AME names Accuride plants
as 2015 AME Excellence Award
The Association for Manufacturing Ex-
cellence (AME), Rolling Meadows, Ill.,
has named Accuride Erie Operations
and Accuride Rockford Operations as
the winners of a 2015 AME Excellence
Award. The award recognizes North
American manufacturing plants that
have demonstrated excellence in
manufacturing and business.
The AME assessment team highlighted Accuride Erie Operations’
continuous improvement philosophy,
observing management driving a culture of metrics-based performance
to satisfy customer needs. The assessors also praised the facility’s detailed
level of planning of plan-for-every-part (PFEP), well-organized product
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development data, the focus on material flow improvements using value
stream mapping and visual kanban
pull processes, and the cooperation
with the UAW union.
During the Accuride Rockford Operations site visit, the assessment team
highlighted the plant’s application of
visual scheduling boards, resulting
in the launch of fourth-generation
production pull boards, and the use
of value stream mapping in the factory and for office processes. The assessment team praised the Rockford
facility’s corporate and factory hoshin
kanri (a method to capture and cement strategic goals), as well as the
execution program tied to the associate incentive/bonus program. The assessment team also commended the
Rockford facility’s partnership with a
perishable-tooling supplier and effort
to use 100 percent of tool life.
Both plants serve the North American commercial vehicle industry. Accuride Rockford Operations manufactures Gunite® brand brake drums,
slack adjusters, and other wheel-end
components. Accuride Erie Operations manufactures forged aluminum
Frankfurt, Germany-based steel
distributor Kloeckner & Co. has an-
nounced its acquisition of American
Fabricators, Nashville, Tenn.
Kloeckner, trying to combat the ef-
fect of persistently low steel prices
mainly caused by overproduction in
China, is aiming to invest in higher-
value products and services.
“Having expanded our service center activities in the U.S. to a significant degree, we are now entering the
higher value-added segment of sheet
metal fabrication,” said Chief Executive Gisbert Ruehl.
L&S Machine acquires
Latrobe, Pa.-based L&S Machine Co.
has acquired Advanced Mfg., a prototype and production manufacturing
facility in San Jose, Calif. Advanced
Mfg. fabricates metal and plastic parts
for the semiconductor and aerospace
L&S Machine is a producer of complex, demanding-tolerance parts for
the nuclear, aerospace, and medical
Specialty Strip & Oscillating
updates oscillator equipment
Specialty Strip & Oscillating Inc., Masury, Ohio, a supplier of conventional
slit and oscillate coils in cold-rolled
low-carbon, high-carbon, alloy, and
stainless steel, has updated its oscillator equipment.
The new equipment gives the
company the capability to process
oscillated coils up to 2. 5 in. wide and
5,000 lbs. with better edge control
and precise winding, the company
The company now can process
oscillated coil from 0.250 to 2. 50 in.
wide, 0.009 to 0.125 in. gauge, with
face size of 3 to 14 in.
Women welders get start
Seventeen women recently gradu-
ated from a preapprenticeship class
in the University of Iron, the appren-
ticeship program of the Iron Workers
District Council of the State of Cali-
fornia and Vicinity, Benicia, Calif.
The women attended classes six
days a week for three weeks, work-
ing nine hours a day to complete a
total of 162 hours of classroom and
hands-on training to prepare them
to become ironworker apprentices.
Classes included orientation, fire
watch, traffic flagger, OSHA 10, first
aid/CPR, welding, and rigging. The
students learned knots, measure-
ment, oxyfuel cutting, shielded metal
arc welding, and material handling.
The women were assigned classroom work to complete at home
before and during the hands-on
training program, and all of the
coursework was tracked in the apprenticeship tracking system maintained by the Iron Workers.
This national pilot class, the first of
its kind, was supported by the Iron
Workers National Fund Trustees and
Iron Workers Executive Training Director Lee Worley.
Travel expenses were paid by
the District Councils, and the hotel,
books, tools, meals, and training
were provided by the National Training Fund and Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT).