May Power Manufacturing Award Nominees

It’s a new month, and with that comes new Power Manufacturing Award nominees. Let’s meet the contestants:

 

 

Power Manufacturing AwardWasatch Window Well Covers

Our first nominee for May is Wasatch Window Well Covers, an Orem, Utah, based business that manufactures covers for (you guessed it) window wells. Their products reflect the company’s priority for user safety. Not only does their product prevent falls down into window wells, but also allows for users as young as children to unlock the cover when the need to escape becomes real, such as a house fire.

Power Manufacturing Award

 

OraTech

OraTech is a full-end manufacturer for the healthcare industry. Originating as a dental products maker in Utah, the South Jordan company has expanded into multiple aspects of healthcare. OraTech is known for using innovative manufacturing methods for their clients, including a rare 3-color 3D printer used in crafting syringes.

 

Dyno NobelPower Manufacturing Award

One of the largest industrial explosives manufacturers in the world, Dyno Nobel bases its operations in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. The company defines its crowning characteristic as good communications, meaning that employee insights and consumer feedback are both taken seriously.

 

These three manufacturers are what we consider to be some of the best examples of innovative, boundary-pushing and communication-focused companies in the Mountain West. We look forward to diving into our award process to determine which of these companies will win the Power Manufacturing Award

Don’t see your business on our nomination list this month? Email [email protected] to nominate your company for the Power Manufacturing Award!

Power Manufacture Award

April Power Manufacturing Award Winner: Milgard Windows and Doors

The Power Manufacturing Award is given to companies that demonstrate the ability to lead the manufacturing industry based on their ability to create high-quality products, respect the customer and value employees. That’s why we’re announcing our first regional Power Manufacturing Award winner, Milgard Windows and Doors!

Milgard Windows and DoorsMilgard Windows and Doors was nominated for their outstanding manufacturing solutions and employee-centric company culture. But that’s not all to their story, and why they deserve to be dubbed a Power Manufacturer.

Founded more than 50 years ago in Washington State, Milgard has been known for being open to customer comments and has produced an innovative manufacturing floor environment. In its manufacturing plants scattered across the American Mountain West, the company creates windows and doors suited to homeowners’ needs by making its own fiberglass frames, insulated glass units and vinyl components.

“To ensure top quality from start to finish, Milgard begins by precisely controlling our vinyl compound formulation to withstand harsh climate conditions,” a Milgard spokesperson told Powerblanket. “We extrude our own frame material, and fabricate all vinyl windows and doors to order, giving us the tightest control over quality. Our fiberglass windows and doors receive the same level of attention.”

In the manufacturing industry, it takes quality to make quality. That focus led Milgard to win the 2019 Best Quality Vinyl Window from BUILDER Magazine. That success is only made possible by Milgard employees.

“To be the best, we hire the best,” the spokesperson said. “More than 3,000 Milgard employees work hard every day to give our customers high-quality products and superior service. They’re a big part of the answer to the question: Why Milgard?”

Power Manufacture AwardBecoming a Power Manufacturer means being the best your company can possibly be. Focusing on the product, respecting and valuing employees, and pursuing innovation are what the Power Manufacturing Award is all about. That’s why we’re happy to have Milgard Doors and Windows featured as the Power Manufacturer for the month of April.  

April Power Manufacturing Award Nominees

The Power Manufacturing Award process has undergone several changes, the biggest of which is our promoting of deserving award nominees. One of these four nominees will win the Power Manufacturing Award for the month of April. 

Powerblanket is excited to announce the nominees for April’s Power Manufacturing Award: Advanced Composites, Aero Tech Manufacturing, Milgard Windows and Doors, and Biovation Labs. These businesses have shown to be exceptional when it comes to the key characteristics of a Power Manufacturer: innovative, unique and persevering. 

April Nominees

 

Advanced Composites

Advanced Composites: Operating out of Salt Lake City, Advanced Composites has worked hard for nearly 30 years to become one of the nation’s top carbon filament winding companies. With an eye for detail and a reputation of safety (this is their 7th year of being accident-free), Advanced Composites has earned their spot as a nominee for April’s Power Manufacturing Award.

 

Aero Tech ManufacturingAero Tech Manufacturing: One of the most employee-focused companies we’ve ever seen, Aero Tech Manufacturing was nominated for their recognition that good products are a result of good workers. For the past 25 years, employees have led the way in developing ways to innovate the manufacturing process, and according to the company’s website, that’s one of the things they’re most proud of.

Milgard Windows and Doors

 

Milgard Windows and Doors: While not based in Utah, Milgard Windows and Doors has a fantastic manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, where company values result in a top-quality product. Those values, which got Milgard the nomination, are to focus on the customer, cultivate high-performance teams, and continuously improve, just to name a few. 

 

 

Biovation Labs

Biovation Labs: One of the most transparent manufacturers in Utah, Biovation Labs is a do-it-all nutritional supplement maker. From supplement creation to product packaging, Biovation has a hand in every part of the manufacturing process. Their policy of allowing tours of their facility, what they call “your own quality audit,” is one of the reasons for their nomination.

 

Each of these companies display the traits of a Power Manufacturing Award winner. We’re proud to recognize them as examples of excellence in the Utah manufacturing industry, and we look forward to working with them as we move ahead in the nomination process. Keep an eye out for the announcement of the winner later this month!

Power Manufacture Award

Become a Power Manufacturer

Is your company worth recognizing for their manufacturing excellence? Email Power Manufacturing Award Director Adam Jacobs at [email protected] to get started.

JANUARY POWER MANUFACTURE AWARD WINNER: COX HONEYLAND

With a new year comes a new winner of Powerblanket’s Power Manufacture Award. For the month of January, Cox Honeyland has been chosen to receive this prestigious recognition. We’ve noticed their manufacturing prowess in creating some of the most delicious honey in the Mountain West, and felt the world needed to be aware of this outstanding manufacturer.

Cox Honeyland Power Manufacture Award

Cox Honeyland is a family-run honey business based in Logan, Utah. The company began in St. George, Utah, back in the early 1900s, where members of the Cox family created a bee keeping empire in the desert. Cox Honeyland is the modern incarnation of that same idea, raising bees and churning out honey for the world to enjoy.

One of the unique aspects of honey from Cox Honeyland is the nature of their nectar.  According to the company’s website, their bees travel across the northern Utah mountains to collect nectar from flower blossoms that result in three particular flavors of honey: Clover-Alfalfa (light and mild), Cache Valley (darker with more flavor), and Mountain Snowberry (mountain wildflower flavor). With that honey, Cox Honeyland manufactures a wide variety of products such as beeswax lip balm, honey popcorn and fruited creamed honey.

A spokesperson for Cox Honeyland said the reason they’ve been in business for over 100 years is because of their high manufacturing standards.

“We value our customers and are consistent and dependable,” the spokesperson said, adding that Cox Honeyland is already recognized for many local and state awards for their entrepreneurship. The company is also the recipient of the Golden Hive Award, issued for outstanding beekeeping.

Cox Honeyland will be one of many of this year’s Power Manufacture Award winners. Representatives from Powerblanket will be delivering an award plaque and issuing a Power Manufacture Award badge for Cox Honeyland’s website. The honey manufacturer will also be in the running for the 2019 Power Manufacturer of the Year.

If you’d like to nominate your business for the Power Manufacture Award, contact Powerblanket at [email protected].

Power Manufacture Award

Power Manufacturer of the Year: Taffy Town

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Powerblanket is happy to announce the inaugural winner of 2018’s Power Manufacturing Award of the Year: Taffy Town! The Power Manufacturing Award of the Year is chosen out of that year’s monthly winners, based on their excellent standard of manufacturing and innovation. Taffy Town continues to succeed in their example of positivity and deviation from the status quo, and are a clear choice for this year’s winner!  

taffy town After a year to look at many candidates in the Utah Manufacturing Industry, Taffy Town has caught their industry’s attention. This is the second recognition Taffy Town has received for manufacturing excellence, the first being in January 2018 as the Power Manufacturer of the month. We were able to spotlight many amazing manufacturers this year who are doing amazing things in business and manufacturing, so choosing a winner for this award was difficult. In the end however, Taffy Town became the clear choice.

The Power Manufacturing Award is given to companies that display standard-setting trends in manufacturing. Based in West Jordan, UT, the company has 50 employees and creates more than 20,000 pounds of taffy every day, with sales across the globe.

As reported in January of 2018, Taffy Town does not use the traditional taffy-pulling process that some may remember seeing in store windows. Instead, they have a competitive edge by using a whipping process and 24 hour-long batch conditioning process to produce a soft texture taffy that melts in your mouth. Their products contain no peanuts and no tree nuts, and they are gluten free and use kosher dairy. However, their commitment to their top quality product and 100-year old tradition is what won them the title of Power Manufacture of the Year.

Congratulations to our fellow manufacturers at Taffy Town!

 

*Know of a manufacturing business who are doing amazing things? Nominate them for The Power Manufacturing Award! Simply contact us with the details and they will be in the running!

 

February 2018 Power Manufacturer:  Rustica Hardware

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Power Manufacturer Awardwooden doors for rustica hardware in a living roomRustica Hardware, of Springville, UT–the Art City, is our featured Power Manufacturer for February. Rustica is the second manufacturer to win the Power Manufacturer of the Month Award by Powerblanket. Although they seem to have little in common with our first winner, Taffy Town, Rustica Hardware shows that manufacturing is not a stereotypical industry. We started this campaign to spread the word about the manufacturing industry and the businesses who are making an impact in it, regardless of the specific industry or business model. Rustica Hardware is definitely making an impact, and are doing some very exciting things to set them apart as a Power Manufacturer. 

Like many companies, Rustica Hardware began with a wish and a dream.  The founders, Kate and Paul Alan, loved cabins and rustic furniture and decor.  As they created and explored their options, they found that beautiful doors and hardware were the niche that fueled their fire.  Eleven years from it’s conception, Rustica Hardware is a thriving manufacturing business with a very bright future.  Ben Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer, spent some time helping us to become more familiar with Rustica Hardware and their specific vision.

It’s Not Just a Door

If you were to walk into any mill or metal shop typically they will tell you, “We make doors, cabinets, hardware, etc.”  That is the product base at Rustica; however, if you were to ask what they do, they would say, “We make functional art that brings soul to people’s living spaces.” This one-liner puts into perspective how they are different and reminds them why they are successful. They envision, create, and manufacture functional art, not doors. So if the product prepared for shipping isn’t inspiring, it doesn’t ship. Rustica Hardware promises quality, speed, and an artistic aesthetic with every single product–that’s what makes them different. 

handsome brown haired engineer drawing at table in warehouse

Mass Customization 

An idea that they have built their facility around is “mass customization.” Because they offer so many different options and to ensure the product will bring soul to the intended living space, they had to create a machine unlike any other in the market to accommodate totally custom requests with short lead times. “We will proudly turn around a totally custom door in two-three weeks, and a totally custom hardware set in just three-five business days,” said Lewis.  The facility’s layout accommodates huge quantities of this speedy customization every single day, which is something they are very proud of.

What Keeps Rustica Hardware on Top

Their approach to business, creation, and manufacturing really hasn’t changed much since they began. Their primary focus has always been to create products that move and inspire people.  The only difference now is that they have expanded to meet the huge demand for their products. Moreover, they value their people and have scaled up with the most talented people in the industry to ensure they can create products quickly and of the highest quality imaginable.

Award Winner

Rustica Hardware has received numerous trade/home show awards.  They are a Utah “Best in State” company for the door and hardware industry. They have been honored as as Best of Houzz and many others. On top of that, their products have appeared on many home improvement shows featured on HGTV, DIY network, and FYI. Their products have also made the big screen as parts of sets for major motion pictures.

Rustica Hardware Headquarters in front of mountain

Advice from Rustica Hardware

Lewis said, “Find a lane and stick to it. There is always the temptation to try to be something to everyone, but when you do that you risk being nothing to no one. Avoid the call to offer your products below their value. It will be a longer road to success by maintaining your standards, but it will build your company on a firmer foundation to cultivate customers who are actual fans of your brand.”

In the Future

In fact, Rustica Hardware has recently been filmed to potentially get their own renovation TV show on the A&E network. According to Lewis, “Nothing is set in stone yet, but it’s looking very possible that millions of viewers, from all over the US, could be tuning into the Utah manufacturing scene weekly.”

 

One Piece Flow and Making it Work for You

One Piece Flow and Making it Work for You

Lean Manufacturing

Every lean manufacturing goal is to achieve one piece flow. One piece flow allows for the most efficient production operations. It has taken Powerblanket many years to achieve one piece flow production. To maintain this production process requires overcoming challenges such as maintaining standards, level loaded schedules, continuous training, and waste reduction.

One Piece Flow

One piece flow is centered around balanced cycle times, takt time requirements, and a level loaded schedule. Takt time is the rate at which a finished product needs to be completed to meet customer demands. We have built our production lines to meet desired takt time calculations and expand production cells to lower takt times if needed. Takt times are met by achieving balanced cycle times from cell to cell. Cycle times are individual times per production cell that records process time and delay time. Powerblanket has also designed an internal scheduling software system to meet our unique application and processes. Our schedule is driven from takt times and available operators to output total units to be built and time requirements to follow.

Traditionally, like many manufacturing environments, Powerblanket had been producing product using the “batching” process. This process is obsolete here at Powerblanket as we have transitioned to the more beneficial “one piece flow” process.  One piece flow

Benefits of One Piece Flow

  • Inventory Reduction: Companies can maintain a small volume of safety stock reserved for standard products. The majority of volume is built from customer demands. This requires each operation to only build product needed by the next operation.
  • Floor Space Reduction: Each operation is built one piece at a time so removal of WIP (work in progress) areas allows for a more condensed layout. This opens up space for additional production lines. As a result for floor space reduction, there is a minimized needed for operators to oversee production areas.
  • Flexibility: Our production lines are very unique because we have the flexibility to alter models being produced daily. Our lead times are then decreased as well for we have very minimal changeover times and downtime when switching models.
  • Lead Times: Our production lines have lead times given to each model from understood takt times. This makes a very predictable value stream.
  • Quality Control:  We encounter much less wasted product and quality issues with the one piece flow process. Any quality issues or defective material are found on the first unit, and are then revised/resolved for the next unit. Since batch sizes in one piece flow are just one, there will not be mountains of inventory to count, move, store, and dispose of.

How to Create a One Piece Flow Production LineOne piece flow steps graphic

  1. Calculate takt time for products and ensure all cycle times are either less than or equal to total desired takt time.
  2. Evaluate production cells and base process/equipment capability on takt time. Considerations include changeover times, load and unload times, downtime, and machine speeds.
  3. Develop a pull system that allows for reduced lead times, ultimately benefiting customers. Allow for the value stream to drive the pull system.
  4. Develop a lean layout that allows for highest efficiency possible within the smallest amount of space. Space between process and within process cells must be minimal to eliminate motion waste and prevent unwanted WIP (work in progress) waste. Layout shapes and directions are driven from process requirements and factory floor limitations.
  5. Create visible standard work processes with the use of standard operating procedures, jigs/fixtures, quality checks, and 5S workstations. Standard processes eliminate variability and inconsistencies to drive quality. Consider accommodations for the differences between standard and custom products.
  6. Determine number of operators required to meet takt times. Train operators from standard work and cross train to allow for maximum flexibility.  
  7. Allow a learning curve to develop and audit takt times and standard work over time to achieve maximum quality and efficiency.