page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116

using different fi llers and techniques. Those customers have already received an average sixmonth payback on their investments. “We intend to expand more geographically,” he says, “especially as an applied technologies engineering company, looking for new application opportunities for ourselves and our customers. Our special projects group goes out through our distribution channels to fi nd customers who are peripherally aligned to our industry, to see what we can do for them. “The technology to make a bowling ball is core for us, for example, and the chemical content is not unlike what we’re used to; the same with polymer concrete, using the same basic resins with different fi llers. Our people are experts at blending, mixing, metering, and moving material to a source and dispensing it accurately. I can’t say enough about our people. With a vested interest, they’re solidly committed to our future.” facility in Shanghai to service the cast polymer industry much as we do in the US. The building industry in China is about ten times the size it is in the US. That business for us is developing, albeit slowly. Meantime the US housing situation is worsening, which means this is a struggle year for us, but we see light at the end of the tunnel.” In 2004 Gruber initiated a market diversifi cation strategy. Since it had developed its technologies in the international cast polymer industry, it decided to examine where those technologies might have other applications. So far it’s done several major, successful projects, such as an automated bowling ball plant in Mexico for Brunswick, a prototype manufacturing facility for Sea Ray Boats, a project in partnership with another automation company that produces architectural columns (a construction item), and a few factories for polymer concrete, which is a somewhat similar process GruberSystems,Inc. FedEX 90 www.bus-ex.com January 08

January 08 www.bus-ex.com 91 More than six years ago, Hardinge Inc. began an internal lean journey, seeking ways to simplify, speed up and shorten the manufacturing and assembly process used to produce its family of turning, grinding, milling machines and workholding products sold to manufacturers around the world. As improvements began to materialize, it became clear that in order to maximize those gains, the supply chain would need to be improved as well. “We realized we had to optimize the supply end so the assembly team could realize the gains that the lean efforts have given it over the years,” said David Bassett, the global sourcing manager for the Elmira, New York machine tool division of Hardinge. At the same time, Hardinge came to believe that having a finely tuned and efficient global supply chain could become a powerful competitive weapon, particularly when combined with the improvements in both labor efficiency and the continuous improvements achieved through its lean manufacturing operation. And the company believes it is especially well positioned to take Hardinge Inc, a global supplier of metal cutting solutions, believes a tightly run global supply chain can be a powerful competitive weapon. Keith Regan learns how it’s using its worldwide footprint to make that idea a reality Hardinge Theglobal supplychain