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issue: March 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Manufacturing Comes Full Circle

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by Steve Wichelecki, Assistant Editor

Advanced Dynamics is reducing costs and improving quality while bringing manufacturing from Mexico to Wisconsin, U.S.

Equipment being loaded at the Stanley Works facility in Puebla, Mexico, to be brought to Advanced Dynamics in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, U.S.

On the day APPLIANCE spoke with Wayne Kaiser, president of Advanced Dynamics, the company’s first shipment of motorized oven latches had left that morning from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, U.S., for its destination in Mexico, a manufacturing facility of appliance OEM Mabe. There was detectable excitement in Kaiser’s voice as he related a story of what is now commonly called insourcing, a story that promises benefits for his company, as well as its customers.
This tale of insourcing began 9 years ago, when Connecticut, U.S.-based Stanley Works, a tools and hardware manufacturing company, opened a factory in Puebla, Mexico, for the manufacturing of motorized oven latches.  Last year Stanley Works decided to shed its appliance division, and Advanced Dynamics, goaded a bit by its customers, decided to purchase the equipment and bring it to the U.S., a move made to gain more business for Advanced Dynamics with the effect of lower manufacturing costs for the oven latches.

Before the U.S. consolidation of the latch manufacturing, the electric motors used in the latches were made by one company, purchased by another and then sold to the Stanley Works facility in Mexico, where the latch component was assembled and sold to OEMs.
Since the purchase of Stanley Works’ equipment, the motors now come from Pacific Electronics (sister company to Advanced Dynamics based in Woodstock, Illinois, U.S.) to Advanced Dynamics in Wisconsin, where the product is assembled. The stamping is done by PMI of Bloomer, Wisconsin and Mankato, Minnesota-based AmeriStar. Kaiser justifies the inclusion of these third parties, saying that the amount of use his company would get out of owning stamping equipment does not warrant the cost of the initial investment. He goes on to say that the decision also results in improved product quality. “By having the stamping done off-site, we’re working with companies whose expertise is stamping—that’s what they do all the time. They do what they’re best at, and then we do what we’re best at.”

The 2-year-old supplier of appliance components hopes to add 20 to 50 new employees over the next 3 years, and even expects financial support from the local Eau Claire government, as success for Advanced Dynamics is seen as success for the local economy. “We are a growing company and we are going places,” affirms Kaiser. “We are going to grow quite a bit in the next year or so. John Tessendorf, who has ownership in both Advanced Dynamics and Pacific Electronics, has the goal of being one of the major OEM suppliers for the appliance industry.” Besides Mabe, the company will be producing latches for Whirlpool, BSH and Heartland. And on the day that APPLIANCE spoke with Kaiser, he reported an upcoming meeting with Electrolux Italy. “I hadn’t anticipated Italy being a part of it, but we’ll take it wherever it goes.”

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Advanced Dynamics

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