Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010 - (Page 118)

National Tube Supply Co. / HQ: University Park, Ill. / Employees: 100 / Products: Tubing and pipes / Gary Chess, president: “We don’t take a standard blueprint from door to door. Our approach is more like using a blank sheet of paper.” the fluid power industry. “We experienced significant growth in 2003 and 2004 by expanding the depth and breadth of our sales and services commitments,” President Gary Chess says, recognizing that a solid and satisfied customer base coupled with quality products and practices has served the company well during the recent global economic downturn. “In the past five years, we’ve built on that and strengthened our customer base even further.” Rapid Response Construction, agriculture, mining, drilling, paper machinery and fluidpower are key markets for NTS. The company supplies metal parts manufacturers in other industries as well. The ability to maintain a remarkably robust inventory in one place, provide precision-cutting/processing services and tap into outside processing vendors when needed is convenient and cost-effective for customers. Three shifts fill orders five days a week to sustain seamless, on-time deliveries. NTS runs 14 saws 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, and plans to bring back the weekend shift to handle the increase in business it has experienced since the beginning of 2010. Incorporating additional high-performance, automated saws and maximizing run time has increased the company’s tube-cutting capacity and efficiency, especially on high-volume orders. “For example, our high-speed cold saw will cut a 6-inch tube in about 20 seconds, holding tight tolerance,” Chess explains. Some additional efficiencies include cantilevered, upright racking storage of DOM tubing – which ensures orders can be pulled in minutes – and optimal utilization of the DOM order processing station. A simple repositioning of CDS storage has provided workers easier access to product. Improved flow-through was nts has more tubing in one place than any other supplier in the country. 20/20 Vision innovation and sound growth strategies drive 20 years of success at national tube supply. by marge d. hansen When National Tube Supply Co. (NTS) opened its doors in 1990, it was a small, 10-employee, tubing distributor with big ideas. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the company now inventories more hot-finished seamless carbon/alloy mechanical tubing, pipe, drawn-over mandrel (DOM) mechanical tubing and colddrawn seamless (CDS) carbon tubing at a single location than any other supplier in the country. The University Park, Ill., shop – 118 SUMMER 2010 located less than 30 miles south of Chicago – has matured into a 250,000-square-foot, state-of-theart facility. Storage space has quadrupled. The current employee roster is at 100 and increasing, with plans to add hire more in the third and fourth quarters of 2010. Growing the scope of its product inventory and service capabilities remain primary strategic objectives for NTS, as noted by the recent addition of a small facility in Beaver, W.Va., that primarily serves

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010

Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010
Global Strategies
Continuous Improvement
Smart Pricing
Supply Chain
Business Value
Moving Forward
Westmark Products
Byrne Dairy
Ultrafryer Systems Inc.
Wil-Rich LLC & Wishek MFG LLC
American Precision Fabricators
Aqua Products Inc.
Black Diamond Equipment
Columbian Home Products
Control Devices LLC
Endustra Filter Manufacturers Inc
Heil Trailer International
Assembled Products
Order-Matic Corp.
Professional Building Systems Inc.
Smart Start Inc
Bosal International
Ausco Products Inc.
Brodart Company
Cambrex Corp.
Chapin International Inc.
Cleveland Gear Co.
Consolidated Precision Products
Control Flow Inc.
Douglas Autotech Corp.
Fetzer Architectural Products
The FNA Group
Fourslide Spring and Stamping Inc.
G.A. West & Company
Great Lakes Power Group
Grimm Brothers Plastics
Legends Furniture Inc.
National Tube Supply Co.
Optex Systems Inc.
Sunburst Electronics
V.E. Enterprises Inc
W. Soule & Company
Manufacturing Tomorrow

Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010