With the arrival of a new piece of equipment last month, Northern Wire administration is excited about what the future holds in terms of expanded marketability and customer base.
As new plant manager Greg Kern explains, the plant’s new knuckle press weighs in at 80 tons and stands approximately 15 feet. Upon arrival at the Merrill facility on Oct. 13, the new equipment was installed via crane through the roof of the plant; concluding a search lasting nearly two years.
While the press is new to the Merrill facility, it was purchased used from another facility in Cleveland, Ohio.
The new press exerts 600 tons of pressure in wire bending, which is the industry Northern Wire is based upon.
“Orders which the press will be used for will primarily consist of wire measuring 5/8 of an inch or less,” the Indiana native explains. “But with its 600 ton capacity, it can certainly bend much bigger diameters.
“About two years ago, unique production requirements led us to investigate the availability of a knuckle press and we happened to find this one last month. Used presses are pretty rare to find as most companies keep them on hand until they can no longer be used. This press met the specifications we were looking for and we brought it home to Merrill to be installed in our plant.
“The acquisition of this knuckle press increases our capacity to satisfy orders of larger tonnage requirements, which then expands our marketability to larger wire orders from additional customers.”
Taking the reins of the facility in July, Kern brings over 30 years of manufacturing experience to the Plant Manager position.