Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - 36

Napoleon Machine
napoleonmachine.com / HQ: Napoleon, Ohio / Employees: 25 / Specialty: Welding, machining,
painting and assembly / Kevin Febrey, president: "We're on the tarmac, getting ready to take off."

Midwest

Cleared for Takeoff

napoleon machine has upgraded its equipment
and is primed for growth. by chris kelsch

as a contract job shop,
napoleon offers welding,
machining, painting and
assembly services.

Like anyone who has worked in
machining and manufacturing most
of his life, Kevin Febrey has seen a lot
of jobs shipped overseas with outsourcing. Febrey, president of Napoleon Machine, has worked in machining since he was 16, so he has seen all
kinds of cycles - both good and bad.
"We have all lived what has been going on with outsourcing," Febrey
says. "Manufacturing is not for the
faint of heart."
Unlike a lot of leaders in the machining industry, however, Febrey
also has an MBA, and tends to look
at things from a broad-based global perspective. "If you look at a lot of
machinists, they are very good at the
trade itself," Febrey explains. "But
36

manufacturing-today.com AUGUST 2017

you have machinists that aren't business oriented, and that can be costly
in a global economy."
Being able to identify key opportunities when they come along is the
hallmark of any good manager, and
that's just what Febrey found when
he decided to join Napoleon as president and part owner in 2011. The
company was still in its early stages,
having been founded by Paul Schlatter in 2010. Now seven years old, Napoleon is a contract job shop that offers welding, machining, painting and
assembly services.

Broadening Its Range
The opportunity that Febrey saw,
however, would require some work.

When he joined Napoleon, the company had decent, serviceable infrastructure and machines, perhaps enough to
compete in the short-term, and could
best be described as a niche player.
"It was niche because of the size of
the parts," Febrey recalls. "Many large
parts also began to be shipped overseas but when it came to lead time
with requirements in four to 10 weeks,
that's where we could better service
our customers."
To broaden its capabilities and be
more competitive in the marketplace,
Febrey saw the need to modernize
and expand its capabilities. "We have
revived a shop with old equipment,"
Febrey states. "We have spent roughly
$2.5 million in capital upgrades over


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - August 2017

Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - 1
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - 3
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - 4
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - 5
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Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - 38
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Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - 40
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - 41
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Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - August 2017 - Cover4
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