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C.R. Onsrud manufactures CNC machines found in many of the largest brands in the world. The company prides itself on the value and performance the Onsrud label brings to the bottom line of their customers.
Another source of pride is that C.R. Onsrud represented North Carolina in the White House sponsored Made in America Showcase this past July. “The nomination process isn’t made public, so we don’t know exactly why we were selected,” says Jeff Onsurd, director of sales and development. “But we believe it is due to our long standing commitment to manufacturing in the United States, providing jobs, and pushing technology that helps our customers expand their own manufacturing.”
Jeff explains that, “The idea of the showcase is to help show Congress and the executive branch the many great products that produce jobs and provide quality products to American homes and businesses.”
CEO and president Tom Onsrud points out that the honor reverberates beyond the immediate recognition of the award. “We’ve attended a few tradeshows just recently and a number of people have come up to congratulate us and tell us how great it was to see us there. People are paying attention to the value of made in America manufacturing.”
Jeff notes that, “One of the highlights for us at the showcase is we got to talk with manufacturers representing other states, some of whom actually are our customers.” That other states nominated manufacturers that rely on C.R. Onsrud CNC machines to produce their products is further testament to their value and innovation.
Also of interest is that a number of government agencies and offices in the nation’s capital use C.R. Onsrud products. “The Smithsonian Museum, for example, makes displays in their own shop using our CNC machines,” Tom says.
C.R. Onsrud routers have a long tradition with machinery manufacturing. Founder Charles Onsrud originally set up shop in Troutman, North Carolina to make routers for the furniture industry hub in the southeastern United States. It has long since branched out into other industries, which include aerospace, marine, retail, plastics, recreational vehicles and automobiles.
“We serve a lot of different industries, which is why our machines differ mainly in the type of material they need to handle, Jeff explains. “We have more than 50 standard platforms ranging in machining envelopes from 4 feet by 8 feet by 1 foot to 100 feet by 20 feet by 8 feet. There are a variety of options and we can customize any machine to fit the needs of a particular customer. We don’t push customers into a machine because we have it sitting in a showroom. What we do is design a solution based on a customer problem or need.”
Equally important, he adds, is parts and service. “We are committed to providing the highest quality products designed to last with the highest quality service. But if a machine should go down for a day, that can cost a customer anywhere from $10,000 or $50,000 or more in lost productivity. “So doing whatever is necessary to get a machine back up and running as quickly as possible is key.”
Indeed, C.R. Onsrud’s success in satisfying customer needs has resulted in significant expansions over the years. In 2006 the company moved into a new facility that was three times the size of its previous location. In 2012 the company expanded even further, doubling its capacity yet again. “Because our customer base is diversified, we have been able to grow through most downturns, with the exception of the recession in 2008/2009, as many industries are countercyclical,” notes Tom.
And the company is adding yet another 55,000 square-foot expansion, bringing its total square footage to 155,000. The new facility provides fabrication capabilities to vertically integrate all C.R. Onsrud manufacturing. “We’ve always performed final assembly,” Jeff explains, “but we did have to outsource some parts. With the new fabrication plant, we can now do everything in-house. That means we have better control over quality and at the same time we have reduced lead times.”
It also better positions them to address increasing demand in an improving economy. “Again, because we service a range of industries, we’re not vulnerable to the cycles happening in any one segment,” Jeff notes. “Overall, our business has been doing well. Manufacturers that were holding off on capital purchases are now able to spend that money. Right now we are very optimistic about future growth. There are always going to be cycles, sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Right now we’re definitely in an up cycle, but the company is in a good place for whatever may happen.”
A good reason for that is because, Jeff explains, “CNC machines are at the heart of every product manufactured today, whether it is the product itself or the components used to make it. ”
Cutting Edge Technology
Another growth driver is the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. “It’s a hot topic,” Jeff notes. “Everyone, including us, is looking to take full advantage of automation and run machinery as efficiently as possible. Collecting data about machine usage enables us to create algorithms that can run the machines optimally.”
To that end, the company’s Osync Machine Analytics® combines a powerful data engine and a robust user-interface to provide actionable business insights into customer production processes. These insights are achieved through a combination of real-time and historical machine performance data monitoring that is then aggregated and presented in easy to understand formats. “Jeff emphasizes that the platform is open. “Everybody likes to add their own tweaks and customization,” he points out. “We want to make it easy for customers to integrate whatever best fits their particular needs and situations.”
Tom and Jeff emphasize that C.R. Onsrud’s commitment to collaborate with customers is a long-standing traditional and fundamental reason for its success over the years. Equally important for a company that makes machines, and smart machines at that, is its people. As Jeff puts it, “Everyone from our engineers to our assemblers are committed to designing and manufacturing the best technology to help push our customers products to new heights.”