Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 114

Geater Machining & Manufacturing Co.
www.geater.com / Headquarters: Independence, Iowa / Employees: 250 / Specialty: Precision
machining, sheet metal fabrication and assembly /

to remain competitive,
gmm allocates an annual
budget of $1 million for
new equipment.

GOLD Standard

geater's software and lean focus lead to
double-digit growth. by janice hoppe-spiers

Midwest

GMM maintains AS9100 certification and has achieved Nadcap Merit in
chemical processing. "Our in-house
metal finishing and paint eliminates
the need to outsource," says Information Technology Manager John Miller.
"Faster throughput and reduced variation have been key to our success."
To stay ahead of the competition,
GMM allocates an annual budget of
about $1 million for new equipment.
"We have two new flexible machining
systems, basically horizontal machines
that are fed by a robot, and those run
24/7, lights out," Miller says. "The machines have increased our prototyping
and quick-turn capabilities."
The company also added three
press brakes and completed a building expansion in 2012 to add powder
coating capabilities and expand its
assembly and hardware space. The
28,000-square-foot expansion included the addition of machinery and
equipment, which represented a $5.9
million capital investment.
The company is looking forward to
another facility expansion to further
increase its painting and secondary
operations capabilities.

Greater Consistency
Geater Machining and Manufacturing Co. (GMM) over the past five
years has focused on developing a
lean culture centered around innovation, integration and information.
"What sets us apart and drives us is
our philosophy towards continuous
improvement and finding that balance of what's worked and creating
possibilities," CEO Jerry Bitterman
says. "We found a real need for a lean
culture as we are growing in the double digits each and every year."
Based in Independence, Iowa,
GMM specializes in precision machining and sheet metal fabrication
114

manufacturing-today.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

for customers in the aerospace, electronics and high-tech sectors. "Our
very first customer in 1962 was Rockwell Collins, and to this day they're
still our largest customer," says Joe
Meier, vice president of operations.
Machining accounts for about 65
percent of the company's business,
Meier says. "What we specialize in is
high-speed aluminum machining," he
says. The company's added fabrication capabilities and secondary processes set it apart in the marketplace.
"Usually you hear of shops doing machining or sheet metal; we're unique
in that we do both."

With continuous improvement always at the forefront, GMM in March
2013 launched the Geater Operations
Linking Database (GOLD). "It's an
internal software that we have written and support and continue to grow
internally," says Meier. "It started out
as a way to create standard work operations and is now a way to give our
shop floor employees information at
the click of a button."
GOLD allows GMM to maintain
higher standards of quality and efficiencies. The web application is designed to deliver information and
requirements for specific jobs and


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Table Of Contents
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Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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