Eckhart Quarterly Newsletter - Fall 2017


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As the industrial landscape continues to evolve, advancements in science and technology are enabling manufacturers to bring products and solutions to market at rates unimaginable only a few decades ago. At Eckhart we believe artificial intelligence, micro-sensing spatial analytics, and smart factories will enable transformative change and reinvent how employees, suppliers, and customers work with each other to create real value.    

The disruptive forces that define Industry 4.0 signal significant change is on the horizon. At Eckhart we are helping our customers reinvent industrial tooling through the use of additive manufacturing. Metal equivalent 3D-printed tools reduce push/pull weight, improve sight-line visibility for operators, and optimize uptime for end customers who can print components line-side in their factories. Our autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and collaborative robots are automating traditional supermarket material handling & dock-to-stock delivery systems for customers like John Deere, General Electric, and Honda. We are proud to partner with great companies committed to Industry 4.0!     

To support innovation and growth, Eckhart is pleased to announce the opening of our Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Warren, Michigan. The facility will house a dedicated team of engineers & technicians committed to growing our market leading position in autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), collaborative robotics, and additive manufacturing (3D Printing). 

From aerospace to automotive; medical devices to agriculture; our team is proud to serve the heart of American manufacturing. With support from great customers and partners like you, our mission of accelerating Industry 4.0 technologies will continue. 

Together, we will enhance life on your line.

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One of Eckhart’s primary strategic initiatives is to contribute to economic growth by investing in controls, robotics, and automation. Our employees work hard to apply the tenants of Industry 4.0 and they are advancing the connectivity of people, product, and process in factories all over the world. 

Eckhart’s collaborative robotic systems are helping customers in the aerospace and agriculture industries improve product quality and employee productivity. One of the world’s largest appliance manufacturer’s recently partnered with Eckhart to automate a manual inspection process that detects helium leaking from soldered joints. 

Prior to automating the inspection process, operators would stand on a concrete floor and manually inspect individual soldered joints with a wand calibrated to detect leaking helium. Three shifts per day, six to seven days a week, operators would bend in awkward positions to check the soldered joints. Due to the repetitive nature of this work, non-conforming product went undetected and operator burn-out was high. 

With Eckhart’s help, an automated inspection process utilizing collaborative robots now feeds real-time quality metrics to operators who solder joints prior to the inspection station. With Eckhart’s FlexCheck vision system, the customer enjoys unique inspection data tied to the manifest on each appliance for robust root cause analysis. The operators who performed mundane, repetitive inspections were redeployed to value-add positions as direct labor on a new assembly line in another part of the factory.  
 
Customers appreciate Eckhart’s track record of designing, validating, and integrating proven solutions into their plant environments. Let Eckhart’s team of dedicated robotic experts help you enhance life on your line! 

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Claudia Gideon, Business Development Coordinator, was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In her current role, Claudia coordinates all business development activities at Eckhart. From quoting, to spare parts, to field service, Claudia strives to delight all customers and she goes out of her way to provide them with exceptional service and a high level of responsiveness. Outside of work, Claudia enjoys soccer, traveling, and gardening with family and friends.  

Claudia is married to her high school sweetheart, John Gideon. They live with their three children, Xavier, Luciana, and Valentino, in Brighton, Michigan. 


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MFG Day 2017

On October 5, 2017 Eckhart hosted over 80 students from local high schools in the mid-Michigan region as part of National Manufacturing Day. Students interacted with Eckhart employees out on the factory floor and were afforded an opportunity to operate custom designed industrial lift assist & secure tools and learn about collaborative robots. Students enjoyed the hands-on demonstrations and real-life perspectives shared by Eckhart employees during their visit. We thank the Capital Area Manufacturing Council (CAMC) for their efforts to get local communities, high schools, and students excited about manufacturing in Michigan and look forward to supporting another great National Manufacturing Day event next year!


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About Eckhart, Inc.

Founded in 1974 and based in Lansing, Michigan, Eckhart, Inc. engineers advanced industrial solutions that enhance the quality of life.  Eckhart’s proven portfolio of advanced manufacturing technology includes market-leading collaborative robotic systems, traditional robotics, additive manufacturing tool development & production, and ergonomic general assembly tooling solutions for the world’s largest manufacturers.  Eckhart serves an established and loyal, blue-chip customer base of leading automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers that include General Electric, Ford, Tesla, PACCAR, John Deere, Bradford White, and Caterpillar. For additional information, please visit www.eckhartusa.com

About Autocraft

Autocraft, founded in 1958 and headquartered in Algonac, Michigan, provides advanced material handling systems and specialized tooling for the largest industrial manufacturers in the world.  Autocraft’s market leading autonomous guided carts enhance safety and productivity while also increasing the velocity of material across manufacturing supply chains.  Autocraft is well regarded for its patented work brake systems that optimize the ergonomics and safety of line operators exposed to rotating assembly processes.  Autocraft serves a loyal and blue-chip customer base of leading industrial original equipment manufacturers that include Boeing, Honda, Toyota, Johnson Controls, Carrier, Whirlpool, Nissan, Kawasaki, Chrysler, and General Motors.  Autocraft is a 2016 Honda Performance Excellence Award recipient. For additional information, please visit www.auto-craft.com.