For the past half century, United Gear and Assembly (UGA) has supplied precision gears, shafts and related assemblies to companies in the automotive, agriculture, forestry, construction, mining, marine and rail industries. UGA has evolved from a family-owned business into a multimillion dollar company.

To streamline its growing business, the company purchased Synergy 2000 statistical process control (SPC) software. Unfortunately, the software was not being fully utilized. This forced UGA to manually collect machine data and plot charts based on that data, creating an excessive amount of paperwork. Equally important, UGA wasn’t able to maximize its machines’ capabilities or improve product life cycles.

“We were collecting all of this data, but not looking at it,” says Douglas Winfrey, director of quality for UGA.

Winfrey knew the software could be a powerful tool for UGA, so he launched a program to reinforce its use throughout the company. “Synergy gave us a way to easily pull up the data and act on what we are seeing,” he says.

Made by Zontec, Synergy 2000 software has significantly reduced paperwork. UGA workers with or without a statistics background can easily create charts on their machines, reducing the number of errors.

Data entry for each product sample can include up to 240 critical characteristics. Winfrey says data entry used to take about 3.5 minutes but now takes less than 30 seconds—saving UGA about 12 man-hours per day.

Synergy helps UGA maximize each machine’s capability through data gathering, charting and analysis on every product produced. Winfrey says the software can find the source of every production problem, whether it is the people, the process or the machine. He also says that, within seconds, UGA can call up a part number on a machine and know what’s going on with the current production run.

“We can determine which machine gives us the least variation and best product,” says Winfrey. “Synergy lets us see inconsistencies and make systematic changes across the entire process. We can see data points for all products, regardless of machine, and resolve inconsistencies for all processes.”

Synergy also helps UGA more effectively manage its tools and reduce scrap. Run Charts and other software features determine tool life and predict how many parts can run before needing to make adjustments or change out the tool. Winfrey says UGA has reduced its nonconformities by 20 percent.

The software even helps UGA decide when a new piece of equipment is needed. For example, if a current machine can’t produce a particular product in a specific tolerance range, verified data can be used to justify procurement of new equipment.

Most importantly, Synergy 2000 helps UGA garner new business. While meeting with a customer at their location, a UGA representative can show them the exact machine that would be used to produce a new product, what tolerance the machine is currently
running and the capability history of that machine.

“This information shows the customer what they need to see before moving forward, and provides us that edge to win the business.”

For more information on statistical process control software, call 513-648-9695 or visit