COLEGE STATION – KW Industries of Sugar Land, TX, increased new sales by $5 million and retained $15 million in sales after assistance by the East/Central Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC), which is operated by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
The company, which manufactures steel-tapered tubes for the outdoor lighting industry, was selected by TMAC as an Innovation Engineering Project. The scope of the project included product innovation and development, lean manufacturing service and strategic planning for tapered steel tube production for the transportation infrastructure industry.
TMAC engineers assisted KW Industries with implementing automated manufacturing production and with the new plant layout and equipment design to take advantage of lean manufacturing techniques and meet industry specifications.
At the completion of the project, KW Industries had invested $1.2 million in plant and equipment, and hired 25 additional employees. The company is one of only three in the U.S. to produce steel-tapered poles for the Department of Transportation and the commercial lighting pole industry.
The KW Industries Innovation Engineering Project was recently highlighted as an example of Texas’ national leadership in innovation by Aimee Dobrzeniecki, Deputy Director of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. She posted on an innovation website, Brain Brew Caf?, that the “innovation pioneers keep rolling” and the innovation projects pipeline at TMAC is “active and growing.”
“The project for KW Industries is just one of the success stories for the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center,” said East/Central TMAC Director Roger Caldwell of TEEX. “We work with medium to small manufacturers in Texas to assist them in using an innovation approach to implementing new products and manufacturing processes. The innovation approach is combined with lean manufacturing techniques to improve productivity, quality and on-time delivery while reducing manufacturing costs. It’s exciting to see our Texas manufacturers be recognized at the national level.”
TMAC is part of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program.