When companies want to bring complex product concepts to life, they turn to New Standard Corporation. Dan Harvey reports how the company routinely and effectively takes ideas from design to fabrication and production.
When BSH, the appliance manufacturing leader in Germany and Western Europe, wanted to launch its front-loading washer/dryer in the United States, the company ran into a problem. Late in the game, BSH realized that American consumers preferred a taller appliance design, as they didn’t like to bend down low when loading and unloading clothes. To get the product to market, BSH needed a solution – one that could be accomplished in timely fashion and, most importantly, be effective.
The company turned to New Standard Corporation, the York, Pa.-headquartered organization that engineers and manufactures metal products. BSH’s choice was quite appropriate: New Standard boasts an impressive track record in helping customers take an idea into flesh-and-blood design and subsequent fabrication and then into high-volume production to support fast time-to-market delivery.
In the case of BSH, the $7 billion multinational appliance corporation had the idea for a washer/dryer pedestal that would satisfy the American consumer preference. All they needed now was for New Standard to help engineer and manufacture that pedestal. Putting its engineers to the task, New Standard completed a competitive teardown analysis, designed an innovative drawer, completed full structural analysis, and delivered prototypes for the product launch. Now, New Standard currently ships the completed accessory directly into the customer’s distribution center.
That case is typical of the full product design engineering that New Standard habitually accomplishes. “If a customer has a product-design idea, we can take their concept from the development stages all the way through to product launch,” emphasizes David Porter, New Standard’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We offer rapid prototyping services for metal-based components. But we carry these capabilities into different mediums, such as plastic and tubing.”
To accomplish its mission, New Standard focuses on innovative engineering and advanced manufacturing technology. Differentiating itself from its competition, the company provides large production equipment to produce parts that are either complex, large, or require heavy tonnage. New Standard also employs a total supply chain management philosophy to its business and has many full service partners in the areas of packaging, tool design , both domestic and foreign; machine design and build, outside machining services and logistics.
By combining advanced engineering with state-of-the-art equipment, New Standard offers customers a marketplace advantage: It routinely devises innovative solutions that improve product performance and reduce costs and fully understands a customer’s metal components manufacturing needs and knows how to manage a customer’s transition to an outside supplier.
In this way, it has become the preferred provider for metal-based components, sub-assemblies and finished products. Consistently performing to a customer’s quality and service expectations, New Standard enables companies to focus their attention on their core business.
New Standard Corporation is 400 employees strong, and its unique service is spread across five locations. Two of these locations are satellite facilities that deliver high-velocity manufacturing solutions to specific customer needs, while the other three are major fabrication and stamping facilities equipped with the most modern manufacturing technologies.
One such facility is located in Mount Joy, Pa. Currently it’s a 75,000-square-foot production site with technological capacity that belies the company’s humble and distant origins. Mount Joy is where New Standard was founded, in the late 19th century, as an operation that specialized in household gadgets and appliances.
In the early part of the 20th century, the company officially became New Standard Corp., a name that stuck as it changed hands several times through the years. Today, the company belongs to the Zifferer family, which has maintained three generations of ownership.
In 1973, the company needed to expand, so it established a second facility in York, the site of its current corporate headquarters. New Standard experienced another expansion in 1996, when it added about 40,000 square feet to the York facility, which now comprises 187,000 square feet.
Yet another expansion took place in January 2006, when New Standard opened a third facility, a 120,000-square-foot production site in Rocky Mount, N.C. That expansion came in response to business growth and, in turn, is expected to fuel continued, and significant, growth. “Since 2000, we have seen about a 38 percent growth,” says Porter. “With the opening of the Rocky Mount plant, combined with the maximization of our Pennsylvania facilities, we are poised to experience an annual growth rate of about 15 percent for the next three years.”
Together, the facilities provide New Standard customers with a one-source solution for all of their metal stamping, fabrication, and assembly needs, enabling them to reduce new product lead times through cost-effective design solutions. “Rather than being just another stamper, we’re focused on solving complex business problems,” comments Porter. “A typical, wholly owned stamping company won’t have a lot of engineers on board, nor would they do designs or development activities. But we can step right alongside a customer and help them design their products.”
Resources and Processes
Porter points out that New Standard has all of the necessary resources and processes to help its customers meet their business goals and requisites. It all begins with engineering. The company’s engineers, who possess considerable expertise in metallurgy and metal forming methods, form assigned teams that work with customers to develop a thorough understanding of design and business needs. Throughout the design process, engineers interactively perform fundamental engineering analysis to validate designs and verify performance requirements. Design concepts are then integrated with advanced manufacturing processes which include fabrication, metal stamping, and welding and assembly.
“In terms of fabrication, we offer the types of equipment and capabilities you’d get from a sheet metal fabrication shop,” says Porter.
New Standard’s fabrication technology offers a solid foundation of mechanical press-brakes and CNC turret punch presses. Upon that base it expanded its offerings to include Bystronic 4400-watt laser capability coupled with Bystronic CNC press brakes with auto crowning and bending compensation. The combined equipment enables New Standard to support customer production needs from prototypes, to small lot fabrications, to volume stampings.
As for metal stamping, New Standard can handle all needs, especially those that require a large bed-size or heavy tonnage. “As far as metal stamping, we have one of the broadest ranges of capabilities you’d find in a privately held company,” says Porter. The stamping presses range from five to 2,700 tons. “We have one of the largest press-bed capabilities anywhere around,” informs Porter. “The biggest we have is a 2,600-ton, 262-inch-long by 84-inch-wide press. We have a lot of big equipment.”
In May of 2006, New Standard added a 200-ton stamping press to its Rocky Mount plant, which represents a $300,000 investment. Auxiliary equipment for the press cost another $100,000, according to the company. The company plans on adding 300- to 500-ton presses in the future.
According to Porter, New Standard’s move toward larger presses came in response to customers moving their own production plants to Mexico or China. “The general trend is that the small parts that aren’t too complex come from these international plants. So, we increased the size of our presses, in order to handle larger and more complex parts,” he explains. In addition, New Standard has more than 50 journeymen tool- and die-makers, toolmaker apprentices, and machinists who constantly think up innovative improvements that reduce costs. As such, it has built a reputation of success with products too complex or difficult for other stampers.
In the area of welding and assembly, New Standard is unique in its broad range of technologies. “We do manual MIG and TIG as well as robotic welding, spot welding, and projection welding and in-die welding,” says Porter. “We also do full-blown assembly. That is, we actually take products and put them in a box. This includes all of the welding, riveting, joining, and assembling of multiple types of components. Once they’re in the box, we ship them to distribution warehouses.”
To support its other manufacturing, New Standard has developed a complete line of assembly innovations including a patented, proprietary process for the assembly of oil-cooler heat exchanger bundles, as well as Huck fastening, orbital riveting, PEM fasteners, TOX joining, in-die clinch nut insertion, and laminate assemblies.
“We also provide a full complement of value-added services including such things as painting, plating, and polishing,” adds Porter.
Like many corporations, New Standard has been affected by the trend of outsourcing to China. In response, it has developed partnerships with companies to handle supply-chain logistics for products coming out of the Pacific Rim. “A number of companies are very concerned about disruptions in the supply chain,” indicates Porter. “If they already have products and tools here in the United States, we bring their tools in and run a portion of their product in our facilities and purchase a portion of the product overseas. We give them a blended price and protect them from any downsize in the supply chain.”
Another challenge New Standard addresses is the recent volatility in the metals and commodities markets. It meets this development by providing open-book pricing. “As a supplier, we need to make a reasonable margin for the goods and the services we provide, but people may wonder about hidden costs,” says Porter. “But through our open-book policy we can achieve a level of understanding. Thus, if there is good news, it is readily accepted; if there is bad news, it is readily trusted.”
Porter cites the steel market as an example. “That market is going up again, and it is hard to get steel. If we have to pass along a price increase, customers understand,” he says. “The price increase may be hard to swallow, but at least they know that we are being truthful with them. Business still is about integrity and relationships.”
For New Standard, integrity is a key word, especially as it relates to the integrity of its services, equipment and products. That’s how it has accrued a client list that includes big names such as Caterpillar, Electrolux, Black & Decker, Volvo, Harley-Davidson, and John Deere. Moreover, throughout the years, the company maintained the integrity of its name, knowing that New Standard best reflected the organization’s mission and the goals it set for itself.