Industry News - August 2018
Celebrates 100 Years of Manufacturing Innovation
Twin Disc, Inc. is celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2018. The company began in Racine, Wisconsin in 1918 with the introduction of the twin disc farm tractor clutch. Since then, Twin Clutch has upgraded the performance of transmissions involved in farming, construction and marine applications.
One of its major contributions to manufacturing history was Twin Disc’s involvement with the LCVP (Higgins boat) during World War II. The LCVP was the landing craft extensively used for amphibious landings that was designed by Andrew Higgins. Dwight D. Eisenhower was quoted as saying the vehicle was crucial to the Allies victory in Europe.
“Our company designed and built half the transmission for the LCVP and it changed everything,” Batten said. “These boats went to Europe and Asia and when the war ended they stayed there. Suddenly, we had this product all over the world being used for fishing and workboats, etc. Almost overnight, we became a global company.”
Twin Disc began opening sales offices around the world and played a significant role in the MacArthur Expansion in 1950s Japan. The company was tied to both the marine and construction transmission markets and expanded at a rapid pace.
Oil recessions in the 70s and 80s slowed things down a bit, but one of the most significant challenges was that many of Twin Disc’s customers began building the transmissions themselves — vertically integrating the product into their own manufacturing facilities.
Batten believes the company persevered during the tougher times with a manufacturing and office staff known for its longevity, adaptability, curiosity and loyalty.
“The average seniority for our employees was 25+ years in the shop and 20+ years in the office,” Batten added. “They’ve pulled through restructures and witnessed plenty of ups and downs. It’s hard to argue against that Midwest work ethic. I believe these are many of the traits the staff has had going back 100 years.”
Today, Twin Disc is focusing more on controls and system integration instead of individual components, technologies for propulsion controls, thrusters, steering systems, drives, etc. instead of basic clutches.
“This anniversary is a chance for us to reflect on the inventiveness of the company’s founders and my predecessors, as well as the resilience and willingness to adapt that has allowed Twin Disc to flourish for a century,” said Batten. “It’s also an opportunity for us to express our appreciation for our employees, customers, and the communities we work and live in.”
Batten is bullish on the U.S. manufacturing market. He knows that in order to succeed in the future, the company will need additional output here in the United States. The goal is to be a leader in hybrid technologies for diesel applications in the foreseeable future.
In order to accomplish this, Twin Disc will need a new generation of talent similar to the workforce that has made it so successful for 100 years.
“Trade schools and two-year education paths are available for kids today to make a great career,” Batten said. “They don’t need a four-year degree to be successful in life. They simply need to see the opportunities that manufacturing can offer.”
Batten added that the organization is ready and willing to hire additional team members in the coming months. “We’re looking for new talent right now. If you want to come to Racine, Wisconsin, we have jobs to fill!”
Twin Disc is preparing a series of local, national and international events and promotions to celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, including an international distributor meeting at its corporate headquarters. Twin Disc will participate in local Racine events, including the Lighthouse Run, Independence Day Parade, and the WKLH Work Force Tour.
Other North American and international Twin Disc subsidiaries, in Belgium, Italy, Singapore, India, and Australia, will also celebrate the 100th anniversary with events and promotions.
“We’re looking forward to all these opportunities to celebrate our history, and more importantly, the people who helped make Twin Disc what it is today,” Batten said. “It is my hope that these reflections encourage us to look toward our next 100 years and inspire the next generation of Twin Disc employees to imagine and develop new ways to continue to put horsepower to work.” (www.twindisc.com)
Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions
Revises 2018 Catalog and Design Guide
Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, a business unit of AMETEK Advanced Motion Solutions, announces the release of its new Catalog and Design Guide, revised for 2018. The new Haydon Kerk catalog has been updated and expanded with new product sections.
The new catalog and design guide illustrates a wide range of products engineered for use as building blocks in sophisticated linear motion assemblies depending on the customers’ application needs. The catalog is a “starting point” to help explain Haydon Kerk technology, products and core capabilities. Customers are invited to work directly with Haydon Kerk’s engineering team to customize components or to integrate them into a unique customized system solution.
The catalog is divided into 3 major sections: 1) Precision lead screw and nut assemblies; 2) Linear actuators and stepper motor drives; and 3) Motorized and non-motorized linear rail systems. In addition to basic product information, each section includes a brief overview of the technology behind the products, part number construction, sizing charts, and product comparison charts.
Typical applications for Haydon Kerk products include robotics, infusion pumps in medical equipment; liquid handling equipment used in laboratory automation; transport stations and valves in semiconductor manufacturing equipment; and inspection, test, dispensing and 3D printing equipment used in industrial automation, camera, lighting, projectors, antenna drives and numerous other high-tech precision motion systems. (www.haydonkerkpittman.com)
SEPAC and Placid Industries
Complete Merger and Integration
SEPAC, an engineering company and manufacturer of motion control products including electromagnetic clutches and brakes, and Placid Industries, a manufacturer of magnetic particle brakes/clutches, hysteresis brakes and controls, have completed the integration of their businesses after a recent merger. Together, the companies can now offer OEMs a wider range of superior quality, low cost motion control solutions and application expertise.
Founded in 1973, Placid Industries was originally located in Lake Placid, NY, before relocating to SEPAC’s headquarters in Elmira, NY. Placid’s products are well known throughout the United States and Europe for tension control applications where unwinding/rewinding is required or in applications where torque needs to be controlled independent of RPM. Placid Industries also has the capability to package entire systems which may include a brake or clutch, power supply and potentiometers or ultrasonic sensors for live feedback.
“We are enormously excited to scale our business with the iconic Placid Industries brand,” said John Meier, president of SEPAC. “Our strategic acquisition and integration builds out our product line across the full range of the clutch and brake spectrum, brings superior product performance with our proprietary de-cogging technology for smooth running torque, provides the best pricing in the market, and ships same day for rapid turnaround.”
“Placid brings more than 50 years of strong technical product performance and applications expertise with a diversified, global customer base on a recurring revenue business model built on rapid deliveries and responsive customer service,” said Lonnie Reid, Placid Industries. “We look forward to leveraging SEPAC’s robust engineering resources and market footprint to grow our respective franchises together as one leader in motion control.” (www.sepac.com)
Appoints Business Development Manager for Oil & Gas
Danfoss has appointed Justin Thomas as business development manager of its Marine, Oil & Gas business for the company’s Power Solutions segment.
In this role, Thomas will focus specifically on developing new business relations for long-term strategic sales and partnerships while expanding the company’s market share in onshore and offshore applications including, Drill rigs, Fracking units, Artificial Lifts, Offshore Vessels and Jack up rigs.
Thomas brings over seven years of industry experience. Prior to joining Danfoss he worked for Schlumberger in their Drilling & Measurements division working on land based rigs as a field engineer operating downhole tools/equipment used for drilling, steering and logging hydrocarbon data. More recently he was with Eaton — Crouse Hinds Harsh and Hazardous Electrical Division as a Specification Sales Engineer targeting drilling contractors, operators and OEMs in the upstream oil and gas market.
“Justin joins Danfoss with great industry experience,” said Steve Robinson, director of business development, Marine, Oil & Gas, Danfoss Power Solutions. “He will help us continue to strengthen our position as a leading provider of solutions in critical applications for safe and efficient exploration and production of oil and gas.”
“I was excited to join Danfoss because of the company’s strong commitment and focus on bringing innovative solutions to making oil and gas exploration as safe, efficient and reliable as possible. They have a strong partner network, a global footprint and history of working with global industry leaders,” commented Thomas.
He is a graduate of University of Pittsburgh where he majored in industrial engineering with a minor in mechanical engineering. (www.danfoss.com)
Regal Beloit Corporation
Enhances Products on Website
Regal Beloit Corporation has released 360-degree, high-resolution product photography on its website. Each spin is comprised of up to 72 high-resolution photos, providing a level of image clarity that makes product labels legible. This enhancement is the next step in the company’s phased approach to implement enhanced digital content.
The Regal website, launched in June 2017, builds on the previous website design through a more robust product evaluation experience and will continue to evolve to meet the most sought-after features requested by customers.
“Our goal is to revolutionize our users’ online experiences with a website that offers significantly enhanced digital content over other industrial B2B websites. The details available in our new images enable users to make accurate buying decisions to help ensure they are selecting the correct part,” said David Lindsay, manager of performance excellence, Regal Beloit America, Inc.
“We also focused on the sizes of the images to allow for a balance between providing the desired level of clarity with enabling optimal load times. Furthermore, with our mobile-first web strategy, we had to consider the ideal size for hand-held devices as well as desktop users,” said Gary Thompson, IT applications architect, Regal Beloit America, Inc. (regalbeloit.com)
The article "Industry News" appeared in the August 2018 issue of Power Transmission Engineering.