May, 2018

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Connect with over 2000 peers online through the Manufacturers Alliance LinkedIn group. Learn More.



New and Renewing Members

Thank you to the following members who have recently joined or renewed your membership!

Atrix 
Carlson Commercial
Replenex
Curio
Monroe Moxness Berg 
Engineered Products 
A Couple of Gurus
Faribault Woolen Mill
Bethany Press 
R.C Smith 
SJE Rhombus
Owens Corning
Minnetronix 
Pengo Corp
Nolato Contour
Exlar Corp
Continental Machines
IRD Glass
Amesbury Group 
Glenn Metalcraft 
APG Cash Drawer
States Manufacturing
Nordic Ware
Sparton Corp
RXFunction
Dedicated Networks 
ChemStar
Instigate
Symtec 
RXFunction
TSI  
Shutterfly 
Restaurant Tech
Control Assemblies 
GEA Process Engineering 
Donatelle Plastics 
The Bernard Group
Metro Mold & Design
Baxter-Synovis 
Redpath and Co
WIPFLi
Edco Products 
Action Plastics 
Kasco Marine
AWT Labels and Packaging
JEM Technical
Saint Paul Stamp Works
Cannon Equipment
Eco Finishing
Pneumadyne 
Ellicott Dredge Tech
Boyum & Barenscheer
Precision Punch & Plastics
Teleflex/Vascular Sol
Sunrise Fiberglass
MultiSource Mfg 
Whirltronics 
Marsh & McLennan Agency 
MTS Systems 
Detroit Diesel Reman DMR
Menasha Packaging
PouchTec Industries
Decimet Sales 
DRI-STEEM  
Reo Plastics 
AbelConn 
CDI Curbs/Crystal Dist
Boyer Trucks
Qumu/Rimage
Imperial Plastics  
Nahan Printing 
TSI Incorporated
Heraeus Medical 
Chart Industries 
Phillips & Temro
Associated Financial Group
Cirtec Medical



Completed Certifications

Congratulations to the following individuals who have recently completed their certification. Job well done!

Nick Hobbs-Midwest Rubber
Jesse Kochendorfer-Midwest Rubber
Christine Olson-Midwest Rubber
Kenn Murray-Midwest Rubber
Grant Dammann-Midwest Rubber
Jessica Williams-Tolomatic
Eric Thesing-Talon
Rob Hamers-Talon
Kenneth Showalter-Aqseptence Group
Farrah McPhee-Aqseptence Group
Eric Trettel-Shippers Supply
Dan Christopherson-Tennant Company
David Brajkovic-Smiths Medical
Shannon Vandelac-Baxter
Zack Brorby-Custom Products
Kyle Sandberg-Meier Tool & Eng
Nick Behm-Meier Tool & Eng
Josh Hill-RMS Co.
Kevin-Larson-RMS Co.
Mike Fasbender-RMS Co.
Neal Eldridge-RMS Co.
Bruce Yang-RMS Co.
Jake Lewis-RMS Co.
Samuel Wood-Spectralytics
Gloria Kotila-Spectralytics
Vincent Pope-Spectralytics
Michael Powell-rms Surgical
David Nelms-rms Surgical
Bryan Lund-rms Surgical
Scott Back-RMS Co.
Chang Thao-RMS Co.
Jason Hauta-RMS Co.
Danny Amborn-Spectralytics
Andy Dallmann-rms Surgical
Shari Porter-rms Surgical
Zach Hilk-JunoPacific 
Leon Gerring-JunoPacific 
Brock Reinschmidt-Cretex 
Jeremy Fossum-rms Surgical



HD Seminar Videos

Visit our Seminar Video Library and leverage the best practices and lessons learned from experienced peers on-demand. All HD Seminar videos and slides are complimentary for members with new videos being added every month. 



Manufacturing Forum

A Manufacturing Forum presented by Twin Cities Business will be held on June 26 at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley. For more information visit the Event Page.



Upcoming Events

August 28th 2019 08:00 am
- Conflict, Communication and Collaboration

September 4th 2019 08:00 am
- Integrated Product and Production Development

September 5th 2019 08:00 am
- Employee Performance Management and Coaching

September 10th 2019 08:00 am
- Lean Manufacturing Simulation

September 11th 2019 08:00 am
- TWI Certification

September 11th 2019 08:00 am
- TWI Job Relations

September 11th 2019 08:00 am
- Employee Performance Management and Coaching

September 12th 2019 07:30 am
- Key Performance Indicators with Impact

September 16th 2019 08:00 am
- Manufacturers Alliance Career Group

September 17th 2019 08:00 am
- Project Management for Manufacturers

Article Index

2018 Manufacturer of the Year Awards-EDCO Products
Article by: Manufacturers Alliance

EDCO Products is a 2018 Manufacturer of the Year Award winner.


2018 Manufacturer of the Year Awards-Design Ready Controls
Article by: Manufacturers Alliance

Design Ready Controls is a 2018 Manufacturer of the Year Award winner.


2018 Manufacturer of the Year Awards-Uponor North America
Article by: Manufacturers Alliance

Uponor North America is a 2018 Manufacturer of the Year Award winner.


MN Economic Outlook
Article by: Dr. Ernest Goss

The April Business Conditions Index for Minnesota expanded to a very healthy 63.6 from March’s 61.0.


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2018 Manufacturer of the Year Awards-EDCO Products

EDCO Products is a 2018 Manufacturer of the Year Award winner.

In 1946, EDCO officially incorporated by Arthur Edwards Sr. and his two sons, Arthur Edwards Jr. and John Edwards, in Hopkins, Minnesota. This began a journey with a laser-focused commitment on innovation, quality and service. When Art Edwards, Jr. returned from the war and wanted to capitalize on the housing boom that was taking place across the United States, it was their vision to bring to market a lasting and affordable residential siding product.

With that as the objective, the company built a manufacturing facility and began producing and distributing asphalt siding. As material advancements became available, the company shifted from asphalt to aluminum and eventually steel. Art would take this vision to new heights in the late 90’s when EDCO entered the steel roofing market – and experienced immediate success. Art passed away in 2012 however his innovative, visionary and entrepreneurial spirit live on today through all of EDCO’s 200+ employees.

Integrity, Accountability, Adaptable, and a Passion for Excellence are but a few of the guiding principles that all 200+ EDCO employees are held to. Each EDCO employee embodies a set of values which ensures they exceed the customers’ expectations and continue to innovate the industry. For over 70 years, their “Never Satisfied” approach has led to industry leading innovation, quality, service and that will never change.

With manufacturing excellence as a founding principle at EDCO, the company has established a reputation as an industry leader with its innovative and award-winning line of siding, roofing, soffit and rainware products, as well as, a complete line of color-coordinated accessories. EDCO has established strong relationships with their expanding distributor network because they know they will receive a consist high-quality product, unsurpassed customer service and they know EDCO stands behind the products manufactured which is very important. 

EDCO takes tremendous pride in both seeking out and sharing best practices. As an active member of the Minnesota manufacturing community, they see it as their responsibility to drive improvements within their business and fellow manufacturing companies. They are a participate in a Manufactures Alliance Peer Group and have hosted numerous meetings to share and demonstrate production process improvements. Often times these peer group sessions result in strategy and process adjustments, versus wholesale changes. With over 70 years of manufacturing, experience has taught them that looking at problems collectively provides significant value.

Like many companies, EDCO is focused on creating a continuous improvement culture which is easier said than done for a long-standing successful manufacturing organization. Whether it be reduction of scrap material or order process improvement, by defining the problem and building a specific improvement plan, they are experiencing very positive results. They have implemented a company-wide employee training program that is aimed at investing in people around the areas critical to future success – project management, leadership, automation. Growth presents a different set of challenges, especially in a tight labor market, so they plan to continue to invest in people in order to grow within the company. Looking ahead, EDCO plans to complement their talented team with enhancements in machine automation, information systems, and manufacturing efficiency.

The mission of the Manufacturers Alliance is to provide peer-to-peer training, education, and resources which inspire manufacturing companies to continuously grow, improve, and stay competitive.

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2018 Manufacturer of the Year Awards-Design Ready Controls

Design Ready Controls is a 2018 Manufacturer of the Year Award winner.

Design Ready Controls (DRC) has designed and manufactured control panels and wiring harnesses—the brains and nervous systems of large equipment—for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) since 1989. They are the most automated control panel builder in the world and the leading supplier of control panels and wiring harnesses in North America. They provide products and services to more than twenty industries. DRC's mission and values drive the way they do business, and they are committed to operational excellence, customer responsiveness, and innovation. They practice continuous improvement in all systems from collaborative engineering and process automation to communication accuracy and speed.

Design Ready Controls leads the industry in engineering capabilities, process efficiencies, national presence, and responsive service. They employ more than 250 individuals with facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Virginia, allowing them to complete and deliver projects within reach of any OEM in the United States. At every location, they use an integrated ERP system to manage capacity planning and track build times.

The adoption of Lean and 5S methodology has helped them create standardized procedures for any product, meet JIT needs, and optimize process flow. All facilities are ISO 9001:2015 registered; ISO14001 registration is pending. OEMs trust Design Ready Controls to provide the highest quality control panels and wiring harnesses available. They maintain the highest quality standards while controlling costs and meeting ambitious delivery schedules. Every level of support in design, engineering, and manufacturing is offered.

Design Ready Control's data-driven processes and advanced production facilities provide measurable benefits and exclusive advantages to customers. Their proprietary Automated Panel Expert (APE®) and Automated Manufacturing Expert (AME®) systems provide customers with real-time, online access to panel build status, archived documentation, test data, photos, and component ordering capabilities. Engineering expertise, proprietary processes, and advanced production facilities deliver cost savings and provide the highest quality products.

Their dynamic and positive work culture thrives from the front desk to the production floor with clean, safe, comfortable working conditions, opportunities for personal and professional growth. 

Design Ready Controls earned recognition as Manufacturer of the Year on the strength of their continuous improvement initiatives such as participating in two Manufacturers Alliance Peer Groups and leading their community by hosting facility tours for peers, authoring manufacturing articles, and presenting at seminars and conferences. DRC shares thought leadership with groups of all kinds including regularly visiting local high schools and colleges to promote technical and manufacturing careers. They offer facility tours to state and federal officials, counterparts in other businesses, and fellow manufacturers, and invite discussion on every aspect of operations.

When asked what improvements they have already made they are most proud of their answer was that by embracing the principles of Lean manufacturing and initiating improvements in process automation and product quality they have grown 20% per year for the past decade. Design Ready Controls prioritizes process improvements for the customers' benefit including designating a Lean coordinator, utilizing technologies, and creating specialized work centers that help their employees do their best work.

The mission of the Manufacturers Alliance is to provide peer-to-peer training, education, and resources which inspire manufacturing companies to continuously grow, improve, and stay competitive.

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2018 Manufacturer of the Year Awards-Uponor North America

Uponor North America is a 2018 Manufacturer of the Year Award winner.

Uponor North America, strives to be the preferred partner that plumbing and HVAC professionals rely on for smart water and energy solutions. They are an award-winning manufacturer of PEX piping and provider of plumbing, fire safety, radiant heating/cooling, hydronic piping, and pre-insulated piping systems, offering solutions for new construction, retrofits and remodels in the residential, light commercial and commercial markets.

In 2016, Uponor partnered with Belkin International to form Phyn, a new intelligent water company that is revolutionizing the way consumers interact with water and helping solve major challenges facing the global water supply. Recognized for best-in-class manufacturing, sustainability, economic development and as a top workplace, Uponor's group of companies employs more than 4,000 worldwide; their global headquarters are located in Vantaa, Finland.

What makes Uponor unique is their unwavering focus on delivering the best possible customer experiences – every place they interact with the company. They've expanded the offerings beyond products to holistic solutions that boost confidence and build business. They invite industry professionals to participate in training at their facility, as well as offer them onsite support and BIM/CAD design services.

For their employees, Uponor works hard to maintain a culture of caring, while expecting each team member to be accountable for achieving results, be collaborative and curious to find new and better ways to succeed. These values have earned them the honor of being ranked by employees as a Star Tribune Top Workplace for seven straight years.

Consideration for winning the Manufacturer of the Year Award is based upon a company's demonstration of sharing improvement experiences with peers to benefit local manufacturing. As a two-time winner of the award, Uponor demonstrates this by being open for tours, benchmarking and presentations through many different formats such as:

  • Uponor participates in three Manufacturers Alliance Peer Groups hosting each group once per year.
  • Hosts informal tours and presentations from many peers in the industry.
  • Answers informal requests through phone and email helping others with questions and challenges dealing with Lean by sharing documents and pictures explaining how Uponor has applied specific Lean tools and systems.
  • Hosts and presents the Manufacturers Alliance's Continuous Improvement Idea Systems workshop.
  • Contributed to the Manufacturers Alliance's educational Blog sharing details about the internal Lean training program that was developed.

The two main improvements Uponor is most proud of are the increase of implemented ideas in operations from 161 in 2012 to 2080 in 2017 gained by empowering employees to improve on a daily basis; and the development of their internal Lean training program and completion of 423 employees bronze-level trained, 70 silver-level trained, and 6 employees currently enrolled in gold-level training. On the horizon, their main improvement goal is to deploy Lean across the entire enterprise.

The mission of the Manufacturers Alliance is to provide peer-to-peer training, education, and resources which inspire manufacturing companies to continuously grow, improve, and stay competitive.

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MN Economic Outlook

The April Business Conditions Index for Minnesota expanded to a very healthy 63.6 from March’s 61.0.

Components of the overall April index from the monthly survey of supply managers were new orders at 76.6, production or sales at 69.5, delivery lead time at 62.2, inventories at63.2, and employment at 46.8. “Over the past 12 months, the Minnesota economy has increased non-farm jobs by 0.7 percent (below regional average), durable-goods manufacturing jobs by 0.7 percent (below regional average), and nondurable goods manufacturing jobs by 1.5 percent (above regional average),” said Goss.

Dr. Ernest Goss of Creighton University, used the same methodology as The National Association of Purchasing Management to compile this information. An index number greater than 50 percent indicates an expansionary economy, and an index under 50 percent forecast a sluggish economy, for the next three to six months.

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