145 hours
  • Annualized producing hours after improvement = 1400 hours

Value Impact

  • Increase in annual producing hours = 255 hours (annualized)
  • Annual cost benefit (Increase in revenue) = $19,125 (considering machine hour rate of $75/ hour)

This has been sustained and further improvement in the production efficiency has been achieved in subsequent months as well.


VIMANA is facilitating Ehrhardt in:

  • Quantifying and reducing the loss due to setup
  • Identifying the reasons for Unplanned Downtime (UDT) and finding ways to reduce these periods.