Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 44

Avon Gear
www.avon-gear.com / HQ: Shelby Township, Mich. / Employees: 110 / Specialty: Large-diameter
complex precision machining / Matt Korth, president: "Our operators are our greatest asset."

Midwest

pany also provides services including
high precision CNC machining and
sub-assemblies of transmission components. Its customer base includes
some of the largest OEMs in North
America, primarily in the construction, agriculture and mining sectors.

Highly Skilled

avon gear produced more
than 500 different part
numbers with an average lot
size of 300 pieces.

Branching Out

avon gear looks to diversify its customer base
as it continues to focus on producing the best.
When Avon Gear opened its doors
in 1974, the company was a specialty
shop, producing only simple gear and
spline hobbing and shaping services
for local manufacturing companies.
That all changed in 1998, when it was
acquired by Japan-based Okubo Gear
and gained the capital to expand its
services into turning, drilling, grinding and balancing. President Matt
Korth says this, along with partnering
with key suppliers in the iron casting,
forging and heat-treating services, allowed Avon Gear to become a full-service "raw to finished part" machine
shop that serves a number of large
heavy equipment manufacturers. But
the company isn't stopping there.
44

manufacturing-today.com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016

Just as the company's growth
throughout the years has been tied to
its ability to expand its offerings and
offer manufacturing expertise on new
product introduction, Korth says the
key for Avon Gear's continued success
will in be expanding the base of customers it serves. Finding new markets
for its services is the company's No. 1
priority right now, and Korth says the
company is confident that its skill and
state of the art capabilities will give it
the edge it needs to serve a broader
base of industries.
Based in Shelby Township, Mich.,
Avon Gear manufactures a wide
variety of precision gears, splines,
housings and axle shafts. The com-

According to Korth, the work Avon
Gear does for its customers can be
very specialized, which much of its
work being done as a low-volume,
high-diversity product mix. Avon currently produces more than 500 different part numbers with an average
lot size of 300 pieces. With that said,
Avon Gear counts on its highly skilled
workforce to help set it apart from its
mostly larger competitors. Because
of the many changeovers that occur
on the production floor on a regular
basis, Avon Gear needs its employees
to be on the ball and capable of handling a wide variety of part types and
change over on the fly. "We're relying
on our operators," Korth says. "Our
workforce is our greatest asset. All
of our machinists have to be highly
skilled because they not only have to
run production, they have to setup,
make adjustments and launch new
product on a daily basis, as well."
Another key advantage for Avon
Gear over the years has been the influence of Japanese ownership. Okubo Gear's commitment to provide
the company with the most advanced
equipment on the market ensures
that they are able to compete globally. With the latest technological
advancements incorporated into its
processes, Avon Gear can then apply
the lean manufacturing principles of
its parent company to succeed in creating cellular concepts even though
its product mix is so diverse. "We're
creating cellular concepts on similar


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 1
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