Nercon Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc. (nerconconveyors.com) recently announced plans to consolidate manufacturing capabilities under one roof at their plant in Oconto, WI. A manufacturer of conveyor systems, Nercon currently operates 2 manufacturing facilities – one in Oshkosh and one in Oconto. The decision to combine the two operations into one expanded, upgraded, state-of-the-art facility in Oconto is driven by Lean Manufacturing practices. Lean Manufacturing embraces value-added principles that increase quality while identifying wasteful practices to reduce unnecessary costs.
“To continue the same manufacturing operations in plants that are just 80 miles from one another is not efficient for our company or our customers,” says Steve Anklam, vice president of Nercon. “Lean Manufacturing is all about optimizing our processes and eliminating waste. This move and expansion in Oconto will help us eliminate waste, improve manufacturing and assembly processes, improve delivery, and pass savings and benefits on to our customers. This is just the beginning of many positive changes for Nercon.”
Nercon has already made significant investments to improve the Oconto facility. Over $5 million in equipment and upgrades including a new laser, powder paint system, deburring, CNC rolling, and CNC axis router machines have been added. Plans for a 30,000 square foot expansion are also in the works. Over the next year, the company plans to add 15 new jobs in Oconto. These improvements and additions will make Nercon one of the largest and most modern conveyor companies in the United States.
“Nercon has a very strong balance sheet with zero long term debt,” says Joe Roesler, vice president of finance. “We have been able to pay for all of our capital additions mentioned above with operating cash flow. We will also seek to leverage our strong balance sheet by looking for acquisitions that complement our conveyor business and our manufacturing capabilities.”
Phase II of Nercon’s expansion will involve moving their corporate office in Oshkosh to a more modern, state-of-the-art facility that will improve office efficiencies. In addition, the move will give the company better access to a larger pool of professional employees from the Fox Valley area. Though no site has yet been chosen, Anklam indicated that Nercon is looking in the Neenah/Appleton area for this relocation.
“It’s an exciting time at Nercon with many changes in the works,” says Roesler. “We will seek to retain the best employees who think out of the box and challenge our thinking which will allow us to provide the highest value to our customers.”