March 23, 1998 Design News
DESIGN NEWS EDITORIAL
Lessons from the road
by Paul E. Teague, Chief Editor
Going on the road is like going back to school. You
can learn a lot about the state of engineering and manufacturing
by visiting companies across the country. Among the
lessons from several recent trips: Visionary thinking,
a passion for details, and the entrepreneurial spirit
still define industrial America.
In Pennsylvania, for example, both T.B. Woods and Transicoil
are pushing the envelope in their respective technologies.
Under the direction of President Mike Hurt, T.B. Woods
has an active "skunk works" effort developing,
among other things, custom drives for specific manufacturers.
We're certain to hear more about the company's efforts
Transicoil develops standard motors for a variety of
applications. Among Transicoil's projects: developing
a motor to work with the Jarvik 2000 LVD (left ventricular
device). This LVD would be for small women and children.
Other LVDs don't fit them, engineer Bob Lazarski says.
In South Carolina, Compact Air Products has grown from
a garage operation to a thriving, 250-person company
on the strength of its engineering and entrepreneurialism.
Founder Larry Yuda, an engineer more comfortable in
coveralls than a three-piece suit, has instilled in
his employees the same passion for excellence that drove
him to start his own air cylinder and pneumatics business.
Baldor, Fort Smith, Arkansas, thrives under the leadership
of chairman and engineer Rollie Boreham, Jr., who preaches
a view that equates value with perceived quality, service,
cost, and time.That view is why the company is a major
And, in Anoka, Minnesota, Hoffman is proving that something
as simple as an enclosure can be quite high tech. Engineering
Manager Todd Mickley proudly points to the intricate
details he and his engineers fuss with as they design
the boxes that protect computers, drives, power supplies,
relays, terminal blocks, transformers, and other important
elements of industrial infrastructure.
They all are the story of American ingenuity, and the
reason our economy is so strong.