Tag Archives: Made in NJ

Interested in Contributing to US Manufacturing?

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day celebration, there is still a debate over who first proposed a day to celebrate the American worker. Was it the carpenter from New York or the machinist from New Jersey? The New Yorker suggested a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” (Link here) Despite the eloquence of the carpenter, this NJ company votes for the machinist. Either way, both sought to recognize the American worker and the dignity of labor.

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As we celebrate Labor Day 2016, we can’t ignore its partner every September—‘Back to School’.   And we wonder, who will teach the next generation of manufacturers? Tech schools and community colleges are partnering with local manufacturers like Sigma Design Company to give the next generation of workers the technical education and chance to start a manufacturing career in NJ. We recognize that seasoned machinists and other manufacturing tradesmen are also an integral part in this education process.

For senior workers, there might be a desire to slow down but not stop working altogether. Studs Terkel, the author of “Working”, writes “Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash…….” We think working with inventers and designers, and manufacturing right here in NJ can provide immeasurable satisfaction—and some cash.

We do honest work that leads to the creation of tangible products. As most of our work is custom and requires a multitude of talents, we’ve found that there is nothing that a group of skilled workers cannot figure out! It is that complement of training, age, and experience that makes our projects successful. We are offering experienced tradesmen an opportunity to teach their craft to the next generation of American manufacturers. If you or someone you know would like to join us, call 732-629-7555 or email Jerry Lynch at info@sigmadesign.net !

Hydraulic Power Test System Development for the United States Navy

Ken DeGraw, Sigma Design Company’s northern NJ rep recently brought in a very interesting project. We are working on a NAVSEA research program to design and build a large Hydraulic Power supply for the US Navy’s weapon testing system.CIMG3348

Sigma is very excited to work on a project with the US Navy. Talk about a project in ‘our wheelhouse’ as they say. Jerry Lynch, a ‘tin can sailor’ who served as a destroyer GMG2 gunner was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this special project supporting shipboard defense systems for Navy operations.
Michael Collins, the lead engineer on the NAVSEA project worked for the US Navy in Philadelphia before coming to Sigma. This project requires the creative design of safety features while providing 50% more power through their
Hydraulic Power Supply system. With operating pressures in excess of 3000psi the pressure compensation and hydraulic shock suppression systems were key features in the new design. This system joins the growing roster of Sigma’s manufactured in NJ products- designed and built in NJ. Sigma is proud to have the opportunity to work with the Navy to improve operational shipboard defense systems used around the globe but made in NJ.

Sigma featured in the local news

Sigma was featured in the Courier News and Home News Tribune today. The article discusses the collaboration with Sigma and inventor Raymond Green. Green, a WWII veteran, hired veteran-owned Sigma to test, refine and manufacture his patented bird-friendly wind turbine Catching Wind Power®. The project will create at least 25 manufacturing jobs in NJ.                  http://mycj.co/RZuocG

SIGMA Design Co and UNIQUE Wire Weaving Collaboration Boosts Productivity of US Industrial Wire Weaving

How do American manufacturers compete effectively in the industrial wire weaving business that supplies the medical, electronics, filtration, process and other industries? First, take a proven machine design; second work with the right US based design engineering/manufacturing firm; third, be creative and redesign the machine to double output using the same floor footprint; and four, manufacture and assemble the machines in the USA. This is the exact story of how two New Jersey companies – Unique Wire Weaving Company, Inc. of Hillside, New Jersey and Sigma Design Company of Middlesex, New Jersey collaborated to double US productivity through successful reengineering and production of a redesigned “Loom 16 Machine”.

Unique Wire Weaving Company Inc., located at 762 Ramsey Avenue, Hillside, New Jersey is  led by Mr. Ken Beyer, a fifth generation wire weaver. In business since 1946, Unique Wire produces and supplies wire mesh and filter cloth in specialty alloys and exotic metals, weaving wire as fine as 0.0008” diameter. They are known for their strong technical capabilities and quality products and are committed to producing in the USA for supply to the medical, electronics, filtration, process and other industries.

The challenge for Unique Wire was that it had several 1950s looms that worked well, but they needed these machines to have greater precision and higher production speed thereby adding capacity at their existing facility at minimal cost. For this machine conversion project, Ken Beyer turned to Sigma Design Company, LLC, a company that offers comprehensive services – including prototyping and mechanical design engineering through machine and product manufacturing, validation and assembly at its ‘Technology Commercialization and New Product Manufacturing Center’ in central New Jersey.

Unique Wire Weaving Loom 16The result was that Ken Beyer and Sigma Design developed and built a modified loom – Loom 16, using the common base, but completely redesigned and built a new wire feed system and drive train assembly. This allowed a two-fold increase in both production speed and production volume using the same machine footprint that had been used for years – thus increasing productivity in the same space. The redesign also improved controls to allow them to broaden the products that are manufactured on this machine – such as weaving precise tungsten mesh  that was previously not possible  on these machines. Sigma Design will continue to work together with Unique Wire to find ways to help them to build more capacity with solid ROI. This type of ongoing collaboration, four years to date by these two New Jersey companies, is the foundation of creating a New Manufacturing Era for New Jersey and the USA.

SIGMA Design Company – Collaborative Engineering for Improved USA Productivity

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Our POV: High Tech Manufacturing by Small Businesses Is Key Driver for Job Creation in NJ and USA

Since the peak of 2.5 million US high tech jobs in 2000, the US has lost 687,000 of those desirable manufacturing jobs. Meanwhile, about 85% of R&D growth in US multinational corporations since 2004 has been based abroad. These trends reflect an emphasis by large US corporations on high growth and low cost labor markets found overseas over the past decade – especially in China*. The good news is that now economists estimate that production cost differentials between US and Chinese markets are rapidly dwindling – with a very narrow gap expected by 2015**. SIGMA believes US small business manufacturers are nimble and competitive enough to grow and lead the turnaround in high-tech production and employment in the USA. Read on to find out “how”.

“In New Jersey the creation of about 40,000 new jobs (only 12% of our current manufacturing base) would restore the manufacturing sector back to its peak level. This is a realistic goal over the coming few years”, proclaimed Lynch of SIGMA. “If we could start more small manufacturing businesses that each create 25 to 50 jobs per company, then we will be well on the road to reestablishing our hi-tech manufacturing might. Each small manufacturing firm needs to buy screws, paint, machining, plastic which all builds momentum”, he added. A recent Business Week article confirms his point – “manufacturing still has the highest leverage factor of any sector. It creates much more value and many more ancillary jobs than any other sector”***  And the National Association of Manufacturing (NAM) indicates that each dollar’s worth of manufactured goods creates another $1.43 of activity in other sectors, twice the $.71 multiplier for services.

For its part, SIGMA will follow its successful B2B technology commercialization model. One example is a diagnostic laboratory apparatus that SIGMA newly designed in 2011 for the US market and which SIGMA has been producing monthly since August 2011 (see our Sept 2011 blog article) . This product is creating steady work for SIGMA employees and for numerous local suppliers. Significantly, about 40% of sales are for export, which is also beneficial for the US trade balance, the US dollar and for US competitiveness. SIGMA is committed to repeating this local B2B commercialization-production model for other highly engineered products at our New Product Manufacturing Center in Middlesex, NJ. Come join us!

Sigma Design Company – Promoting the New American Manufacturing Era

Sources: *Manufacturing.net, **Boston Consulting Group, ***Business Week

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SIGMA Upgrades National Ohmsett Testing Facility in Leonardo, NJ

SIGMA Upgrades National Ohmsett Testing Facility in Leonardo, NJ

Oil spills in waterways or the Gulf of Mexico are serious business and call for innovative water cleaning technologies. To test emerging technologies for oil spill clean up, many turn to the Ohmsett National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility, located in Leonardo, New Jersey – right on the Raritan Bay about one hour south of New York City.  Sigma Design Company of Middlesex New Jersey (SIGMA) was awarded a contract to lead the upgrade of the Ohmsett Test Facility.

Ohmsett Test Platform - Delivery

Ohmsett Test Platform – Delivery

The Ohmsett National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility is the largest outdoor saltwater wave/tow tank facility in North America. This is the only facility where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research, and training can be conducted in a marine environment with oil under controlled environmental conditions (waves and oil types).  The Ohmsett Test Facility is maintained and operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Recently the Ohmsett Test Facility served as the test site of more than seven different systems that competed for a first prize of $1.4 million in the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE for highly effective oil spill cleanup methods. The facility also has the mission as a research and testing venue for wave energy conversion devices.

Ohmsett Test Platform - Placement

Ohmsett Test Platform – Placement

With such increased levels of activity, the 50 year old Ohmsett Test Facility needed an upgrade and critical components needed improvement, especially the test platform – which is affectionately called the Aux Bridge.

Unique in many ways, the Ohmsett test platform is a hybrid bridge/test platform – that is 70 feet long and weighs 35,000 lbs. Test systems are towed through the seawater tank, which is 650 feet long, 65 feet wide and 12 feet deep. The lab can also create 2 to 3 foot waves to better simulate open water challenges in firefighting and oil spill clean up.

After a competitive bidding process, SIGMA was awarded an engineering contract to design and manage the construction, as the owner’s representative, of a new test platform for Ohmsett. The major design challenges were to develop a larger test structure that was safer, easier to use allowing quicker operational set ups while reducing the overall weight, and increasing operational test load capacity.

Ohmsett Test Platform - Installation

Ohmsett Test Platform – Installation

SIGMA analyzed, designed and managed every part of the new testing system by using 3D design software, FEA structural analysis methods and mechanical engineering competencies. The platform was validated by:                1) alignment testing – to ensure “she” rolls straight when pulled 6 knots; 2) load testing- with over 80,000 lbs; and finally 3) operational testing – while being pulled 6 knots through seawater tank.

With the completed installation and acceptance of the new test platform in January 2012, the Ohmsett Test Facility is ready to serve oil spill clean up and wave energy technology testing needs for many years to come.

Sigma Design Company – Solution Analysis, Design and Construction/Installation Management 

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Sigma Design Company Exports Fuel Filter Testing System For Army Desert Vehicles – A Global Collaboration

Anyone who has waited too long between car oil changes knows how things start to slow down and wear out. Now imagine sitting in a military vehicle in the desert on a critical mission; well this is not the time for your diesel fuel filter to be clogged or you will be a “sitting duck”. What to do? Well the Army conducts extensive testing on automotive fuel filters to avoid such events and to ensure efficient operation of military vehicles used in desert terrain. For this important preventative work the Army is using a new state-of-the-art Fuel Filtration Testing System that was made by Sigma Design Company Middlesex, New Jersey. On December 1, 2011 Sigma Design and IFTS Inc. USA shipped the first system for export to the Middle East.

Fuel Filter Test System of Sigma Design Company

The order was initiated from Chrysler Egypt and US TACOM earlier this year and IFTS, Inc. USA collaborated with Sigma Design Company to develop and fabricate the system. The Fuel Filtration Testing System was designed from scratch and the work started with a visit to Cairo by Jerry Lynch, President of Sigma Design, for a pre-concept engineering design meeting with the Egyptian Army engineers. Parts were designed and sourced in the USA, then assembled into a complete system and finally validated through strict protocols prior to shipment of the 10 x 5 x 7 foot laboratory system.

This diagnostic laboratory based filtration equipment will test diesel fuel filters for efficiency and dirt holding and retention capacity for mission critical vehicles to be used by the Egyptian Army. This effort is part of global automotive filter manufacturers’ requirement under ISO 4020 for diesel fuel filter testing. The laboratory system is being procured under the “Buy America” project of the United States Army.

Fuel Filter Testing System (inner)      of Sigma Design Company

The Fuel Filter Test System determines the filtration efficiency and lifecycle capacity per ISO 4020. The Army will test filters for use on various fleet vehicles including Diesel / Petrol engines (2.4 & 4.0L gas engines, 2.8LVM diesel engines, 4 / 6 / 8 Cylinder Jeeps).

“This is a great example of Sigma Design’s role in bringing global manufacturing for export back to New Jersey”, explained Jerry Lynch, President of Sigma Design.  “With increased orders for filtration laboratory equipment like this, Sigma Design expects to hire additional engineers in 2012”, he added.

The client turned to IFTS and Sigma Design Company due to their special expertise in applied engineering and science for filtration for all types of substances – such as oil, water, blood and other fluids. Sigma Design was selected by IFTS because Sigma had previously designed and supplied the United States Navy with a filter test system to evaluate desalination pre-filters on the CVNX Aircraft Carriers as well as their experience in the development of laboratory equipment and appliances.

Lynch, who is also co-owner of IFTS, Inc. USA, has been active for 25+ years in the area of filtration systems design and testing and has served on the Board of the American Filtration and Separations Society (AFS) for over 10 years (http://www.afssociety.org/). In fact, Lynch was the AFS National Chairman for 2006-2007.

With this set of competencies and manufacturing track record, the Sigma Design/IFTS collaboration is ready to deal with any type of filtration challenge. And with Sigma Design’s new 20,000 square foot Technology Commercialization and New Product Manufacturing Center that opened October 2011, Sigma looks forward to designing and assembling many new highly engineered filtration systems in the coming years.

Sigma Design Company – Promoting a New Manufacturing Era in New Jersey and USA

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