Friday, January 16, 2015

Attention Manufacturers - TAAC Grant Available

Congress Reauthorizes And Provides Funding
For Trade Adjustment Assistance For Firms
Program Through June 2016.
Background information:
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: The NYS TAAC is one of eleven regional centers throughout the nation providing assistance under the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA) program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The NYS TAAC provides assistance to New York State based manufacturing firms who are competing against imported products and or services.
  • Types of Assistance projects: Management, Marketing, Finance, Information Technology, Lean Manufacturing, Engineering and Quality Management Systems Compliance Registration.
  • Funding Options: $150,000 at 50% firm and 50% government or $30,000 at 25% firm and 75% government
  • Funding Approval Process: eligibility certification, development of an action plan or Adjustment Proposal and project implementation.
  • Certification criteria: recent declines in sales and employment due in part to import competition.
All interaction and information is completely confidential.
Don't Miss This Opportunity,
Call Jim Cunningham at AM&T today - 607-725-1225

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Manufacturers - Register Now to Become Part of the Southern Tier Manufacturing Directory “Made in the Southern Tier”

The Southern Tier is home to a diverse group of manufacturers that supply products to the world. But many of those companies are known only to a small number of customers and suppliers, and often aren’t aware of the existence of a potential customer or supplier only a few miles away. So, AM&T has just launched "Made in the Southern Tier" – an online directory that showcases our region’s companies and the vast array of products that are manufactured here.

Inclusion in the directory is free to all Southern Tier manufacturers, and the benefits include:
• Enhanced exposure to top-level search engines such as Google
• Greater likelihood that world-wide customers can find you
• Ease of finding regional suppliers and partners for your production needs
• One source for regional companies to find manufacturing suppliers

To qualify for inclusion in the directory, you must be a manufacturer, with a NAICS code between 311-Food Manufacturing and 339-Miscellaneous Manufacturing. Also, your company must be located in one of the following New York counties: Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga, Tompkins, Broome, Chenango and Delaware.

The directory is incorporated into AM&T’s website, and the initial collection of company profiles are those of AM&T Associate companies. In addition to descriptive text and contact information, the profiles include logos, product images, videos, and more – a comprehensive yet compact showcase.

Go to and click on "About the Directory" or "View Manufacturers". Then follow one of the links to Add Your Company to the directory. When a new company profile is submitted, it will be reviewed and confirmed by AM&T staff before it appears in the directory.

We are excited about providing this resource to support the companies who make a positive impact on our economy. It provides an opportunity for more buyers to connect with Southern Tier manufacturers, and for the manufacturers to find each other as suppliers and customers, and for new start-ups to find potential suppliers or prototype capabilities.

If you are a Southern Tier manufacturer and would like to include your company in the directory at no cost, start the process by completing the information form using this link:

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Always Deliver More, in Business and Life, With These Three Principles

By: Matthew Toren

There is one entrepreneurial golden rule that will take you further and faster than any other in your working day. It’s gaining more and more popularity in the zeitgeist these days as our culture starts to recognize and speak more openly about the importance of value, honesty and transparency. What’s that golden rule?

Always deliver more.

When you approach every project, every meeting and every opportunity in life with the passion and spirit of delivering more, you’ll succeed.

Here are three areas for where to deliver more that will help you guide your startup and live the golden rule.

1. Time

You should never be late on your project deliverables. Never. In fact, if you don’t deliver at least the day before, you’re pretty much late already.

One thing that is incredibly valuable, priceless even, is other people’s time. Don’t waste it. If you promise a client a project on a due date, there are no excuses for them arriving at work on that day without the project in hand. Don’t shortcut yourself and always deliver on time.

Another thing to remember is others’ time in meetings and in person. Show up 10 to 15 minutes early to everything, all the time. Even your personal appointments. Don’t make other people wait and watch how much that way of delivering more endears you to others.

2. Creativity

There is a shortage of creativity in this world. As an entrepreneur you have free reign in a sense to wow your clients, users and customers with some insanely good creativity.

When people encounter your product or service, will they way "oh" or "wow"? If it isn’t "wow!" you need to go back to the drawing board with your team and keep working.

3. Ideas

One of my favorite ideas from writer James Altucher is being "an idea machine." He talks frequently in his books, on his blog and on his podcast about the idea that if you can be the source of creativity and ideas, and share those with the world, you’ll always have work and success. I love that idea because it’s true!

You can’t approach your startup with a "what’s in it for me" mindset. You have to approach everything you do with how you can provide more for your clients, customers, staff and others. When you’re an idea machine, cranking out awesome, creative solutions and freely sharing those with others without strings attached, you’ll find there are millions of invisible strings that connect you to the good things in life. You may not always see them at first but they’re there and they’ll tie you to new opportunities and chances to again deliver more.

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Lean Thinking & Value Stream Mapping Workshop

Introduction to Lean provides participants with the basic Lean concepts and principles. These concepts and principles will be described and put in context to explain how they can be applied within the Manufacturing environment.

In the first half of the day, common Lean improvement tools and techniques will be identified and the class will discuss how best to apply these techniques from a Lean system perspective. The common mistake organizations make by focusing on "point" improvements versus "system" improvement will be studied. "Point" improvements create "exciting chaos" while "system" improvement creates dramatic sustainable bottom line benefits.

The second half of the day is designed to provide participants an introduction to Value Stream Mapping.

Enterprise Value Stream Mapping is a critical Lean technique that provides an end-to-end systems perspective for analysis and coordinated improvement. Value Stream Mapping creates an overall roadmap and shared vision, plus an actionable plan.

A value stream is the set of all activities, from order to delivery, used to provide a product or service to clients. Understanding and improving processes as integrated end-to-end systems is fundamental to real and sustainable improvement.

These interactive sessions are specifically designed for personnel at all levels of an organization, particularly those that are involved in process management, continuous improvement or process redesign in manufacturing who would like to enhance their working knowledge of Lean and Value Stream Mapping. The workshop will also act as a springboard and prerequisite for an upcoming series of Lean workshops that will continually take the participants’ knowledge and ability to the next level of capability and confidence.

Discover how Lean Thinking and Value Stream Mapping can get you started on your Lean Journey to:
• Streamline processes
• Reduce costs
• Improve quality
• Improve profitability
• Prepare for growth

Date:             February 19, 2014
Time:            8:00 am to 4:30 pm
                      7:30 am sign-in, continental breakfast, lunch provided
Location:       Owego Treadway, Owego, NY
                      Cost: $250 ($200 for AM&T Associates)
                      Bring a friend at half price
                      or contact Kathy Peacock at
                      607-774-0022 x308

Don’t Miss this Workshop - Register Early | Registration deadline is February 12, 2015

Meet your Instructor: Carol Miller has over 25 years experience in the manufacturing and service sectors. She has a broad-based background in Continuous Improvement, Operations and Project Management, and Technology Integration. Carol has worked in a variety of operations and management functions at several manufacturing companies. She joined AM&T in 2004 and provides consulting services in the design and implementation of manufacturing best practices. Carol has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo, and an M.S. in Management of Technology from Polytechnic University. She is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), and is a board member on AME’s NE Regional Board. Carol is a NIST certified Lean trainer and a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Carol leads AM&T’s Lean effort.

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“The Five Breath Test”

By: Jeffrey Burnel
Here is what appears to be a pretty simple (at least it seems so at first) test every entrepreneur (or any business owner for that matter) should be able to answer and it makes a really compelling executive summary. "The Five Breath Test".
1. What is your business idea?
  • Be direct and clear
  • Avoid jargon
  • Be passionate!
2. Who needs it, and why ?
  • Clearly describe the problem to be solved ~bring it to life
  • Define the market with the problem
  • Connect the listener to the problem in some way ~ make it credible, ideally personalize it!
3. Why you?
  • Separate your idea from competition
  • Describe your sustainable competitive advantage
  • Provide "permission to believe"
  • Highlight this team’s capability to deliver
4. Why is now the right time?
  • What’s driving the sense of urgency
  • What has changed or emerged in the market making this a feasible proposition?
  • Avoid claim: "first to do it"
  • Connect the key elements together
5. How will you (or investors) make money?
  • Be realistic; don’t over-promise
  • Due diligence will uncover the truth
  • Provide a rational exit strategy
  • Investors need to see the way out
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Three Lessons in ‘Just Do It’ Innovation

By: Jessica Day
In the field of innovation, change that can impact a business runs the gamut between "just do it" ideas and ideas that take weeks, months, or even years before they start generating a return. But every idea has the potential to make an impact and save employees or end users both time and money.
For example, take a major restaurant chain and two "just do it" ideas that have ended up saving them time and money.
One employee noticed that tabletop ketchup bottles often had to be replaced. This same employee suggested that by offering sides of ketchup on appropriate dishes rather than a bottle on every table, this could save the company six figures.
Another idea streamlined Sunday service. On Sundays (and only Sundays) in the restaurant, they served both loaded baked potato soup as well as including a brunch offering. Both the brunch items and the soup were topped with numerous condiments that required extra attention from each server. One employee suggested simply serving baked potato soup on another day and suddenly as a result, the staff workload was reduced and the brunch items were delivered to guests at a faster rate.
Both of these are examples of ideas that can be implemented immediately with very little upset. But instituting a system where these ideas turn up on a continual basis requires cultural and procedural understandings.
Lessons Learned:
  1. Innovation Still Requires Administration: Any open innovation platform requires multiple modes of communication for engaging members and reviewing ideas. But the administration doesn’t end with generating ideas – it also requires innovation management and seeing those ideas through into reality – making sure that the ketchup bottles are removed from the table and replaced with new side cups for serving, for example.
  2. Stir the Pot At Least Every Two Weeks: This company established two groups of moderators that go into the community every two weeks to contribute thoughts and comments and encourage participation from other members. They found that making sure that ideas were responded to (whether they were implemented or not) was the best way to get people to return and contribute. The second group was in charge of up-leveling ideas and recommending them for implementation.
  3. Senior Level Buy-In: As much as any employee can suggest the next business impacting idea, having executives that will make those ideas into reality is just as imperative. At this restaurant, they are surprisingly highly involved. Oftentimes, they identify the most-valuable ideas before they’re even recommended.
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Some Recent Activities to Promote Innovation, Growth & Profitability of Manufacturers in the Southern Tier

  • Conducted the annual ISO 9001:2008 internal audit at a company in Colliersville. The QMS was deemed ISO compliant.
  • Conducted a semi-annual ISO 9001:2008 Internal Audit at a company located in Elmira. There were no findings noted during the audit and a summary report was prepared and delivered to the Quality Manager. Their QMS was deemed compliant and effective.
  • Completed a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) workshop at a company in Endicott and analyzed their order to shipment processes to identify best practices, non-valued added activities, gaps and deficiencies. The analysis will be used to develop lean programs in 2015.
  • Conducted a tri-annual ISO 9001:2008 Internal Audit at company located in Stamford. There were no findings and three opportunities for improvement noted during the audit. A report was prepared and delivered stating that their QMS was deemed compliant and continues to be effective.
  • Conducted two TWI Job Method improvement workshops at a company located in Elmira, as part of their 2013 CFA contract. A total of 16 supervisors and team leaders were trained on using a 4-Step Method for breaking down a process into its details and identifying ways to eliminate, combine, rearrange, or simplify them.
  • Conducted a semi-annual ISO 9001:2008 Internal Audit at a company located in Ithaca. There were no non-conformances noted and a report was prepared that also offered three opportunities for improvement. Their QMS was deemed compliant and effective.
  • Completed an ISO 9001:2008 Internal Audit at a company located in Rochester. There was one non-conformance and one opportunity for improvement. A summary report was prepared and delivered. Their QMS was deemed compliant and effective. This effort is a subcontract through High Tech Rochester.
  • Conducted four-hour Lean Thinking training sessions at a company in Elmira, focused on identifying and improving production and administrative wastes. The training was attended by 10 people in each session.
  • Completed multi-day 5S and Visual Workplace event at a company in Binghamton. The teams created a workplace where everything is visually clear and controlled. As a result, the workplace will produce fewer defects, less waste, fewer injuries, and fewer breakdowns. These improvements will translate into lower costs and improved quality.
  • Conducted a five-day "New Product Development" value stream mapping event at a company in Elmira, with a team of ten people. It is anticipated that when implemented, the plan will result more effective product launches which will improve on-time deliveries and reduce wastes.
  • Conducted a one-day 5S: Workplace Organization Training Session. Included was an overview of 5S and how to create a plan to implement 5S company-wide.
  • Conducted a two-day Lean Policy Deployment session, which is a management process that aligns, both vertically and horizontally, an organization’s functions and activities with its strategic objectives. A specific plan was developed with precise goals, actions, timelines, responsibilities, and measures.
  • Conducted Internal Audits and assisted in Management Reviews at companies in Horseheads, Oneonta, Hornell, Hammondsport, and Binghamton.
  • Assisted two companies in developing procedures and quality manuals for AS9100 certification preparation.
  • Assisted two companies in preparing for Pre-Assessment and Surveillance Audits.
  • Assisted several companies across the region with applications for WDI grants for training.
  • AM&T partnered with the NYS Workforce Development Institute, GST BOCES, and Chemung-Schuyler-Steuben Workforce NY to conceptualize and fund a new Hybrid Machining Pilot Project and then held a joint meeting with several manufacturers from the Chemung-Schuyler-Steuben region to confirm the needs of regional manufacturers and finalize the details of the project. Up to 10 trainees will be selected and trained in the program. All trainees will receive 500 hours of training in precision machining skills at the BOCES Bush Campus followed by on-site training at several participating manufacturers where they will rotate among these employers to learn a variety of hands-on skill sets from a mentor/leader provided by the employers. This innovative and cooperative approach is expected to produce 10 machinists that will be highly employable in the Chemung-Schuyler-Steuben region. Plans are to continuously improve upon the program to train and develop future machinists to meet the expressed needs of regional manufacturers.
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Associates’ Corner - Four Square Tool / Toolroom Express

In 1990 Toolroom Express merged with Four Square. Toolroom Express was founded in 1989 as a mold shop focused on quick-turnaround production molds and shortrun injection molding. During the time since the merger Four Square has grown into a full service production injection molding company.

Toolroom Express is the name for a new rapid injection molding service. An extensive amount of time was spent developing the technical and service sides of Toolroom Express. In late 2004 Toolroom Express began offering its rapid injection molding services to customers. If your products use injection molded parts, Four Square can provide expert solutions, from design to delivery. They specialize in precision injection molding and related assembly services.

Rapid Injection Molding utilizing conventional machining and molding processes to produce your part, value-engineered processes and applied innovative methods make Four Square both time and cost efficient. This, along with their extensive experience with injection molding, allows Four Square to produce your injection molded part to your design, using the material you specify, in a time that keeps your project on track.

Concurrent engineering services are offered in:
• Moldflow Analysis
• Design For Moldability Review
• Material Selection

The goal is to provide you with the design support to make your development project a success.
(607) 723-5373

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Associates’ Corner - Sarnicola Simulation Systems, Inc.

Sarnicola Simulation Systems, Inc. (SSSI) was established on January 1, 1991 for the purpose of designing and fabricating custom motion platforms for industries ranging from flight simulation and entertainment to testing and research. The first patented Motion Platform was designed, fabricated, tested and completed for sale within nine months. Since that time, a growing business of providing Motion Systems and Motion Systems consulting for military, research, entertainment, advertisement, and special effects simulation has contributed to a steady growth. SSSI was incorporated in June of 1997. The business has expanded, and in 2000 moved into their new, custom built facility located at 970 Conklin Road, Conklin, NY.

Service and product lines have continued to expand as customer requests and market demands dictate. What began from providing a Single Custom Motion Platform, has expanded to dozens of custom designed motion systems for customer specific requirements. A major strength of SSSI is its ability and willingness to meet customer requirements in a critical time frame and at a fair price. The market for SSSI services and products is worldwide with customers in: Australia, China, England, Germany, India, Israel, New Zealand, United States, Russia and Turkey; to name a few. The number of systems provided now exceeds over 150 units ranging from complete turn-key installations to units integrated into and with other companies products.

Recent Project Example: Submarine Conning Tower Test Device – Large 30,000 pound payload motion platform for testing Submarine Conning Towers before they are installed in the submarines. This six degree of freedom motion platform having sixty inch stroke actuators effectively simulates the ships motion at varying "Sea States"…from calm to very violent activity. Once inserted into the motion platform, the conning tower electronics locks onto satellite commands to control internal gyros located in the conning tower to maintain ship stability. Essentially the SSSI motion platform replicates the ships motion in real time.

Over the years much of the work has gravitated to Military and Medical applications. Clients such as Boeing, Hughes-Link Training, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Chrysler Motors, Schulmberger, Simmons-Rockwell, General Dynamics, Motek Medical and the US Government have become part of the customer base.

Most recently SSSI has developed several physical therapy devises based on simulation technology for a variety of health related applications. These range from stability control to response measurement and monitoring along with eye-hand and eye-foot coordination improvement.

SSS looks forward to building upon the knowledge and experience of the dedicated staff, helping you create your next custom motion system. SSSI can and will custom fabricate motion systems to your requirements and specifications. Success is often attributed to a few individuals. In this case, it is achieved through the efforts of many individuals working together. SSSI, assisting the World in Motion.

or contact
Dr. John F. Sarnicola, P.E.

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