Not all of the new machinery is put into service immediately. Some will be stored as part of Passaic's contingency plan, he said.
For instance, “we'll put the extruder in storage and if our present extruder goes down and needs repair we'll use the other extruder. We're doing the same thing with a lot of different machinery parts, too, like mill rolls.”
In addition, the company also is building a printing, measuring, slitting line for sheeting produced by the firm. The line will be able to print the proper logos, ID codes, manufacturing date and other information. Among other capabilities, it will be able to slit to the proper length,
A key unit being added is an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system needed to monitor and control virtually everything in the company's 70,000-sq.-ft. plant. “We're in the process of setting up the software program to oversee inventory and all of our manufacturing processes from inception of an order to shipping,” Leach said.
“This is a huge undertaking for us and very expensive ... and it puts us in a position where we're spending over $1 million in new equipment.”
However, he continued, “if you have the cash, you can do it. So, we're very fortunate.” Business has been very good at Passaic this year, he said. It seems to be slowing down a bit right now, “but we're still above last year and that was a very good year, too.”
Passaic, which does a good deal of contract manufacturing for Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies, has focused heavily on keeping its machinery in top shape and quickly replacing any faulty equipment for many years, Leach said recently at the NIBA—The Belting Association annual convention.
“We don't want to have a lack of equipment, or a breakdown of equipment, as an excuse for not delivering products on time,” he said. “That's our problem, not our customer's ... so we do whatever it takes to be on time with quality products.”
In addition to new machinery, Passaic's other expenditures at its plant in 2014 included a new roof, back up compressed air center, back up boiler, replacement of the facility's entire electrical panel and new transformers.