11-12-2019 – Local company wins award for excellence

Posted on: November 12th, 2019 by admin

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November 8, 2019

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By Guy Lucas
guylucas@newstopicnews.com

 

 

Nov 08, 2019 11:23 AM

 

For the fourth year in a row, a company with a presence in Caldwell County has been recognized for outstanding performance in manufacturing.

 

McCreary Modern Inc. won a Manufacturing Leadership Award from the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership in the category of Manufacturing Excellence.

 

McCreary Modern makes private label upholstery, occasional, dining and bedroom furniture. It is based in Newton, but two of its six factories are in Caldwell County – an upholstery plant and a woodworking plant in Gamewell – and the founder, Bob McCreary, is a Caldwell native.

 

A press release from NCMEP calls McCreary Modern a “family owned, Made in America manufacturing company, utilizing locally sourced materials. They focus on supporting area suppliers and machinery manufacturers, creating jobs and reducing the carbon footprint of the company.”

 

“Their culture embraces continuous improvement and has embraced change management often referred to as ‘The Handwriting on the Wall’ methodology for over 20 years. They incorporate numerous visual management techniques, from dying their assembly glues to color coded production tickets,” the press release said. “A strong social conscience, along with reasonable business stewardship, has guided their decision-making process. Long before sustainability was used as a marketing tactic, McCreary Modern understood the multiple benefits of valuing social and natural capital for both moral and economic reasons.”

 

NCMEP also noted that McCreary Modern was an early adopter of radio-frequency identification, which uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to the company’s materials and products, and now has technology that allows production and specification data to be accessed on an iPhone.

 

In 2018, 80 Acres Farms in Granite Falls, which makes equipment for hydroponic farming, won the Manufacturing Excellence award from NCMEP. Exela Pharma Sciences, a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Lenoir, won in 2017 in the category of Developing Markets, and Associated Hardwoods, a wood products manufacturer in Granite Falls, won in 2016 in Developing Markets.

 

The other 2019 winners:

 

*Eviva in Northampton County in the category of Sustainable Manufacturing. Enviva is the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat. It exports the wood pellets primarily to power plants in Europe and Asia. Enviva’s pellets are made using sustainable practices that protect Southern forests.

 

*Alotech in Chatham County in the category of Innovation. Alotech providing contract manufacturing services to small businesses. In addition to re-manufacturing prototyping and product development services, it makes investments in companies seeking to expand and improve their processes.

 

*3M in Chatham County in the category of Workforce Development. The company’s workforce maintenance strategy includes maintenance apprenticeships, which allow the technicians to better understand the theory behind maintenance techniques while applying them on the job and using them to further their career. The company also often hires talented individuals who might not know exactly what career path they want to take, and partners them with experienced, tenured technicians to expose them to a variety of career options.

 

*Altec Industries in Yancey County in the category of Economic Development/Developing Markets. Altec provides products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs, and contractor markets. The Burnsville plant specializes in manufacturing custom aluminum, fiberglass and steel body options for multiple industries.

 

*Equilibar in Henderson County in the category of Continuous Improvement. Since 2007, Equilibar has grown from a basement start-up with one part-time employee to a employer of 25 designing and manufacturing specialty fluid control valves. Equilibar’s continuous improvement process asks for the entire team to participate and provide feedback, with quarterly management review.

 

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