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From the Desk of Jack Healy

Manufacturers in Mass are Improving the Industry

By Rick Caponi, Engineering Manager, Lampin Corporation

Massachusetts has been a center for the manufacturing industry for decades. Where the hardworking people of New England once made watches, textiles, and shoes, Massachusetts now supports a bustling industry of precision manufacturing service providers, medical device manufacturers, and others. The manufacturing industry in MA has evolved to stay on the leading edge of technological development and has been able to provide efficient manufacturing processes to its clients.

Bringing American Manufacturing Back to the States: Reshoring
MA manufacturing companies are a large part of the reshoring initiative that has been sweeping the US in recent years. Jobs that had previously been sent overseas for cheaper labor and less stringent quality-assurance restrictions are slowly but surely making their way back home. This is due in part to the reliability and high quality of the Massachusetts contract manufacturing service providers who work with clients to design efficient, secure, cost-effective manufacturing processes for their reshored products that meet US quality standards.

Reshoring improves the quality and originality of all American products. Offshore manufacturers do not have to follow the strict intellectual property laws that prevent US manufacturers from sharing client ideas with other manufacturers. Also, other countries do not have to adhere to the rigorous safety and quality guidelines that the US regulatory agencies impose on US manufacturers. This can lead to outside entities not only stealing ideas but also creating similar, low-cost, low-quality knockoffs before the originals even reach the market. Using certified US manufacturers for the entirety of a product’s lifecycle ensures that the resulting medical device or other product will have design integrity and will be manufactured to its precise specifications by highly trained industry professionals.

Streamlining Operations with Lean Manufacturing
Massachusetts manufacturers place high emphasis on getting their clients to market ahead of the competition. To do this, they rely on lean, streamlined manufacturing processes. "6s" is a lean manufacturing initiative that focuses on identifying and solving problems before they cause costly issues down the line.

Lean manufacturing implements tools and methodologies with the express goal of reducing costs and improving efficiency. The core concept involves maximizing customer value while minimizing waste. The goal is to provide ultimate value to the customer through a manufacturing process that has zero waste. Cogmedix, a medical device contract manufacturing company, specializes in complex electromechanical devices with a growing niche in laser-based medical products. The company uses the principles of 6s lean manufacturing to make sure all products for their medical-device-developer clients reach the market before the competition.

Additional Industry Improvements
Massachusetts manufacturing companies are also improving the industry for their employees. Lampin, a precision manufacturing service provider in Uxbridge, is 100% employee-owned. Each paid employee owns a stake in the success of the business, thereby motivating each engineer, floor manager, and technician to bring his or her best to work each day.

Lampin also demonstrates Massachusetts’ manufacturing companies’ shared commitment to education and continuous learning. Not only does Lampin invest in the most cutting-edge milling and Swiss lathe machines, they also provide staff training to ensure their employee-owners are up to date on the latest field-specific technologies.

Duval Precision Grinding, a highly specialized grinding shop in Chicopee, pairs every new employee with an established employee partner who helps guide them through specific issues. These partnerships allow new employees to learn from seasoned employees, some of whom have as many as 30 years experience in the field. This makes it easy for them to pass along traditional practices and familiarize themselves with more modern techniques like CNC programming. Worcester-based Cogmedix provides their employees with various training sessions, such as those for optical and medical laser devices, in order to stay apprised of the developments happening in their clients’ fields.

Massachusetts is dedicated to the continuous improvement of the American manufacturing industry. The state has a long and hearty history with manufacturing, and the hardworking engineers, manufacturers, and machinists of the Northeast are dead-set on continuing the tradition. With a steely commitment to providing top-quality, lean manufacturing services, it is likely Massachusetts that will continue to dominate the manufacturing sector.


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