I sat down and talked to our President, Chuck Biehn, about our reshoring efforts and what he is seeing on a global scale. Chuck’s father started CB Manufacturing & Sales in 1965 and he has now been working at the family-owned company for 37 years.
“We are real believers in reshoring and have bet a lot of money on the future of manufacturing in the USA” ~ Chuck Biehn
Chuck, what is “reshoring”?
Millions of jobs have disappeared over the last couple of decades as American companies found that many of the items they manufacture could be made much less expensively in other countries, especially China. Today, a combination of higher costs in China and other low cost countries, combined with a desire to reduce delivery time and improve quality is allowing many products to be brought back and be manufactured again in the USA. This is typically called “reshoring” and is the opposite of “offshoring”.
Has CB been a big part of offshoring in the past?
Distribution of machine knives is something we know a lot about as CB Mfg was actually started as a machine knife reseller back in 1965, only getting into manufacturing our own knives in about 1971. We actually started importing knives in about 1972, before we even had a copier or telex machine, let alone a fax machine; imagine the pace of business when you had to mail letters back and forth—it took many months to complete a transaction! Although our manufactured products dominated our business, we quickly became experienced importers, setting up partnerships all over the world. Between myself and our staff, we have probably made over 100 overseas trips since 1981, as we don’t just “buy”, we really investigate our overseas factories and create partnerships that enable us to get our ultimate customers the best quality and value we can.
What do you see changing in the machine knife industry regarding reshoring?
Although the economics are such that there will be some quality knives that can best be manufactured overseas, today America is more competitive than ever. Delivery is a key issue. Customers have reduced their inventories to a point where they cannot wait months to receive custom made knives and they are willing to pay a bit more to get their knives made in this country. Many times, this is the best business decision on our customers’ part and we all like to be patriotic and create American jobs when possible
What is specifically happening at CB Mfg that is allowing more reshoring of knives?
First, over the last few years we have really worked on Lean Manufacturing, cutting waste throughout our company and setting up cells surrounding the value streams that we offer our customers. Second, we have made an investment of close to a million dollars in the last year or so, buying 3 major machines and using new technology to make our machine knives better and faster. These two steps have allowed us to be more competitive making products in-house that we used to import, something we are quite proud of today.
Anything else to add about reshoring in America?
We are real believers in reshoring and have bet a lot of money on the future of manufacturing in the USA. As a major buyer of heat treating services, decades ago we started a heat treating services company on our campus. This heat treating company not only processes our knives, but also does commercial heat treating in about a 100 mile region. A few months back, we acquired a competitive heat treating company northeast of Dayton, OH as we believe this industrial sector is going to grow due to reshoring. This move more than doubled our heat treating capacity as we plan to be in the forefront of the new industrial revolution in our historically metalworking manufacturing region. The future looks very bright for this new company and all our businesses!
CB Manufacturing’s Factory has recently been upgraded with three new machines.
The first addition, a German-Made Reform Vertical Surface Grinder, has a 236” x 19.7” magnetic table and a 120 HP spindle motor. The machine is completely computer controlled using a Marposs system that will make the grinding process extremely automated, greatly reducing the chance for human error and increasing productivity. With the new addition, CB will be capable of holding finishing tolerances of +/- .0005 with much greater output than with conventional grinders.
The second addition is a Chevalier Grinder. This machine has a 16” X 40” chuck and is accurate to within .0002” across the entire chuck. It has incremental down feed of .00005” and we can set what size to finish and how many spark out passes to take. Its ball bearing ways verse one V and one flat way allow us to hold tighter tolerances. Plus it has a CBN, diamond wheel dresser that will improve productivity. This new grinder gives us even greater grinding and sharpening capabilities. We are very excited to welcome this piece of machinery to our fleet of grinders.
Our newest machine is a Kitamura Horizontal Machining Center. This piece will machine parts up to 24″ in length with unbeatable accuracy, repeatability and speed. This is an extremely reliable and quality made machine.
American Cutting Edge and
CB Manufacturing will be closed
Thursday, Nov 28 & Friday, Nov 29.
Have you ever wondered how those delicious dishes get from the farm to your plate? You may be surprised to find out that many of these processes involve industrial knives manufactured by CB Manufacturing. These knives are distributed to some of the top food companies in the US. For example, that delicious spiral cut ham may be cut using one of our custom ham blades, and those frozen and canned veggies may have been chopped by our vegetable blades. In fact, most of the food that is a part of your Thanksgiving celebration has likely been processed using a knife that CB Manufacturing makes.
From our family to yours, please have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
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Certified Heat Treating and Heat Treating Incorporated have served the metal treating needs of the Tri-State area for many decades and the merger of the two companies is a natural progression of synergies, mutually benefiting the companies, and the customers they serve.
The two companies are known and respected for quality and excellent customer service. They are both ISO 9001:2008 certified, adhere to lean manufacturing principles, and are dedicated to 5-S programs. These proven practices will continue to maintain an industry leading work environment resulting in the attraction and retention of the best associates available. This reinforces both companies’ positions as leaders in the Miami Valley heat treating industry. Dedicated to workplace improvement, Heat Treating Incorporated is a member of the DOL-approved Heat Treating Apprenticeship Program and Certified Heat Treating is currently a finalist in the Dayton Business Journal’s Manufacturing Awards in the category of Workplace Training.
The integration of the two companies will result in the combining of equipment, knowledge and personnel in the production, vacuum, and induction heat treating departments. This enables both Certified Heat Treating and Heat Treating Inc. to continue to provide their customers with unmatched service and quality metal treating. The capacity gained in this acquisition will allow Certified Heat Treating Inc. to treat up to 150,000 additional pounds of material per day.
After the acquisition, the combined company will continue operations under the name Certified Heat Treating Incorporated at both the Miamisburg and Springfield sites. Currently, all operational, accounting and customer service departments will continue to operate independently. Mike Trimble will be in charge of managing CHTI/Springfield and Bob Biehn will continue as manager at CHTI/Miamisburg.
If you would like to find out more about the acquisition and merger or about Certified Heat Treating Incorporated, please contact the president, Joe Biehn, at 937-901-1574 or via email at email@example.com, or visit our two web sites, www.certifiedheattreating.com and www.heattreating.com
Certified Heat Treating Inc.
Heat Treating Inc.
4475 Infirmary Road
Miamisburg, Ohio 45432
American Cutting Edge is proud to bring the first line of ceramic snap off and titanium hybrid blades to the United States. These blades have a demonstrated blade life up to 85 times longer than their carbon and stainless steel counterparts and offer an unrivaled level of precision cutting. Other extreme performance materials have already made their mark in fixed cutting applications in the packaging and converting industries. Now they are finally available in snap off form, and for hand knife use.
In addition to their extreme performance, the ceramic blade is chemically inert, non-magnetic, corrosion resistant and can withstand extreme heat without deformation. These blades are also available with all ABS plastic hand knives, with no metal parts, in addition to traditional plastic hand knives with metal guides. These are added benefits to electronics and chemical companies with clean rooms, food and food packaging processesors and others concerned about contamination.
In CATRA (UK) tests, these new blades have demonstrated dramatic increases in blade life. In independent testing, blades are required to cut through synthetic test card containing 5% quartz, until the blades are determined to be “blunt.” This is measured by an inability to cut through 5mm of the card. While stainless steel cut 0.3 meters and carbon steel cut 1.6 meters during their “useful life,” our proprietary titanium hybrid blades cut through an amazing 8.8 meters of material before dulling. Even more impressive, our ceramic blades cut through a whopping 25.4 meters!
The difference in performance is a function of the extreme hardness of our ceramic and titanium hybrid materials. While traditional steel blades might have a hardness of HV640 to HV800 (HRC of 57 to 64), our ceramic blades have a hardness of HV1310 and the metalized ceramic particles in our titanium hybrid blades measure HV2900. In fact, they are too hard to be properly measured on the Rockwell scale. As hardness increases, the blade will take a better edge and hold it far longer, as evidenced by the test results.
In business since 1965, American Cutting Edge, a division of CB Manufacturing, is proud to be the exclusive US distributor for this exciting new line of blades. Please contact a Blade Specialist today, so we can help you find the best cutting solution for your application.