News

Presidential Proclomation

October 3rd National Manufacturing Day

Obama Declares National Observance

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"...America's manufacturers have created jobs at the fastest pace in decades, adding more than 700,000 new jobs since February 2010. Factories are reopening their doors and businesses are hiring new workers; companies that were shipping jobs overseas are bringing those jobs back to America. As we work to rebuild a foundation of growth and prosperity, we have the opportunity to capitalize on this momentum and accelerate the resurgence of American manufacturing."

- President Obama

Continue Reading From the White House...

2014 STEM Summit

       

Science, Technology, Engineering, Math  

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On November 18-19th the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the 2014 STEM Summit. Bowman Tool and many other area businesses and educational institutions will come together to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Our community is reliant upon a strong workforce and maintaining our competative edge in the global marketplace. Mark your calendars to come see us and find out why STEM is so important to our community and our youth.

       

 

Industry on the Rise

US MANUFACTURING GROWS AT FASTEST PACE IN 3½ YEARS

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 - 7:38 am 

WASHINGTON -- U.S. manufacturing grew in August at the strongest pace in more than three years as factories cranked out more goods and new orders rose.

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index rose to 59 from 57.1 in July, the ISM said Tuesday. That was the highest reading since March 2011. Any measure above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.

Tuesday's ISM report coincides with other signs that manufacturing is helping drive the U.S. economy's improvement. Factories are benefiting from strong demand for aircraft, furniture, and steel and other metals. The boost from manufacturing has helped offset slower homebuilding, a slowdown in consumer purchases and weaker spending on utilities and other services... Continue reading...

 

Manufacturers Across the Country Open Their Doors

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Happy Manufacturing Day!

Manufacturers across the nation are opening their doors for tours so you can see what they're all about. Visit www.mfgday.com to find out which businesses near you are hosting events. #mfgday14.


Capacity Planning

 

6 Week Series: Maintaining Internal Controls

Week 1: Capacity Planning

As manufacturers, we often face tight delivery expectations and spacial constraints within our facilities. This poses the absolute need for strict capacity planning and attention to fluctuating resources, such a raw material and workforce availability. At Bowman Tool we involve all relevant department managers in the process of capacity planning. From warehousing to purchasing strategies BTM is always seeking the most efficient and cost effective course of action.

Maintaining an accurate view of building and equipment capacity allows us to throttle our business activities appropriately. When done properly, capacity planning allows manufacturers to reduce unnecessary overtime, improve delivery performance, and relieves warehousing congestion. When customer demand increases, so does the need for Internal Control.

 

Week 2: Effective Processes

Manufacturing is all about effective processes and procedures. Streamlining each piece of the manufacturing pipeline is what truly manages the flow of work from the first contact with the Customer all the way through to Production and Shipping of finished goods. At Bowman Tool we have mapped each step of the manufacturing process from the inside out. This allows us to assign roles, divide labor, catch discrepancies, and continuously improve without constantly “putting out fires” in areas that were unmonitored. Like any business, these processes are ever-evolving to the standards and requirements of the Customer.

The obvious advantage to maintaining Effective Proccess Management is the basic clarity of expectations and requirements for each stage. However, a closer look shows that Effective Processes also allow us to:

  • Identify goals and objectives
  • Identify critical success factors
  • Understand key performance drivers
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in procedures
  • Benchmark against past performance

Bowman Tool also greatly benefits from an intense Quality Management System in accordance with ISO 9001:2008. ISO not only allows our company to standardize our quality practices but also shows our Customers that we take continuous improvement and meeting the requirements of our customers very seriously.

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Week 3: Sunrise Meeting

One of the most important pieces of our ongoing improvement efforts begins with daily team meetings with the BTM leaders. First there is a sunrise meeting among the department heads where the most pressing issues are discussed and plans are made. Then Operator meetings on the shop floor are led by our Team Leads in which supplier and material issues, scrap and efficiency rates, new product introduction, quality control, and preventative maintenance are discussed with Operators to ensure transparency and understanding throughout the facility.

BTM stresses communication at all levels of the manufacturing process. We strive to provide the highest level of Customer Service by developing a lasting working relationship founded on trust and the reliability of open communication. BTM management stresses the importance of this team-led approach as it brings the different departments together in the shared objective of meeting and exceeding Customer expectations.

 

Week 4: ERP

Like many manufacturing companies, Bowman Tool utilizes a Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to plan the requirements throughout the facility. Financial Management, Supply Chain, Production, Scheduling, Product Data, Service, Human Capital, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management are all areas we are able to monitor through the ERP. With this we are able to confidently make daily operation decisions as well as monitor long-term planning and utilization of resources. By making strategic choices based on the data collected and analyzed in the ERP system we are able to reduce downtime, increase productivity, and continue to focus on our Customers.

Week 5: Continuous Improvement

We at BTM take improvement very seriously. So seriously that it is a part of our Quality Policy Statement:

“BTM Delivers Superior Products to Customers by Adhering to Standards of Quality, Integrity, and

Excellence with an emphasis on Continuous Process Improvement.”

This statement is visible throughout or facility and is upheld by all of our employees. Our management team meets weekly in a Quality Improvement Initiative meeting to discuss ideas and designate resources to improvement areas. Our Quality Initiative focuses on the Continuous Improvement of efficiencies, internal processes and procedures, product quality, employee development, and general work flow for our operators. From these meetings we are able to allocate attention to the matters at hand and determine the best course of Change Management.

 

Week 6: Change Management

It is rare that any form continuous improvement works perfectly the first time around. Many ideas take ongoing finessing and molding to form the desired result. This is essentially why Change Management is extremely important. When an idea for change is proposed in our Quality Initiative meeting, it is then worked with interdepartmentally until a solution is found. The solution is then brought back to the table and reexamined for further opportunities for improvement. Many revisions may be made before the change has met the needs and satisfaction of the team. We involve Quality, Production, Shipping/Receiving, Engineering, and HR to evolve these changes into something that serves the company as a whole and where all aspects of the situation are evaluated. This is one of the many reasons why Bowman Tool excels in production manufacturing.

 


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BTM Contributes


BTM Sponsors Local Camp

June 2014

BTM had the opportunity to sponsor an honorable organization and help some well deserving kids get to camp this year that otherwise wouldn't have been able to. Last year over 300 kids received scholarships to attend Camp Victory of Oronoco, MN and we are proud to be a 2014 sponsor.
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Camp Victory of Oronoco, MN


BTM Sponsors Winning Area Robotics Team

Spring 2014

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Rochester Robotics Team featured on CNN with BTM logo.

The local Rochester Robotics Team, Inconcievable, recently won 4th place in a Regional competition and 2nd Place in the Statewide competition that took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team was made up of students from several area high schools and they worked on their robot throughout the school year.

Bowman Tool focuses its community initiative within the education sector to continue to boost interest in things like robotics and manufacturing in the next generation. We are honored to have been a part of this specific victory of the young adults from area Rochester High Schools and look forward to continued partnership.

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2014 Robotics Team 2530, Inconcievable. State Championships


 

Follow Us...

Bowman Tool & Machining is dedicated to keeping you up to date on industry news and current events related to Manufacturing. We invite you to follow us on the following platforms: 

Facebook_icon Linkedin_icon  Google_Icon  Twitter_Icon_2  YouTube

 

2013 Awards

       

Winner: of 2013 Minnesota Community Impact Award

Through its Youth Initiative, Bowman Tool & Machining partners with area middle and high schools to educate youth about the opportunities within the manufacturing industry and generate interest in manufacturing careers at a young age. Additionally, the company works with colleges both locally and statewide to equip potential graduates and employees with the necessary skills to build successful careers in the industry. And with the help of the Boys and Girls Club, Bowman offers internship opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in manufacturing before graduation.
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2012 Awards

Finalist: 2012 Small Manufacturer of the Year

Editor's note: This article is part of The top Minnesota manufacturers of 2012, a feature appearing in the November 2012 issue.

Bowman Tool & Machining (BTM) in Rochester was founded by Bill Bowman in 1977 in a 900-square-foot building and has grown to 150 times that size in the last 35 years. "BTM was founded on quality, integrity, and hard work, and it continues to harbor those traits today," says Chloe Bowman, project manager at Bowman Tool. "Our company is unique in that we have employees that have worked for us for over 25 years, who now call BTM and the Bowman family their own."

BTM is fairly unusual because it is a family owned and operated manufacturing company that serves the needs of a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 company in the agricultural industry that distributes products worldwide. (BTM prefers not to name this company, but the relationship has lasted for nearly 25 years and BTM was named its supplier of the year in 1998.)

"One of the greatest successes of BTM is our financial independence since 1990," Bowman says. "The owners of Bowman Tool have made it a top priority to remain debt-free, which is what carried us through the recession, unlike many companies in the United States that rely on loans for stability."

"While no one knows for sure what the future holds, BTM expects further growth from the $24 million company we are today to the possibility of reaching $50 million in the next five years," Bowman says. "Our hopes are high, our efforts are feverish, our customers demand the quality we have proven we are able to provide, and the future is bright for Bowman Tool & Machining."


Finalist: Woman-Owned Manufacturing Company of the Year

Bowman is working to change the stereotypes and reputation of manufacturing

Editor's note: This article is part of The top Minnesota manufacturers of 2012, a feature appearing in the November 2012 issue.

Over the past 35 years, Rochester-based Bowman Tool & Machining (BTM) has grown from a one-man shop to a $25 million business. BTM has invested in the industry's finest equipment, including robotic automation and climate-controlled facilities, to ensure it can handle the most complex jobs imaginable. Thanks to Angela Bowman, CEO and second generation of Bowman family ownership, BTM is positioned for an even brighter future.

Chloe Bowman, Project Manager at Bowman Tool, says simply being a female in a manufacturing company that is made up of a 97 percent male workforce has its difficulties in and of itself, but being a female CEO in a male-dominant industry is another feat entirely.

"Manufacturing in the United States has the reputation of being hard work with dirty working conditions and low pay," Chloe Bowman says. "Angie has made great efforts and seen much success with keeping Bowman Tool's employees happy by creating a clean, safe work environment. She knows people appreciate going to work every day in a place that makes them feel secure, not only physically but financially as well. Angie has put an emphasis on accurate wage scales for all areas of the company in an effort to retain the hardworking individuals that work for Bowman Tool."

For Angie, the key to the company's success lies in implementing new programs within the business. "I enjoy taking a problem and finding a more current or efficient way to solve it so that my team can be more effective with their time," she says. "Today's business world is fast-paced; utilizing up-to-date and state-of-the-art technology has been a major focus for me to help meet those demands."

Bowman Tool will continue to change the stereotypes and reputation of manufacturing.

Winner: Best 100 Companies to Work For in 2012

BTM is honored to be named one of the 100 Best Companies to work for by MN Business Magazine and we will continue to maintain excellence as an employer as well as a leader in our industry.

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