Kyntronics specializes in developing unique and custom actuation systems used in a variety of industries. By Jim Harris
Since their development in the late 1930s, actuators have become a common component of machinery, medical equipment and other mechanical systems. Although the needs of the companies using actuators are frequently evolving, the basic functions of the devices themselves typically operate in the same manner as they have for decades. A more recent trend is how the field of mechatronics is impacting actuators, enabling more precision, feedback and intelligent operation, allowing higher degrees of automation with how actuators are applied.
Kyntronics prides itself on finding new twists on a technology that can hardly be considered cutting-edge. “I am proud of the new technology and innovations our team has developed and continues to develop,” says Carl Richter, vice president of the Eastlake, Ohio-based actuator manufacturer and motion control specialist. “We are pushing the envelope and coming up with something different in an industry that has been around for many years.”
The company was founded in 2010 by former managers of a motion control company following the sale of their former employer to a global manufacturing and engineering firm. The group purchased a machine shop with the intention of taking on contract jobs while it developed new products. One of the management group’s former clients – an OEM serving the aerospace market – approached the company to develop new actuator technology. The OEM became the company’s first major client, Richter says.
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First Solar has positioned itself as a strong player in the solar energy market. By Alan Dorich
First Solar has excelled in its market by following a mission that people can easily commit to, Senior Vice President of Global Manufacturing Mike Koralewski says. “It is to create enduring value by enabling a world powered by clean, affordable electricity,” he says.
With administrative headquarters in Tempe, Ariz., and manufacturing facilities in Perrysburg, Ohio and Kulim, Malaysia, First Solar provides photovoltaic (PV) solar energy products. The company has installed more than 10 gigawatts worldwide and developed, built and currently operates many grid-connected PV power plants across the world.
After a career in the glass industry, founder Harold McMaster started a predecessor company that, in 1999, became First Solar. “He was prominent in the Toledo, [Ohio], area, and Harold had this dream of trying to make solar modules,” Koralewski explains, noting that McMaster experimented with various technologies for several years.
“He finally fell on the technology we use today, which is cadmium telluride,” Koralewski continues, noting that McMaster worked with the material for several years to develop it to where he could make several modules.
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Crown Group's service to customers extends beyond coating to include supply chain and inventory management. By Staff Writer
When a national agricultural and construction equipment OEM was facing a capacity problem related to coating operations in one of its assembly plants, the company looked to the Crown Group for help.
“Their previous coating operation had created a nightmare for their assembly plant,” a company representative says. The OEM was regularly shutting down the plant and running three daily shifts to deal with a coating backlog.
The situation quickly turned around after the equipment OEM invited the Warren, Mich.-based component finishing company to take over the coating operation. “We reengineered it from top to bottom,” the representative says.
Positive changes to the facility included reducing the number of coating shifts from three to two and greatly improving the coating line's ability to paint parts on the first pass from 5 to 98 percent. Crown Group also significantly improved inventory control and tracking related to the parts being coated. “[The equipment OEM] has 3,500 SKUs, most of which were being lost under the previous system,” the company says. “We were able to get inventory under control by implementing an ERP [enterprise resource planning] system and by being disciplined in the way we manage inventory.”
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Moxtek excels at producing optics and X-ray products that meet the demands of its customers. By Jim Harris
The technical expertise of Moxtek’s staff and the company’s ability to adjust its manufacturing operations to customer demands are at the core of its success.
“I think the people here are just outstanding,” says Roger Critchfield, vice president and chief logistics officer for the Orem, Utah-based company. “With the team we have, I feel that when we understand what the client’s problem is, we can solve anything.”
The company specializes in two types of technology: X-rays and optics. Moxtek operates divisions, or groups, dedicated to each technology type. “We operate two companies under one roof,” Critchfield says.
Moxtek maintains a strong market position in both of its product categories. The company’s customers include electronics and technology OEMs as well as the scientific sector.
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Beretta USA’s new Tennessee manufacturing plant upholds the company’s tradition of innovation and quality.
By Staff Writer
When Italian firearms manufacturer Beretta announced plans in 2014 to build a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Tennessee, the intention was for the new facility to supplement the company’s existing manufacturing operations in Maryland. However, once the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the new facility in Gallatin, Tenn., the new facility was the home of all manufacturing operations for Beretta USA. A combination of generous incentives from the Tennessee government and changes to gun laws in Maryland made the move a prudent one from Beretta’s perspective, but the capabilities and space afforded by its new manufacturing plant mean the company likely won’t skip a beat in the transition.
The new facility covers 160,000 square feet on a 100-acre plot that will include an outdoor firing range. The new facility is expected to manufacture nearly half a million firearms each year, which will all be shipped immediately to the company’s warehouses in Virginia. Among the six types of firearms that will be produced at the Gallatin facility will be the M9 pistol, which is the standard sidearm of the United States armed forces. The facility will also produce the latest variation of the M9, known as the M9A3, which was designed specifically for use in desert environments and carries more rounds than the original M9. The facility also will be the origin point of five more pistol models as well as one shotgun model.
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Raytheon Missile Systems leverages futuristic technology to improve its manufacturing processes. By Chris Petersen
Since the invention of the bow and arrow, success on the battlefield has been determined by technology as much as strategy. Armies that bring the most advanced weaponry to bear have held an enormous edge throughout the history of warfare, and when the stakes are high an army needs to be absolutely positive that its technology will not fail it in the heat of battle. As the world’s largest manufacturer of missile systems for the United States and its allies, no one understands the importance of reliability on the battlefield better than Raytheon Missile Systems.
The missiles built by Raytheon Missile Systems feature the most advanced technology in the world, but their effectiveness on the front lines also depends on the technology the company leverages before those missiles are deployed. As Vice President of Operations Kim Ernzen explains, Raytheon Missile Systems has made a concerted effort to ensure that the technology in its design and manufacturing facilities gives it as much of a technological edge as the finished product gives soldiers in the field. “We produce very complex systems that support our warfighters, and in order to be able to keep up with the demands from a technology perspective, we continually look at how we can infuse technology into changing the way we design the product as well as manufacture the product,” she says.
Through the integration of advanced technologies like virtual reality, 3-D printing and robotics, Raytheon’s manufacturing process today resembles something that would have been considered science fiction just 20 years ago. The company’s engineers are able to collaborate on a missile design in the same room even though they are thousands of miles apart. Automated assembly systems can perform the most detailed tasks endlessly without error. And precision components can be printed to specifications even the most sophisticated tooling can’t replicate. These technologies have driven out cost for Raytheon Missile Systems and reduced cycle times significantly, but most importantly, they have helped to ensure that Raytheon’s products never let troops down.
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Hernon Manufacturing creates total solutions for its oem clients in the adhesives industry.
By Tim O'Connor
The pressure of supplying adhesive and sealant solutions for everything from aircraft parts to a soldier’s ammunition box could be overwhelming for some, but Hernon Manufacturing’s reputation for high quality helps Sales and Marketing Director Edgardo Rodriguez sleep well at night. He knows his customers are well cared for. “I’m proud of being able to solve customer problems with unique solutions,” he says.
This reputation for quality has been established over the last four decades. Brothers Harry and Josef Arnon established the company in 1978 in the Bronx, New York, and later relocated to Sanford, Fla., in 1989, where it has been located ever since. Hernon Manufacturing creates specialty adhesives, sealants and other liquid chemical products. Hernon® also began producing its own precision dispensing and curing equipment about 12 years ago, transforming itself into an end-to-end solutions provider for its OEM clients.
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Fluid Metering delivers products that the medical diagnostics market can depend on. By Staff Writer
When medical professionals provide care, they need products they can rely on to operate without problems. They often turn to Fluid Metering Inc. (FMI) for that reason, since the company utilizes the best manufacturers it can find for its product components, President Harry Pinkerton says.
“We try to work directly with suppliers without going through distributors for engineered parts,” he says. “We use the best vendors from around the world for critical components, strong vendor qualification standards, and we continually audit and work with vendors to assure quality.”
Based in Syosset, N.Y., FMI provides metering pumps and dispensers for an array of markets. Pinkerton’s father started the company in 1959 as a hydraulically actuated diaphragm pump business.
The company ultimately became the first to win a patent for its valve-less, rotating and reciprocating piston metering pump concept. The idea for a valve-less product, Pinkerton notes, originated from the low-pressure valve problems customers had with diaphragm pumps.
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