Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 99


Torque Transmission

from consumer blenders and garage door openers to fitness
equipment, medical equipment, surgical tools and security cameras. "We find our customer base is spread out over
multiple industries," Rampe says. "It's not just one niche of
the marketplace."
Torque Transmission is constantly looking at ways to refine its products and expand its client base. The company is
in the process of launching a multi-rib pulley line that uses
Poly V® and Micro V® belts with applications in the industrial, medical, automotive and off-road equipment markets.
Its unique plastic and plastic/metal power transmission
products are a proven viable alternative to machine metal
components. The molded plastic parts have two advantages over traditional metal pulleys, sprockets, and couplings,
Rampe says. Plastic is more cost effective to produce and
lighter weight, reducing the amount of inertia a machine
needs for starting and stopping. Plastic components are
also sought after by the food and medical industry because
they do not corrode and have a smaller magnetic footprint.
Even industries known for their heavy-duty needs have
benefited from switching to plastic materials. An agricultural customer wanted to reduce the cost and minimize
the inventory requirements of a 14-inch-diameter timing
pulley. After meeting Torque Transmission, the customer
realized that plastic would meet all of its requirements and
Torque Transmission designed a replacement pulley that
cut the customer's expense by two-thirds.

Northeast

abled the company to stop producing components that
sit unused. "We make today what we need to ship today
and tomorrow we make what we need to ship tomorrow,"
Rampe says. "It allows us to turn on a dime and meet our
customers' needs immediately."
Torque Transmission continues to invest in new equipment to increase efficiency, such as machines for its thrust
bearing assembly process that allow one person to work
three stations simultaneously. Streamlining its manufacturing has allowed the company to increase production
without expanding the size of the facility.
To increase growth, Rampe is focused on designing new
components that customers will need. He sees the most
promise in Torque Transmission's gearbox line. Customers
value lightweight, compact designs and, more importantly,
flexibility for multiple applications. Making sure its gearbox lineup meets those requirements is just the latest step
in Torque Transmission's strategy for success. "Our whole
purpose is how we can ensure the customer gets exactly
what they want when they want it," Rampe says. mt

Becoming Lean
Torque Transmission has a 24,000-square-foot facility in
Fairpoint Harbor, Ohio. In the late 1990s, the company had
as many as 27 employees, but a downturn in the early 2000s
forced it to reevaluate everything from the plant layout to
how it purchased materials and the production lot sizes.
Torque Transmission went through a period of implementing a lean manufacturing philosophy and now operates with
only 16 employees. "We've learned to be extremely efficient
and effective in how we produce products," Rampe says.
When the recession hit in 2007, Torque Transmission
was ahead of many of its competitors in streamlining
operations. The lean manufacturing policies already in
place helped the company to weather the economic decline and emerge intact.
A major factor in that survival was Torque Transmission's new approach toward inventory. The company
used to stock large amounts of standard parts, but in
adopting a lean philosophy it realized that inventory was
bogging it down. Eliminating most of its inventory enMARCH/APRIL 2016 manufacturing-today.com

99


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover2
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