Greeting from ALMCO!
This year is moving by quickly, as we had record orders last quarter. It seems that everyone in manufacturing is experiencing the same challenges; high incoming orders, and worker and material shortages. At ALMCO, we have been seeing some improvement in the number of applicants and have filled several vacant positions. The greatest challenge we’re currently facing are supply chain shortages. We are seeing delays with burners, gear reducers, gear motors and many electrical components. Fortunately, our team has been able to find solutions for most shortages or has been able to redesign equipment to accommodate a part substitution. Orders are coming in quickly and while our schedule is full through September for some equipment, we continue to work closely with customers to develop finishing & washing equipment solutions that drive efficiencies in their businesses. Orders for supplies have been steady, and we have been able to maintain a good supply of media in stock, or make recommendations for alternatives for any media that we didn’t have on hand. I appreciate all who have trusted us with their business this year. I also appreciate the hard-working employees that make ALMCO successful. The last two years have been filled with many COVID-related challenges, and our employees have worked through some tough spots along the way.
Although there have been challenges the last 2 years, we also have reason to celebrate. ALMCO is one of four companies under Innovance Inc., the holding company for a family of four 100% employee-owned industrial manufacturing-based organizations. All Innovance companies are experiencing high order volumes and are very busy. ALMCO celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, and Lou-Rich, another Innovance company is celebrating their 50th anniversary. Congratulations to Lou-Rich! Later this year, we will be joining with Lou-Rich and the other Innovance employees to celebrate our anniversaries with a day of food, games, and entertainment at our local fairgrounds. This will be quite the fun party! You can check out the ALMCO website here to learn more about ALMCO and our 3 sister companies.
Another activity that will be resuming this year is the ALMCO Distributor Summit. This training and relationship-building event will take place in Albert Lea, MN at our manufacturing facility and processing lab. The purpose of this summit is for ALMCO distributors to learn about new and current equipment and to test any parts or processes they would like to see in-person in our processing lab. We will also be hosting social events in the evenings.
This quarter we are spotlighting our Sutton line of spindle finishing machines. I have a personal connection to these machines, as I used to design the controls and develop the PLC programs when ALMCO first acquired Sutton. These large, heavy-duty machines were mainly designed to finish impellers and aircraft engine components (blades, disks, blisks, etc.) and were redesigned when ALMCO purchased Sutton. One recent Sutton project had a tremendous result with a process that eliminated 10 hours of manual labor per part. This project involved testing many types of media and rotating a large impeller at a slower speed for more consistent finishing of the vanes. You can view a video of the Sutton Spindle Finishing Machine here.
I hope that you are also busy this year. Remember to find time for your friends and family. After all, that is why we are all working.