RMI News

This section is dedicated to the latest news from around the world that directly affects Maryland Manufacturing. Please use the comment options below each post to share your thoughts.

February 26 – Energy Forum

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Please join RMI and Maryland’s manufacturers stakeholder community on February 26 at the Baltimore North Plaza Hotel in Timonium as  we come together to recognize the energy savings achievements of leading Maryland manufacturers who are graduating from the RMI Energy Program including: DAP Products, Titan Steel, Thorlabs, Tulkoff Food Products, GM, TW Perry, Hamilton Associates, Inc, Meggitt and Smiths Detection.  This will be a great opportunity to hear how these firms are benefiting from the program and positioned to save thousands of dollars off their electric bills.

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MEDA’s 2016 Legislative Outlook for Economic Development

2016 General Assembly 3On January 14, RMI President Mike Galiazzo attended the Maryland Economic Development Association’s conference entitled “2016 Legislative Outlook for Economic Development.” During the conference, public and private sector leaders shared their thoughts on economic development-related legislation that will be considered by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2016 session.

The highlight of the day was key note speaker Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford’s address outlining Governor Lawrence J. Hogan’s proposal to entice manufacturing jobs to the State.
“The goal is to reduce the financial burden on businesses and foster a pro-business climate. We are supporting Marylanders by reducing taxes for manufacturers that settle in high unemployment areas,” Lt. Governor Rutherford said. “We have brought more than 50,000 jobs to Maryland, creating a sense of optimism in business community. We are going on the offense in 2016 – to retain, grow and attract.”

Rutherford gave a shout out to Mike Galiazzo and RMI during his remarks. Mike responded with a “thumbs-up.” Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. also gave Galiazzo a shout out on behalf of manufacturing.

House Republican Leader Delegate Nicholaus R. Kipke spoke passionately on the need to focus on Maryland manufacturing. Delegate Kipke has a keen understanding of the importance of manufacturing.

When Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings spoke, he focused on the health of the State’s economy. Jennings a strong supporter of manufacturing, met earlier with Mike Galiazzo on Governor Hogan’s new initiative to promote manufacturing.

“We need to push the access of capital resources to the business owners so they may expand and grow,” said Senator Jennings. “Making sure all aspects of Maryland’s economy is supported – manufacturing needs to be healthier.”

The conference opened with comments from Anne Arundel County Executive Steven R. Schuh, and Anne Arundel County, Mayor Michael John Pantelides, City of Annapolis.
This was a great event. Pam Ruff, MEDA Executive Director, deserves credit for bringing together the best thinkers of economic development. She too is an advocate for expanding manufacturing in Maryland.

(Photo L-R) Mike Galiazzo, President of RMI of Maryland, Pam Ruff, Executive Director of Maryland Economic Development Association, and Steven R. Schuh, County Executive of Anne Arundel County

Leverage The Power Of Your LinkedIn Connections – February 4

Shelah 2Join us for a seminar on using LinkedIn as a tool to generate leads, acquire customers and career advancement.

Speaker Mike Shelah began his technology sales career in 1999, where he began building and developing his skills in sales strategy, leadership, networking and public speaking. In 2011, he started to share those experiences as a consultant and in 2015 launched his website. He spends his time with people, helping them become better and finding the leader in them to develop greatness.

Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Merrill Lynch, 901 Dulaney Valley Road, Suite 516, Towson, MD 21204 (Dulaney Center II attached to the Sheraton Hotel)
Parking is available at the Sheraton Garage.

Cost: RMI Members: $20, Non-Members $30

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January 20, 2016, GreenTech Series Forum

Ammanuel Moore Headshot (1)Join RMI and our manufacturing executives at our next GreenTech Forum on January 20 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Industry for our 2016 kick-off event featuring Ammanuel Moore, Economic Development Manager from BGE.

Participating Maryland manufacturers in RMI’s Energy Program have benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars in BGE rebates from their Smart Energy Savers Program. As BGE celebrates their 200 anniversary, we recognize their strong partnership with RMI in our program.

 

Webinars To Help Manufacturers Reduce Energy Costs

ENERGYEDGELOGORMI’s GreenTech Webinar Series connects your company with energy saving resources.  Preview information on energy efficiency grants, rebates, and low interest loans.  Register and log on to participate from your work station for any of five free 20 minute sessions with energy conservation experts.

Join us for energy savings!  Register today!

ENERGY SAVINGS TIPS & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Session 3 – HVAC
1:30 – 1:50 p.m., Date Coming Soon!
Hear how you can save on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning – many  manufacturers’ biggest energy consumer from Keith Madigan, RMI Engineer.  Hosted by Peter Gourlay, RMI Energy Project Manager.

Session 4 – Lighting
1:30 – 1:50 p.m., Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Find out about lighting technologies and cost savings for manufacturing facilities from Brian Funk, RMI Engineer. Hosted by Peter Gourlay, RMI Energy Project Manager.

Session 5 – Metering & Controls
1:30 – 1:50 p.m., Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Learn about the importance of monitoring your energy spending and systems that provide real-time dashboard energy analysis from Keith Madigan, RMI Engineer.  Hosted by Peter Gourlay, RMI Energy Project Manager.

To register click here or contact Chris Plater at chris.plater@rminextgenm.com.

Berlin: Coolest Little Town with The Biggest, Warmest Heart

Berlin EventOn November 14, Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland President Michael Galiazzo attended the grand-opening of a Maryland With Pride members products section at the Berlin Coffee House in the quaint town of Berlin.

While sipping fresh ground coffee and munching on a warm Otterbein cookie, Galiazzo told the Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, “Berlin was voted the coolest small town in America, and it is also the town with the biggest, warmest heart.”

Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, who said, “Berlin is the first to launch a Maryland With Pride section in a Main Street Maryland shop, but I know this idea is going to be a success around the State.”

The distinctive red, black, gold, and green signage supports “buy local” and was developed through a partnership between the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland, the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Main Street Maryland Program, and Maryland With Pride, which collaborates with businesses and organizations to showcase the strength and diversity of Maryland goods for both consumers and businesses.

As a result of the Make It to Main Street partnership, nearly 200 producers and merchants of Maryland goods  are showcased in the new Buy Maryland Directory, online at www.buymarylanddirectory.com.

(Photo L-R:) State Delegate Mary Beth Carozzo, Mike Galiazzo, Chris Plater, Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, Jason Hagy, Peggy Hagy, Lisa Hall, Laura Allen, Helen Wiley, and Steve Taylor.

3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Event This Wednesday

Learn from top leaders in the field

Join RMI on November 18th from 3 – 4:15 p.m. for a presentation on how 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and rapid technologies are transforming our world.

Learn how this technology is used in prototyping, tooling/jigs/fixtures, and end-use parts in manufacturing applications.

Hear from leaders on the front lines of industry and nimble service providers to visionaries charting the course.

Reception begins at 4:15 p.m. with beer and wine.

Register

Highlights from Featured Manufacturers at RMI Nov 11 Energy Forum

Manufacturing Leaders Meet to Showcase Energy Savings Successes

On Wednesday, November 11 over 100 manufacturing executives and stakeholders came together to hear from the latest group of companies graduating from the RMI Energy Program discuss their energy efficiency initiatives. Featured companies included McCormick & Company, Advantage Book Binding, Prime Manufacturing, Murray Corporation and Northrop Grumman. The Baltimore Museum of Industry backdrop provided a great showcase to hear about these new manufacturing successes.  RMI announced that 50 manufacturers who are currently enrolled in the program are collectively on track to save $2.28 million in energy savings.

Featured Company Presentation Remarks
McCormick & Company

Jeff Blankman
Sustainable Manufacturing Manager, McCormick & Company
RMI helped us look at some of the more difficult energy improvements that we hadn’t addressed as yet. One of those involved our four air compressors which are responsible for 30% of our energy expenses. RMI provided a thorough air leak detection and combined with other air reduction initiatives of our Packaging facility we identified 1.5 million kWh worth of energy reduction opportunities. We’re committed to making the leak repairs and completing all of the initiatives. We will be planning this during 2016 so as not to interrupt our business line during our heightened season production demand.
Murray Corporation

Tom Branch
Purchasing & Operations Manager, Murray Corporation
Since we engaged RMI, they came in with a full team, assessed my lighting, air compressor and HVAC needs and told me what I had to do to save energy and reduce my electricity bill. We have vendors making recommendations all the time, but often they’re not right. RMI’s engineers know manufacturing and know what they are talking about. With others, often, you just don’t know what to believe. In addition, the RMI green team facilitator helped change our corporate culture so that employees are now turning off stuff that shouldn’t be on. Not only that, now my employees are coming to me with other ideas on how to save on costs. The RMI program has had a wonderful catalytic affect helping us to be a more productive company.
Prime Manufacturing

Luke Chow
President, Prime Manufacturing
As a small plastic injection molding manufacturer, RMI has played a critical role in helping me reduce energy. I don’t have the time to focus on energy, but their engineers assessed my facility and helped me apply for the BGE rebates to upgrade my old inefficient lighting to LEDs. Now I’m going to save 50% off my lighting bill and the brighter lighting is improving my quality control on the production line as well.
Advantage Book Binding

Chris Webbert
President
Advantage Book Binding
As a small business owner, I don’t have the time to look at energy or to understand the rebates and resources available to us. RMI has done that heavy lifting and is putting me in a position to get substantial rebates for the energy upgrades as well as a Maryland Energy Administration 2% loan that I’m considering to fund the upgrades at virtually no out of pocket costs. If companies don’t take advantage of this service, they are missing a huge opportunity.
Join the RMI Energy
Edge Challenge Today
Find out more

The RMI Energy Program is in the last year of a three-year grant from the State of Maryland due to end in June 2016. RMI encourages manufacturers to take advantage of  a potential
$30,000 worth of expert services targeted to reduce electricity consumption that are provided to manufacturers who meet the program criteria within the BGE service territory. 

There are 10 slots remaining for qualified manufacturers, so don’t hesitate.  Contact us today.  The openings will close before the end of 2015.  There is no risk, just upside for your firm.

To find out how RMI can help your company achieve the results that these companies are enjoying, contact RMI today to find out about the Energy Edge Program at 443-275-2489
or email Peter Gourlay at peter.gourlay@rminextgenm.com .

Getting a “stranglehold” on Maryland Regulatory “Goblin”

Controlling the Regulator
Mike Galiazzo, RMI, Kelly Schulz, Secretary DLLR, Abba Poliakoff, Co-Chair Regulatory Reform Commission, Roger Campos, Governor’s Business Ombudsman

“Great Meeting” Roger Campos, Governor’s Small Business Ombudsman

“This kind of meeting is exactly what Governor Hogan wants
us doing with industry.” Kelly Schulz, Secretary Maryland DLLR

Manufacturers told their stories today and the Governor’s representatives responded with a message of “we are here to help you”

ALL TREATS AND NO TRICKS

 

Kelly Schulz, DLLR, Joyce Lapadula, Maryland Commerce, and John Freeberger, Holmotro

 

Roger Campos (left) talks with Matt Turpin, Zentech (middle) and Ken Sanchez, Chesapeake Specialty Products

 

Abba Poliakoff, co-chair Governor’s Regulatory Reform Commission (right) talks with Michael Witkowski, Pritchard Brown

 

Lester Miller, Strategic Factory (left) and Abba.

“Today’s meeting shows that we have a great partnership between state government and industry.”
Mike Galiazzo, RMI President

Retailers are Coming Home to Murray

Nimble Maryland Manufacturer Sees Tide Turning

For more than 100 years, Murray Corporation has turned out clamps used by the automotive, agricultural, plumbing, irrigation, beverage and marine industries.  Murray sells both domestically and around the world and calls big Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Volvo and Watts as clients.

During the company’s heyday from 1960-1980s Murray, headquartered at the 122,000 square foot Hunt Valley, Maryland facility, operated three shifts while employing more than 200 people to churn out a variety of hose clamps for those industries.

During that period, business was booming and Murray was the premier supplier of clamps globally.  Its clamps were a vital component for holding together large objects like cars, boats, combines, tractors and other heavy equipment. These clamps allow machines to be assembled as well as disassembled and repaired.

But the overall decline in U.S. manufacturing since that time hit Murray hard during the 2000s.

With the advent of China’s off-shoring machine, companies like Murray found themselves vulnerable.  When the big box stores came on the scene, at first it was a bonanza for Murray, but eventually China-made lower priced products became the dominant supplier to those outlets. Murray was forced to move its more commodity-like products off-shore in order to compete. The company’s many small clamps and widgets were viewed by OEMs and big box retailers as commodities and as a result they ended up purchasing the cheaper China-made products.

During that time, Murray’s workforce shrank from 150 employees down to 30.

With the future looking bleak, Murray did what most American manufacturing companies had to do survive.  They innovated. Meanwhile, as retailers demanded the lower priced China-made products, incidents regarding safety and performance issues began to crop up.

As claims and failures continue to rise, the high cost associated with repairs and settlement of those claims can actually make  what seemed to be cheaper products, more expensive in the long run.   “We live in an ever-litigious society today and OEMs are increasingly more conscious about standards and quality,” said Tom Branch, Operations and Purchasing Manager, Murray Corporation.

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“These types of failures, convinced OEMs and retailers to give more weight to purchasing based on safety and reliability, “When you start putting in cheaper clamps that don’t have the reliability they claim to have, customers increasingly have to deal with insurance claims from failings,” said Branch.

While Murray admits it doesn’t have the cheapest products, it claims to have the highest, most rigorous standards.   Murray was also positively affected by wage increases in China.  “It’s starting to become more difficult for them to beat us on price for similar types of quality products,” said Branch.  Meanwhile, quality concerns remain with China as recently evidenced by the public’s reaction to the Lumber Liquidator’s expose on “60 Minutes.”

“Where just a few years ago, we didn’t even get an invitation to bid from the big box stores, today we are being asked to bid on those same offerings,” he said.  “Companies value our long tradition of great dependability and quality.”

New Ideas

newideapicMurray took a current market product called the Worm Drive Constant Tension Clamp, which has been in existence for years and improved it.  The clamps are used by the automotive industry on engine hose so that it can expand as the engine heats up and hoses expand.   “The clamp has been around for a long time, but with our unique Electro-polishing, it’s much more corrosion resistant,” said Branch.  Murray’s unique “dual bead seal” concentrates band-sealing pressure, increasing performance up to 30% compared to standard smooth liners.  OEMs are taking notice.  “We got our opening with Volvo Trucks made in Israel and now other auto and truck companies like Kenworth are looking at the revamped clamp,” said Branch.

 

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Other unique applications include Murray’s strategic alliance with Atlantis Industries which manufactures custom plastic injection molded products.  Now Murray is working jointly to produce plastic parts for the vehicle industry and numerous other markets.

Murray continues to innovate and see where its unique clamping technology can improve lives.  They’ve partnered with Mercer College in Vietnam to help provide a Murray worm drive clamp for local Vietnamese rehabilitation facilities as they use them to affix prosthetics legs to Vietnamese who are injured from unexploded ordinance from the Vietnam War.  “The rehab centers produce close to 2500 prosthetic legs a year and can’t keep up with demand,” he said.  It’s personal for Branch, since his own father lost both legs due to vascular disease.

“Having served in Vietnam, it really means a lot to me to help people in such a personal way,” said Branch.

While Murray continues to innovate its product line, it also looks internally at their labor and production process, steel purchasing and energy; all big cost areas.  On the energy front, it recently joined the Regional Manufacturing Institute’s (RMI) Energy Program to find out what areas could be addressed to save on energy costs.

RMI provides a complimentary energy audit and helps firms prioritize quick payback opportunities.  “We don’t have the time to look at this and having RMI’s engineering team do this for us is a no-brainer,” he said.  “There’s no-out-of- pocket costs for RMI to present the opportunities to me and they’ll map it all out so that I understand the payback and they’ll also help me fill out the utility rebates.  What’s not to like,” he said.

Another area that Murray pursued to help control costs was in its steel purchasing.  Stainless steel is a key commodity for Murray’s ability to compete in a price competitive environment.  “The price of nickel has a huge impact on our ability to produce affordable products,” said Branch.  Murray buys larger amounts of steel when the price of nickel comes down and that alone can make the difference in Murray’s ability to be price competitive.  We’ve brought down the cost of our clamps by 20% through this strategy alone, he said.  While in the past Murray would always look to keep steel inventories very low, they reversed that strategy to buy full coils of steel at the right time to save money.

Today, the company only has 28 employees at the Hunt Valley plant, but Branch remains optimistic about the future.  “We’re much leaner.  Our 100-year reputation speaks for itself.  We’ve gone through this boom-to-bust time and we’ve come out the other end much stronger,” he said.  “Today, Murray is ready and poised for the next step in our future.”