H.E. Orr Plant Expansion Expands Production Capacities and Reduces Lead Times for its Growing Automotive Customer Base

Aug 27, 2015, 10:08 ET from H.E. Orr

PAULDING, Ohio, Aug. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Herbert E. Orr Company announced today the completion of a 12,000 square foot expansion of its manufacturing headquarters in Paulding, Ohio. The 20 percent expansion enhances the existing facility from 60,000 to 72,000 square feet. The new expanded facility is expected to reach full operational capacity with 11 wire bending machines operating on one shift later this year.  

The expansion will allow the Tier One wire-forming and coating firm to better serve North America's largest automobile manufacturers by increasing production capacity and parts production flexibility and fulfillment. The expansion will add four, full-time employees and one flex-temp to the H.E. Orr team bringing the total employment to 62 team members.

H.E. Orr is ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 14001 certified. H.E. Orr is also a certified women owned business and has been a member in good standing of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women. H.E. Orr is also a certified member of the Powder Coating Institute (PCI).

Expansion a Part of Consolidation Strategy for Future Stability
H.E. Orr is one of the few wire forming and forging operations in the nation to perform e-coating and powder coating in one continuous line. The new plant expansion serves as part of another consolidation strategy, moving the operations of nine additional wire bending machines in-house from services that were formerly contracted from Tier Two suppliers.

CEO and majority owner of H.E. Orr, Donna J. Garman, recently spoke to the reasoning behind this expansion and consolidation.

"We took a hard look at our suppliers, the growing global market, and our potential future growth, and decided to bring these operations under one roof with this expansion," said Garman. "With this expansion and consolidation we are making an investment to take our future into our own hands through bringing a significant piece of our wire-forming supply chain in-house."  

Streamlining the Process
"New plants call for new process improvements," said H.E. Orr President, Gregory W. Johnson. "We are using lean manufacturing methods to evolve the new facility from batch-mode processing into a more level scheduling use of our manpower and equipment to better serve the JIT demands of our customers."

H.E. Orr up-fitted the new manufacturing floor with an Automated Industrial Machinery (AIM) 3D-12T Accuform CNC wire forming workstations along with two more traditional custom wire benders. One team member runs two machines, one is automated and one is manual. In this way the company can meet the demands of short and long product runs simultaneously. This provides the ultimate flexibility when producing finished condition wire forms for OEM customers and custom bending for OEM replacement parts.

A new five-ton overhead crane system in the facility works to lower wire coils onto "top hat" style spools onto three wire coil handlers – one next to each production module. Once the bending is complete, the parts are then processed and fed into specially designed pushcarts. Team members then roll the pushcarts from the new facility into the e-coating and powder coating racking room next door. This further streamlines the process by eliminating the need and expense of forklifts and forklift operators. The wheeled carts are easy to handle and set higher so parts can be removed and placed on racks easily without the back strain of bending over repeatedly.

"We work in a global marketplace," concluded CEO Garman. "A short while back we lost some business to a competitor in India. We strongly believe that once this new investment pays for itself, we will be able to re-quote the business we lost and regain it back under our new business model." 

H.E. Orr Company Capabilities
H.E. Orr's equipment list allows near instant production of any part, whenever needed, in quantities from five to fifty thousand, in size ranges from 3mm high tensile to 12mm mild steel. The company offers multiple variations in one run with no tooling changes and the highest overall production speeds in the industry. Short lead times and low tooling costs also guarantee success. H.E. Orr is positioned for additional growth through increased production capability with even greater quality at a competitive price.

  • Design and quality control. Orr's team of engineers and quality control experts use the latest CAD software for design and documentation. They also work with the OEM to achieve the salt spray results the application requires.
  • Wire drawing. H.E. Orr buys raw materials directly from steel mills eliminating the middleman. They then draw the wire to the exact specifications needed, keeping a tighter control on tolerances and quality.
  • Hot upset forging. Forming parts through the hot upset forging process produces shapes stronger than an equivalent cast or machined part.
  • Cold forming. Cold forming machines are available to make simple and complex shapes for a wide variety of applications.
  • E-coating and powder coating. H.E. Orr operates both e-coating and powder coating on the same production line. Every part gets e-coated prior to being powder coated providing an extra level of protection.
  • Sub assembly and kitting. H.E. Orr has invested in the equipment required to install rubber hoses or plastic parts to the finished wire form quickly and efficiently. The finished parts are placed into a supplied package, which is then shipped to the facility.

Certifications
Most OEM manufacturers require that suppliers adhere to strict technical specifications laid out in a quality management standard for suppliers to the automotive sector, known as ISO/TS 16949. Additionally, ISO 14001 addresses various aspects of environmental management including proper labeling, performance evaluation, life cycle analysis and communication and auditing. H.E. Orr holds certification in both ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 14001.

H.E. Orr is a certified Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a woman-owned business. Donna J. Garman has been the majority owner and CEO of H.E. Orr Company since 2006 and co-owner since 1993.

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