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Expert live Q&A: Value of Engineered Solutions

Welcome to the Value of Engineered Solutions question and answer session. 

Taking viewer questions in this session is Mark Heverly, our Manager of Engineering and Project Management at Atlas Copco. Mark begins his Q&A by describing the Application Center (also commonly known as the APC) in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where engineered solutions in North America are developed. The APC is geared toward custom solutions in software and assembly to meet a facility’s specific application demand. We can innovate solutions that are simple or quite complex, and often they come in the form of hand tools, software, torque arms, special machinery, and more. 

Mark then goes on to explain the high-performance teams that collaborate to make a custom solution come to life. There’s the Project Management team, which remains the customer’s point of contact throughout the project lifecycle. A fully integrated workshop is assigned to assemble a solution, while an Engineering and Software teamwork to ensure requirements are met. The Quality team is an independent advocate for safety, ergonomics, and quality throughout the project lifecycle. Mark explains that Atlas Copco has five Application Centers strategically located throughout the world to provide custom solutions to customers no matter where they are. There’s an APC in the U.S., Brazil, India, China, and Germany. 

When a question is asked about the values of our Project Managers, Mark explains that they are the single point of contact for customers, and they manage all phases of the project. They’re in charge of the collaboration between the other teams assigned to custom solutions. Throughout the project, ensuring that the project is meeting customer requirements is made easy by using Workfront, a client-based software that houses the project schedules, financial information. Workfront is task-oriented, and the project must pass a series of ‘quality gates’ before being able to pass onto the next task. Through Workfront, we can export this information to an Excel sheet for our customers. 

Following a question about lead-times, Mark says that it depends on the complexity of the project, but the range is typically between 8-20 weeks. The Application Center additionally offers in-house engineering that takes care of software, controls, and mechanics. We source local manufacturing components within a 50-mile radius of Auburn Hills, Michigan. When asked about shipment and delivery, Mark explains that the APC supports after-delivery, through installation. All documentation, including mechanical and 3D drawings, validation sheets, additional information, etc., is given to the customer five days before shipment. The warranty for custom solutions from the APC is two years from the date we ship the solution.