Category Archive: US Manufacturing

Join Manor Tool in Celebrating American Manufacturing

Come join Manor Tool this Manufacturing Day, Friday OCT 2, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, as we exhibit with the Illinois Technology & Manufacturing Association at 1651 Wilkening Road, Schaumburg.  This event will be geared towards students interested in STEM education. We couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate American Manufacturing than to help galvanize STEM interest in our youth!


Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) was founded in 2012 in order to help improve the way that the public perceives manufacturing industries in America.

Three large and important American trade organizations — the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing institute, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MAP) — joined forces with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) to start the event.

MFG DAY is an important event. Shifting the perception of manufacturing is its primary goal — the day allows companies in various manufacturing industries to influence how the public views them. The common perception in America of manufacturing has not kept up with the times, and MFG DAY allows manufacturers to shift perception to the reality of modern industry.  

MFG DAY also fulfils a number of other important functions. It allows manufacturers from across America to come together, identify challenges they share, and work together for solutions. MFG DAY also gives manufacturers a valuable opportunity to face an issue that effects everyone in the manufacturing industry — a shortage of skilled workers. Manufacturers can use the day to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and the rewards of a career in manufacturing.

This year, MFG DAY is being celebrated on October 2, with some events taking place before or after as well. Ranging from Mexico to Canada, and from across the United States, more than 1,000 manufacturers will be hosting MFG DAY events for the public, including demonstrations, conferences, expos, and open houses.

Manor Tool & Manufacturing Company, an industry-leading metal stamper for more than 50 years, fully supports to aims of MFG DAY. We have always promoted community, STEM education, and safety.

Keep an eye out for our next blog — we’ll be taking you on a virtual shop tour of our state of the art facility. You can also find helpful resources on our site such as the following guide to edge type selection for deep drawn stamping!


How to Select a Deep Drawn Edge Type

Internal Machining Centers for Tool & Die Production and Maintenance

Manor Tool & Manufacturing believes customers deserve the finest in tool and die manufacturing. We believe it is an integral part of the manufacturing process. Our eight machining centers create the tooling required for production, supporting one of the largest tool rooms in the greater Chicago area.

These internal machining centers provide the control required to meet the demands of production cycles in today’s just-in-time work environment.

Reasons that Internal Machining Centers Help Meet Production Cycles

Consider the following:

  • Lead times and production scheduling. Our in-house machining centers allow us to set and follow your timetable to complete the tooling. Using a secondary source for machining exposes the tool & die company (and the customer) to unplanned delays.
  • Better accuracy. Specific tooling requirements for tooling features such as hole size or if the hole is tapped, countersunk, or reamed are programmed by us right off the geometry and done in a single set up. Conveying the same information to an outsourced supplier of machining requires more communication, increasing the potential for error, added scrap, and more re-working to fix mistakes.
  • Improved productivity. Keeping all machining in-house prevents issues encountered using a secondary source. There is no downtime because of delays caused by transportation time or supply chain bottlenecks. Employees maintain focus on the customer’s deadline because there is no downtime caused by sending the tool out for machining.
  • Maintaining control of the die/tool. There used to be a public service announcement (PSA) that appeared around 10:00 in the evening: “Parents, do you know where your children are?” The PSA implied that children left without supervision might get into trouble. The same implication fits when having your product shipped to a secondary supplier for machining. You may know the tool & die shop, but how well do you know their machining source? Our in-house machining centers eliminate this worry. The bottom line result is the on-time delivery of an accurately made product without the excessive waste associated with outsourced machining.

Manor Tool Machining Centers

Our eight machining centers are housed in two locations:

Manor Tool & Manufacturing headquarters (three machining centers that work primarily on maintaining dies)

  • Okuma 3-axis CNC machining center
  • Feeler
  • VMC Haas VF5

CLL Engineering (five machining centers focus on die production)

  • Quantum CNC machining center
  • 2 – Okuma 3-axis machining centers
  • Haas CNC machining center
  • Haas TL-2 CNC lathe
  • Versatility in the Machining Center

These machines provide the versatility to accommodate large capacity dies, offer high-speed milling and perform standard CNC machining. Each location emphasizes either production or maintenance support.

However, both locations have the flexibility to do the other’s work in order to meet production needs. A complete list of our tool room equipment is available here:

Access Our Resource Library

For more information on our manufacturing processes, or to learn more about Manor’s in-house machining centers, contact your Manor representative today.

Robots and Manufacturing: A Partnership in Innovation

The use of robots in manufacturing has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. They are now recognized as an effective way of increasing efficiency and cost-savings, while eliminating reliance on an unskilled labor force and creating a need for new, higher skilled employees.

freddyFor companies in various industries throughout the country, automation is proving to be the key to the competitive edge. For example, Boeing has recently made the decision to utilize more automation in order to stay ahead of its competitors. In a recent article on the subject, it was stated that this decision—largely based on the fact that automation is the key to greater production efficiency—means the aircraft manufacturer could potentially “increase production from 8 jets per month to 10 or even 12.”

Automation in metal stamping has proven to reduce cycle times and increase productivity. When looking to remain competitive, greater efficiency, higher production and lower costs are the keys to success. At Manor Tool & Manufacturing Company, our robotic work cell—affectionately known as Freddy—has proven to drastically reduce cycle times for a number of clients. Freddy automates the movement of pieces between machines,  placing and separating final parts that have been formed from scrap web.  This has created a truly innovative use of automation for metal stamping at Manor. When Michael Wenzel, a well-known German robotics expert, visited Freddy recently, he was certainly impressed.

True innovation is what has always set American manufacturing apart, and is what will continue to do so. Robots are one of the brightest spots in innovation right now, and it’s exciting to think of what they will continue to do for the industry in the future.

(Want to see Freddy in action? Check out this video)

Sign up to work with Freddy

Manor Tool’s Lean Manufacturing Success

In an ongoing effort to streamline its manufacturing processes, Manor Tool recently partnered with Coe Press Equipment to implement dedicated feed lines with great success.  The new equipment resulted in positive changes to the manufacturing process, including increased throughput, efficiency and time management.

Before Manor implemented the SpaceMaster Series 3 compact coil line in its facilities, it relied on mobile feed lines that could be adjusted to meet the particular requirements of each job. While this strategy had its own benefits, general manager Kevin Segebarth quickly discovered that its downsides outweighed those perks. The mobile feed lines delayed the start of a project by hours, including the time spent to locate specific items and relocate equipment.

ManorBlogIn keeping with Manor’s shift towards lean manufacturing, Segebarth reached out to Coe Press Equipment to streamline the process. Coe recommended the SpaceMaster which, unlike Manor’s existing equipment, was bolted to the floor and dedicated to Manor’s Bliss press.  The SpaceMaster combined three processes, including unwinding, straightening and feeding. It was capable of processing material between 10 to 24 inches wide, and between 0.020 and 0.250 inches thick, with a weight of up to 11,000 pounds.

The benefits of using Coe’s SpaceMaster were immediate. In the past, changing coils took workers at Manor up to 20 minutes to complete, especially with heavier coils. The new machine cut that time span by more than half. The SpaceMaster featured automated functions that required fewer operators and labor. It even improved safety conditions for workers on the floor, especially when errors in the feed line caused equipment to lurch unexpectedly.

Happy with the results, Manor ordered another SpaceMaster, this time one that could handle coils up to 40 inches wide and between 0.015 and 0.250 thick, with a weight of up to 15,000 pounds. At the end of the day, Manor’s lean initiative produced faster processing times and a safer working environment.

The story of Manor’s lean manufacturing success was recently featured in this month’s MetalForming magazine. If you missed the issue, you can now read it online.

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Proud to be a Part of Harley Davidson’s 110 Year History

There’s going to be a big party in Milwaukee this summer–Harley Davidson is celebrating its 110th anniversary. Manor Tool & Manufacturing is proud to be a sub-contractor for this American manufacturing success story. Any motorcycle enthusiast will tell you that the Harley Davidson V-Twin engine is synonymous with torque and that unmistakable rumble that you can hear miles off. This American icon has transformed and grown as America has transformed and grown, and through it all one thing has remained the same, quality and craftsmanship.

Harley resized 600

I grew up around Flatties, Knucks, and Panheads, and though I would be hard pressed to give up my Electraglide for a tank shifter and foot clutch, a V-Twin is still a V-Twin. The key to Harley Davidson’s success is more than just image; today’s riders demand world class quality and cutting edge designs. Harley has been able to deliver both without forgetting its roots.

A motorcycle, as with so many complex machines, is a collection of subassemblies. No one manufacturer can do it all; they must rely on trusted vendors to supply them with the parts and pieces. To be a supplier to a company like Harley Davidson, a vendor must possess an equally high commitment to quality. Manor’s quality program is based on a culture of continuous improvement. Manor knows that quality is a moving target; to maintain it takes commitment and vigilance. Delivering defect free parts is what has made Manor a trusted vendor for numerous customers who demand precision and quality. Harley Davidson, as with so many modern manufactures, lives and dies by the quality of their products.  Doing business with suppliers with a robust quality program is not just a good business strategy; it’s essential.

AmFlafManor’s focus on quality and defect free products has led them to be awarded the ranking of 61 in Quality Magazine’s Top 100 quality leaders. Manor’s quality program is based in their ISO 9001:2008 certification. Their ISO certifications apply to an impressive list of manufacturing capabilities, including the manufacture of precision metal stampings, deep drawn stamping, machined components and assemblies, and the design and construction of tooling.

Quality, craftsmanship, and a dedication to providing customers with the best products available have made companies like Harley Davison and Manor industry leaders in their fields.

“Made in America” More About Profit Than Pride

Companies are rethinking their model for manufacturing. Many now firmly believe—and take some pride—in having products manufactured with the “Made in the USA” label attached. This isn’t so much a matter of national pride as it is a better, more profitable way of doing business.

While companies used to have components made in countries with extremely low labor cost, many are returning the work back to factories in the United States. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. However, the real drivers are the same ones that sent work overseas: cost and profit.

Low labor costs in foreign countries lured manufacturing business from U.S. factories at a time when transportation costs were low. Both of these factors are changing. For example, Duetsche Bank reports the wage of the average Chinese worker increased 200% since 2001. Furthermore, transportation costs have shot through the roof because of fuel costs stuck near record levels, an increase in red tape, taxes and fees.

Other factors like language, culture, runaway costs and a growing trend of political, economic and social unrest around the globe add to concern in boardrooms about the ability to deliver products in a timely manner. Additionally, we have seen many examples of natural disasters interrupting the supply chain. The 2011 earthquake in Japan was a prime example.

Finally, American workers and their factories continue to out-produce their counterparts around the world and remain among the leaders in productivity. Made in America not only helps our economy, it makes sound business sense.