So Many Things to Share!
Sharing industry news and what we know with the people who are most important to our success – customers, employees, business and community partners – is critical to our business. Learn how we help:
- Manufacturers and design engineers discover new ways to create innovative product development solutions
- Develop our future leaders
- Change the misperceptions about working in manufacturing to help fill the skills gap
Gordon Knott, medical market leader with Alexandria Industries, said, "People often forget that aluminum extrusions can provide improved mechanical properties over castings when comparing the same alloy, including decreased porosity, greater resistance, and ductility, as well as other strength characteristics. Extrusion tooling brings a more cost-effective solution compared to casting, forging, and injection molding. Due to the ability to make near-net shape components, aluminum extrusion can reduce the number of overall components and the need for additional manufacturing processes.
Good news at Alexandria Industries in Douglas County, the heart of the Minnesota manufacturing mecca. The aluminum fabrication company, which employs 480 in the Alexandria area, is investing several million dollars to expand its production and warehouse space. The bad news: The privately held firm, which has long surpassed pre-recession revenue and employment levels, is struggling to fill the 50 jobs that are open or anticipated over the next six months at $15 to $30 an hour, plus benefits.
Automation in manufacturing is here to stay, and two Minnesota firms are using robotics with great success.
Alexandria, Minn., has a strong business/education partnership that can serve as a model for other communities. That’s what Al Sholts, chief operating officer of Alexandria Industries, and Laura Urban, president of the Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC) told the Civic Caucus in an interview released last week.
As the solar market continues to grow, managing logistics and supply chains are essential in order to stay competitive. Working with suppliers, including aluminum-extruded racking system suppliers, can add value beyond the cost of parts, help reduce risk, keep construction timelines on schedule, and improve site installation quality.
Alexandria Industries, a producer and fabricator of aluminum extrusions in Alexandria, Minn., recognized the need to get involved in the local school district to boost the image of manufacturing in the eyes of students. But it didn't just volunteer to send over speakers. It heavily influenced the curriculum at the new high school and donated new manufacturing technology.
Suppliers specializing in one type of service used to be able to compete with other providers by excelling at that service and delivering top-quality products. That isn’t the case anymore.
Extruded aluminum continues to gain traction as a mainstream OEM choice for designing, engineering, and producing component parts. The alloy and the technique have marched aggressively through the awareness and understanding phases and are now solidly in adoption territory. Frequently, aluminum extrusion is an institutionalized supply chain strategy for optimizing design and engineering, reducing manufacturing costs, and accelerating time to market.
A vertically integrated aluminum extrusion supplier that provides in-house design and engineering can assist with OEM product development, creating opportunities to innovate on quality, precision, functionality, and performance, while optimizing manufacturability that lowers total cost and compresses lead-time.
Alexandria Industries has more than a decade of experience with robots. The company, which makes aluminum parts for everything from medical equipment to military rifles, is a much bigger business.