An experienced design and engineering staff committed to developing leading-edge, high-quality products have earned North Atlantic Industries Inc. (NAI) a strong reputation among its customers. “We are a product innovation company,” says William Forman, president and CEO of the Bohemia, N.Y.-based company since 1992. “In order to bring state-of-the art products and technology to the market, we invest 20 to 25 percent of our annual sales in research and development.”
NAI designs, manufactures and sells commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and modified COTS, single board computers, multi-function I/O, power supplies, instruments and system level solutions for the defense and aerospace industries. The company’s products are integral components of complex system solutions on multiple air, land and sea platforms.
NAI’s newest product, the SIU6 Sensor Interface Unit, incorporates the single board computer with configurable, multi-function I/O modules and power supplies to provide a compact system-level solution with remote data processing, acquisition and distribution capabilities.
“Our end customers are merging, consolidating and downsizing and need to partner with companies like NAI,” Forman says. “They want to partner with us to provide innovative solutions to meet their challenging system needs and we are well positioned to meet the requirements of our demanding customer base.”
The company’s number one goal is “total customer satisfaction,” it says. NAI offers customers a full line of support tools downloadable from its website, it adds.
“We provide the highest levels of service and long-term support to our customers,” the company says.
Manufacturing and Quality
NAI manufactures products in a 30,000-square-foot facility equipped with the latest engineering and manufacturing technology. The manufacturing staff builds products to order, taking advantage of an ERP system to manage its supply chain operations. Circuit board assembly is sourced out to ISO-approved vendors, giving the company the ability to focus on final assembly, special processing, quality control and testing, Forman says.
The company’s embrace of kaizen and lean manufacturing methodologies is reflected throughout the manufacturing process. NAI’s systems, I/O, power supply and instrument groups are located in cells close together on the assembly floor, allowing real-time feedback and communication.
An emphasis on product design and the use of a high-volume modular manufacturing approach also allows NAI to streamline its process. A kanban system is used to maintain stock.
Quality procedures include daily product monitoring and 5-to-10-minute standup production meetings. “We identify any issues, resolve them on the spot or identify action items to resolve them,” Forman says.
NAI has ISO 9001 and AS 9100 certification. In addition, NAI meets the requirements of Military Specification MIL-I-45208A and Federal Aviation Regulations 21 and 45.15, the company says.
NAI was founded in 1955, and initially focused on manufacturing test measurement instruments. Forman purchased the company in 1992, broadening its offerings to include I/O boards and COTS single board computers through a number of investments and acquisitions.
The company continues to evolve. “We often talk about how the only constant is change,” he says. “Every five years we find a way to reinvent the company.
“I’m most proud of our ability to change over time and the quality and performance of the products we bring to the market,” he adds. “The bulk of our business is repeat business. We believe in spending money on research and development, not sales and marketing.”
One of the company’s most important regular investments is in its staff. NAI offers regular in-house and outside training programs. “We have been able to promote our employees; many have stayed and grown with us throughout the years, and that’s also something that gives me a great feeling of pride,” Forman says.