Special Focus

Medicine is one of the most technologically complex industries in the world. Pharmaceutical companies are inventing and perfecting new therapies and drugs daily while government entities introduce more regulations each year. Then there’s the general population which seeks better care at a lower cost. All of these things are at the forefront of the medical industry, which means any supplier to the industry must keep these things at the forefront of its own operations.

The PC was a tool that led to  OMAX Corp.’s success, but when the company got its start in the early 1990s, there was little confidence that the market would accept its new technology. OMAX’s founders wanted to use state-of-the-art technologies to make high-pressure abrasive waterjet machining practical, affordable and easy to use. Their success stems from their dedication to this objective, and ongoing search to find new ways to help customers with its machines.

As Nooter/Eriksen marks its 25th anniversary, it sees a world much differently from the one in which it started. Although the company is now the undisputed market leader, it faces much stiffer competition than it did two-and-a-half decades ago. Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mike Filla says even though the challenges that exist today are greater than ever, the company’s strengths are more than a match for them.

Doug Kuiper funded his first company, Suncor Inc., in 1992 with his wife Patricia in Orlando, Fla. Suncor Inc. works with contractors supplying steel framework, metal rails, stairs, etc.  Suncor’s annual revenue was $1 million the first year. All profits were re-invested and the company and grew to a 17 million dollar entity by 2005.

U.S. manufacturers have dealt with numerous challenges in the past few years: rising costs, pressure to lower prices, offshore competition and the inability to find qualified workers to fill jobs. MorphoTrak Inc. has not been immune to these challenges, but it has found a way to overcome them, while gaining a competitive edge in a number of different ways. As a result, MorphoTrak has gained a position as a global leader in the security market.

When aerospace firms need a tight turnaround on aluminum, steel and composite finishing services, The Metal Finishing Co. (MFCO) is the one they can turn to, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ed L. Ball says. “We’re a little better at being flexible to our customer’s needs than our competitors,” he says.

Mass Design Inc. stands out as a manufacturer of printed circuit boards for a number of reasons, Sales Manager Bill Gately says. Perhaps the most significant one is that the company is an American manufacturer at a time when many customers still outsource their needs overseas. Also, at approximately 63 employees, Mass Design is one of the smaller companies of its type in the United States. Where some people would see qualities like these as liabilities, Gately says Mass Design actually benefits from them, and the market conditions are changing in its favor.

From 1968 to now, JL French Automotive Castings Inc. has turned from a garage business into a global entity. The vertically integrated and independently owned leading global supplier of high-pressure aluminum die cast components serves Tier 1 automobile manufacturers such as Ford, Chrysler and General Motors and Tier 2 companies including Magna, Getrag-Ford-Transmission and Nexteer. With six manufacturing facilities – two in its headquarter city, Sheboygan, Wis.; two in Glasgow, Ky.; one in Etxebarria, Spain; and a joint venture in Chongqing, China – the company employs 90 die-cast machines around the world ranging from 400 to 3,500 tons.

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