News from WIKA Instrument, LP09/13/2007
WIKA Instrument Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of pressure and temperature measurement instruments, opened its U.S. facility in a 500 square-foot building in Long Island, NY. That was in 1967 when WIKA had essentially one product it considered just right for the U.S. market: the liquid-filled brass gauge, used at the time primarily for hydraulic applications.
A few years later, WIKA moved to a newer and larger building in Hauppauge, NY to meet the demands of new product development and their expanding customer base. In this larger manufacturing facility, WIKA produced an even wider range of products, with increased engineering and manufacturing support from its parent company located in Klingenberg, Germany.
But in 1990, WIKA outgrew its facility in Happauge, NY and moved to a 110,000 square-foot facility in Lawrenceville, GA tripling its manufacturing capabilities. Moving and expanding the headquarters operation was critical to ensuring the company’s growth and competitive position while maintaining its high standard of manufacturing. Since this time, the facility has doubled to 210,000 square feet with additional plans for expansion in the future.
The core of WIKA’s business remains the pressure gauge, a 160-year-old invention used by industries to measure the pressure of liquids and gases involved in the manufacture, transportation and storage of almost every product from plastics to pharmaceuticals. As global technology has become more sophisticated, so have WIKA’s measurement instruments. WIKA has expanded its product line to include a wide variety of mechanical and electronic pressure and temperature measurement instruments, as well as diaphragm seals and ultra high purity instruments.
As a pioneer of many innovative solutions, WIKA was the first to produce liquid-filled gauges. The liquid-fill extends the service life of the gauge by dampening vibration and pressure pulsation, absorbing pressure spikes and lubricating the movement to reduce wear on the instrument. Another ground breaking technology was the discovery of new materials, bonding, and engineering methods to make strong, reliable diaphragm seals unequaled in the industry. These discoveries help American companies comply with stringent EPA regulations and minimize hazardous emissions.
In 1998, WIKA Instrument Corporation acquired TREND Instruments. TREND was known in the industry for its methods to design and manufacture more accurate, longer-lasting thermometers. TREND products complemented the WIKA line without any overlap of existing products. This combination of industry leading pressure instrumentation with industry leading temperature instrumentation quickly closed the gap as WIKA became the number two manufacturer of pressure and temperature instrumentation in the U.S. market. This also strongly positioned WIKA to become number one.
Throughout the past several years, the industrial supplier landscape has drastically changed. Many U.S. instrumentation companies are moving their operations offshore in pursuit of a better bottom line. WIKA is doing the complete opposite. WIKA has increased its U.S. manufacturing facility and it is continuing its growth. This success is attributed to the adoption in 2001 of LeanSigma®, a new manufacturing methodology.
Lean manufacturing and business processes utilize a systematic approach to identifying waste through continuous improvement. Since Lean manufacturing only retains those activities that transform materials and information into the products and services that customers need, WIKA can manufacture over 50,000 different product configurations with lead times of only a few days.
Presently the industry leader, WIKA is the only instrumentation company in the U.S. with the ability to offer competitively priced, high-quality, customized instrumentation with the industry’s shortest lead times. To complement its Lean capabilities, WIKA also offers an industry leading 1,400 stock items that will ship within 24 hours once ordered.
As recognition of its pursuit for continuous improvement, on June 6, 2007, WIKA Instrument Corporation was awarded the prestigious “2007 Perfect Engine Site Award” from the TBM Consulting Group. TBM is a global business improvement leader for the manufacturing and service sectors. This award honors a manufacturer that has been successful in implementing LeanSigma® methodologies throughout its entire organization and throughout its value chain.
WIKA has built a solid foundation by achieving globalization and market optimization. Moving forward, innovation and product development are key to WIKA’s continued success in the United States. WIKA understands that today’s challenging business environment demands more than just new products, but requires innovative, market-specific solutions. Recognizing that the most important factor for continued success is customer satisfaction, WIKA is committed to providing quality products, valued services and world-class customer service to its customers world-wide.
WIKA thanks its more than 500 U.S. employees for their hard-work and dedication. With the continued support of its employees, customers and community, WIKA looks forward to the next 40 years of success.
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