Manufacturing and design industry news

Manufacturing and design industry news

Departments - News

Heidenhain academy opens in Chicago; Okuma completes Dream Site 3 smart factory; Jorgensen Conveyors expands capacity


In brief...Tomohisa Yamakazi has been appointed chairman of Yamazaki Mazak Corp. Replacing him as president will be Takashi Yamazaki, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Xavier University and has served as managing director and vice president at Yamazaki Mazak.

Dean Hanaki, president and CEO of Okuma Corp., has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun honor medal by the Japanese government for his achievements and contributions to the advancement of the machine tool industry. 

Omron Microscan has appointed Andy Zosel as its president and CEO. Zosel, who previously served as Omron’s senior vice president of engineering, has more than 22 years of experience at the company and has held several leadership positions in customer service, marketing, and engineering.

  Andy Zosel



Robert Baker, former vice president of global operations for Stryker Corp.’s Joint Replacement Division, will serve as the new CEO of Glebar Co. Baker is a veteran of the medical device manufacturing industry and has spent the last 12 years in leadership positions in sales, manufacturing, supply chain, and commercial operations. Former CEO Adam Cook will now serve as chairman of the board.

   Robert Baker


Spirol has completed its Connecticut World Headquarters expansion. Begun in 2016, the expansion adds additional manufacturing space, state-of-the-art warehouses for raw material and finished goods, a quality lab and office space, and significant investments in new production technology, expanding the manufacturing area by about 40%. 

Merit Medical acquires Brightwater Medical

Merit Medical Systems Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of disposable devices used in interventional, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures, has acquired Brightwater Medical Inc. The transaction consists of a $35 million upfront payment and potential earn-out payments of up to $15 million.

Founded by Dr. Robert Smouse, professor of radiology and surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Brightwater Medical’s primary product is the ConvertX, a device that replaces a series of devices and procedures used to treat severe obstructions of the ureter.

Merit Medical intends to maintain Brightwater Medical’s production capabilities in Temecula, California, for several months while duplicating those capabilities in its catheter facility in Pearland, Texas, prior to transferring the ConvertX manufacturing operations to its Pearland facility.

“We believe our ability to align this product with our existing sales force, calling on interventional radiologists, as well as growth in markets outside the United States will allow for future growth,” Merit Medical chairman and CEO Fred P. Lampropoulos says.

Hillenbrand to acquire Milacron Holdings

Hillenbrand Inc. and Milacron Holdings Corp. entered a definitive agreement under which Hillenbrand will acquire Milacron in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2 billion, including net debt of approximately $686 million as of March 31, 2019.

Jorgensen Conveyors expands capacity

Jorgensen Conveyors has purchased and installed two important pieces of manufacturing equipment from Bystronic Inc. – a 250-ton press brake and 3kW fiber laser.

Both machines feature the latest in laser cutting and bending technologies as well as controls that seamlessly integrate with Solidworks 3D CAD software.

“This significant investment of nearly $1 million by Jorgensen Conveyors will greatly increase our capacity for growth and support our on-going commitment to quality and competitive pricing for our customers,” says John D’Amico, co-principal and director of sales & marketing.

Okuma completes Dream Site 3 smart factory; the third one built since 2013

Okuma America Corp. has completed their Dream Site 3 (DS3) facility in Kani, Japan. This smart factory uses cutting-edge technology, robots, and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to manufacture vertical and horizontal machining centers and double-column machining centers to support the company’s product line. Innovative technology coupled with automation at DS3 can shorten production lead times by up to 50%.

This is the third smart factory built by Okuma, following DS1 (2013) and DS2 (2017) on the company’s headquarters compound in Oguchi. DS1 was one of the first self-contained, start-to-finish smart factories.

Okuma’s goal is for their smart factories to interweave automation with skilled techniques to achieve high-mix, low-volume production while maintaining production efficiency equivalent to that of mass production.

Heidenhain academy opens in Chicago

Heidenhain has opened its TNC-CNC Academy. This expanded CNC controls training center in the Chicago area is available for users at all levels, including those interested in 5-axis machining.  Classes are taught by specialists with many years of controls and CAM experience.

Academy classes include basic CNC training, in-depth training sessions on new Heidenhain control software upgrades, post-processor optimization, and specialized classes for connected machining and in-process inspection. The academy also offers classes for service teams to practice troubleshooting and repairs on real machine tools.

“Completing these classes will allow TNC users to improve efficiency and accuracy of the parts they machine by going beyond just the standard features and functions provided by a CAM postprocessor,” says Gisbert Ledvon, Heidenhain’s TNC business development manager.