Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 43

Ameristar Perimeter Security USA

Midwest

went out on the acquisition trail, automated our operations and
innovated in order to open new capacity because we knew the
recession would end and we were preparing ourselves to do
more with less," Vice President of Manufacturing and
Engineering Dennis Patrick says.
The company is fully vertically integrated in its manufacturing
processes. "Our biggest advantage is that we are the only company in North America that basically produces material from raw
steel procured from the steel mill," Meek says, adding that most
Ameristar fence products are produced from recycled steel,
which qualifies for LEED points. "With the investments we've
made in robotics, we can provide products faster and at a competitive price."
Ameristar's coating processes also distinguish the company
from its peers. Its powder coat process has set the industry
standard for coating performance. The dual-layer process
coats the product with a finish that yields more than 4,000
hours salt spray, which is more than four times the industry
average. This proven process set the groundwork for its e-coat
finishing line. "No one in North America does coatings the way
we can," Meek says, noting that the e-coat process fully
encompasses the product inside and out for superior corrosion protection, which is why the company supports these
products with a 20-year warranty.
Gibbs spearheaded the investment of more than $20 million
in e-coating and robotics processes after touring an automotive
facility in Detroit. Ameristar's robotics systems can complete
120 metal panels in an hour.

Personal Quality
Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma principles, as well as a dedicated workforce, are at the heart of Ameristar's operations. The
company currently employs 26 Six Sigma Green Belts and two
Black Belts. "We utilize lean and Six Sigma on a daily basis,"
Patrick says. "It's no different than the English language to us."
Ameristar also applies its knowledge of Six Sigma and lean to
its work with vendors. The company is progressing toward a
just-in-time inventory program with suppliers, and regularly
works with vendors on implementing process improvements at
their facilities.
The importance of product quality is deeply instilled within
Ameristar's staff. The coil processing facility is ISO 9000 certified. "Our employees have the opportunity to grow professionally and be a part of the decision-making process and innovation
that take place here," he adds. "They drive the quality that goes
through our products."
Willingham and other Ameristar executives credit their staff
with the company's success. "We have some pretty incredible
machinery, robotics, coating systems and roll forming equipment here, but if you emptied this building and filled it with a
brand-new group of people, it would not function the same as it
does today," he says. mt
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 manufacturing-today.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014

Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 4
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