Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Export Workshop: How to Grow Your Business

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Assistance Center invites your company to participate in our Export Workshop: How to Grow Your Business.
Co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Small Business Development Center at Binghamton University, this workshop is focused on discussing the resources available to US companies for International Business Development.
Speakers from the USDOC and SBA will present on:
 Finding qualified foreign partners
  • Sources of international market research
  • Support at international trade shows
  • U.S. Government Advocacy Services
  • SBA Working Capital Guarantee Program
  • Export Financing
Local Success Story
Tony Loup from Insulating Coatings Corp in Binghamton, NY will discuss his company’s experience with marketing and selling internationally.
Date: April 16, 2013
Time: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Location: Binghamton University Downtown Center 67 Washington St, Rooms 220A and 220B Binghamton, NY
Cost: $25 (lunch Included)


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Lean Thinking for Manufacturers

Are You Struggling with Growth & Profitability?
Do You Want To Gain Control of Your Day-To-Day Activities?
Then Join Us for This Great Workshop on Lean Thinking

Workshop Content & Benefits

A one-day workshop with a “live” simulation that guides you through the transition from a traditional manufacturing approach to that of a lean manufacturing environment! Waste is eliminated, productivity increased, and you gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Principles of Lean Thinking is part of an integrated suite of AM&T tools and services developed specifically for manufacturers. This course is one in a series of related lean courses that we offer. At this workshop you’ll learn the principles of Lean and how to apply them. During the simulation exercises—as a member of the production team for Buzz Electronics—you’ll apply Lean concepts such as standardized work, visual signals, batch-size reduction, pull systems and more. Experience firsthand how Lean improves quality, reduces cycle time, improves delivery performance, reduces WIP and enables Buzz to show a profit. This one-day class is the ideal beginning for your company’s Lean training program.

Company Leaders & Manufacturing personnel charged with project management, process improvement, Lean initiatives, new employees in need of understanding basic Lean concepts, employees needing a refresher, or those interested in getting started with Lean.
Lean focuses on eliminating non-value-added activities from a company’s processes while streamlining its value-added activities. It is a people-oriented approach that empowers a team to take action to achieve improvements. Lean tools and implementation are the best way to effectively use a company’s most valuable resource…its people.

See first-hand what the power of Lean can do for your company’s growth & profitability

There is a better way!

Date:    April 18, 2013
Time:    8:00 am to 4:30 pm
           7:30 am sign-in, continental breakfast, lunch provided
Location:  Holiday Inn Express, Horseheads, NY
Cost:    $250 ($200 for AM&T Associates)

Register on-line at or
contact Kathy Peacock at 607-774-0022 x308

Meet your Instructor: Carol Miller has over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing and service sectors. She has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York, College at Buffalo, and an M.S. in Management of Technology from Polytechnic University. She is a member of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and the Project Management Institute (PMI), is a NIST-certified trainer and implementer of Lean Manufacturing techniques, and has received certification as a Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University. Carol leads AM&T’s Lean effort.

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See Lean Manufacturing in Action at Kennedy Valve Tour

AM&T and the Elmira Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Chapter #41, are partnering in a Lean Manufacturing tour.

About Kennedy Valve
The Kennedy Valve Company is privately held by McWane, Inc. and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of fire hydrants, check valves, indicator posts, gate valves and butterfly valves. Kennedy Valve specializes in products for waterworks distribution, potable and wastewater treatment, and fire protection system projects.

What You Will See on the Tour
A “must see” if you want to observe Lean Manufacturing in action at a local company. The tour will consist of a short presentation about Kennedy Valve and a shop floor tour. The tour will highlight how Kennedy Valve has applied the Lean Thinking Principles.

During the tour, participants will see one-piece flow, pull systems, workload leveling, quality at the source, standardized work and use of visual controls and communication boards.

The tour will conclude with a Q&A session with Kennedy Valve’s Plant Manager and Continuous Improvement Manager.

Date: April 17, 2013
Time: 5:15 pm to 5:30 pm – Arrival / Socialize
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Tour
6:45 pm to 7:45 pm – Dinner (optional)
Location: 1021 East Water St, Elmira, NY
Main Entrance – Security, which is located on Judson St
Cost: Free

Let us know if you will be attending by Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Please contact either:

Please Note:
  • Please make your reservation early if you would like to attend! The tour size will be limited to 25 people. Safety glasses and hearing protection must be worn in the plant; both can be provided if needed.

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Quality Management Systems

Not Sure About the Value of Certification? Join Us for Breakfast and Learn More

To register or not to register, that is the question so many businesses struggle with. Should we pursue registration to an International Standard like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AS9100, or TS16949? What will it do for our business? Will it help us improve our quality and customer satisfaction? Will we attract new customers or open up new markets? Is it worth the time and expense?

According to ISO, the International Organization of Standardization, “ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing fi eld … and facilitate free and fair global trade.” Sounds great, but what’s the value of registering to an International Standard? Join us to hear more about QMS benefits and how they can help improve your operations and contribute to your growth strategy.

Date: May 22, 2013
Time: 8:00 am to 10:00 am, full breakfast
Location: Owego Treadway, Owego, NY
Cost: Free
Register on-line at or
contact Kathy Peacock at 607-774-0022 x308

The breakfast seminar will be conducted by AM&T’s staff of Certified Auditors and experienced QMS preparation and internal auditing experts. You will have ample time to have all your questions discussed and answered.

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2013 CCMR Symposium

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Learn about cutting edge technologies and their commercial applications!

Oxides: Saving the World at 4 K!

Complex oxides are a mixture of metal and oxygen ions that exhibit a wide range of advantageous effects such as magnetism, superconductivity, ionic conduction and ferroelectricity. Oxide materials have applications in batteries, fuel cells, information storage and more. Like their conventional semiconductor counterparts, complex oxides offer a unique opportunity to control and enhance these effects. Symposium attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about these amazing materials and their potential industrial applications. Featured applications include cathode materials for high performance batteries; piezotronic materials for sensors, MEMS, and active flexible electronics; non-toxic paint pigments for rooftops and walls for energy efficiency, and more. A Poster session highlighting research at the CCMR will follow the lectures. Industry posters are welcome!

More at:

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Associates’ Corner - Automated Cells & Equipment,Inc. (ACE)

Automated Cells & Equipment Inc. (ACE) provides complete design, build, integration and commissioning of solutions related to factory automation and robotic systems. Incorporated in 1996, Automated Cells resides in a 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Painted Post, NY with a staff of over 40 employees including mechanical and electrical engineers, robot programmers, service technicians and support personnel.

With its vision to be a leading automation solutions provider, ACE solutions can be found in many industries including: aerospace, automotive component manufacturing, food, foundry, job shops large and small, medical device manufacturing, and the powder metal industry.

Specializing in the sale and service of FANUC Robotics’ complete line of industrial robots, ACE can offer robots with payloads ranging from 1Kg to over 1000Kg. They are also one of a select group of FANUC Certified Servicing Integrators and are pre-approved to perform warranty repairs on FANUC Robotics’ products with technicians that have met or exceeded the requirements for programming, maintenance and trouble-shooting of FANUC robots. In addition to being a FANUC Certified Servicing integrator, they are also a FANUC Certifi ed Vision specialist with expertise in applying FANUC iRVision to solve many industrial automation challenges.

For more information, contact Jim Morris, President, at 607-936-1341 or

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Associates’ Corner - Courser, Inc.

Courser Incorporated is an Elmira, NY contract CNC machining and general machining company. Incorporated in 1974, Courser produces customer’s products to their specifications with special attention to on-time delivery and quality. Their experienced and friendly customer service staff makes procurement of machined components an enjoy

Courser utilizes military quality standards for measurement equipment calibrations and quality systems. Customer specifications are verified with 1st article, in-process, and final inspections supported by automated coordinate measuring machines that utilize solid modeling inspection routines. Solid modeling systems are integrated into each phase of manufacturing, from providing quotations to CNC programming creation to final inspection routines. These capabilities reduce the lead time and cost of manufacturing both simple and complex products.

Courser continues to expand their impressive machining capabilities and support systems. Two 5-axis vertical machining centers produce complex components with close tolerances and have produced a wide array of complex aerospace components that could not have been produced on 3-axis machines. Their most recent addition is a new large vertical machining center with a 10 foot bed and 10 feet of X-travel that allows large components to be machined. A new tooling crib and bin system provides the shop floor with all the proper tools and fixtures at exactly the right time. The updated shipping and receiving area provides a clean and efficient area for packing outgoing shipments.

For more information, contact: Daniel Herman at, 1-800-568-0045, ext. 215, or visit

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Add Clarity to Challenge

By Art Petty

The “Just One Thing” series is predicated on the assumption that change takes place one step at a time. Like throwing a pebble into a pond, your one small action can have a far-reaching ripple effect at work for you, your firm and of course, in your personal life.

Too many strategies and corporate plans (and even our personal improvement plans) outline lofty challenges in heady words, but they fail to provide the clarity necessary for us and for our teams to move forward in an integrated fashion.

These statements …a mission, a vision, a strategy sound beautiful on the surface, but like a beautifully wrapped empty box, once the surface layer is peeled back and we peer inside, there’s nothing there for us to seize. And then we add our own interpretation.

Why are we doing this project?

What is this committee here for?

Why does this team exist?

What does adopting this strategy mean for me, my work and for the work of my team members?

We all process and interpret statements, words and ideas in a different manner…and to different conclusions about what they mean for us.

Without striving for clarity, the leader leaves their intentions open to interpretation and at risk of promoting disjointed actions. This is the opposite of their intent.

Challenge without clarity breeds confusion. Effective leaders always add clarity to challenge.

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CemeCon, Inc. Achieves ISO 9001:2008 Certification

"We listened to our ISO-registered customer. Looking at our quality control procedures, they said that since we were doing all the right stuff, why didn’t we just go ahead and get certified."

So that’s just what the company did, explained Dirk Sears, Quality Control Manager for CemeCon Inc., a 35-employee firm located in Horseheads. A subsidiary of Germany-based CemeCon AG, the company’s services and products rely on a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process that is used to apply ultra-hard coatings on precision cutting tools for industrial applications.

Sears explained that a few years ago the parent company was pushing ISO but that the recession drove a change in corporate priorities. However, Gary Lake, CemeCon, Inc.’s president, continued to recognize the value to his company of achieving ISO registration, so early in 2012 he decided to forge ahead.

Lake’s management team had an extensive set of quality control documentation handed down from the parent company, but they realized it was overkill as well as a mismatch for their unique and smaller operation. They decided to solicit help from an expert and brought in Bob Mann from AM&T to assess their needs and make recommendations on how to proceed.

"Bob reviewed our existing documentation, discovered how we do business, and then starting asking more penetrating questions," said Sears. Mann’s initial work resulted in a gap analysis – a description of CemeCon’s existing procedures and documentation as they related to requirements for ISO certification – which resulted in a list of tasks that needed to be accomplished in order to achieve certification.

Sears explained that some CemeCon employees had been involved many years ago with ISO implementation at other companies, and were concerned that it was too difficult and complicated for a small company to tackle.

"After Mann explained how the ISO standard had evolved and simplified, and began working directly with those employees, they turned into active supporters and participants," said Sears. "Our customer care staff became especially involved since they are closest to the customer and are the first ones to hear about issues that might impact customer satisfaction."

Lake’s timetable was aggressive, targeting the end of 2012 as the deadline for completing the process. Sears said that instead of adhering to a rigid agenda, Mann guided the process flexibly, which made it more efficient. As soon as the documentation for each Operations Procedure was complete, employees began following it, which enabled a progressive implementation. This meant that within the aggressive schedule, the company had maximum time to fine-tune the system prior to the bringing in the third-party Registrar for the formal ISO registration audit.

The company passed the audit with flying colors, according to Sears, and became certified to the ISO 9001:2008 Standard in January of this year, meeting their self-imposed deadline.

One result of implementing the improved quality control procedures is having better data about production, and presenting that data weekly to employees. With that information, they are more proactive in making suggestions and submitting corrective and preventive actions, explained Sears. A brief daily meeting of all production staff also enables problems to be quickly identified, shared, and corrected. Sears said that consistent use of a formal quality control system helps everyone in the company focus on improving the process when a problem arises, rather than blaming it on an individual.

Summarizing the impact of ISO implementation, Lake said, " ISO 9000-2008 offered a structure to the activities of our company that improves the management of our process and demands a contribution from each staff member to insure that we are able to meet the expectations of our customers.

"As our business changes, we are able to distinguish between short term corrective actions and longer term preventative activities to accommodate our growth. All this is handled within the ISO structure and the result is that quality is a process rather than a function. We are able to maintain process yields in excess of 99% in an industry where 97% is considered good. The customer wins and our staff takes pride in their performance.

"ISO has been instrumental in making us a better company, unifying our team for the collective good. We are extremely pleased with our decision to seek certification and grateful for the support and direction provided through AM&T with Bob Mann"

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