2014 Evolution of Manufacturing Honorable Mentions

Phil Misch, presidentAmerican Roll Form Products
Phil Misch, president
(440) 352-0753 | www.arfpcorp.com

Lower labor costs elsewhere has made it difficult for companies with domestic manufacturing operations to compete on price. In order to remain competitive, American Roll Form Products President Phil Misch and his team decided to focus on value and find ways to cut costs along the supply chain.

By evaluating assembly drawings, parts and mating components, ARF can identify areas where material can be reduced and assembly costs cut, with potential savings up to 40 percent.

Working with Chamberlain, which sells garage door openers to many top retailers, ARF redesigned a structural bar section that performed better while saving $550,000 a year in materials.

Using prototype facilities to make samples of new sections and perform load tests, ARF designed a part made of new high-strength material that was stronger and 34 percent lighter, yielding an annual freight savings of $120,000.

Chamberlain also cut costs by working with ARF to develop reusable, “green” containers to ship products. The ability to recycle packaging materials reduced packing costs and eliminated disposal expenses.

ARF also has been a leader in innovating products for the solar market, designing piles used in solar panels that have reduced material and freight costs.

To better serve the solar and West Coast markets, ARF opened a 53,200-square-foot manufacturing facility in Las Vegas in the spring of 2013.

Even in today’s price competitive manufacturing environment, value outweighs cost. By embracing creativity and innovation, ARF found a way to create an advantage over its competition.  


Tom Salpietra, president and COOEYE Lighting International
Tom Salpietra, president and COO
(888) 350-7001 | www.eyelighting.com

EYE Lighting International, lead by President and COO Tom Salpietra, lets innovation guide its path to competition in the global marketplace. Realizing an increased demand for energy saving lighting solutions, EYE Lighting developed more energy efficient luminaires and lamps.

The company’s kiaroLED outdoor LED luminaire line of products has been recognized for its efficiency in controlling backlight, uplight and glare. In 2013, EYE Lighting launched its LEDioc brand of LED upgrade lamps, designed to allow for easy retrofit from an HID to LED light source in post-top and pendant luminaires.

To further strengthen its position in the LED market, EYE Lighting acquired all assets related to LED luminaire products from Aphos Lighting in November 2012.

Growth and innovation have led to increased production, including the July 2012 unveiling of a new design and assembly facility in Mentor. The 2,000-square-foot space was specifically designed for LED storage and assembly. The state-of-the-art cell manufacturing room features anti-static floors and fully digital workstations that have adjustable screens, which display interactive assembly instructions and a bill of materials.

EYE Lighting employees are cross-trained to provide flexibility — employees can be moved along different areas of the assembly line as additional support is needed. Employees may work in several parts of the manufacturing process in the same day.

The company supports engineering and business students through scholarships at Lakeland Community College and Cleveland Technical Societies Council. Employees participate in lighting association activities, including those of the Illuminating Engineering Society.


Patricia B. Setlock, presidentFabrication Group LLC
Patricia B. Setlock, president
(216) 251-1125 | www.fabricationgroup.com

When the recession dried up sources for capital to fund commercial projects, the Fabrication Group went in another direction and developed a noncommercial product line that would provide balance to the seasonal highs and lows of making custom commercial products made of architectural metals.

The company, led by President Patricia B. Setlock, worked with a premise that the new product should be manufactured economically in the United States — due to import difficulties related to cost and size — and be easy to install.

Setlock, a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program in Cleveland, included the launch of the Bright Covers patio line as part of a growth plan developed through the class. Initial processes were outsourced, enabling the Fabrication Group to unveil the new line of products in February 2013.

While the product was being developed, the company’s custom commercial area had rebounded and revenues doubled between 2011 and 2012. The patio cover line and continued growth of custom architectural work led to another doubling of revenue.

This growth period was supported by the company’s ability to improve processes and efficiency through lean manufacturing techniques, an efficient system for inventory management and vendor-financed consignment agreements that eliminated a need for outside capital or loans.

Plans call for two operations to be brought in-house in 2015, which will require additional capital and space. These operations will serve both the commercial and noncommercial lines and bringing them in-house is expected to provide excellent ROI and better quality control. 

Click here to read about this year’s winners.