Articles for September, 2011
Polaris was recently awarded three U.S. military contracts for ATVs and Side-by-Side vehicles.
According to this article in the Financial Post, “Polaris vehicles appeal to the military due to our ability to modify our commercial off-the-shelf vehicles with additional accessories for different military missions,” said Rich Haddad, general manager of Polaris Defense. “The features and superiority of our product make them highly sought-after for military applications.”
Polaris, with sales approximately of $2 billion, is a leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles (ORVs), all-terrain…
According to the Federal Reserve, American industrial production has risen 3.8% for the year.
This is good news and certainly reflects what BTD has seen in the last year. The manufacturing sector of the American economy is strong and growing, and we are glad to see many of our customers leading the way.
According to this article on Fox Business News, global sales for Caterpillar were up 34%. Caterpillar, based in Peoria, is a BTD customer and located near our Washington, IL plant.
Many overseas markets saw growth over 40% and North American sales were up 30%. In light of what some pundits cite as economic weakness, it is nice to see these gains by such a large, an renowned world company!
Articles for October, 2011
We are excited to announce that starting today BTD Manufacturing, Miller Welding & Iron Works, and Performance Tool & Die will become one company doing business as BTD.
The new BTD represents an impressive range of metalworking capabilities with the same innovation, dedication and service that you’ve come to expect from all three companies in the past. BTD has grown from two people in 1979 to over 800 employees today!
We now serve a national and international customer base including many of the world’s largest and most respected brands. BTD operates from six…
The month of September was a busy and productive one for BTD facilities. We have five new hires in our Detroit Lakes facility and two new hires in our Lakeville facility. Within welding we have added a robotic welding operator and welding hand finishers. We have also acquired a receiving specialist, assistance in warehouse kitting and a quality technician.
According to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, Deere & Co. will invest $124 million to build two new factories in Brazil. This expansion is in response to a growing demand for construction equipment in South America. Construction on the factories is expected to be complete by 2013.
Our Lakeville facility has added a Brown & Sharp CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) to its already impressive line-up. The new machine is accurate to 20 millionths of an inch – in other words – extremely precise! We will be utilizing this new equipment primarily within our machining department.
During the month of September, BTD was honored to add three new accounts to its diverse customer list. In mid-September, we received a purchase order from one of the largest producers of Patented Track Cranes in North America. In addition, we will be working with one of the largest farm equipment manufacturers in the Midwest. It is a great opportunity and we welcome the challenge to showcase our expertise. Last, but certainly not least, we received a purchase order from a large trucking scale company. BTD played a significant role in the design and engineering of a prototype…
This October, BTD will be celebrating three employees for their years of service. Two employees, one in Minnesota and one in Illinois, have been with BTD for 10 years. The third, in Minnesota, will be celebrating 25 years of service. BTD recognizes and thanks these individuals for their contributions.
The GD&T Training Course helps our team members discern the degree of accuracy and precision needed on each facet of a part. GD&T is a system that helps define and communicate engineering tolerances. By utilizing symbolic language through engineering drawings and computer-generated three-dimensional solid models, it is able to describe nominal geometry and its allowable variation. Congratulations to our 18 team members who received their completion certificates on October 14th!
A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group shows that manufacturing may be making a return to the United States. Rising costs for labor, transportation, duties, real estate and risk in foreign markets lessen the monetary benefit of creating goods there. Likewise, new technologies and higher productivity in the US make it a more desirable place for locating new factories, signaling a bright future for American made goods.
BTD’s tooling division is being recognized for 20 years of membership with the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA). They will be recognized alongside other milestone members at an appreciation dinner hosted by the MPMA on October 27th.
Caterpillar profits increased 44% in the third quarter from a year ago, making it the best sales quarter in their history. The company also added 2,000 US jobs during that quarter, and is anticipating yearly revenue of around $58 billion dollars.
October 23-29 marked Minnesota Manufacturing Week, a celebration that spotlights manufacturing throughout the state. Notable events included the Minnesota Manufacturing Awards, a job fair and tours of manufacturing companies. The goal of the celebration was to feature the positive economic impact manufacturing has on Minnesota communities.
Articles for November, 2011
Though the economy has faced a difficult decade, many areas of manufacturing have actually seen growth over the last ten years. A recent article featured 50 different sectors that saw growth from 2001-2011. This growth added jobs and increased output for American companies.
A recent report by the Institute for Supply Management shows continued growth in manufacturing, a trend that has been continuing for 27 months. In addition to this overall growth, sectors such as fabricated metals and the auto industry have shown particular strength.
This October, BTD welcomed 17 new employees in Illinois and 21 in Minnesota. These additions were made in a variety of departments including sales, quality, machining, fabrication and more.
BTD is pleased to announce that our new 400 ton press is up and running. The addition of this new stamping equipment required the roof of our facility to be raised and was a $1.5 million investment. Both current and new staff members have been trained in on the use of the new machinery and it has allowed BTD to become more efficient, effective and competitive for future and current clients, a great asset to our fast growing business.
On November 11 Caterpillar announced plans to spend over $600 million on upgrades to their facilities in both Peoria and Decatur. These upgrades will help to expand tractor and truck production between the two facilities. They will also bring 300 new jobs to the community once the project is completed, sometime between 2015 and 2016.
This November BTD was honored to add an expansive, global organization to their client list. One of the largest producers of elevators in North America, the group has operations in over 80 countries specializing in different types of steel manufacturing. The first package will total $1,000,000 and BTD is excited to be doing business with their elevator division.
BTD is excited to announce the promotion of Craig Nelson to Account Manager (Tooling) as of November 7. Craig has been with BTD since 2000, holding positions including toolmaker, designer and most recently tooling estimator. Craig’s contributions and accomplishments are greatly appreciated and we wish him the best of luck in his new position.
This month 6 BTD employees have started custom machining school in conjunction with MState in Detroit Lakes. In addition, 18 employees completed Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing training with Mark Brainard of Multi Metrics.
Caterpillar’s efforts to expand into the mining industry continue as they announced their offer to purchase the Chinese mine safely machinery maker ERA Mining Machinery Ltd. The acquisition would help Caterpillar expand into the mining industries of other countries and would also assist them in providing customers outside of China with these goods.
BTD is pleased to announce that this past October we recorded the best month in company history for total sales volume in one month. We are excited for our continued growth and the opportunity to bring exceptional service to our customers.
Articles for December, 2011
For residents in our Washington, Illinois community, the Washington Historical Society invites you to the 27th annual Christmas Tour of Homes on December 13th. The tour will include five different homes as well as refreshments and an open house. Tickets are $12 through December 9th and $15 the day of the tour for adults, and $5 for children ages 6-12. All proceeds will benefit the Washington Historical Society.
With American’s planning to spend more than $465 billion this holiday season, ABC News and Diane Sawyer are asking that some of that money go to American made products. Economists believe spending just a fraction of shopping budgets on American companies could create jobs and strengthen the economy. ABC is even asking that those who pledge to purchase US goods send in their stories for a chance to be featured on “World News with Diane Sawyer.”
This November, 7,000 jobs were added in the manufacturing sector, increasing the manufacturing payroll by $206,000. This is a positive sign not only for those seeking employment in manufacturing, but also for the general economy, as these numbers suggest growing and more confident businesses.
This December, BTD has added additional machinery to our Detroit Lakes facility. A third LT722D laser tube cutting system will continue to expand BTD’s tubing capabilities. A third ABB Flexarc R 250-1600 robot welder will provide customers with continued excellence in welding. BTD is excited to expand our growing business and continue high quality, efficient work for our customers.
BTD is excited to begin a new tradition of holiday giving in our Twin Cities locations. Throughout December our Lakeville locations will compete against our Otsego location to see which can collect the most non-perishable items for those in need. All items collected in Lakeville will go to 360 Communities, which serves Dakota County. Items collected in Otsego will go to the Community Aid Elk River (CAER) food shelf.
This past November BTD added 24 new employees in Minnesota and 10 in Illinois. The new employees will join our teams in welding, machining, tubing and more. We were also proud to celebrate one 10 year employment anniversary in our Detroit Lakes location. The contribution of employees new and old are part of what makes BTD a strong and active company.
BTD is honored to add a leader in wind tower manufacturing to our client list. The production work will begin in January 2012 and continue throughout the year. BTD is excited to create parts for a growing an innovating industry.
The growing and changing landscape of Western North Dakota due to the Bakken oil fields has also meant growing and changing opportunities for business. BTD employees recently spent a week researching in the fields, with special interest in the work and new advancements in the industry.
Articles for January, 2012
While many may think American manufacturing is dying, current reports have shown that to be far from true. A recent New York Times article recognizes manufacturing for being a bright spot in the economy. Hiring is up and the value of American manufactured exports is also rising. Such statistics show there is still a great deal of value in products from the United States and the people who make them.
This December, BTD added 29 new employees who will join our team in various positions throughout the company. In addition, our Illinois location is excited to celebrate an employee for 25 years of service at BTD. We are excited to welcome new talent and recognize those who have been with BTD for many years.
A recent report by the United States Department of Commerce titled “The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States” highlights manufacturing as an important factor in American innovation and competitiveness, as well as job and economic growth. The goal of the report is to explore ways to support manufacturing in America, as it serves…
December marked a month of growth for the manufacturing sector. Output made its biggest gains since December 2010 at a rate of .9%. Consumers and businesses were also spending more, which will likely lead to heightened payrolls and hours for manufacturing employees. Economists continue to project that manufacturing will keep increasing and help the U.S. economy recover.
The Association for Manufacturing Technology recently reported that 2011 was a year of exceptional growth for the manufacturing sector. In 2011 total manufacturing technology orders came to $463.32 million, up 80.5% from 2010. A surge such as this suggests that the economy as a whole is improving too.
With positive factors like the reshoring phenomenon and a growing number of exports leaving the United States continuing, 2012 looks to be another positive year as well.
Caterpillar recently posted their fourth quarter results, which saw net income climb 60%. This exceeded estimates made by analysts, and was the 11th time in the last 12 quarters that the company did so. Amid the success, Caterpillar estimates that the global economy will grow 3.3% in 2012, an improvement from last year, and suggests that Wall Street projections for 2011 were too conservative. Acquisitions such as Bucyrus International Inc., a mining equipment company,…
Articles for February, 2012
A new report from the Institute for Supply Management showed that most sectors of manufacturing continued to grow in January. In particular, new orders, supplier deliveries and new export orders grew significantly. While growth in some other areas came in at a smaller percentage, the numbers do suggest that future manufacturing activity will continue to expand.
This January BTD made 43 new hires, 17 in Minnesota and 26 in Illinois. The new employees will take positions as welders, machinists, quality auditors, production operators, material handlers and more. We are excited to see our growth continue and welcome new members to the BTD team.
BTD’s Washington, Illinois facility recently added a new Doosan DBC 130 High Precision Heavy Duty Boring Mill with probe and full enclosure.
We are excited about the many new investments being made by BTD and the continued quality of work that they assist us in providing.
The New Year has brought a great deal of learning to our BTD facilities. Various BTD locations have been participating in Leadership Development Training that has covered topics such as team building, performance reviews and planning for the future. We have also been participating in problem solving training, which will help give BTD a systematic method for identifying problems and taking corrective actions when there is an internal or external part rejection. Finally, several employees have been participating in SolidWorks (a software system for engineers and designers) training in Minneapolis.…
Articles for March, 2012
After an incredible upset over top seated Duluth East, Lakeville South continues in the State Hockey Tournament tonight (March 9). Lakeville South hasn’t been the only team to pull off an unexpected win in the tournament, so tonight could be anyone’s game. Good luck to all players and fans!
This February, BTD added an additional 27 employees, 6 in Illinois and 21 in Minnesota. They will fill positions in areas such as machining, welding, fabricating, tooling and more.
In addition, both the Minnesota and Illinois locations celebrated 10-year anniversaries. We are very excited to recognize new members of our team and those who have been with BTD for many years.
Articles for April, 2012
March reports show that various sectors of manufacturing are continuing to show growth, even as the economy remains somewhat slow to improve. Factories increased both hiring and production, and manufacturing activity rose to 53.4 (a reading above 50 indicates expansion).
Manufacturing orders also increased and customers reported low inventories, indicating orders will continue into future months.
These positive numbers suggest…
BTD is pleased to announce that we have been chosen as a recipient of the 2012 Safety Award of Merit from the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA). The award is given annually to metal fabrication companies that adhere to excellence in safety. Companies awarded needed to report injury and illness incidence rates that were better than the published Bureau of Labor Statistics rates by 10 percent or more.
Said Edward Youdell, president and CEO of FMA, “By winning an FMA/CNA…
We are excited to be celebrating four employment anniversaries this April at BTD. Throughout our locations two employees will be celebrating 10 years of service, one will be celebrating 25, and one will be celebrating 30.
Thank you to our employees for your dedication and commitment to BTD!
On February 16, 2012, 16 BTD employees received training on the fundamentals of oil analysis. The goal of this training was to increase the effectiveness of BTD’s lubrication program and reduce lubricant consumption by 30% per year. Reducing consumption at this rate will result in savings of over $10,000 per year. BTD is dedicated to continued learning that will provide us with better results both internally, and for our customers.
Articles for May, 2012
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing productivity rose 5.9 percent in the first quarter. Also on the rise was output per hour, up 10.8 percent, with durable goods showing the most improvement.
These numbers were more positive than other sectors of the economy, which showed slower growth.
With the gains in productivity and output, manufacturers could hire more workers and keep hours worked and output in alignment.
BTD is excited to announce the hiring of a new Director of Operations at our Washington, Illinois facility. The Director of Operations will be overseeing all production departments and began work on May 15, 2012.
Our new Director of Operations has been with BTD for 14 years, holding various manufacturing leadership roles. He brings both a great business perspective and a strong commitment to BTD.
We welcome our new Director of Operations as he helps us continue to grow our Washington, Illinois facility.
Articles for July, 2012
Last month, BTD was honored to be featured in an article in The Fabricator magazine. The story is a great account of the growth of BTD, as well as the work that we do.
BTD was pleased to welcome 29 new employees in June. 24 new employees in Minnesota and five in Illinois will take positions that include welders, machinists, quality auditors, and more.
June also marked employment anniversaries for 3 of our employees. One 10 year and two 25 year anniversaries were celebrated.
We extend our thanks to our dedicated employees and a welcome to new employees.
BTD has updated our Otsego location, moving production from that location to our Lakeville facilities and transforming Otsego strictly to warehouse space. While there will still be some warehouse operations in Lakeville, Detroit Lakes and Washington, Illinois, Otsego will be the largest warehouse at 100,000 square feet. In moving these operations BTD hopes to continue to provide maximum efficiency for out customers. The move also gives us the opportunity to hire more employees at the Lakeville location, as production will be expanded there.
BTD is making steps towards becoming a greener company. As of this summer we are conducting all of our certification training online for operators and warehouse employees. Not only will we see instant results that will help us be more effective and proactive with our training, we will significantly reduce the number of paper we use on a day-to-day basis!
Articles for September, 2012
Illinois employees have been active in numerous training activities over the summer, and continuing into fall. Training has included math certification training (to improve skills with measurement and blueprints), machining school to master G & M Codes, and continued leadership training for more employees than ever. One employee will also be participating in Dale Carnegie training, which focuses on helping employees work as a team and become engaged with a company under great leadership.
BTD is excited to begin operations at a new tool shop in Illinois. The 10,000 sq. ft. space currently houses four employees, with future growth anticipated. The shop’s immediate focus is to build welding and machining fixtures, with the addition of metal stamping tools to come. This new location will help us to do work closer to the Illinois based customers who need it.
Articles for October, 2012
The Washington, Illinois BTD facility has hired a new training coordinator, who began on October 1. The training coordinator will be available to help employees advance in many areas of the industry, including receiving certifications and customized training. They will also help develop new employees as they become members of our company.
Our Washington, Illinois employees have completed their math certification training, which focuses on improving skills with measurement and blueprint reading. This training will help us continue to deliver more precise and accurate work to our clients.
Articles for November, 2012
BTD has made some equipment moves and additions to our various locations to better serve clients and streamline our productivity. A Johnford SU32 Mill was added to our Lakeville line-up, and a Blanchard Grinder was added to the Washington, Illinois facility. We are excited about the projects we will be able to better complete with this machinery.
On October 22-28, 2012, The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce came together to support Minnesota Manufacturers Week. In addition to other events, various manufacturers opened their doors as part of a Statewide Tour of Manufacturing. BTD’s Lakeville Tooling facility was among those businesses granting people an inside look at the manufacturing industry. The week is designed to showcase the importance of manufacturing in Minnesota, and encourage a new generation of workers to take…
As part of the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids, BTD’s 3 twin cities locations collected coats, mittens, scarves and other winter necessities for those in need this fall. Employees gave 33 coats and dozens of other items for people of all ages, all of which were donated to the Salvation Army. The generosity and care that our employees have is part of what makes BTD, and our communities, so great!
Articles for December, 2012
In the upcoming weeks, all of our BTD Operators will be receiving base line training. Certifying our operators will help us continue to deliver the best products possible to our customers.
We are feeling very thankful this time of year at BTD, and we are excited for the chance to help others in our community. In addition to the coat drive we recently finished, our Lakeville locations are participating in Toys for Town through the Farmington Police Department. Our employees will help us collect toys from December 3-14 to be given to those in need. In addition, our Otsego location is again participating in the food drive to help the CAER food shelf. We appreciate all of our employees…
To help our employees improve their leadership skills and build our company, BTD currently has 100 employees participating in Greg Holder’s “Enlightened Leadership” training. This training will help managers throughout our company excel in team building, communicating, and helping our workforce succeed.
One of our goals at BTD is to encourage a culture that promotes from within. Recently, three of our employees have moved up to new positions with us. Two employees who began with BTD within the last two years moved from CNC Operator and Material Handler to Toolmaker. Another employee, who has been with BTD for 16 years as a Toolmaker, has accepted the position of Designer.
Congratulations to all of these employees!
The communities that surround BTD are one of our biggest assets, and we are happy to have a chance to support them. To give a hand to a school in our community this year, we made a donation to Faribault High School’s campaign to open their new Fielitz Fitness Center. We hope the students, athletes, and staff are enjoying the new gym!
BTD is proud to announce that in 2012 we have received an injury rate of 3.5, much lower than the stamping industry average of 7.8.
We take great pride in keeping our employees safe, and we have a number of measures in place to make sure that happens. Each day we conduct a daily huddle for employees in all locations to hear a unified safety training message and be reminded of safety procedures. We also have peer-to-peer monitoring on our floor, where employees are able to check each other for safety practices, good and bad.
Our employees are encouraged to report injuries…
Articles for January, 2013
We have tallied up the final numbers from the toy drives in our Minneapolis locations and we have given nearly 100 toys to the community. Thanks to employees who participated in Lakeville, where the gifts went to Toys for Town, and Otsego, where gifts went to the CAER organization.
We have set a number of goals for BTD in 2013, but one major issue we will be focusing on is employee retention and engagement. Having a high quality workforce is something manufacturers across the country struggle with, and we want to make sure that as we build our team we have a group that is competitive with companies across the globe. Our focus will be on training and how our HR department hires new employees. We want to make sure each new employee is a good fit with BTD, and is interested in growing and building a real career with our company.
Along with our other BTD locations, Detroit Lakes participated in holiday giving this season, hosting a toy drive for the community. Donations were given to the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center and Mahube Head Start. We are so happy to have partnered with these organizations for a chance to give back to the Detroit Lakes community.
Our employees participating in Greg Holder leadership training are currently half-way finished, and are giving positive reviews of their experience so far. They are getting the chance to learn about themselves as leaders, and how their leadership styles can support our employees and help BTD grow in 2013.
In February 2013, nine BTD employees in Washington, IL will be going through International Organization for Standardization (ISO) training. This training governs our level of quality management and allows our customers to quickly identify what BTD’s quality standards are like.
Articles for February, 2013
We had a pretty incredible year for safety at BTD. Our employees worked 1.8 million hours in 2012, and with only 31 OSHA Recordable Injuries, our Total Incident Rate was 3.5 compared to the industry average of 7.8. That means that BTD is doing better than 56% of other manufacturers!
Our employees played a big part in keeping BTD safe, helping to report near misses and injuries so we can identify problems before they become serious, and constantly improve on our safety practices.
A number of departments also received a Safety Award for reporting no OSHA Recordable Injuries. They…
To help improve our processes and learning at BTD, we have 10 employees in Lakeville going through a “Train the Trainer” program. After they the complete the program, these folks will be able to train other employees in all departments of our company, during all shifts. Doing so will make it much easier to integrate new employees and keep our facility running safely and smoothly.
Articles for March, 2013
On March 1st, 2013 BTD expanded again in Minnesota, adding another 100,000 sq. ft. of operations in Lakeville. This will be our sixth overall location, the third location in Lakeville, and will bring us to 800,000 total sq. ft.
We will be able to increase capacity in our other Minnesota and Illinois locations after the expansion. This will make way for multifaceted assemblies designed to compliment the wide breadth of metalworking services we already provide.
With the new location we will have more flexibility to grow, and the ability to meet complex customer demands of the future.…
BTD is pleased to announce that we have received the 2013 Safety Award of Merit from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International. This award recognizes metal fabrication companies that adhere to excellence in safety.
To qualify for the award companies must have an injury and illness rate that is better than the published Bureau of Labor Statistics rate by 10 percent or greater. This is the third consecutive year BTD has been given this award.
We are proud to have received such excellent safety marks at BTD, and are thankful for our many employees who play a role…