View this email in your browser

Next Generation Manufacturer Newsletter
May 2015

Next Generation Manufacturer is a monthly enewsletter designed to provide the resources you need to put advanced manufacturing to work for your company. Please forward this newsletter to interested colleagues or use our online sign-up.

In This Issue…
Insights, best practices, how to’s, and success stories from manufacturing organizations in New England. Let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like us to cover. – Kathie Mahoney, Editor, [email protected] or 508-831-7020.


From the Desk of Jack Healy

New England Manufacturing’s Competitive Advantage
The loss of large manufacturing firms in New England represents a hit to the economic base of the manufacturing economy. These are, and were, the firms that forced the development of new materials, processes, and products within their supplier bases. This made New England’s manufacturing unique. The good news is that this change has forced some small manufacturers to reposition, focusing on innovation to differentiate vs price. Competitive Advantage.

VIDEO: How Meridian Industrial Group Repositioned for Growth


Manufacturing Metrics

A New Way to Determine R&D’s Productivity and Measure Performance
In manufacturing and logistics, you can get a sense of things just by looking around the production floor, the inventory room, or the loading dock. Even the performance of the advertising budget is now easier to see, thanks to digital technology. But the R&D department provides fewer clues. There’s no flow of tangible goods through the process, for one thing. As such, most companies fall back on a few well-worn approaches, none of which give a good idea how well R&D is performing. But now there’s a new approach that works. R&D Productivity.


Video of the Month

Advanced Manufacturing at Lockheed Martin
Imagine a world where we can 3D print a full-size cargo plane or quickly produce a body part to save someone’s life. Through additive manufacturing or 3D printing, we are bringing people closer to products and solving challenges in new ways. Lockheed Martin is pushing the limits of this technology to produce parts quickly and affordably with geometry and design that has never before been possible. Advanced Manufacturing.


Growth Manufacturers Case Study

How an American Sock Manufacturer Battled from Bankruptcy to Growth
Like the U.S. textile mills before them, Vermont’s Cabot Mills fell victim to the outsourcing craze. Enter Ric Cabot, an ex-Manhattan publishing and advertising worker. In 1978, his father acquired a mill, which expanded until the late 1990s when the high-volume, low-margin sock industry moved offshore. That’s when Ric took a chance on the idea that people would be willing to pay a bit more for "Darn Tough," a performance sock that was guaranteed for life. Cabot Mills.


Workforce Strategies

Managing Expectations While Addressing Workforce Challenges
Manufacturers looking for machine operators today realize that need far outweighs availability. Experienced machinists have become a vanishing commodity while the machining programs at vocational schools are not graduating enough students to make a dent. North Easton Machine, a manufacturer of precision machined parts, has taken a proactive approach to developing their workforce. Workforce Challenges.

CEO of MicroTek, Anne Paradis, Honored as 2015 Woman of the Year
The Professional Women’s Chamber has announced that Anne M. Paradis, CEO of MicroTek, Inc. in Chicopee, has been named the PWC 2015 Woman of the Year. Paradis is a domestic trailblazer among women in high tech. Under her guidance, MicroTek has grown an average of 15% each year, expanded its product lines and client base, created more than 80 jobs, and was rated "Top Vendor" for interconnect products by a Fortune 500 company. Woman of the Year.


Innovative Growth Solutions

Five Reasons Small Manufacturers Should Invest in a Modern ERP Solution
We live in a world where technology advances are made every day, yet studies show that too many manufacturers are still running their businesses on outdated enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that are 10, 15, even 20 years old. Old systems suffer from a lack of integration and modern programming tools, which can result in higher operational costs. Here are the drivers of change that will force companies who want to remain competitive to invest in a modern ERP system. ERP Systems.



Wentworth Institute Offers Free Comprehensive Energy Audit
Wentworth Institute is offering to perform intensive energy reviews for companies, free of charge. Each study will review present energy consumption; identify possible implementations leading to energy efficiency, with costs involved; return on investment time frames; and other ways and means of savings on energy operational costs. Energy Audit.


Manufacturing Day: October 2, 2023

Study: U.S. Public Opinion of Manufacturing
In their fifth U.S. Public Opinion of Manufacturing study, Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute show there is overwhelming support for manufacturing in principle. Yet only one out of three parents would encourage their children to pursue manufacturing careers. The reason is that most people don’t have first-hand knowledge of manufacturing. Those familiar with manufacturing are 2X more likely to recommend manufacturing careers, and rank manufacturing in their top three career choices. Public Opinion of Manufacturing.

INFOGRAPHIC: Public Opinion of Manufacturing

Join us on Manufacturing Day and help change public perception!


Industry News

Postpone Earned Sick Time: Contact Your Legislator
More than 500 AIM-member employers have contacted their state legislators to ask for postponement of the new Massachusetts earned sick time law until January 1, 2016. Let your voice be heard. Employers otherwise face the prospect of implementing the law on July 1, even though final regulations will not be available until late June or early July. Earned Sick Time.

Manufacturing Caucus Chooses Senator Lesser as Legislative Leader
State Sen. Eric Lesser has been chosen to lead the Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, a group of legislators who work to create opportunities for manufacturing in Massachusetts. Manufacturing Caucus.

Menck Windows Opens New Manufacturing Facility in Chicopee
Menck Windows opened its new Chicopee, MA, manufacturing facility for custom energy-efficient windows and doors. This allows the company to manufacture and sell directly, vs through distributors, for faster delivery and better service to architects and builders throughout North America. Menck Windows.

New Pneumatic Vise for CMM Inspection
Phillips Precision Products Division has introduced Rapid-Loc, a pneumatic vise for CMM Inspection. Designed to take advantage of the air at the CMM, the soft jaws of the Rapid-Loc vise can be customized to hold most any part. Regulated air pressure can produce just enough clamping force to hold delicate parts or as much as 150-lbs if needed. Phillips Precision.

New Diaphragm Chuck for Delicate Ceramic Rings
A manufacturer of delicate ceramic rings needed a way to carefully hold the rings so they could grind the ID. The customer requested that no metal touch the parts. Northfield adapted their 6" Diaphragm Chuck with custom top tooling made from the most abrasion-resistant plastic available. Diaphragm Chucks.


Job Opportunities

  • Electrical Controls Engineer, Kinefac, Worcester, MA. Submit resume.


MassMEP Programs & Partner Events
  For complete details about these programs for manufacturers, visit the MAC Events Calendar.


About the Manufacturing Advancement Center
The Next Generation Manufacturer Newsletter covers the business of manufacturing in New England. Running a manufacturing business requires attention to countless details. To compete in this new, global economy, you must pay attention to the entire business process — from front office marketing and accounting, to back end inventory management. The Manufacturing Advancement Center is here to guide you in your quest for continuous improvement and growth. For more information, see

You are receiving this newsletter because you have previously expressed an interest in the Manufacturing Advancement Center of the MassMEP. To let a colleague know about the Next Generation Manufacturer Newsletter, forward this e-mail to them or have them subscribe by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. If you do not want to receive our newsletter, just e-mail us at [email protected].

© 2015, The Manufacturing Advancement Center, 100 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01605 USA
Phone: +1.508.831.7020