As a rapidly growing mid-sized supplier to some of the leading aerospace manufacturers in the world, Valent Aerostructures knows what it takes to keep its clients satisfied. The Kansas City, Mo.-based company not only manufactures all components of major assemblies in-house to control quality, but Valent also consults with its clients before making any major capital improvements.

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At a time when many of its competitors and manufacturing peers have needed to resort to staff and inventory cuts as well as outsourcing to maintain their bottom lines, STOBER Drives is taking the opposite approach.

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If an item needs to be transported down a chute, stored securely or advertised on a 48-foot billboard, Tiffin Metal Products Co. has a product that can help.

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Realizing the competition from heavily subsidized foreign sugar producers was ramping up – as well as worldwide demand – made U.S. Sugar Corp. look at its operations.

“We were traditionally a company that farmed and made non-food-grade product,” says Robert Buker Jr., president. “We had no precision management or data collection systems in place.” He adds that the company’s business model depended on a lot of labor with not much analysis on how it could be done more efficiently.

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Most businesses wouldn’t think of locating in an area where roads are scarce, but in the mining and oil industries a lack of infrastructure is the norm and rough terrain is expected. Perhaps the merciless paths wouldn’t be an issue if the work were contained onsite, but with materials constantly moving in and out, the means of transportation has to be reliable to the point of over-compensation.

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With OKAY Industries opening a new manufacturing facility, preparing to open another facility this summer and investing in new quality processes and technological capabilities, one would think that the economy was on a major upswing and not the slow gradual ascension that it’s actually on.

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A lot has changed in the past 31 years for Prima Power Laserdyne, which, until April 2011, was known as PRIMA North America Inc.’s Laserdyne Systems Division. New markets, new customers, new leadership and a new parent corporation all have played a hand in the Champlin, Minn.-based company’s evolution. One thing that hasn’t changed, according to President Terry VanderWert, is its commitment to building quality, high-performance industrial laser systems for cutting, drilling and welding.

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In 2008 and by the end of 2012, McKechnie Vehicle Components (MVC) will average nearly the same number in annual sales, $80 million and $85 million, respectively. To some, that may signify fairly static growth, but in analyzing the years in between, those revenue numbers actually signify a hard-earned comeback and a strategy to grow well into the future.

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