Our member spotlight this month is Circle B Manufacturing located in Junction City, Kansas. Circle B is a manufacturing company that produces a wide range of sanitizing products, such as large capacity hand sanitizer dispensers, wall mounted dispenser and stands. The demand for their product line has increased dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 situation, which led them to leverage a number of support networks to help meet this demand. The company had been importing some of the components for their products from overseas; however, due to supply chain disruptions, this quickly became problematic and they realized the need to become more vertically integrated and reshore their supply chain to U.S. based manufacturers. In an effort to achieve this goal the company applied for a PPE Manufacturing Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce to procure the needed equipment to begin injection molding and machining a number of the different parts used in the existing product line. In addition to this, they were awarded an Innovation Stimulus Grant from the K-State Technology Development Institute to aid in the design of a new line of manual and electronic sanitizer dispensers that would be their own proprietary design. These grants enabled Circle B to expand their manufacturing capabilities and product line at a time where competitors were struggling with supply chain delays. They are currently in the process of bringing the new manufacturing equipment online and excited about the possibility of reaching new clients with their “Made in the USA” line of hand sanitizing products. In addition to the finished products, the company is also actively seeking to supply injection molded or other CNC machined parts to companies across the Midwest. Circle B is continuing to manufacture and expand its line of hand sanitizer products that are designed to fit the consumer’s needs. For more details about their hand sanitizers or contract manufacturing opportunities, please visit www.circlebmanufacturing.com.
Our member spotlight this month is Sharp Manufacturing located in Blue Rapids, Kansas. Sharp was established in 2003 with the idea to build an innovative and quality trailer with a sleek appearance that is unlike anything else on the road. The company does this through a number of unique design features that are standard production practices on their line of enclosed cargo trailers. For over 17 years the company has established an excellent reputation on the quality, longevity, and design of its custom cargo trailers. Sharp takes pride in having an experienced dealer network located across the Midwest. To continue this legacy and ensure quality products for their customers, Sharp wanted to create a drawing package for each model of its trailer. In an effort to accomplish this, Sharp worked with the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC) to access funding through their Innovation Stimulus Program. This program provided funding to have the Technology Development Institute at Kansas State University assist them in the creation of these 3D models and drawings. The creation of the models and drawings not only helps to provide improved manufacturing documentation for Sharp, but will also serve as a valuable marketing tool for the company’s products in the future.
Our member spotlight this month is Anderson Knight Architects (AKA) in Manhattan, KS. AKA provides architectural design, with a focus on manufacturing and industrial work. Currently, the team at AKA has a distinct ability to focus on adaptive re-use projects. Projects such as converting abandoned schools into apartments gear towards seniors, converting dilapidated civic buildings into venue spaces and lofts and converting floundering malls into open air retail districts. These are the types of projects in which AKA excels and the communities of the Great Plains must undergo to thrive and stimulate future community investment. For almost 20 years, AKA has been collaborating with companies and communities throughout the state of Kansas. Companies like Manko Window Systems, Champion Team wear (Formerly GTM Sportswear), Mid-West Concrete Materials, Ultra Electronics (Formerly ICE Electronics), Valley Vet, and many others have used AKA as their architect throughout this time. AKA drives this success through a practical design process and a level of convenience that is unmatched. Their depth of knowledge in pre-engineered metal building structures allows them to find unique, budget friendly solutions to inspire those that work within them. AKA’s architectural work and expertise provides innovative ideas that can make a positive and economic impact towards small communities and businesses throughout the region. By connecting with small business owners, community leaders, and entrepreneurs, the team at AKA strives to make the transition from empty buildings to newly developed businesses an easy process. Discover more about AKA at www.anderson-knight.com.
Our member spotlight this month is Foldaway Trailer Company from Overland Park, KS. The Foldaway Trailer is a patent pending aluminum trailer that meets the needs of people who don’t have the space for a trailer or rarely use a trailer.
Joe Taylor, the owner of Foldaway Trailer Company, reached out to the Great Plains Technology and Manufacturing Cluster in search of mechanical engineering resources to help optimize his trailer design. The Great Plains TMC was able to connect Joe with the engineers at the K-State Technology Development Institute (TDI).
The staff at TDI created a CAD model of Joe’s prototype trailer and then worked to improve upon his existing design. Parts were optimized for performance and manufacturability to prepare the design for production. Once the CAD design was finalized, TDI provided their expertise and recommendations on a final design adjustment.
Joe has his prototype close to production ready. He is seeking individuals to beta test his model. If you are interested in testing the Foldaway Trailer, please contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Foldaway Trailer site to learn more at www.foldawaytrailer.com.
Our member spotlight this month is PWI, Inc from Wichita, Kansas. For more than 50 years, PWI has been manufacturing transformers, inductors, chokes and solenoids for the aircraft industry. In addition, PWI specializes in fluorescent and LED lighting systems with custom tube bending and design installation. PWI quickly discovered how COVID-19 has changed how people live, work and travel. As a leader in the aircraft industry, PWI knew that something must be done to keep passengers safe while flying. In an effort to accomplish this challenge, PWI created a sister company called Aero Biotek to develop a virus neutralizing system for commercial aircrafts through ultraviolet light called Biotek Shield.Biotek Shield is installed in air conditioning systems of aircrafts to fight airborne contaminants and neutralize pathogens such as H1N1, SARS, West Nile, Tuberculosis and COVID-19. PWI worked with a Biological Safety –Level 3 Lab to test the Biotek Shield on live viruses, like COVID-19. In order to measure the ultraviolet light’s effectiveness, a logarithmic scale is used. From log-1 (kills 90% live bacteria, not viruses) to log-6 (kills 99.9999% of pathogens including COVID-19), the Biotek Shield meets the requirements of a log-6 ultraviolet light. This ensures continuously clean cabin air on aircrafts everywhere. PWI provides quality contract manufacturing services and has a highly skilled engineering staff that is ready to help develop product concepts. From prototyping to turn-key assembly, PWI has the experience to hep make projects a success. Discover more about what PWI and the Biotek Shield at www.pwi-e.com.
Our member spotlight this month is Hornet Manufacturing from Emporia, KS. Hornet Manufacturing provides contract manufacturing services ranging from CNC machining, laser cutting for sheet metal and tubing, metal fabrication, welding and electro-static powder painting to complete turn-key machine assembly. Their highly trained engineering and manufacturing team has the ability to take your project from concept to completion providing precise custom work to your exact specifications. They are also ISO 9001 and AS9100D Aerospace Standard Certified! The K-State Technology Development Institute (TDI) utilized the Great Plains TMC membership resources for assistance when TDI experienced machining problems. TDI reached out to Hornet Manufacturing for their client that was under a strict deadline. Hornet Manufacturing was able to step in and deliver quality machined parts in a timeline manner and at a reasonable cost. Their ability to react ina short amount of time, with quality products makes them a valuable resource to the Great Plains TMC community. Hornet Manufacturing produces their own line of products. As part of this initiative, they are looking for a resources or company to assist with sheet metal roll forming. If you know of anyone who might be able to assist them, please contact Corey McClelland at email@example.com. For more information about Hornet Manufacturing,please visit their site at www.hornetmfg.com!