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Manufacturing BOSS



are willing to do everything it

takes to get things done. We

go above and beyond the call

of duty, and learn from our

customers every day.”


With the human side of

the business locked down,

Tyler turned his attention to

a segment of the industry

that was evolving quickly:


Vickers’ facilities contain

100 CNC (computer numeric

control) machining centers

and several automated

machining cells housed in

two SW Michigan plants,

which total 170,000 sq ft.

The commitment toward

automation with the use of

FANUC robots has given the

company a huge advantage

in the field, allowing Vickers

to compete on a global scale

with high-volume needs. The

company’s CNC machines

work in groups of two to

eight in any particular cell,

with each cell designed to

accommodate the production

of single part or a family

of parts. A standalone

FANUC robot moves the part

throughout the cell, while

the CNC machines process

the part to its dimensional


“Investment in automation has

been the key to our growth

strategy these last four years,”

Tyler shared. “It’s transformed

our competitiveness. Granted,

it’s not common in our line

of work for a company this

size to have the internal

automation capabilities

we’ve developed. CNCs are

extremely expensive, and

most of our machines are less

than five years old. But it’s

worth it. We’re hitting a 2.1

PPM in 2015—for every million

parts we ship, only two pieces

come back to us. We’re really

proud of that figure, and we

know we can improve.”