(Atlantic) Iowa’s manufacturing health was give an “A” grade and “B” grade logistics according to a research report from Ball State University. The only other states to get the “A” mark for manufacturing were Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Closer to home, Mahle Manufacturing in Atlantic is pretty close to their home states grade according to General Manager Bruce Kreutzer.
“Manufacturing, as far as wages, we appear to be in the ball park with the state of Iowa based on the feedback we have off the internet,” said Kreutzer.
Kreutzer says the only thing he would like to see improved is the automation,
“Just due to the nature, I don’t want to say this negatively, but the people we have to choose from and trying to get the caliber of people we need to small communities. That would be the only down fall of us,” said Kreutzer. “And people like me were brought in. I’m trying to bring in an engineering manager from the outside that has some more automation and lean input on the plant so that we can advance ourselves to get caught up with the rest of the industry.”
Meanwhile, Kreutzer rates Mahle’s logistic higher than the “B” grade given to the state.
“I think logistics, for us, is probably higher than a “B” because a lot of our customers are in this area,” said Kreutzer. “We do have customers in the south, North Carolina and far regions, but as far as the industry that we’re in, we supply a heavy duty market and most of those customers are in Illinois or Iowa, some in Nebraska, so I would rate us a “B+”.”
And Kreutzer says Mahle’s production efficiency is well ahead of last year.
“We’re running around 98% delivery performance,” said Kreutzer, who added that compared to last year it was 64. Kruetzer said the difference is focus, “What we were doing was managing how we could run things through production and now we’re managing how we manage the customer ship date.”
Mahle Manufacturing employees 280-people and operates three shifts a day 5-days a week The Company manufactures bearings for heavy duty equipment for automotive, air craft, trucks, tractors and locomotives.
According to the report, the states that graded an “F” included; Alaska, Hawaii, New York, New Mexico and Nevada.
June 21, 2012