The first half of 2020 has been unpredictable for us all. We are fortunate to have a team full of innovators, collaborators, and out-of-the-box thinkers who helped us reevaluate and refocus amid a worldwide crisis. In this report, we’ll review where we started this year, how COVID-19 affected C3, the changes we implemented to continue servicing our customers, and our vision forward.
New Machine: Fast, Safe, Accurate Lamination With The New LCN1250
The mattress industry hasn’t seen much innovation happen around lamination. Customers needed a more automated solution that still allowed them manual adjustment options. We also saw that with compression packaging machines operating at a speed of over two products per minute, lamination could be a bottle neck if it didn’t speed up.
Our lamination engineers worked hard to bridge this production gap without adding lamination operators on the line. Earlier this year, we released our solution: the LCN1250 Lamination System. This semi-automated system handles the initial stacking and placement of each layer, leaving the build station operators to focus their attention on final edge alignment adjustments. The process results in a higher quality product at 2-3 times the throughput rate of previous lamination methods.
For an in-depth look at the LCN1250, visit this article in Issue 4 of Eng*nuity magazine.
New Feature: Package Confidently With Smart Compression Add-Ons
With each new feature we integrate into our machines, we always focus on the product. What are you trying to produce, and how do we support that goal with our equipment? Our new smart compression features are recent examples of this; they act as an added layer of assurance that each product is manufactured safely and without damage.
These new smart automation features stemmed from our compression calculator. In the past, we used this tool to verify the compression potential of a product before we ran it through our compression machines. This tool now not only exists on the compression HMI’s, it’s also tied to measuring devices that run the calculations in real-time. As our CEO, Joe, explains, “We thought it was important to get that tool off our laptops and onto the machine, closer to the operators and closer to the business. It makes everybody smarter by integrating these tools on the machine, on the production floor.”
As always, our R&D team works non-stop to add and improve the functionality of our machines. Stay tuned, as our engineers have multiple packaging innovations yet to come.
Vision/Strategy: On the Business
New Facility: More Capacity For Storage, Assembly, And R&D
Early in the second quarter we closed on our third location, our Marshall Building. With over 87,000 square feet of manufacturing space, we were able to expand our current operation and look to future possibilities.
The Marshall building serves multiple purposes. Our shipping and receiving team receives all initial parts orders here, where they then store or kit them before sending them off to our Venture location for assembly. The building provides ample storage space for our consumables inventory. There’s also space for overflow assembly work if need be.
One of the best things about this facility, though, is our new production line. This line allows our R&D team to work on multiple pieces of equipment tied together like never before. The insights we gain here will help us improve our designs and your mattress manufacturing processes.
We look forward to sharing more about our plans for this new location in the upcoming weeks.
The coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt earlier this year; many businesses closed, and those that remained open had to reevaluate how they do business. C3 was fortunate we could stay open, but there was no doubt that “open” looked and meant something different for us. We took that time to focus on making our operations stronger and still serve our customers from afar. This included transitioning to virtual tools for machine start-ups, installations, and general service needs.
Travel restrictions also led us to rethink how we share the new things we’re working on with our clients. Soon, you’ll be able to schedule a virtual showcase of our Marshall R&D line, where our team will give you a guided tour of the equipment – all from the comfort of your computer. Contact us here or by emailing [email protected] to learn more and to set up a demo.
We’ve been fortunate to sustain our growth this year. With that came new roles for some of our current employees, as well as multiple new hires added to the team. As of today, we’ve added over twenty employees, with over half in full time positions.
To prepare for the trajectory we foresaw, we identified some new key positions to add to our operations team at the start of the year. The first was promoting Lisa Peterson to Supply Chain Manager. In this role, Lisa now oversees both our Purchasing and Shipping & Receiving teams. Lisa’s promotion was followed by adding Melissa Hooyman as a Purchasing Agent, where she joins our Purchasing Data Analyst, Dana Calmes, on our procurement team.
After the Marshall building purchase, we also expanded our shop and shipping/receiving teams to maximize the new production and storage space. Since the start of the year, we’ve added six employees across our mechanical, electrical, and warehouse teams – and we’re still looking for more!
The most recent operational piece we put into place was bringing aboard a new Vice President of Operations, John Deitrich. In this role, John oversees all of our supply chain, manufacturing, and machinery installation across our Appleton locations. John explains, “I will be working to foster exceptional customer service to our clients by executing our designs to the highest degree of quality while keeping our employees and our clients’ employees safe. It is a relentless pursuit of continuing to improve, innovate, and reduce our execution costs to better meet our customers’ needs.”
Read more about John, his background, and what he brings to C3 here.
We’re looking to fill the following new positions in the upcoming months.
- Vice President of Sales & Marketing
- Mechanical Assembler
- Mechanical Engineer, Mid-Level
- Electrical Engineer, Mid-Level
If there’s someone you know that would be an excellent fit for any of these roles, please share it with them. If you’d like to stay updated on all our latest career openings, sign up for our email alerts.
Thank you to our customers who have trusted us to support them from a distance this year, and thank you to our vendors that have helped us continue moving forward. If you have questions about anything you read in this report, please reach out.