3850 Ohio Ave  •  St Charles IL 60174  •  
1-800-AT-BISON  •  +1-630-377-4327

President of Manufacturing Institute Tours Bison Gear and Engineering Headquarters 10/30/2013


From left to right: George Thomas, Exec VP of Bison, Martin Swarbrick, President and CEO of Bison, Ron Bullock, Chairman of Bison and Manufacturing Institute and Jennifer McNelly, President of The Manufacturing Institute.

October 28, 2013 - St. Charles, IL – Jennifer McNelly, President of the Manufacturing Institute and one of the primary architects of the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System, toured Bison Gear and Engineering’s facility for the first time last week to see how Bison utilizes lean manufacturing processes throughout their plant floor. Guided by Ron Bullock, Chairman of Bison and The Manufacturing Institute, and George Thomas, Executive VP at Bison, Ms. McNelly was able to see all of the areas where Bison is using manufacturing innovation to provide better quality products in a shorter lead time.

One of the main priorities of The Manufacturing Institute (The Manufacturing Institute is the 501c3 think tank for the National Association of Manufacturers) is the growth of individual US manufacturing companies. Bison, which has been growing steadily over the past 5 years and throughout the company’s 50+ year history, is a worthy example. The facility began converting over to a lean manufacturing plant back in 2000. Today, all of Bison runs on lean manufacturing principals – from product development all the way to the assembly line.

During Ms. McNelly’s tour, she was shown specific areas of the manufacturing floor where lean practices have been applied and have yielded dramatic improvement in efficiency and output. One example is the new PowerSTAR hypoid gearmotor assembly line, which is optimized for fast assembly of various quantity orders to be completed same day. The hypoid line uses a ‘pick-to-light’ system where assembly workers build from an inventory that uses illuminated lights to signify which components to use. This system prevents errors, ensures quality and as Ms. McNelly stated, “It’s a really cool system.”

Ms. McNelly concluded her tour by visiting Bison’s on-site training centers, including the MSSC center, where Bison associates are encouraged to take advantage of the manufacturing skills training being offered.  For more information on Jennifer McNelly or The Manufacturing Institute, please visit their website at http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/

 About Bison

Bison Gear and Engineering began in 1960 by designing problem-solving gearboxes and gear motors for their customers. Today, the company has grown into an industry leader for fractional horsepower electric motor, integral gearmotor and gear reducer products by implementing innovative lean manufacturing processes, world class engineering and customer support teams driven by their Robusticity® design philosophy; allowing Bison to consistently expand its product line with new motion control and power transmission solutions. For more information on Bison or their products, please visit www.bisongear.com.

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