Made in Chicago Featured Company: Puckered Pickle Company

Puckered Pickle Company

The Puckered Pickle Company uses the best quality ingredients to produce the best quality product.  They take pride in producing premium pickles, pickle relishes and fine condiments like sport peppers, giardiniera and muffalata in their state of the art facility. All products manufactured at the Puckered Pickle Company are gluten-free and Kosher certified.

The Puckered Pickle Company is family-owned and operated.  They have been serving the food service and retail trade for three decades. Today their products can be found in locations from coast to coast.

Made in Illinois Featured Company: Profile Plastics, Inc.

Profile Plastics, Inc.

Profile Plastics, Inc. specializes in supplying custom molded, highly engineered, plastic parts manufactured by the thermoforming processes of vacuum, pressure, and twin sheet forming. Most customers’ parts require close tolerance and CNC trimming for a precise, consistent fit. Profile Plastics has established a reputation as an industry leader in expanding the viability of the thermoforming processes through value added engineering.

Their facility allows for a broad range of product requirements and, more importantly, production flexiblity.  Profile Plastics has developed highly repetitive thermoforming processes to support high volume, close tolerance, and high value production.

Market Monitoring – As Easy as 1, 2, 3…4

Market Monitoring

Written by April Glosser, Thrive Market Intelligence

Effective Market Monitoring can provide early warning of threats, advance notification of opportunities and deliver a significant advantage over your competitors.

Here is a quick 4-step process to begin Market Monitoring in it’s simplest form:

You Need Lean Maintenance to Make Lean Manufacturing Succeed!

Written by Lawrence Bouvier, CMRP
Vice President – Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions

Is equipment downtime holding you back from achieving Lean Manufacturing success?

We all have heard of the seven wastes addressed in Lean Manufacturing, but did you ever consider that if you applied similar principles to equipment health, you’d want a discipline to create Lean Maintenance?

Overproduction, Inventory and Waiting are three of the seven lean wastes that can come as a result of equipment failures.  A good maintenance process will keep these to minimum levels.  So, how can we achieve this?  The only way is to minimize the amount of maintenance and repair that we perform on machines!

Cybersecurity – It’s Just One Piece of a Comprehensive Information Security Program

By John Remsey, IMEC Senior Technical Specialist

Cybersecurity has become a hot topic within manufacturing over the past months, especially for the Defense supply chain with the federal government increasing their emphasis on addressing threats to the security of information.  In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) released a rule to the Defense Acquisition Federal Regulation Supplement (DAFRS) that requires government contractors to implement the requirements of National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 by December 31, 2017.  With this deadline fast approaching, conversation, and urgency, to become compliant is increasing.

Bringing Diversity to Manufacturing

Written by Melissa Basa, IMEC Regional Manager

With more than 500,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States in recent years, much has been hypothesized and written about the cause(s). If we consider the words of Warren Buffet, who in 2013 told Fortune Magazine that America has built our prosperity using only 50%Diversity of our talent and left an entire gender out of the equation for most of our history, we see that a solution is very much within our reach.  But balancing the gender equation and bringing more women into manufacturing doesn’t require the same approach as increasing the ranks of men.  Let’s look at an example (or three) from my Alma Mater.

In 2016, Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering was the first US national research university to graduate an undergraduate class of engineers that was more than 50% female.  Compare this to the national average that has yet to break 20%.  But gender parity didn’t happen for Thayer overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without intentional cultural changes.  I believe Thayer’s successes could be those of America’s shop floors as well.

Made in Chicago Featured Company: 555 International

555555 International is an award-winning global design, development, and fabrication firm. More than just design, 555 manufactures the items essential to the business needs of its clients and manages the process all under one very large roof.

555 has become known for its unmistakably bold, dynamic approach to client needs. By stressing innovation, functional design, and the integration and creation of specialized materials and finishes, the firm offers a unique language for expressing client tastes and styles. The 555 team brings this fluency to each space, with hallmark design projects, including Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Hard Rock Hotels and Resorts International, as well as acclaimed restaurants Roister, GT Fish & Oyster, Coda Di Volpe, Balena, and Bernie’s in Chicago. In addition, 555 develops and brings to life the work of other designers, collaborating with high-end hospitality and retail clients to execute and deliver their concepts to fruition. 

Made in Illinois Featured Company: Superior Joining Technologies, Inc.

Superior Joining Technologies, Inc.

Superior Joining Technologies is a women-owned small buisness that works with tier one aerospace companies.  They specialize in micro-tig and micro-laser welding and 3D multi-axis laser cutting and welding, and flourescent dye penetrant and magnetic particle inspection.

Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. is a highly technical and precise welding operation serving any industry that needs that level of expertise and documentation, most notably aerospace. Their mission is to “Join with You” through partnerships to reduce lead-time to their customers and have greater control of cost fluctuations.

Community Consolidated School District 93: A Progress toward Excellence Success Story

Before the Baldrige Framework for Excellence

CCSD93 is a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school district that serves roughly 3,900 students in nine schools throughout the villages of Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, and Hanover Park, Illinois. Before beginning its Baldrige journey in the mid 1990’s, CCSD93 was the fastest growing district in Illinois, and administrators were hyper-focused on adding space and staff. The district lacked the ability to devote significant time on personnel development. As a result, CCSD93 consistently produced good students, but was not thought of as a leader in academic achievement or professional development opportunities for the staff – a challenge that needed to be addressed to retain the workforce who senior leaders hoped to develop into excellent leaders. Strategically, CCSD93 had good goals in place, but was not as competitive as it could have been and did not position itself to become the world-class district senior leaders knew it could be.

Made in Chicago Featured Company: Cupid Candies

Cupid Candies

Cupid Candies is a family owned business that has manufactured quality chocolate and served Chicagoland residents for more than 60 years.  They supply dozens of independent candy shops throughout the Chicago area and the Midwest with both regular and sugar-free chocolates. Some of their private label customers include Crate & Barrel, Figi’s, Inc of Marshfield, WI, and Golden Farm Candies of South Bend, IN.

In recent years they have expanded their market to include hospital gift shops, floral shops, and gift basket companies throughout the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana.  Cupid Candies stands firm by their motto … each bite a fresh delight.  With that in mind, all chocolates are made fresh daily and never frozen.

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