Monday, August 5, 2013

Cameron Makes Major Acquisition

Cameron Manufacturing & Design, an AM&T Associate, announced the acquisition of the assets of Echo Bridge, Inc. and Decker, Inc., long time manufacturers of custom bridges. At the same time, the company announced the formation of a new company, Cameron Bridge Works, LLC.

“Our formation of Cameron Bridge Works, LLC and the acquisition of Echo Bridge and Decker Inc. complements our overall custom manufacturing offerings. This investment represents an important strategic opportunity to offer even more diverse products to multiple customers across the country,” said Chris Goll, President/CEO of Cameron Manufacturing & Design.

Goll explained that the asset purchase of the two bridge construction companies fits into Cameron Manufacturing & Design’s strategy to ensure continued growth. Cameron Bridge Works, LLC will provide services to clients across the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Southern states.

Cameron Manufacturing & Design, Inc. is an employee-owned custom manufacturing company based in Horseheads that offers a wide range of products and services that include fabrications and weldments, equipment and machinery, production and prototype services, and design and drafting services. Echo Bridge and Decker were family-owned and operated businesses in Elmira. While the two companies have completed projects as far away as Utah, Texas and Florida, they had a primary market focus in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states.

Goll said that the newly formed entity will capitalize on the strong presence of Cameron Manufacturing & Design and the specialty experience of Echo Bridge and Decker to become a leader in the bridge manufacturing arena.

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SEPAC Partners with Carnegie Mellon’s Robotic Tartan Rescue Team

SEPAC, a manufacturer of electromagnetic brakes and clutches, is proud to announce acceptance as a promotional sponsor of the Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) Tartan Rescue Team for their participation in the Department of Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge.

The Department of Defense’s Strategic plan calls for the Joint Force to conduct humanitarian disaster relief and related options. The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) attempts to address the issue by promoting robotic technology for disaster response operations. The robots will be judged based on autonomy, mobility, dexterity, strength, and endurance.

SEPAC’s electromagnetic brakes and motion control engineering expertise is providing integral support in the development of the robot’s drive joints. Precise control of these drive joints enable the robot to achieve human like manipulation and gripping to complete critical rescue orientated tasks.

Carnegie Mellon’s Robotic Institute was founded in 1979 and was the first robotics academic department in the US. Today it is the largest (in revenue) robotics research group in the world.

A custom designer and manufacturer of motion control products, SEPAC Inc., in Elmira, NY, provides innovative electromagnetic brake and clutch solutions of the highest quality and reliability in markets such as aerospace, defense, energy, medical, industrial and robotics. Learn more at or call 800-331-3207.

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Tompkins County ReBusiness Chamber Challenge.

You know about the “3 R’s” in education - but what about the 4R’s of business sustainability? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rebuy.

Reduce waste being sent to landfills, save energy and resources, and make our community more sustainable. Remember the four R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and ReBuy!

For more information on the Rebusiness Chamber Challenge please contact Kat McCarthy, Waste Reduction Specialist at the Tompkins County Solid Waste Division, at 607-273-6632 or at

This program is funded through a contract with Tompkins County Solid Waste Management Division.

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Global Manufacturers Outpace Service Firms in Quality Systems

Manufacturers are far ahead of service companies in using quality management systems. According to a survey conducted of almost 2,000 organizations in 22 countries, ASQ found that 78 percent of manufacturing companies use ISO as a quality framework, versus 52 percent of service-based organizations. “Internationally, Finland has the lowest percentage of organizations that use ISO as a quality framework, 56 percent,” says ASQ. The Czech Republic was the leader — at 83 percent of organizations using ISO. In the United States, 60 percent of organizations use ISO as a quality framework.

The survey found that all companies generating more than $10 billion a year in revenue provide quality training, including lean, Six Sigma, ISO, auditing and quality management.

Compared to service organizations, manufacturers provide twice as much training in the areas of Six Sigma and lean, and one-third more training in the areas of auditing and ISO. In Germany, 77 percent of the organizations provide ISO training and 82 percent provide general quality management training — the highest of any group of organizations. Learn more at

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Manufacturing Day 2013

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.

On October 4, manufacturers, educational institutions, and others will host events to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs in manufacturing fields.

In its first year 2012, more than 240 events were held in manufacturing facilities in 37 states and more than 7,000 people participated. This year’s celebration will feature open houses, public tours, career workshops and other activities to increase public awareness of modern manufacturing.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges.

Find out more and learn how your company can plan a MFG DAY event at

If you decide to host an event this year, it’s important that you register your event at Registration will enable you to access a variety of tools to help promote the event and your company.

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Improve Your Business by Implementing ISO 9001

How can implementing a Quality Management System based on ISO 9001 improve your business, organization, or department?

Frequently the ISO 9001 Standard is perceived to be complicated and heavy on documentation requirements. These perceptions are not necessarily accurate. The ISO 9001 Standard is actually very straightforward with simple requirements for procedures and records. The ultimate goal, however, of implementing ISO 9001 should be to create an organization that continually improves.

Why Implement an ISO 9001 Quality Management System?

Why should your organization use the ISO 9001 Standard? An honest reply can say a lot about how effectively the standard can improve your business. If you are using the standard as a gimmick (a plaque on the wall), then the standard will be a burden, not a benefit. If the honest reason for implementing the standard is improvement in your overall business, then it can truly help your organization become better, and it will allow you to compete in a global marketplace.

Using ISO 9001 Makes Your Organization More Competitive.

Implementing the ISO 9001 Standard as a Quality Management System can improve your business. In fact, that is why it was created. It is broadly recognized as a proven method of using a systems and process approach to make your business better. It can make your organization more effective, and therefore more competitive.

Improving Organizational Culture by Implementing ISO 9001.

Another important advantage of implementing the ISO 9001 Standard is improved organizational culture. Faithfully employing the standard can actually change how people feel and behave in the organization, and how its members interact with peers, subordinates, superiors and customers.

Aligning and integrating your ISO Quality System with your Business Management System will reap many tangible benefits.

Basic Project Management Workshop - Sep 12, 2013

A “train and do” workshop introducing the basics of Project Management, including classroom presentation and exercises on how to organize and manage projects and bring them to a close – on time and on budget.

Are You a Project Manager?

Today, everything is a project with more and more people finding themselves in a project management role of some type. You don’t have to have the title of Project Manager to manage projects.

A Project is a temporary collection of related tasks to achieve a desired and usually unique result.

What do you think? Do you find yourself managing a collection of related tasks to achieve a desired result? If so, you qualify as a project manager. Businesses today are evolving, downsizing, and pushing more work down the organization chart. You may be a project manager and not know it. But what if you haven’t been trained as a Project Manager with the necessary skill and tool sets?


This training is for manufacturing, engineering, and installation personnel with project leadership responsibilities, whether in a new role or just in need of a refresher.


  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Individual Roles and Responsibilities
  • Defining the Mission & Approach
  • Methodology Overview
  • Work Plan Review and Sign-off
  • Project Tracking (Working the Schedule)
  • Action and Contingency Plans
  • Project Status Reporting
  • Book shelving Project Management Data

(Course materials are based on methods described in the Program Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), published by the Program Management Institute)

Date: September 12, 2013
Time: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Location: Treadway Inn, Owego, NY
Cost: $250 ($200 for AM&T Associates)

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

Meet your Instructor: Lloyd Johnson is a graduate of Syracuse University where he earned a B.S.E.E. and an MBA. Lloyd has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing, quality and program management. Lloyd is a Professional Business Advisor (PBA), a certified Project Management Professional-certified by the Project Management Institute, and is certified to teach Training Within Industry (TWI) and Lean Enterprise Subjects.

The Difference Between Finishers and 70-Percenters

By Art Petty
There’s a class of professionals in the world one of my former bosses labeled as “70-Percenters.” They’re the people who are great at making noise, and even getting things started, but they don’t know how to close. They’re not finishers.
Are you a Finisher or a 70-Percenter? Are you cultivating Finishers on your team?
5 Key Behaviors of Finishers:
  1. Finishers walk into the heat. The 70-Percenter runs away from messy situations, while the Finisher understands that she owns a problem or difficult team situation until it’s solved. She recognizes that one of her jobs is to lead the cleanup on organizational spills, and she relishes the opportunity to help a team move from disaster to success.
  2. Finishers understand that commitment IS commitment. The 70-Percenters are masters of excuses. Finishers eat accountability for breakfast, exude responsibility all day long and display fortitude in the most difficult of circumstances. Projects are completed, issues are resolved, problems are fixed and opportunities are pursued with a vengeance.
  3. Finishers want the ball with time running out. 70-Percenters fear the implications of blowing the final shot. They look to pass the ball. Finishers are the sales representatives who engineer game-winning drives to bring home the orders at the end of the quarter and the engineers and developers who understand what it takes to go from whiteboard to finished product.
  4. Finishers aren’t glory hounds, they are results fiends. 70-Percenters love the limelight, and live to find it. Finishers value the results and lessons learned. They climb mountains because they’re there and they complete their work, because anything else is tantamount to giving up. Finishers don’t know the words, “I give up.”
  5. Finishers look around corners for answers. 70-Percenters run from vexing dilemmas and situations where the answers might involve a blend of experimentation and hard work. Finishers understand the iterative nature of most solution development activities and live to experiment and to gain insights from non-traditional sources in untraditional ways.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
Finishers make the world go. 70-Percenters are along for a fun ride, but they don’t provide much locomotive power. As a leader, strive to cultivate Finishers on your team. Reinforce accountability and importantly display the behaviors that teach by example.
As an individual contributor, adopt the behaviors above. They need to be part of your professional DNA.
While a team filled with Finishers offers its own challenges, it certainly beats the painful monotony of coping with the chronic under-performance of 70-Percenters.

AS 9100 Quality Certification for Dyco Electronics

Dyco Electronics is a profitable manufacturing company with 58 employees working in a 25,000 sq. ft. company-owned facility in Hornell. They serve government and commercial customers who demand top quality and who have been happy with what Dyco delivers; sales are growing and the company is hiring. Yet the owner decided last year to invest in preparing the company for certification to the aerospace industry’s standardized quality management system, AS 9100.

To understand that decision, some background on the company is helpful. Dyco manufactures a wide range of custom magnetics, including transformers, reactors, inductors, chokes, coils, planar transformers, surface mount transformers and just about anything that involves copper foil, magnet wire, laminations, ferrites, toroids, and any other type of transformer materials. With relatively small runs of ever-changing products, profitability and customer satisfaction are heavily dependent on tight quality controls.

Originally, Dyco’s quality procedures were driven by MIL-SPEC, which are requirements related to standards established by the US Department of Defense. When ISO standards and requirements gained international visibility a couple decades ago, some of Dyco’s larger customers exerted pressure on the company to follow that path but then backed off, choosing instead to use their own auditors to insure that Dyco’s quality control procedures met those customers’ requirements.

Company president and CEO, Gregory Georgek, explained, "We always had a high level of quality and good systems in place, but not a lot of formal documentation of our processes. We have a goal of continually improving, and we recognized that the quality consistency that we wanted just wasn’t there."

Georgek has a long-term perspective on the company, which has been in Hornell for 53 years, and he believes that continually re-investing in the business and pushing it to change and evolve is essential. "I saw everybody here as working at full capacity, so the hard thing for me as the owner was to understand how we could find the time to take on this project. But I realized that getting these systems in place was necessary to achieve the vision of where I want the company to be five years from now -- which is to grow and achieve a higher level of professionalism -- so we just made it a priority."

The first step came shortly after Jeff Wilkins was hired as Program Manager three years ago. One of his first assignments was to create work instructions for everything that was happening in the plant and the front office. Georgek explained that this occurred prior to a decision to pursue AS 9100 certification; it was simply another step in the process of continuous improvement. With the work instructions solidified, the management team tackled the question of what the next most valuable initiative would be.

Georgek said, "We had worked with AM&T before, so we contacted them for advice -- AS vs. ISO, understanding the resources required, how long it would take, and what kind of end result we could expect. In other words, we wanted to know in advance what this would do for the company." Staff also solicited opinions from their larger customers about what would be best for the company; those customers were encouraging but also said that Dyco’s not having certification would not negatively impact those relationships.

"Many years ago, we felt like other people were trying to force us to become certified so we resisted," explained Georgek. "But we try to always be working on things that will position the company for growth and sustainability on into the future, so we decided to look at the AS 9100 certification decision from one perspective: what’s good for Dyco and our internal operations. And that’s what drove our decision."

The company engaged AM&T assistance in the person of Bob Mann. "Bob recognized that we had lots of elements -- the systems and the procedures -- already in place and explained that we just had to formalize and document them," said Wilkins. "He met with us weekly and kept us on track."

Georgek said, "I can’t see a company doing this without a consultant group. If you just read a standard and then implement it for your company, the tendency is to do much more than is really required. Using AM&T and Bob Mann has helped us implement a much more reasonable system."

Wilkins explained, "There was a tipping point where those employees slow to respond wanted to get on board and not miss the boat. And that’s when real culture change became evident inside the company."

"Having everyone involved in creating the new system helped create a new mindset," said Wilkins. "We wanted everyone to gain an across-the-board understanding of how the company does business, and for everyone to have a better grasp of each others’ jobs. When this happens, things run more smoothly and problems get solved faster."

"Right, but having the strong quality systems in place doesn’t mean that everything is magically fixed," noted Georgek. "Of course we still run into quality issues, but how we handle them is different, and the way we resolve them and prevent re-occurrence is different."

Wilkins said that going through the process of earning AS 9100 certification also gave everyone a better understanding of what their customers’ quality auditors want to see and why it’s important. "And that also means we can now do a better job of explaining what we do and how we do it to our customers."

Asked about the future, Georgek said that Dyco’s upcoming initiatives will focus on marketing, improving the company’s online presence, increased sales outreach, and adding some new equipment. "It’s good for the company for me to be less involved in day-to-day decision-making and to have people and systems in place that allow me to spend more time on sales and future-oriented projects. One goal is to build a company that is successful in my absence, and our improved quality system is an important step in that direction."