Civacon/Knappco Celebrates Opening Of New Manufacturing Headquarters
Sep 1, 2000 12:00 PM, MODERN BULK TRANSPORTER STAFF
IN KEEPING with its strategic focus on customer service and product development, Civacon/Knappco has opened its new 30,000-square-foot addition to its headquarters and manufacturing facility near Kansas City, Missouri. The new offices and plant not only feature the latest in technological development, they are a showcase of the company's "We Care" business culture, says Rick Potter, Civacon president.
"We believe this facility creates a solid foundation for our customer service now and into the future," Potter says. "Our computer systems are updated and ready to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. By 2001, we will be offering e-commerce services to our customers and suppliers. In addition, our facility consolidation will allow us to achieve world class manufacturing standards with improved quality and performance."
Knappco, a manufacturer of industrial access ports, manholes, hatches and fill covers, was acquired by Civacon in 1995. Civacon manufactures valves, fittings, and electronic controls to provide a system solution for the safe handling and transporting of hazardous-bulk commodities.
Civacon moved into the new facility in January and was soon into production. Spread across 80,000 square feet, the production floor has 21 computer-controlled machine centers that are used in the manufacturing processes. Alongside are standard presses and fabricating equipment. Centralized gases are piped into the welding areas, eliminating the use of gas cylinders.
Complementing the manufacturing areas is a state-of-the-art flow lab used for testing products. It includes a variety of equipment used to validate the performance and durability of products. The lab incorporates computers used in both data capture and evaluation.
For more intricate electronic assemblies, such as probes for overfill prevention systems, an enclosed clean room area was constructed, housing both assembly and test lab functions.
In the office section of the building, computers are used throughout all functions. There are two major areas within the computer technology sector: enterprise resource planning (ERP) and engineering. The ERP system is an Oracle database running on a Sun system with NT application servers.
The engineering group uses two different, three-dimensional solid modeling software packages, Autodesk Mechanical Desktop and Unigraphics. In addition, the company also uses DesignSpace Finite Element Analysis software to analyze materials and products.
There is a dedicated T1 line to the Internet that links other company offices throughout the world, including Civacon Europe in the Netherlands.
Customer orders come in via fax or telephone and are entered into the Oracle software program. The program provides a variety of information allowing inside sales representatives to quickly respond to customer inquiries. Call monitoring software is also employed for who handles calls and the time involved in completing the transaction to better distribute call volumes.
Employees participate in the "We Care" program, introduced by Bob Tardiff, a consultant for Civacon.
Civacon employees work as members of a team coached by a team leader. "People like to be part of a team that knows how to reach goals, and has a leader that keeps them on course," he says.
The program encourages all employees to interact positively with each other. At the same time, their suggestions and designs for product improvement are given consideration, and adopted where appropriate.
The new facility construction and "We Care" program came after Civacon decided to move its Cargo Tank Products Group in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the location in Kansas City that was home to Knappco.
In an acquisition this year, Civacon purchased Sure Seal, a supplier of butterfly valves, actuators, and other components used in piping systems, pneumatic conveying, transportation, and industrial applications. "Sure Seal has a great track record performance with a dedicated group of experienced employees," says Potter. "Production will remain in Mineral Point, Missouri."
Also part of the reorganization, Civacon's Chemical/Industrial Products Business Unit was relocated to OPW Engineered Systems in Lebanon, Ohio. This division produces Visi-Flo sight flow indicators, loading arms, swivel joints, Iso-Rings, Kamvalok dry disconnects, and Kamlok and Autolok quick disconnect fittings for the petrochemical industries.
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