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Implementing Automation to Improve Welding Quality

Nelson Manufacturing logo

value createdNelson Manufacturing Company builds innovative, state of the art trailers, cranes and ground support equipment. In 1946, the founders, Jack and Virginia Nelson, moved to Leipsic, Ohio to build their first Nelson Trailer. The company was officially started one year later and remains a family owned business to this day. Nelson Manufacturing Company specializes in the design, manufacturing and sales of specialty semi-trailers for the crane, rigging, construction, heavy haul, over size and aerospace markets. Now headquartered in Ottawa, Ohio, the company does business throughout North America, Australia and Europe.

CIFT, the Northwest Ohio MEP center, first connected with Nelson Manufacturing through a cold call in 2018. Since then, our manufacturing experts have partnered with Nelson Manufacturing on a variety of projects involving energy, automation and workforce. For one of the automation projects, Nelson Manufacturing needed help to improve the consistency of their welding quality. A beginning discovery meeting identified that Nelson Manufacturing needed to switch from manual to automated welding.

CIFT has an extensive resource network of service providers for projects that require specific expertise. We partnered with CLOOS Robotic Welding Inc., a company that provides customized automated turnkey welding solutions, and project managed for Nelson Manufacturing. Together, we designed, developed and fabricated an automation system that would ensure optimum compatibility for Nelson Manufacturing’s operation. The project included offsite and onsite programming and training, installation, maintenance training and preventative maintenance for one year.

The welding automation resulted in $19,000,000 in increased/retained sales, 75 new jobs and $92,000 saved costs. Since the automation will ultimately reduce labor costs and increase productivity, Nelson Manufacturing has the potential to save an additional $200,000 per year.

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