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Robotics Manufacturer Poised to Grow 20% Through Innovation and Exporting
Tue, 2012-03-13 15:15

Wolf Robotics, LLC located in Fort Collins, Colorado manufactures metalworking, or welding, robotic devices for equipment manufacturers. Robotic welding cells have been manufactured at the facility since 1978 as a division of the ABB Group. In 2003, Wolf Robotics became its own operation. Since November 2003, Wolf Robotics has experienced significant growth, expanding from 20 employees to 110. After a dip in revenue due to the recession, Wolf is on track to make a record year.

Wolf Robotics began working with the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology (CAMT), a NIST MEP affiliate, in 2006 to gain operational efficiencies and improve project management skills in their workforce to meet increasing customer demand. As they honed continuous improvement skills, Wolf Robotics looked to CAMT for strategic support in continuing their growth trajectory.

Working with CAMT, Wolf Robotics has increased revenue through showcasing efficient clean facilities using Visual Workplace, developing new products using structured innovation methodologies, and increasing international market penetration. Wolf Robotics, with CAMT assistance, launched an extensive Visual Workplace program to facilitate on the floor and inter-department communication, increase process efficiency, and fully engage the workforce in continuous improvement. The resulting clean, organized and efficient manufacturing facility has made factory tours an integral and dynamic aspect of their sales strategy.

Additionally, the Wolf Robotics core team participated in CAMT co-sponsored innovation workshops to learn a structured methodology for innovation. This program led the Wolf team through the creation of dozens of ideas for streamlined processes, increased marketing effectiveness, and new or improved products and services. Those ideas were then vetted through a series of processes, and a 30-day action plan was created and executed to determine feasibility of moving forward. Historically, Wolf Robotics’ revenue has stemmed from custom engineering projects. Using methodologies learned through innovation training, a series of standardized pre-defined products have been developed. These new products will contribute to achieving a projected revenue increase of 20%.

Wolf Robotics also attributes steady business growth to an increase in sales to international countries. The company participated in the CAMT ExporTech program, providing a network of resources needed to succeed in exporting. After participating in ExporTech, Wolf Robotics annual foreign revenue has grown from approximately 1% of total revenue to a projected 5% of total revenue expected.
CAMT continues to connect Wolf Robotics to opportunities and resources that encourage business growth. Recently, CAMT helped Wolf Robotics identify potential NASA technologies to enhance new product development. The CAMT-NASA Technology Program is enabling Wolf Robotics to “turn federal R&D and technology into products that will improve the efficiency of American manufacturing,” said Wolf Robotics Director of Engineering.

Results:
Created 2 new jobs
$250,000 increased sales
Cost savings of $40,000
Projected revenue growth of 20%

"Wolf Robotics has had a mutually beneficial relationship with CAMT for years. Their assistance with operational excellence initiatives has earned us compliments from several visiting customer manufacturing executives. Their assistance connecting us to resources and opportunities to further increase revenues has also been beneficial." Doug Rhoda, President

Follow this link to find a nearby NIST MEP affiliate: http://www.nist.gov/mep/find-your-local-center.cfm.