March 2015 - In This Issue:
There are several exciting events coming up around the state, including the next Manufacturer's Edge installment of Beers & Gears -- Southern Colorado style!

See a complete listing of events on our website
March 13 @ 10am-3pm
University of Colorado Boulder Campus

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), the University of Colorado Boulder, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) are hosting a workshop that will illustrate how DMDII is developing and demonstrating cutting-edge digital technologies to reduce the time and cost in advanced manufacturing.

Workshop attendees will:
  • Hear from DMDII Executive Director Dean Bartles about the institute's vision and goals, as well as how to do business with them.
  • Learn about CU-Boulder's latest research that can be leveraged for digital manufacturing.
  • Network with CU-Boulder faculty members and industry attendees to enable teaming for responses to seven new DMDII funded project calls.

March 17 @ 8am-4pm
Fort Morgan -- Country Steak Out

Rocky Mountain World Trade Center Institute (RMWTCI) is bringing our award-winning export education to four counties across the state of Colorado, including Montrose.

This full-day training covers why, how and where to export as well as detailed information about export strategy, market entry, logistics and payment.

Manufacturer's Edge presents
March 19 @ 8am-5pm

Participants will:

  • Be able to define Lean and begin to apply Lean to Administrative Processes
  • Differentiate between value added and non-value added activities in administrative process
  • Identify waste and how it impacts Administrative Processes
  • Identify the common Lean tools that can best apply to Administrative Processes
  • Create a Current State Value Stream Map for less complex Administrative Processes
March 19 @ 8am-5pm
Ritz-Carlton Denver

This year's theme, "Advancing Colorado around the Globe," will feature global business opportunities for Colorado's most innovative and advanced industries in our state - Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Bioscience, Clean Technology/Energy, Electronics, Engineering/ Infrastructure, and Information Technology. While these industries will be featured throughout the day, all industries are welcome. World Trade Day presents the best opportunity of the year to network and learn from all companies doing business internationally.

Manufacturer's Edge presents
April 22 @ 8am-4pm
**Note date change: previously scheduled for March 11**
Colo Northwestern Community College

In this interactive eight-hour training, your team will learn how to apply the key principles of Lean to your manufacturing processes. High-retention learning is accomplished through both classroom time and four rounds of simulation. Each round of simulation is followed by classroom learning focused on the basic building blocks of Lean Manufacturing.

Manufacturer's Edge Honored with Significant MEP Award

Funding will allow Manufacturer's Edge to reach new customers and offer new services to manufacturers throughout Colorado 
Tom Bugnitz Picture
Manufacturer's Edge CEO Tom Bugnitz
CEO Tom Bugnitz recently spoke to Company Week about the re-compete process and what this award means to Manufacturer's Edge and the manufacturing community across Colorado:

Q: Tom, congratulations on the $8.34 million Department of Commerce grant. In announcing the award Senator Bennet said, "These additional resources will allow the organization to expand their current services, reach new customers, and continue their great work in Colorado." To be clear, are these additional funds or does the money comprise ME's annual operating budget?  


A: Thank you, Bart, and thanks for the opportunity to talk about this.  As you can imagine we're excited about being selected as the MEP center of the next five years.


The short answer to your question is that NIST has increased our funding by two and a half times. 


Since the local Manufacturing Extension Partnership center (MEP) was established in Colorado, NIST has provided $665,201 per year to support the center, subject to our finding a 2:1 match of those funds, or $1.3 million.  (We did that by selling consulting and training services each year.) This award increases that annual amount by over a million dollars per year, and reduces the match to 1:1. Not only will there be more money coming into Colorado to help manufacturers, they have made it easier for us to use that money.

What Keeps You Up At Night?  

MEP Manufacturing Innovation Blog by Ken Voytek 

Seven in ten clients cite continuous improvement most frequently as their top single challenge in FY 2014 although it has dropped bit since FY 2009. However, the FY 2014 data include important shifts in other key issues that are worth highlighting.
  • Taken separately the dual challenges of growth (53 percent) and product development (just under 48 percent) are ranked second and third respectively.  However, taken together over 75 percent of clients cited one or the other, which would make it the top challenge facing clients.
  • Over time, the share of clients citing workforce needs as a key issue has doubled. In FY 2014, over 40 percent of clients reported employee recruitment and retention as an important challenge compared to 19 percent in FY 2009.
  • In addition, technology needs, supply chain needs, and product innovation/development are more important than they were five years ago. Nearly 48 percent of clients cited product innovation and development as an important challenge facing their company, up from 45 percent five years ago. The share of clients citing technology needs as a challenge rose by 3 percentage points - rising from roughly 10 percent in 2009 to nearly 14 percent in 2014.
  • On the other hand, fewer clients are now reporting that sustainability and financing are important challenges.  For instance, the share of clients identifying financing as a challenge fell from 18 percent in 2009 to roughly 12 percent in 2014. This likely reflects changes in credit becoming more available and the fact that many firms have cleaned up their balance sheets. Sustainability as a challenge fell by about 4 percentage points but more than one in five clients still cite it as important challenge.

Manufacturer's Edge to Offer STS First Training 

Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training and Employee Education from Manufacturer's Edge 


Manufacturer's Edge brings you DOT compliant, State, and Non regulated Drug Free Workplace Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion and Employee Drug and Alcohol training courses.  Each of the top Five Categories include both Supervisor and Employee Courses.


"A Supervisor's Guide to Reasonable Suspicion Training" is a two-hour, on-line web course that discusses the testing process, signs & symptoms of drug use, confrontation procedures and much more.   


EMPLOYEE EDUCATION:  Courses are 45 minute, on-line web courses that discuss signs & symptoms of drug use.  DOT MODE SPECIFIC AND DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE COURSES ARE AVAILABLE.


Looking Forward to MFG DAY 2015
Manufacturing Day to be held on October 2 

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is - and what it isn't. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.
Manufacturing Community Encouraged to Compete in 2015 Colfax Marathon
BKD to sponsor a competition for manufacturers participating in the relay 
BKD Logo"BKD understands that workforce development is important for any company, especially manufacturers," said Jerry Laflen, a BKD managing director who leads the firm's manufacturing practice in Colorado. "We are proud to support the manufacturing industry and hope that manufacturers from throughout the state will participate in this fun endeavor."

The Colfax Marathon takes place Sunday, May 17, with a 6 a.m. start in City Park in Denver. For the relay, the 26.2 mile route is divided into five legs - distances of 6.4, 3.7, 6.0, 4.0 and 6.1 miles. The five-member team should consist of five employees, with an exception for two immediate family members.

Participation by manufacturers in the marathon will promote healthy activity, support of the industry, and pride for their company. Team members can enjoy the post-marathon celebration in City Park, as well as a special "Beers & Gears" event that will occur in Summer 2015 in conjunction with Manufacturer's Edge.
S&H Products
Company Week and Manufacturer's Edge Innovative Manufacturer
By Eric Peterson
Arvada, Colorado
Founded: 1988
Privately owned
Employees: 45


The Larson family lead the go-to manufacturer for wildland firefighters, and their company's innovations are literally putting out fires all over the country.
After taking an early retirement from 3M, CEO and father Steve Larson bought S&H from founder Neal Stringfellow in 2002. Steve now runs the company with his sons, CFO Josh Operations Manager and Seth.


"It started with a very limited number of products that were sold strictly to the U.S. Forest Service," says Steve of the company's early years. Today S&H makes a wide range of nozzles, valves, and other firefighting equipment. The product line has doubled in size since Larson bought the company and the dealer network has tripled...


Read the full article

Manufacturer's EDGE