Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012 - (Page 94)

Capewell Components Co. / Revenues: $30 million / HQ: Cromwell, Conn. / Employees: 170 / Specialty: Tools and aerospace components / Richard Wheeler, president: “When people come here to work, they tend to stay.” Building Unity capewell components co.’s divisions share a lean approach. by jim harris The three divisions that make up Capewell Components Co. LLC may each produce different types of products for their own markets, but when it comes to manufacturing methods and philosophies, they’re all on the same page. “Even though we are three separate and unique divisions, we interact all the time and consider ourselves to be the Capewell family,” says Richard Wheeler, president of the Cromwell, Conn.-based company. “Even though all our operations are different and all the industries we serve are different, we’re still able to combine best practices in quality, engineering, operations and marketing.” The company has its origins in the Capewell Company, founded in 1881 as a manufacturer of horse nails and saw blades. Capewell Components Co. today consists of three divisions: > Capewell, the longest-lived division, which specializes in parachute releases, ripcord assemblies and aerial delivery systems; > M.H. Rhodes Cramer, a manufacturer of precision timers and motors; and > Ripley Company, a global manufacturer of wire and cable tools acquired in 1990. Both the Capewell and M.H. Rhodes Cramer divisions manufacture products from plants in South Windsor, while the Ripley Company’s production is in Cromwell, Conn. capewell components specializes in parachute releases and ripcord assemblies for the military. Three Into One While the M.H. Rhodes Cramer Division, Capewell’s smallest, has a 94 WINTER 2012 number of larger competitors, the Ripley and Capewell divisions are among the largest in their respective industries. The Capewell division’s primary products are parachute releases and ripcords used to drop personnel from military aircraft. The division also manufactures aerial delivery platforms used on C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft and emergency descent devices used by commercial airlines. The emergency descent devices can be found on both Boeing and Airbus aircraft including the 787 Dreamliner. Capewell is also a member of Aerospace Component Manufacturers (ACM), a collaborative of a number of companies based out of central Connecticut and western Massachusetts. The area is known as “aerospace alley” for its concentration of companies serving the industry. The M.H. Rhodes Cramer Division’s origins can be found in two different companies acquired by Capewell in the 2000s. The M.H. Rhodes Company was founded in 1930 as a maker of mechanical timers such as cooking timers, and the Cramer Company was founded in 1922 to produce fractional horsepower motors. The division continues to produce the products for which it was created as well as more technologically advanced versions of the same items, such as digital and programmable timers. Many of the timers and switches produced by the Rhodes Cramer division are used to dim or shut off lights in homes or offices, a function that makes them sought after by builders seeking to build energyefficient homes, Wheeler says. The Ripley division manufactures tools under three brands. The

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012

Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012
Wauseon Machine
Applied Energy Solutions
Carter Control Systems
Global Technology Systems
Positech Corp.
Tampa Tank Inc./Florida Structural Steel
Carbide Products
Datacard Group
Fullerton Tool Co. Inc.
Honda of South Carolina
Fintube LLC
Sapa Extrusions North America
ACE Controls Inc.
Vendors Exchange International Inc.
EXEL North America
DJO Global
Capewell Components Co.
U.S. Sugar Corp.
Industrial Magnetics Inc.
Lakeside Plastics Ltd.
Norpak Handling Ltd.
Mid-State Machine Products
TenCate Protective Fabrics
The Dupps Co.
Western Manufacturing Ltd.
Wisconsin Plastics Inc.
Metrolina Greenhouses
LaSalle Bristol LP
Clarion Bathware
DAP Products Inc.
Honsa Ergonomic Technologies Inc.
Engineered Material Solutions LLC
Master Spas Inc.
Nypro Inc.
Kelly-Moore Paints
Palomar Technologies
U.S. Chemical & Plastics Inc.
Varflex Corporation
Votaw Precision Technologies
Watry Industries
Wigwam Mills
Banker Steel Co.
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Manufacturing Today - Winter 2012