Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Associates’ Corner - Tarco Steel, Inc.

Why do customers buy from Tarco Steel, Inc.? The answer for over forty years is that Tarco Steel, Inc. and its subsidiary, Metal Fab, LLC solve the everyday issues that arise in the metals purchasing and fabrication industry. Located in Binghamton, New York Tarco Steel maintains an inventory of steel, aluminum and stainless in a wide variety of shapes and sizes ready for next day delivery, or same day pickup in stock sizes or cut to size.

Tarco Steel prides itself on having the knowledge and contacts to locate a customer’s special order steel requirements. With the inception of Metal Fab in 2000, Tarco can add welding, rolling, bending and machining to the list of available services. In addition to the steel service center offerings, Tarco Steel has a rebar fabrication division with the ability to provide a fabricated rebar job from estimate to delivery of cut, bent and tagged bars. Previous jobs include Binghamton University Center of Excellence, Tompkins Street Bridge, and Jenny F Snapp School.

The key to Tarco Steel’s and Metal Fab’s success is their greatest asset, their employees. President, Janet Beal believes that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers. With an average longevity of over fifteen years, the sales team understands the treasure that each customer represents. The family-owned, WBE certified business creates a “can do” environment that leads to loyal customers who know they will get what they need at a fair price and be treated with respect.

Service is the one word that describes Tarco Steel and Metal Fab. With a full range of equipment, customers including contractors, manufacturers, welding shops or municipalities can order material cut or fabricated and delivered to their specifi cations. At the end of the day, Tarco Steel, Inc. and Metal Fab, LLC can provide steel ready to be used on the job.

Contact them at sales@tarcosteel.com, phone: 607-775-1500, Fax 607-775-1400 or check them out on the web at www.tarcosteel.com

Associates' Corner - Bennett Die & Tool, Inc.

Brothers, John and Richard Bennett, journeymen Tool & Die Makers, founded the business in 1954 as Newtown Tool & Die Co. It was later incorporated as Bennett Die and Tool, Inc. – Newtown Die and Tool Div. and Glendale Manufacturing Div.

After approximately eight months of operation, one employee was hired. After two years, seven were employed.

They are presently at forty-three employees, which has remained the same for several years. They have found this to be the best size staff to provide a great amount of personal attention.

For more information, contact James McMillen at 607-739-5629.

Associates' Corner - Cameron Manufacturing and Design

Cameron is located at 727 Blostein Blvd. in Horseheads, NY, is dedicated to being a good neighbor and a positive influence on the community as well as a leading supplier of custom fabrications of typical or exotic metals, custom built machinery and engineering services.

Cameron provides a full range of Mechanical, Chemical and Electrical/Controls Design and Engineering services, including Contract Engineering. Additions have been made to Cameron’s engineering staff that gives them the capability to handle almost any automation project.

Projects range from: Process machinery or equipment design and build, upgrade / refurbishment of existing equipment, to Field Installation or Modifications. Cameron can furnish components and assemblies to your custom specifications, in sizes ranging from hand-held to large scale. In addition, Cameron’s manufacturing facility can efficiently produce volumes ranging from sample quantities and prototypes to high volume production runs.

Cameron is also one of the few ASME Code Certified Facilities in the Northeast, holding “PP”, “U””, and “R” Stamps. Products provided include: Pressure Vessels and Pressure Piping: designed, fabricated, or repaired, including fi eld installation.

Providing innovative solutions, quality products and services that always meet or exceed their customer’s requirements are Cameron Manufacturing & Design’s goals.

Visit Cameron’s website at www.camfab.com or call 607-739-3606

Manufacturing Day - October 5th

“IT’S TIME TO LET ALL THE PEOPLE THAT YOU KNOW, including the people in your business, that manufacturing is cool. What we do is really cool. We don’t think about it because we live and breathe it every day. But start getting your neighbors, your teachers, your political leaders, your government officials, your county officials into your facilities and show them how much you contribute to the economy. Show them how important manufacturing is not only to your community but to the county, the state and the federal government. It’s time to re-educate the people that what we do matters, in a big way.”
~ Grady Cope, chairman of the National Tooling and Machining Association, Feb 14th at the North American Manufacturing and Invention Expo in Cleveland

Promote Your Company With An Open House

To help boost awareness of the importance of their businesses, manufacturers are encouraged to host tours and open houses on October 5. Please consider participating in this opportunity to showcase your manufacturing plant. Manufacturers can sign up at www.mfgday.com.

The goal is to have as many open houses as possible around the country on October 5 to raise awareness about what modern day manufacturing looks like and to spark interest in manufacturing careers.

The initiative is being produced by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, NIST MEP, and (to be officially announced soon) the National Association of Manufacturers.

It is sponsored by several MEP Centers, SME Foundation, and The Reshoring Initiative.

For more information, visit www.mfgday.com or contact Zara Brunner at 301-975-2001.

Manufacturing Industry Is Leading The Economic Recovery

“CONTRARY TO PUBLIC PERCEPTION, the manufacturing industry is leading the economic recovery,” says Carlos Cardoso, CEO and chairman of Latrobe, PA - based Kennametal.

“It is time for our industry to reintroduce itself to the American people in a manner that encourages them to understand the vitality and importance of U.S. manufacturing to the global economy.”

At the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Cardoso implored executives to speak up about the good things happening in U.S. manufacturing.

Attention Manufacturers - Looking for Help to Reduce Energy Costs?

NYSERDA’s Industrial & Process Efficiency Program may be for You
IPE program highlights include:
  • Incentives are available for a variety of capital improvement and process related measures upgrades, as well as operations and maintenance (O&M) measures.
  • Electric incentive rates of $0.12/kWh for upstate facilities.
  • Natural gas incentive rates of $15 MM BTU for upstate facilities.
  • Free technical assistance and application development support.
  • Gas and/or electric measures may be bundled together on a single application, therefore maximizing the incentive opportunity.
  • A facility can receive up to an incentive maximum of $6 million/facility/year and are cost-capped at 50% of total project costs (which can include in-house labor).
  • Once an application is submitted, customers have two years to complete installation.
If you are interested in discussing the IPE Program, call Mike Meador at 607-342-3208.

Want Greater Growth And Profitability For Your Business?

The Problem: Innovation can be slow & ricky

The Solution: A system that increases innovation speed (6x) and decreases risk (30 to 80%) with tools to help your team think smarter & more creatively.
Join other business owners and manufacturers from around New York and our neighboring states for the:

Innovation Engineering Leadership Institute
September 10-12, 2012 in Rochester, NY

At the end of the three days, you will have the tools and confidence to get started on a process for profitable innovation and sales growth: generating ideas, vetting and prioritizing, knowing when to kill a project and when to move it forward, and driving it down the development pipeline through commercialization. You will leave the Institute with an action plan for turning your ideas into reality.

The 3-day program includes:
  • 20 hours of interactive classroom work
  • A one-year membership to the Innovation Engineering Labs portal of advanced tools
  • Breakfast and lunch during the conference
  • Three continuing education units (CEUs) from the University of Maine
  • Six hours of company coaching (for companies who send four or more employees).

For more details, visit www.innovationengineering.info

UVANY Ithaca Capital Forum

Panel Discussion: “The Innovate NY Fund”
Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 5:00 - 9:00 pm
Sponsored by Upstate Venture Association of New York
Museum of the Earth
1259 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca, NY
Current confirmed panelists will be attending from: Cayuga Venture Fund, Excell Partners, SCP Buffalo Incubator and Stonehenge Growth Capital
Introducing a new feature for Entrepreneurs:
Investor Office Hours: 3:30 - 5:00 pm
  • Entrepreneurs can apply to have a one-on-one conversation with an early stage investor.
  • Bring your questions, concerns and problems to an expert.
  • This is a unique learning opportunity, not a pitch session.
  • Applications must be received by Tuesday, September 4 in order to be considered.
  • Apply when you register for the evening event.
The event will also offer an opportunity to personally network with Upstate and NYC capital providers; legal and accounting firms; and others interested in venture and private equity transactions.
More info and registration at: www.uvany.org

Mirion Achieves Milestone - ISO 9001:2008

Disciplined management of product quality is a core element of successful manufacturing companies, especially in an era of customers who demand it all – high quality, competitive prices, and timely delivery. A number of companies in the Southern Tier have tackled the quality issue by implementing quality management systems (QMS) that adhere to the principles established by the ISO Standard.

One of these companies is the Imaging Systems Division (ISD) of Mirion Technologies, located in Horseheads. Mirion designs and manufactures a range of closed circuit camera systems for inspection, surveillance, and monitoring of hazardous processes and environments. Mirion’s radiation-tolerant systems are used primarily by the nuclear power industry, and their high-temperature systems are installed in rotary kilns, recovery boilers, power boilers, glass furnaces, and other similar applications.

Mirion engaged AM&T to assist with a complete review, revision, and development of their QMS, resulting in the company recently being certified (or “registered”) by an independent auditor as being in conformity with the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

David Stewart, Senior Site Executive, explained his reasons for wanting the division to adopt an ISO standard. “My goal was that every employee would be able to integrate their daily activities into our quality system, and that this would result in improved products and customer satisfaction, and ultimately in more sales. Personally, I never cared about being able to hang an ISO certification banner on the wall -- that might be a bonus, but the point was to have everyone embrace a program that helps us continuously improve our efficiency and quality.” According to Stewart, Mirion’s Imaging Systems Division in the U.S. had previously begun work on creating a formal QMS, but found that relying only on internal resources did not produce the desired results. “I felt that if we got outside help, we’d have the benefit of fresh eyes along with the broader expertise of someone who has helped many different companies with their ISO certification process.”

After initial discussions to determine the scope of the work, AM&T Principal Consultant Bob Mann began work with the Mirion team in early 2011. He provided an ISO process overview to all employees, and scheduled weekly meetings to begin reviewing and revising all the company’s operational procedures, such as Purchasing, Design and Development, Monitoring and Measurement, etc.

Tangible benefits to Mirion began showing up immediately. For example, the company had developed a sense that the customers were not satisfied with the packaging of their products and were trying to figure out ways to improve it. Since the ISO 9001:2008 standard has a strong customer focus, creation of a quality manual involved customer surveys. These revealed that, in fact, customers were very happy with the existing packaging, freeing up the company to work on other improvements.

A successful ISO 9001:2008 project also depends heavily on the ISO Management Representative – the person in the company who is responsible for the QMS implementation, reporting results to management, and ensuring that customer requirements are communicated throughout the organization. At the Imaging Systems Division that job was assigned to David Potter. “At first, long-time employees were a little dubious about the benefit of this initiative. But when they realized that David (Stewart) was fully committed to making it work well, and that all employees’ input and job functions were being seriously incorporated, they bought into the process.”

Potter explained that communicating to all employees about the QMS is essential to its ongoing success. He created a new bulletin board in a central location in the production area that includes a large flat-screen display that’s used for QMS information as well as timely company announcements. He also noted that, “Developing this system compelled management to be more involved in all aspects of our operations. This contributed to employee buy-in and also means that management review meetings are now much more focused on how we can improve.”

Stewart said a significant factor in their success was Bob Mann’s leadership. “Bob kept us on track while being flexible and adjusting the schedule to accommodate other business demands. Bob was willing to listen and debate – enabling us to create a system that reflects our way of doing business.

After the new system was in place and functioning for several months, Mann conducted an internal audit to make sure everything was functioning as designed, and to prepare the company for the visit from an accredited ISO Registrar. That independent auditor verified that the system met the ISO 9001:2008 standards and ISD was issued a certificate in the spring of this year.

Stewart explained that with their old system, many aspects of production were left to individual interpretation. “The work got done, but the methods were locked in the employees’ minds. Developing the ISO-required documentation enabled us to capture, refine, and share that information in ways that made it a real institutional asset.”

He gave an example of how the QMS provided an immediate return. “Since we do a lot of product customization, design changes are a constant part of our business. Using the system enabled us to discover a problem with how these changes were being communicated and documented. ISO provided a framework in which to capture the problem and input the necessary changes, and we had a process to verify that the changes were working correctly. It was huge. The data that is now available enabled us to do the analysis in a matter of hours – it might have taken weeks with our old system.”

Potter, the person at the center of the ISO project, concluded that, “The ISO standard can be vague and could lead you down many different paths, so it’s really helpful to have a resource like AM&T to walk you through the process and develop a quality system that’s appropriate for your unique operation.”
Find out more about how your company might benefit from adopting a quality management system or obtaining ISO 9001:2008 certification. Contact Jim Cunningham, 607-725-1225 or jcunningham@amt-mep.org.