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No job too big. No job too small

Monday, November 9, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

start-up-webWhen KRYTON started out, we wanted to stress the quality of our products and processes more than anything else. You can’t fake it in this industry; you either make high quality products or you produce the alternative. We also wanted to make it a priority to see that these quality products got into as many hands possible, no matter what an order called for. Be it one, single piece for a guy’s garage, or hundreds of parts for a major provider of aerospace equipment, we wanted to be able to put the highest quality metal product we could out on the market.

Especially when starting out, it’s important to not just be wide open to accepting new clients, but to look to build long lasting relationships with clients. As a startup company, you’re not looking to JUST receive orders and cycle products through the line as efficiently as possible. You’re essentially looking for “business partners” that value your services and will continue to do so in years to come. Building consistent relationships is key to the growth of any business, regardless of the industry.
We’re the kind of manufacturing company that has the values, and the feel of a local, small-time provider of expert services and products. BUT, also has the impressive ability to perform and compete at a global level. That’s a combination we’re proud to maintain.

too-big-too-small-webDoing so allows us to effectively communicate with larger consumers in different locations in a comfortable, informal way that helps build those relationships. It also helps provide for our local community by offering world-class manufacturing facility and the employment that goes along with it.

We take pride in the facility we operate in. We’ve been able to provide our awesome staff with some of the best tech in the business. This wide range of world-class equipment and technology also helps us achieve our goals of serving the few and the many. Strategic, digital planning helps us adjust our production process accordingly to the size and types of orders we have on any given day. We’re up to any challenge and fairly confident we can complete any order without giving it too much concern.

Our ability to do this confidently is an outstanding testament to the quality of our staff. We always stress lean tactics in both planning and production stages, but when you break it down and see that your staff is able to comfortably organize and complete orders ranging from 1 to 100,000.. well, that’s pretty cool!

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Kryton’s Place in the Changing Manufacturing Industry

Monday, June 29, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

krytons-place-in-the-changingWhile strong underpinnings are an integral key to success in any industry, an ability to weather the storm and grow with the times are also necessary components.  American manufacturers capable of accomplishing this then serve as the “go to” business model ~ ever-affirming that a steadfast commitment to provide quality, exceptional products matters most. Kryton Engineered Metals is one such phenomenal manufacturer; here’s why:

Company Faces Challenges Head-On

When Kevin Harberts, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Kryton Engineered Metals started his company in 1982, it was just a dream fueled by a “can do” attitude. Kryton  has experienced tremendous business growth over the past 30+ years, but finds himself challenged by the recession that is hanging on in the Midwest. “Growth is hard, and growth is a challenge,” Harberts said. “It requires strategy and patience and an ability to keep both yourself and your entire company motivated and focused on keeping things moving forward in the right direction.” Kryton  repeatedly relies on a “make it happen” philosophy to meet customer demands while moving in a positive direction.

Looking for Record Growth by 2017

Business growth is a challenge even in the best of times, but when an economy is mired in a slump it makes the task just that much harder. Harberts looks for Kryton Engineered Metals to double in size by 2017, but he’s not expecting the growth to be easy. “We realize the process is going to be very strategic and is going to require a change in training and an overall change in the culture of our company,” he said. He’s looking to expand his sales base globally now that the company is the major supplier in North America. That doesn’t mean advancing globally won’t be a challenge. Europe’s economy continues to struggle. Metal exports to the region have dropped from 24% of all exports to just 9%. China is predicting a bad year as well, which, when combined with a strengthening dollar, means bad news for metal exports. Strengthening U.S. demand could offset a weakened picture overseas.

The Painted Vision Provides Clear Picture of Future

By providing a clear mission statement and spelling out the responsibilities on the shoulders of each employee, Kryton  paints a picture of the roadmap to business growth.

  • Accountability,
  • Integrity,
  • Improvement,
  • Quality,
  • Teamwork, and
  • Enthusiasm

are the values that make up the building blocks of Kryton’s  planned growth. The company focuses on exceeding customer expectations by utilizing continuous process improvement and building relationships with clients. “Kryton very much so has its eyes on the future. And, that’s why I liked the idea of instituting the Painted Vision idea,” Harberts said. “It’s a way of getting employees on board and in the loop.”

Business Growth at 12% Over Last Three Years

Through Kryton’s commitment to customer satisfaction on all levels, the company has experienced a 12% rise in profits in the last 36 months. Much of that is due to a satisfied customer base, but a good part of the growth goes back to the creation of the Z-team, a unit of super sales pros that keep the work flowing into the manufacturing group. The rise in sales translates into more modern equipment, better wages and expansion.

A Clean Facility is a Growing Facility

Visitors to Kryton’s manufacturing center constantly comment on the cleanliness of the facility. An organized and clean shop floor lends itself to more efficient production and reflects the pride the employees have in a job well done. Despite the constant hum of machinery and buzz of activity on the manufacturing floor, there is a real sense of teamwork between different departments and shifts.

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Maintaining Your Equipment

Monday, June 22, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

maintainance-of-equipmentThe maintenance of a CNC laser cutting machine can often be overlooked when making the decision to purchase a laser cutting machine. However, the cost of maintenance should be factored in when deciding on investing in a CNC laser cutting machine. It’s important to look at all the factors of managing the maintenance of a laser cutter machine. Being aware can help to cut the costs of operating the equipment for the lifetime of the machine.

One factor to be aware of is keeping spare parts in stock. The best way to do this is to create an agreement with a machine tool builder, or even a third party builder to maintain a modest supply of important spare parts that are critical to maintenance. Stay away from keeping the more expensive parts in stock. Parts can get damaged or misplaced in the storage process and in the end, it’s not worth the risk. The downside to this is when a part does need to be replaced and it’s not onhand, production stops. To minimize this risk, make sure the supplier stocks the parts locally and can be counted on to make a prompt delivery. Steps can also be made to oversee the CNC laser cutting machine to spot problems before they need work in order to make a order for the part before it breaks.

To create more peace of mind for the owner of the CNC laser cutting machine, extended warranties and insurance for the equipment will ensure that if anything were to go wrong, the owner is covered. Make sure to be knowledgeable on what the warranty actually covers and what the contract terms are. This will make it easy when the time comes to file warranty or insurance claims.

To ensure that the proper maintenance is managed for the CNC laser cutting machine, it’s recommended that the maintenance schedule is followed that is provided by the machine builder. The team in charge of maintenance should also keep a record of what maintenance has been provided and conditions of the machine should also be noted. By following these tips, the maintenance of your laser cutting machine will be kept up to date and the likelihood of machine breakdown and a pause in production will be kept to a minimum.

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Mobile Apps in the Metal Manufacturing Industry

Monday, June 15, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

mobile-app-in-manufacturingMetal manufacturing requires safety cut offs and accurate weights and measures that are life and death significant.  From metal spinning to application of all metals, the future of IPad contributions throughout the entire process is abundantly clear to those active in the metal manufacturing industry.

The storing of steel poses numerous  hazards that easily lead to injury if suitable safety programs are not in place. Risks include steel in its various forms having the unique inclination to roll, slip, slide or fall over if not restrained. More hazards exist and have to be dealt with  if racking or other equipment provided for storage is not durable for the weights involved. This could cause serious injury as well as loss of life. The Metal Manufacturing Material Handling Safety Checklist in Australia’s mobile app is intended to be used to create safer working environments. This app fortunately can be customized to production site.

Customized Applications for Your Metal Manufacturing Business

In 2015’s metal spinning industries as well as other related fields, it is possible to have custom made applications created to provide your company’s unique needs:

  • Delivery Software for any delivery business
  • Direct Store Delivery and Distribution processes
  • Field Service Operations
  • Field Sales
  • Asset Management
  • Inventory Records
  • Proof of Delivery
  • and other needs unique to your company.

Within metal manufacturing and wholesale businesses, much data must be collected and forms completed. Companies can save personnel time and cut  paper waste with a customizable manufacturing and wholesale mobile applications.  Whether you are tracking operation of a forklift and related OSHA inspections or customer packing lists, there is a customizable app to soothe and smooth your metal manufacturing operation.

Technology & Manufacturing Mobile Applications Showcase New Molten Procedure
The Technology & Manufacturing application introduced by Apple in 2015 demonstrates a procedure for  Liquidmetal  and other similar amorphous metal alloys to be melted and injected into your manufacturing equipment. The application simplifies the process of transferring molten alloys.

  • One method adds a “branch” to a regular type chamber containing  metal “fingers”cooled by water, containing a surface that is no-wetting.  Surface tension prevents  metal movement until metal fingers are retracted.
  • A second method uses tools like a hot glue gun by holding a solid piece of metal feed in place by constriction in the tube. The feedstock melts at the constriction and flows into your cold sleeve.

It is reported that parts formed with these methods have endless uses and application in consumer electronics. The Technology & Manufacturing application specifically cites uses in manufacturing:

  • mobile phones,
  • portable music players,
  • streaming devices,
  • laptop computers,
  • desktop computers,
  • watches.

Kryton Metals’ Role

Kryton Engineered Metals has followed through on its company pledge to stay abreast of all new technology in the manufacturing metals industry.  To this end, we have incorporated new procedures and innovations to established procedures to have a priority interest in applications for safety inspections, data record keeping, inventories and even particular production programs.  In this way, Kryton Engineered Metals and all affiliates offer the best quality product with the least waste of time or cost. Our home office in Cedar Falls, Iowa welcomes the interest of other metal manufacturers, and provides in-source production for other manufacturing interests when Kryton is able to do it faster, with better quality and more efficiency. As the go-to authority in metals manufacturing, Kryton is happy to share and collaborate with others in the metal industry.

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The 7 types of Waste in the Manufacturing Industry

Monday, May 11, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

wasteWaste occurring in the manufacturing industry globally is a world wide environmental danger. Keeping the world “Green” is the buzz word that indicates our responsibility for not leaving a huge environmental footprint that damages our ozone, earth’s resources and future life.

Lean manufacturing is the American phrase coined to describe a manufacturing process that has solved its manufacturing waste.  The Japanese gave the name of Muda to Manufacturing Industry waste.  In essence. Muda is bad, Lean is good, and Green is what we are all trying to be.

The seven wastes in the manufacturing industry include unproductive manufacturing practices as identified by the father of the Toyota Production System (TPS). Taiichi Ohhno. TPS came to be identified as lean manufacturing in the United States.

Following are the seven wastes:

  • 1.  Overproduction — Manufacture of products in advance or in excess of demand wastes money, time and space.
  • 2.  Waiting — Flow of Operation should flow smoothly and continuous. Processes are ineffective and time is wasted when one process waits to begin while another finishes. Reports state 99 percent of a product’s time in manufacture is actually spent waiting, not being created.
  • 3.  Excessive processing — Overly expensive equipment is wasteful if simpler machinery would work the same or better.
  • 4.  Excessive inventory wastes money with costs of storage and maintenance.
  • 5.  Unnecessary motion — Worker movements should be convenient and productive, not wasted bending, reaching or walking. Ergonomics evaluation should design more efficient behavior.
  • 6.  Inappropriate Processing – Excess processing wastes money in payment for employee time, wastes said employee time and can be detrimental to product.
  • 7.  Defects – Manufacturing defects and inoperable product causes waste of money and loss of time sensitive contracts.

Lean manufacturing is based on an immediate and timely way to avoid the waste associated with overproduction, waiting and excess inventory. Since the list of waste has been established, other categories have been proposed for addition, including:

  1. Under-utilization of employee skills— Employees have other talent, skills and insights for work that should be used.
  2. Unsafe workplaces and environments— Employee accidents, health issues arising because of unsafe working conditions.
  3. Lack of or timely sharing of information— Research/ communication are essential.  Operations must work to capacity.
  4. Equipment breakdown— Poorly kept equipment causes  damage and costs both time and money, plus can affect employee safety.

The seven wastes list was created for manufacturing.  However, the list of categories is easily adapted to most workplaces and most industries.

Kryton Engineered Metals has taken steps within its own operations to abide by the foregoing lists.

  • Equipment has been stationed at more efficient locations to minimize employee movements and time loss.  This is changed as needed to keep efficiency high.
  • Communications within the company are streamlined and prioritized so that important communication was delivered appropriately.
  • Each morning Staff Production Meeting is held to go through the scheduled day and discuss any problems expected and assign staff to them.
  • Computer software completely handles daily schedule of the manufacturing process.  From moment a shipment of material arrives, it is processed and within three hours is in production. This doesn’t stop or ebb until the product is completed and shipped to the buyer.
  • The Computer software also keeps the personnel all on the same page and prevents doubled efforts or lost time.

 

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