Over the past couple of years, the company has made capital investments in excess of $1 million to bolster production capacity. A robotic welder added in 2011 enables more consistent output and weld quality while speeding up throughput by approximately 50%.
In the first quarter of 2012, the company took delivery of a special purpose machine designed to more accurately facilitate higher volume cylinder tube production. This SPM completes four preparatory operations resulting in a finished, ready to weld hydraulic cylinder tube in one third the usual time.
According to Bailey, the capacity gains from the addition of these two machines are estimated to increase production in their Knoxville factory by more that 50% by end of the year with future gains anticipated. Both machines were designed and manufactured in the U.S.
But manufacturing isn’t just about machinery, it’s about people—jobs. Bailey employed as many as 70 people prior to the economic meltdown of 2008. The company currently has 134 team members with efforts underway to add 8 to 10 more in the coming weeks. Over the last six months alone, the Bailey team has grown by more than 20%.
Bailey says it has cultivated many important relationships with supply chain partners in America and abroad. Marking a shift from previous years, products currently made by U.S. companies account for 40% of Bailey’s total sales to date, representing an improvement of more than 20%. To remain competitive Bailey explains that it continues to work with key overseas suppliers to ensure that it is able to deliver quality products to its many customers. However, the company continues to increase both production and jobs opportunities in the U.S. and in its hometown Knoxville community.