PMA Awards of Excellence 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009
Page 1 of 3
1 : 2 : 3


Awards of Excellence

Excellence in Design
Zierick Manufacturing Corp

Excellence in Design

Zierick Manufacturing Corp., Mount Kisco, NY, a stamper of electronic components and provider of automation equipment such as insertion machines related to electronics-parts production, received the 2009 Higgins-Caditz Design Award for developing a metal-stamping-based system for connecting wires to surface-mount printed circuit boards (PCBs).

Previous methods of attaching wires to PCBs were complex, labor-intensive and costly, and required an excessive amount of bulky parts. Zierick Manufacturing’s goals in developing a new system included simplifying the process, miniaturizing parts and maintaining reliability while minimizing costs. To reach those goals, the company developed an insulation-piercing crimp terminal.

The Best of 2009
Higgins-Caditz Design Award
Zierick Manufacturing Corp., Mount Kisco, NY
Ulbrich Award for Competitive Excellence in Product Development
Radar Industries, Warren, MI
Zierick Manufacturing Corporation Productivity Award
ART Technologies, Hamilton, OH
Link Systems Process Control Award
Pridgeon & Clay, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI
Parkview Metal Products Excellence in Quality Award
Pridgeon & Clay, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI
Pitcher Insurance Agency Safety Award
Trans-Matic Manufacturing Co., Holland, MI
A.R. Hedberg Training and Education Award (via HPL stampings, Inc.)
The Minster Machine Company, Minster, OH; Pridgeon & Clay, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI
Clips & Clamps Industries Educational Institution Award
William D. Ford Career-Technical Center, Westland, MI

Zierick MfgThe terminal consists of a unique flat base for solder adhesion when surface mounting, with two insulation-piercing contact spikes protruding from the base. The terminal has two sidewalls perpendicular to the base as well as two deep grooves in the transition area between the crimp ears and the base. These ensure that crimping a wire into the terminal and forming the crimp ears around the wire do not subject the solder joint on the circuit board to stress cracking.

Inside the terminal, between the two contact spikes, a flat area facilitates vacuum pickup of the terminal by surface-mount placement systems. The terminal is placed and soldered onto the PCB with all of the other components, all using the same process and the same automated system. Upon attachment of the terminal to the PCB, the wire can be crimped at any time, on the assembly line or in the field. Importantly, no wire stripping is required. A terminating tool wraps the crimp ears around the wire, ensuring a good electrical connection by forcing the piercing spikes into the wire strands. This insulation-piercing process requires significantly less force to terminate a wire than conventional crimping, minimizing shock load on the PCB assembly.

The crimp terminal is produced in a high-speed 14-station progressive die. Zierick has sold more than 9 million terminals with zero customer returns and zero complaints. Company officials estimate that this wire-attachment method can save users as much as 90 percent in cost and more than 80 percent in labor time when compared to alternate methods.

The Higgins-Caditz Design Award, created by the Worcester Pressed Steel Co., Worcester, MA, and sponsored by the Quarterly Club, recognizes a manufacturing company for outstanding achievement in developing an innovative product design. Zierick Manufacturing will receive a $1500 cash prize.

Excellence in Product Development
Radar Industries

Excellence in product development
Radar Industries, Warren, MI, received the 2009 Ulbrich Award for Competitive Excellence in Product Development for developing a stamped shock clevis that attaches to the lower control arm and supports the shock tube in a vehicle. The award-winning part, originally a casting, was redesigned by Radar Industries as a progressive-die stamping. Two versions of the clevis were designed for the customer—a weld-on application and a pinch-bolt application. Both patent-pending designs are being tooled for production, with a progressive two-out die producing the weld-on clevis in a 2200-ton Schuler press.


Radar IndustriesFactoring in all of the manufacturing and machining costs of the cast part, Radar replaced the casting with a stamping for less than one-third of the original price. The changeover also brought several functional improvements as well as less weight without loss of performance.

Unlike the casting, the stamped part requires no secondary machining. On the pinch-bolt design, the ears of the part are formed into the clevis, allowing the operator to simply attach the clevis to the shock assembly with a nut and bolt. The customer is satisfied because the new part designs allow simple assembly with no need for specialized machines to insert the shock assembly.

Radar Industries expects to supply more than 500,000 vehicles with its stamped metal shock clevis, with two parts per vehicle.

The Ulbrich Award for Competitive Excellence in Product Development, sponsored by Ulbrich Stainless Steels and Special Metals, Inc., North Haven, CT, acknowledges a manufacturing company that demonstrates outstanding innovation in developing and manufacturing a product that best uses metal in place of a nonmetal competitive material. Radar Industries will receive a $1500 cash prize.

Excellence in Productivity
ART Technologies

ART Technologies, Hamilton, OH, received the 2009 Zierick Manufacturing Corporation Productivity Award for automating four machines across two operations to improve productivity and increase capacity. ART Technologies supplies stamped race thrust bearings used in the automotive, heavy truck and RV industries.

Excellence in productivity

Art TechThe emergence of Asian bearing manufacturing spawned a number of low-cost competitors, so ART Technologies needed to decrease costs and improve pricing to compete. As a result, the company developed a process to automate the loading of two assembly machines and two presses, which brought a 33 percent capacity increase for bearing assembly, a 57 percent capacity increase for small race coining, a 24 percent decrease in annual labor cost for these products, and a 43 percent increase in sales of the products. In addition, the reduced labor cost and increased capacity has enabled customers to bring bearings previously sourced to Asia back to ART Technologies in the United States. The project ultimately resulted in a two-person staffing reduction per machine and a 25 to 140 percent increase in hourly production. The company also rearranged coining presses into a workcell, leading to a partial-person manning reduction and improved manning stability.

The reduction in manpower resulted from attrition and retraining. The remaining manpower was incentivized by increased pay and job responsibility. For example, when each press was automated, one person on each shift was retrained and reassigned. The setup person assumed responsibility for attending the newly automated machines, receiving a pay increase for the assumption of increased responsibilities in exchange for project buy-in.

The Zierick Manufacturing Corporation Productivity Award, sponsored by Zierick Manufacturing Corp., Mount Kisco, NY, recognizes outstanding achievement by a PMA manufacturing member in the development and implementation of programs, processes and use of assets that lead to significant improvements in productivity. ART Technologies will receive a $1500 cash prize.


Page 1 of 3
1 : 2 : 3


See also: ART Metals Group, Inc., Pridgeon & Clay, Inc., Nidec Press & Automation

Related Enterprise Zones: Automation, Coil Handling, Fabrication, Lubrication, Management, Materials/Coatings, Other Processes, Presses, Quality Control, Rollforming, Safety, Sensing/Electronics, Software, Tool & Die, Training, Welding

Visit Our Sponsors