In every manufacturing industry, tradition is becoming less important. Companies no longer assume that what worked in the past will be enough to keep and gain customers. Instead, they look to the latest technology to improve manufacturing processes, optimize product quality and expand their customer base.
Walk through any automotive plant, and there’s a good chance you’ll see lift assists in use for product assembly. Common lift assists include large or small hoists, air balancers, extension arms and end-effectors (clamp, hook, vacuum, magnet, etc.).
Today’s typical automobile features nearly 100 exterior and interior sensors, with the number likely to increase in the near future. Those located on the outside (axle load, steering angle, blind spots, air temperature, etc.) require special protection from the elements and unique production methods.
There is a big difference between being part of an industry and being an industry participant. Little Humtown Products (based in Columbiana, OH) has followed the latter path for many years as a full-service supplier to the foundry industry.
About 300 miles northwest of Mexico City sits the town of Aguascalientes. Although its name means hot waters, the place is much more well-known for its gentle climate, brave bullfighters and being a stopover point between the mines of Zacatecas and Mexico City.
Noted actor and film director Mel Brooks told viewers often in his 1981 film “History of the World Part I” that “it’s good to be the king.” What he failed to say, though, is that it’s hard to stay the king, or leader, of a big industry for a long time.
Successful manufacturers never get tired of facing new market challenges. This statement applies to companies across all industries—including those involved in the annual manufacturing of more than 1 billion tires worldwide.
Lean manufacturing was not a concern for Mark DeWys in 1977 when he founded DeWys Manufacturing Inc. in Grand Rapids, MI. The focus of his one-man shop back then was the fabrication of fireplace inserts, racks and various small metal parts.