Author: Rich Novicky

Report Offers Pointers for Embedded IoT Design

AUSTIN, Tex.—Most enterprise IoT projects fall apart at the proof of concept phase, according to a recent survey conducted by Cisco. Yet most of the companies that abandoned their projects said they planned to double down on their investment in the internet of things. A recent report from Enterprise IoT Insights (www.enterpriseiotinsights.com) offers some practical pointers for enterprises that want to embed connectivity and computing capabilities into assets. “It seems clear that enterprises see value in the IoT, but most companies are unsure how to securely and cost-effectively connect assets and equipment to the internet,” said Martha DeGrasse, author of the Enterprise IoT Insights report, “Embedded IoT Design: The Basics.” The on-demand report outlines basic hardware and software elements of an IoT system design, and highlights some of the important choices that companies need to make as they evaluate projects. The report lists six best practices for IoT development that were highlighted in conversations with analysts, semiconductor companies, and service providers interviewed by Enterprise IoT Insights. Analyst Lee Ratliff of IHS Markit, who focuses on wireless connectivity for the IoT, said companies do not need to spend too much time trying to understand which connectivity standard will dominate the ecosystem. He said that because there are so many disparate use cases for connected devices, there is room for many different kinds of wireless connectivity. “The IoT is always going...

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The New American Reshoring Movement By the Numbers

Many people are under the impression that manufacturing jobs are only moving in one direction: offshore. While many corporations are shifting certain jobs overseas to reduce manufacturing costs, there’s a lot more to the story. In reality, there are many businesses that have been making strenuous efforts to bring jobs back to the United States, a phenomenon known as the reshoring movement. Want to learn more about reshoring in the United States? Keep reading to see which U.S. companies have brought the most jobs back to the states, plus more information on this important new movement.   Companies reshore jobs in part due to increasing foreign labor costs, but that’s just one reason. Simply put, as automation and tools for engineering have improved, so too has the complexity of the manufacturing industry. And many specialty manufacturing jobs can’t be easily sent overseas. Contrary to popular belief, improvements in automation technology and engineering tools have been major assets to the new American economy. While some manufacturing jobs have been lost in recent decades, the productivity of the U.S. manufacturing sector has actually increased substantially. That means American companies are producing more goods for less cost, which results in better prices for consumers and better wages for workers. Even so, companies in the manufacturing industry are making continual efforts to bring jobs back into the United States. Often, these new manufacturing...

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Lantek’s Adria Haines selected for FMA’s Software Technology Council

CINCINNATI—Lantek Sheet Metal Solutions has announced the appointment of Lantek USA Director Adria Haines to the Fabricators & Manufacturer’s Association, International (FMA) Software Technology Council. As one of only nine members on the council, Haines brings 20 years of expertise in CAD/CAM and manufacturing solutions software. FMA’s Software Technology Council is composed of volunteer leaders that provide FMA members and the industry unbiased information about the benefits of software solutions and automation. “We are pleased to have Adria join our Software Technology Council,” stated Ashly Lantz, education products specialist for FMA, in a press release. “Adria offers valuable insights into the digitization of manufacturing. This topic is top of mind for our members, so we look forward to her support in the coming year.” Haines has robust experience in the CAD/CAM market. With an educational background in computer science from the University of Cincinnati, Haines began her career developing and supporting CAD/CAM software. She went on to serve as an application engineer, demonstrating and implementing CAD/CAM Interoperability projects to Fortune 500 manufacturers. “I’m a problem-solver by nature,” stated Haines. “Once I began working closely with clients in real-world manufacturing, I was hooked. To see the impact my work has in saving time and money for manufacturers is truly satisfying.” In 2009, Lantek selected Haines to assemble a U.S. team as part of its mission to help sheet metal companies...

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Tom Orr Joins Seaway Plastics Engineering as CEO and President

PORT RICHEY, Fla.—Seaway Plastics Engineering LLC (SPE), an injection molding company servicing the rapid tooling and low- to mid-volume market, recently announced that Tom Orr has joined the company as CEO and president and a member of the Board of Directors. Orr joins SPE from Poppelmann Plastics USA, a division of Poppelmann Holdings GmbH, headquartered in Germany, where he served as president for the past six years. In his previous role, Orr was responsible for leading the expansion of Poppelmann’s injection molded and thermoformed products into the USA market. “Tom’s entrepreneurial background, experience running an international injection molding operation, and proven leadership skills will help guide our company through our next growth phase.” said Tim Smock, founder and board member of Seaway Plastics Engineering, in a company release. “We are fortunate to have him on the Seaway team.” Orr has over 25 years of domestic manufacturing and international sourcing experience and has held executive positions in sales, marketing, and operations. “Seaway is an exceptional company that services a complex market in the injection molding industry,” Orr said. “The opportunity for Seaway is vast, and I am looking forward to working with the team to accelerate growth and provide our customers with the highest level of product quality and service in the industry.” Orr earned a bachelor of science in finance from the Ohio State University and an MBA from...

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Former Autodesk CEO Carl Bass Joins Formlabs Board of Directors

SOMERVILLE, Mass.—Formlabs (www.formlabs.com), a designer and manufacturer of 3D printing systems recently announced the appointment of technology veteran and former Autodesk executive Carl Bass as an independent director of the company. Bass has held a series of executive positions during his 24-year tenure at Autodesk, including 11 years as CEO. “We’re honored to have Carl join the board,” said Max Lobovsky, CEO of Formlabs, in a company release. “Under his leadership, Carl transformed Autodesk from a 2D design company into a global leader of 3D design and engineering software. I’m also personally thrilled to have another board member who is a passionate creator and uses CAD, 3D printers, and other tools himself. His experience and expertise will be invaluable for Formlabs as we continue charting new territories in professional 3D printing.” Bass co-founded Ithaca Software, which was acquired by Autodesk in 1993. Bass also serves on the boards of directors of Autodesk, HP, and Zendesk; on the board of trustees of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Art Center College of Design, and California College of the Arts; and on the advisory boards of Cornell Computing and Information Science, UC Berkeley School of Information, and UC Berkeley College of Engineering “In just a few years, Formlabs has become the leader in professional 3D printing,” said Bass. “Formlabs is poised to continue upending the industry, and I’m excited to join...

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DeWys Manufacturing Welcomes New Addition to Inside Sales Team

MARNE, Mich.—DeWys Manufacturing Inc., a West Michigan-based metal fabrication company, recently announced the addition of Amy Hatfield as the company’s new inside sales coordinator. In her new role, Amy will provide communication between the sales, engineering, manufacturing, and shipping areas of DeWys Manufacturing. She will also be responsible for order entry and meeting the needs of customers by building relationships through phone calls and face-to-face visits. Prior to joining the team at DeWys Manufacturing, Amy worked in sales, accounting, and as an operations manager for a metal fabrication distributor. In 2009, Amy started her own metal fabrication equipment distributorship, becoming the first female to own and operate a company in this industry. Her passion for manufacturing stems from being the third generation involved with metal fabrication in her family, following her grandfather and father. “When I was 12, I remember going to a metal fabrication shop with my dad and being fascinated with the sights and sounds of the machines in the shop,” she said in a press release. “I get the same feeling today that I got when I was younger.” DeWys (pronounced De-Wise) Manufacturing (www.dewysmfg.com) provides precision metal fabrication to a range of clients, including makers of commercial equipment, office furniture, and medical supplies. From its manufacturing facility in West Michigan, the company provides a wide range of metal production and assembly capabilities to more than 160...

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EMS Provider MC Assembly Names New Vice President of New Business Development

BOSTON—MC Assembly, a mid-tier electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider, has hired veteran EMS professional David Prunier as vice president of new business development, the company reported. Prunier is based at the company’s Boston facility and is responsible for growing and managing new business development for customers located in the Northeast region, the second largest market in the country. MC Assembly CEO George Moore said Prunier is a seasoned veteran in the EMS industry with a strong background serving the kind of customers the company wants to work with moving forward. “He’s an experienced guy with a great background, and we expect him to drive relationships with customers that will bring us new business and lead us in best practices as it relates to sales and marketing,” Moore said in a statement. “He’s been on both sides, doing operational jobs, running EMS sites, and has done business development for large and mid-tier manufacturing companies. He’s a calm, cool, and collected veteran in a lot of different areas, and that experience matters.” Prunier brings more than 37 years of experience in high end manufacturing operations and sales, including industrial, medical, defense, and commercial markets. He has held positions with several manufacturing companies, including serving as president of Applied Technical Services Corporation (ATS); general manager at Plexus; vice president of operations for Three-Five Systems, Inc. (TFS) EMS division; vice president of North...

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Siemens Breaks Ground on Manufacturing Expansion in Massachusetts

WALPOLE, Mass.—Building on $40 billion of U.S. investment over the last 15 years, Siemens recently broke ground on a major expansion of a key Siemens Healthineers manufacturing and R&D facility for laboratory diagnostics in Walpole, Massachusetts that will create up to 700 new high-tech jobs over the next 10 years. Siemens’ $300 million investment in Walpole exemplifies the company’s broader strategy for creating local value in the U.S.—its largest market—by furthering the company’s ability to transform customers’ healthcare operations in order to improve the lives of the patients they serve. “Healthcare is changing all over the world, and these changes are opening up great opportunities for providers, for patients—and for our company,” said Michael Sen, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and Siemens Healthcare GmbH supervisory board chairman, in a press release. “Today, we provide more than 10 billion laboratory diagnostics tests each year. Our mission is to extend this reach even further, and Walpole will play a major role in this effort. That’s why we’re investing 300 million dollars here—one of the largest single capital investments of Siemens Healthcare in the U.S. ever. We look forward to innovations from here—innovations that will benefit our customers, that will benefit Siemens and, most of all, that will benefit patients.” “Siemens has been doing business in the United States for more than 160 years,” said Lisa Davis, chair and...

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Eyewear Producer Lowercase Opens Manufacturing Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Lowercase, an eyewear company that utilizes twenty-first century manufacturing techniques, such as robotics, will be the first advanced manufacturing startup to operate out of the Brooklyn Army Terminal in New York, New York. In October 2016, New York City Economic Development Corporation announced plans to open a new advanced manufacturing center at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, which will support over 200 businesses and create over 500 jobs. “The Brooklyn Army Terminal is a burgeoning center for 21st-century industries,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “Lowercase’s tenancy marks the beginning of a new kind of opportunity at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, advanced manufacturing, which leverages technology and creativity to rejuvenate New York City’s industrial spirit. We welcome advanced manufacturing companies of all sizes to join us in Sunset Park as we grow new segments of our economy and further the de Blasio Administration’s efforts to create 100,000 quality jobs over the next ten years.” Lowercase (www.lowercasenyc.com) designs and manufactures all of its products under one roof at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Using a mix of high-tech manufacturing techniques, such as robotics and CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining, the company converts raw material into glasses and sunglasses through its innovative thirty-step process, city officials explained. Dedicated to bringing eyewear manufacturing back to the United States, Lowercase recently received its Made in NY: Fashion mark, New York City’s designation for fashion...

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Samsung to Open $380 Million Home Appliance Manufacturing Plant in South Carolina

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.—Samsung has agreed with the State of South Carolina to open a state-of-the-art home appliance manufacturing plant in Newberry County. The $380 million facility will produce some of Samsung’s most popular home appliances and is projected to generate 954 local jobs by 2020. This is the latest in a series of investments expanding Samsung’s U.S. holdings and operations. “We aspire to be the global leader in premium home appliances,” said Samsung Electronics CEO B.K. Yoon, in a press release. “This new investment will enable Samsung to increase the speed with which we can deliver premium home appliances that reflect the regional preferences of our fastest growing and most important consumer market.” Samsung (www.samsung.com/us) began contemplating an expansion of its U.S. production base nearly three years ago, and initiated discussions with South Carolina in the fall of 2016. The company selected the Newberry County site for its skilled workforce, robust supply chain and transportation infrastructure, and commitment to public-private partnerships. “The fact that one of the world’s largest and most respected technology companies is choosing to invest in South Carolina speaks volumes about the innovation and excellence our talented workforce is capable of,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “I’m thrilled to strengthen our state’s partnership with Samsung and look forward to working with them to get this new facility up and running, and producing high quality made-in-South...

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DuraTech Industries Builds Manufacturing Plant in La Crosse, Wisconsin

DuraTech Industries Inc., which provides high-quality custom label printing services for customers worldwide, is breaking ground on a $7.5 million, 47,300-square-foot expansion to the company’s manufacturing facility in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The addition is expected to be completed in January 2018 and create at least 50 jobs over the next four years. “We are excited to get started on this world-class, two-story addition,” said DuraTech President Peter Johnson. “It will streamline our process flow, thus saving hundreds of labor hours each year. It will also house two clean rooms for our high-speed printing presses and will have additional capacity to grow in the upcoming years.” “The DuraTech team is very thankful to our customers, whose demand for our new technology is driving our growth,” Johnson said. “We would also like to thank ISG and Weiser Brothers for all of their hard work on designing and quoting the expansion. We also thank the City of La Crosse, WEDC, and BMO Bank for putting together a great financing package to allow us to move forward with the expansion. Most importantly, none of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of all of the DuraTech team members.” The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is supporting the expansion by awarding DuraTech up to $215,000 in state income tax credits over the next four years. The actual amount of tax credits received...

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OneWeb Satellites Breaks Ground on High-volume Satellite Manufacturing Facility

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla.—OneWeb Satellites LLC broke ground earlier this year on its estimated $85 million high-volume satellite manufacturing factory in Exploration Park, Florida. During a March ceremony with Florida Governor Rick Scott, OneWeb Satellites CEO Brian Holz, and Airbus Defense and Space Inc., President Mike Cosentino, OneWeb announced that the factory near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was set to begin its full series, autonomous assembly line production, integration, and satellite testing later this year. OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between OneWeb, a satellite-based internet provider, and Airbus, the world’s second largest space company. Its first order will include the production of 900 communications satellites for OneWeb’s low Earth orbit constellation. “This facility is a pivotal step toward our mission to build a new global knowledge infrastructure, accessible to everyone,” said OneWeb Founder and Executive Chairman Greg Wyler, in a press release. “Over the past year, and thanks to the energizing support of our partners, we’ve greatly accelerated our technical progress. With this facility, we will be able to continuously iterate on the design of our satellites, launch new satellites within hours of completion, and create significant opportunity in the U.S.” The high-volume satellite factory is being built in partnership with the state of Florida and Space Florida. The initiative is anticipated to create nearly 250 direct, highly skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs, as well as thousands more throughout...

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Intelligent Audio Products Opens Factory in Bridgeport, Connecticut

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.—Intelligent Audio Products Corp. (IAP) recently announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in the former factory of Adrian Acoustics and Alta Audio. Intelligent Audio Products is the parent company of PlanterSpeakers.com, audio-video integrator Designed Sound, and the Art Powers Design Group. “Our Bridgeport factory is the newest addition to our business, but it’s been serving the OEM speaker cabinet and audio-video furniture manufacturing industries for a long time,” said IAP president Art Powers in a company release. “We will continue that tradition, now creating a whole new array of quality products made in America.” Intelligent Audio Products’ PlanterSpeakers, a customizable line of speakers housed in architectural planters, continues to develop with new models that will now be manufactured in the Bridgeport facility. The Connecticut facility also becomes the headquarters for Designed Sound. “Our heritage is in speakers and amplifiers,” said Powers, who co-created the Madison Fielding amplifier business with his father. “But we’re already making premium turntables, acoustic panels, and other soon-to-be announced products for some of the best names in the business. My focus is now to offer our manufacturing capacity to those brands looking for well-priced, U.S. made products in a factory that has the right controls, and run by craftsman who guarantee quality.” PlanterSpeakers (www.planterspeakers.com) is a prominent manufacturer of planter and architectural speakers. The company was founded in 1999...

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Parker Opens New Additive Manufacturing Facility in Macedonia, Ohio

CLEVELAND—Parker Hannifin Corp., the manufacturer of motion and control technologies, has opened a new advanced manufacturing learning and development center at Parker’s Corporate Technology Ventures facility in Macedonia, Ohio. The new facility, which is intended to help speed innovation in product design and manufacturing, will enable Parker engineers to explore new applications of emerging technologies, such as additive manufacturing and collaborative robotics. The investment in additive manufacturing equipment is driven by the tremendous long-term value of these technologies. By creating a single facility near its global headquarters in Northeast Ohio, Parker is providing its operating groups and divisions around the world with access to the newest printers, software, and materials available. “Material printing technology is moving quickly towards commercial viability,” said Craig Maxwell, vice president and chief technology and innovation officer. “The new facility and engineering talent located here represent an investment in the future of manufacturing.” By utilizing central resources, Parker will leverage its investment and allow Parker engineers globally to better solve its customers’ challenges. With the ability to create multiple configurations of a single component without developing additional molds or customized tooling, additive manufacturing has emerged as a quick and inexpensive prototyping solution. This translates into speed in addressing the unique challenges of customers, providing engineers with the ability to create custom products and systems faster than ever...

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Impossible Objects Wins Innovation Award at Rapid + TCT 3D Printing Conference

NORTHBROOK, Ill.—Impossible Objects’ Model One 3D printer won the RAPID + TCT Innovation Award for 2017, presented at the Rapid + TCT Conference in Pittsburgh in May. The Rapid + TCT Innovation Award recognizes the new product or service exhibited that is projected to have the most impact on the industry. A committee made of up members of SME, a society of manufacturing professionals, and independent industry experts served as judges and determined Impossible Objects’ technology to be the most innovative. Exhibiting its Model One printer and the technology behind it for the first time, Impossible Objects beat out dozens of other 3D printing companies and experts who showcased their products and ideas at the Rapid + TCT Conference. The Model One printer reportedly will enable companies to create stronger parts, using a wider range of high-quality materials, faster and at scale. “The judges awarded the 2017 RAPID Exhibitor Innovation Award to Impossible Objects CBAM technology as its novel layer-wise composites processing technology offered an innovative solution that could provide significant value to its customers and to the industry as a whole,” said Chris Williams, who served as one of the judges and is associate professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, in a press release. “The award was well-deserved given CBAM’s potential for high-speed production of high-strength composite parts with complex geometries.” Impossible Objects’ composite-based additive manufacturing method...

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Collaboration Produces First COPV Made with Recycled Carbon Fiber

CINCINNATI—A collaboration involving Steelhead Composites, Vartega, and Michelman—all members of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI)—is responsible for the development of what is reported to be the first composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) manufactured from continuous recycled carbon fiber tow. The achievement is said to mark the first time that waste continuous tow carbon fiber towpreg has been reclaimed, recycled, and put back into the original manufacturing process. The fiber was recycled using Vartega Inc.’s patent pending recycling process, sized with Michelman’s Hydrosize EP876 fiber sizing, and fabricated by Steelhead Composites. Until this milestone, recycled carbon fiber had been relegated to secondary products as chopped fiber or filler. “Steelhead and Vartega are amazing companies to work with, and this collaborative accomplishment is a true turning point for the industry,” said Steve Bassetti, Michelman’s group marketing manager for the Industrial Manufacturing Group, in a release from Michelman. “The successful fabrication of this COPV clearly illustrates that reclaimed carbon fiber can be efficiently and effectively recycled to produce high quality, OEM products and components.” Michelman (www.michelman.com) manufactures a versatile line of fiber sizings and resin modifiers that are used by fiber producers and composite manufacturers to produce stronger, lighter, and more durable composite parts. The company’s broad portfolio of products is said to allow customers to tailor the surface chemistry of reinforcement fibers to the chemistry of the matrix...

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Minalex Aluminum Extrusions Help Propel Next Generation of Space Exploration

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.— Look up to the heavens on a clear night, and you will see countless twinkling stars. What you won’t see are the hundreds of satellites and rockets orbiting the globe. Many of these contain miniature aluminum extruded components from Minalex, a supplier to the aerospace industry since the earliest days of space flight. Since NASA’s inaugural Mercury and Apollo missions, parts made of aluminum have been highly valued by the aerospace industry because of their light weight, performance characteristics, and cost efficiencies. Today, Minalex continues to work with NASA through its subcontractors, providing an array of custom miniature aluminum extrusions. Minalex also works directly with some of the entrepreneurial companies that are forging the future of commercial space flight and rocket propulsion. One such client is SpaceX. Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, the driving force behind the breakthrough all-electric-powered vehicle brand Tesla, the company has been a continuing customer for over a decade. “We originally caught the attention of SpaceX because of our qualifications as an AS9100 and ISO9001 certified company, with Aerospace Materials Standards (AMS) Specs,” Minalex General Manager Chris Casey said in a company release. “SpaceX followed up with a visit and conducted a direct audit to verify our operations and quality standards.” Following that initial inspection, Minalex was awarded a project for an aluminum extrusion that was a structural part in the...

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Putnam Plastics Expands Laser Machining to Include Advanced, Ultrashort Pulse Technology

DAYVILLE, Conn.—Putnam Plastics Corporation, a manufacturer of advanced extrusions for minimally invasive medical devices, reported earlier this year that it has expanded its capabilities to include advanced laser machining and “state-of-the-art short pulse and ultrashort pulse laser technologies.” Putnam’s laser machining is said to enable the manufacturing of  medical devices “with the smallest features in accordance with the most demanding specifications.”  Multiple in-house lasers provide the ability to achieve tight tolerances and to machine complex features with repeatability better than 4 microns, the company said in a press release. The lasers, some of which have 4-axis capability, are able to produce simple and complex micro-features, precision cuts, braid and coil terminations, and laser printing and marking. They are also said to have laser bonding abilities that create smooth, strong welded bonds and offer a more efficient application of heat than the traditional method. “Our 2- and 4-axis lasers are able to cut precise patterns with reliable accuracy even in our most difficult configurations, such as our multi-lumen, thin walled, lined, and braid reinforced catheter tubing,” said Ray Rilling, director of technology at Putnam Plastics, in the release. “This makes our laser machining capabilities ideal for a variety of catheters, including micro catheters, guide catheters, and EP catheters.”  Other applications in medical catheter design that can benefit from laser machining include, drug delivery access ports, selective removal of material, and...

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JK Tool Moves into New, Custom Designed Facility with Focus on Work Flow

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa.—JK Tool Inc., a designer and manufacturer of progressive stamping tools, precision machined components, and custom assemblies, recently moved into a new, custom designed facility in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. The new 18,000-square-foot facility, part of the Westmoreland Business and Research Park, offers a modernized approach to tooling and manufacturing with a focus on work flow, the company said in a press release. Its open floor plan layout and systematic design is said to facilitate improved communication, process optimization, and the ability to manage projects visually. Through value stream mapping, equipment is in the optimal position, with design engineering on the same level as the plant for immediate feedback from manufacturing to design. Along with engineering, precision grinding is segregated for acoustic effect, but is still visibly part of the plant floor through the design of the walls, which have large, integrated glass panels. Final assembly and groom areas are located adjacent to the press room to provide the most direct access to move completed tools more efficiently to the press room. In the release, JK Tool said that the progressive layout of the facility has resulted in improved lead times and deliveries for its customers while maintaining quality. The design of the facility was led by Rock (Rocky) Hudson, who recently joined JK as general manager. Hudson brings more than 23 years of related experience to the...

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