Efficient Plant December 2017 - 20

feature | plant profile
have worked with engineers who have the mindset of
Fred Flintstone. It works like this, and it's worked like
this for 50 years. This is the way we are going to keep
on going. But being a wrench jockey, I always ask
questions and make efforts to try something new. I
look at how the design can be changed to bring down
waste and build profit. The thought process of simply
buying something new is just using your wallet
and not using your mind."

EFFICIENT
MANUFACTURING

Metallic threads are
manufactured in 221 shades.

With an old-school approach
to modern technology,
Doug Kreinik still uses
white boards and paper
orders to track operations. This is a different
definition of efficient
manufacturing, he said.
"Our system is not sophisticated, but it works
for us," he explained.
"We take raw material and
break it down in 14 different
ways. We would spend more
time entering this into a computer
than it takes to actually produce the
products. We choose to keep it simple,
and this just works for us. We have such customized products and have to operate with a certain kind
of organized randomness. We look at ways to improve things, but always with the mindset of how can
we make it simpler rather than more complicated."
With this philosophy, Kreinik's creative genes come
in handy. "Growing up, I thought everyone's parents
were well educated and inventors," Kreinik said.
"When I got into the real world, it was an awakening. So we keep things simple and creative. I've often
thought that a boring job is a job where you can make
mistakes. Make a boring job faster, and there is no
time to make mistakes."

CREATIVE ENGINEERING
Ankrom makes work fun and creative by reverse-engineering the manufacturing equipment and rebuild-

20

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

ing it to be something better than before.
"Martin's task is to make our equipment more
efficient and standardize them so we are always producing products," Kreinik said. "He also finds ways
to make operations more ergonomically sound and
safer for the operators. Martin is always studying and
reading manuals and making sure he has a precise
understanding of how everything works from the inside out. Then he can get creative with ways to rebuild
them with more efficiency."
This philosophy is the norm at the company.
"Our goal is the keep the machinery alive as long as
possible," Ankrom said. "When I came here in 2010
I was smitten with the idea of working with antique
equipment. I had grown up around antiques and
really tired old machines, cars, and motorcycles, and I
love the challenge of bringing them back to life."
Ankrom uses his experience as a fabricator, a
machinist, an operator, and an engineer to make this
happen. In a small facility, there are many intricate
details that must be addressed to keep things running
smoothly, he said.
"If I can't find the right part, I make it," he continued. "I then try to 'Westernize' the ancient European
machines by modifying them in many creative ways.
There is a methodology to taking things apart and
putting them back together. What we do here is take
complex machines and simplify them. It's almost
impossible to find some of these parts, so I eliminate
that need by inventing and building new parts. We
look at things outside the box and repurpose everything. I don't let anyone throw anything away."
When he's not rebuilding equipment, Ankrom
spends his time putting out fires and working on
preventive maintenance. He has the help of a parttime employee, but it's mostly a one-man team on
the maintenance side. He must incorporate a strict
routine to keep teh operation running smoothly and
efficiently.
"I come in each day and work with the operators to
see what is needed," he explained. "I have a stringent
maintenance campaign to pay close attention to
the compressors as they're vital to our operation to
control the humidity and temperature. I go to every
machine to make sure it is functioning just as it is
supposed to before everyone else comes in to work."

DECEMBER 2017


http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant December 2017

Efficient Plant December 2017 - 1
Efficient Plant December 2017 - Cover1
Efficient Plant December 2017 - Cover2
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 1
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 2
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 3
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 4
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 5
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 6
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 7
Efficient Plant December 2017 - 8
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Efficient Plant December 2017 - Cover3
Efficient Plant December 2017 - Cover4
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