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.
The most important goal of sustainable manufacturing is minimizing negative environmental impacts, while conserving energy and natural resources. To achieve this, a manufacturer must be committed to only using parts that are made locally or nationally.
Most rapid prototyping service providers specialize in one area of additive manufacturing, such as fused deposition modeling (FDM) or metal sintering. ZARE SrL, however, offers expertise in several areas.
Mergers, acquisitions and partnerships are risky endeavors for managers, as well as workers. Sometimes these transactions favor one group over another, or end up being disastrous for both groups. Other times, however, the deal turns out great for everyone.
Instant, reliable communication amongst plant managers is essential for them to coordinate and optimize their facility’s productivity and efficiency. Even a slight delay in relaying information can prevent a company from achieving these goals, especially if the delay results in unplanned downtime for equipment retooling or maintenance.
A few years ago, Brian Gattman, senior mechanical engineer at Fluke Corp., faced a big problem when designing the company’s new handheld TI400 thermal imaging camera. The off-the-shelf bearings he wanted to use in it were too big and had a too-high coefficient of friction. By working closely with the supplier, however, he was able to have the bearings custom made to meet both design specifications.