Match Made in Manufacturing

Convertech Owners Bob Gensheimer and Larry Taitel

Convertech Owners Bob Gensheimer and Larry Taitel

As the 40th anniversary of Convertech Inc. is rapidly approaching, let’s take a moment to reflect on the adventures and pivotal moments that have brought Convertech to where it is today. Today, Convertech is owned by Bob Gensheimer and Larry Taitel but their story began in 1978.

In 1978, while working with their primary company Landice Products, a treadmill manufacturer, Charles (Chuck) and Ina Taitel established Convertech Inc. with a fresh, new and innovative design for chucks and shafts. Shortly thereafter, Bob, who was just beginning his high school co-op program as a machinist at Landice Products, was brought onto the Convertech team. Bob became Chuck’s “right hand man” in no time while Chuck and Ina’s son, Larry, was serving as the financial controller for Landice Products during his time in college and graduate school.

After Landice Products was sold in 1986, Bob was for the most part buying and assembling parts alone for the next three years with a biweekly visit from Ina to pay the bills. It wasn’t until 1989 that the Taitel’s decided to fully retire but Bob and Larry were ready to take over the company. They were the perfect match as their strengths complimented each other. Bob handled most of the engineering side while Larry used his knowledge of the machine shop to market and run the business. Larry also used trade magazines to establish the Convertech name in a growing industry.

As co-owners of the company, Bob and Larry hired their first two machinists and operated their business out of a 1,800 square foot modified two car garage in Dover, NJ but the company grew very quickly. In 1991, their growth lead them to move into a 6,500-square foot building in Denville, NJ.  But they outgrew that space after only four years of their five-year lease. Finally, in 1995, Bob and Larry with their now 10 employees, moved the company to a 10,500-square foot space in an 80,000-square foot building in Wharton, NJ, where the company currently resides.

Convertech moving to the Wharton location was an important moment for the company. This was the time when Bob and Larry decided to keep all production under their control. Keeping production inhouse allowed them to maintain the high quality standards, reduce lead times, and keep their costs down. Bob and Larry’s decision changed everything for the better, especially for their customers.

Convertech Inc has now expanded to 40,000 square feet within the building, housing around 50 employees. In about 40 years, two men have taken the company and brought it to the success it is today. There are so many doors of opportunity to open and it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for Convertech Inc.

 

Convertech President Advocates for Educational Programs, Apprenticeships for Machinists

Machinists at Convertech in Wharton, NJ.

As reported by New Jersey Business Magazine, Convertech president Larry Taitel continues to lead the charge for better educational opportunities in the area of manufacturing. Taitel, who was recently invited to join Board of Advisors for Eastwick College and the Hohokus Schools in New Jersey, delivered the keynote speech to the board. He emphasized the importance of increasing hands-on class time hours and manual machining basics for the school’s curriculum; of increasing the number of opportunities that students have in New Jersey for early manufacturing classroom experiences; and for the vital need for traditional four-year machinist apprenticeships that begin at the high school level.

Taitel’s company, which has manufactured products for the printing, labeling and packaging industry for nearly four decades, has hired a number of Eastwick graduates. “The basic skills these students acquired made all the difference in our hiring decisions,” he said. “It’s obvious how much they learned at Eastwick. But we’d like to see Eastwick offer even longer and additional programs. We believe the State has done a great disservice to young students by not even proposing machining as an option. Guidance counselors don’t even mention machining as a possibility and far too many schools have dropped their metal shops and votech programs. We see the results: It has hurt manufacturers and hurt students who, when they are not academically inclined, end up in service jobs, flipping burgers and stocking shelves, instead of acquiring skills that can serve them for life, and careers with few layoffs. It’s time to change that.”

Taitel is currently reaching out to NJ State elected officials to seek their support in bringing manufacturing curriculum back to public schools, and he urges his fellow manufacturers in New Jersey and throughout the country to do the same. “There are more than 10,000 manufacturers in the State of New Jersey alone who have been hurt by our schools dropping metal shop,” he said. “If a fraction of them would come forward and contact their elected officials, this would make a huge impact.”

Not sure who your elected officials are in New Jersey? Visit: Who is my elected official?

About Convertech: Since 1978, Convertech has designed, manufactured and delivered the industry’s highest-quality air shafts and chucks. All products are custom built at Convertech’s 40,000-sq.-ft. facility in Wharton, New Jersey where they are then quality tested before being delivered.

96% of Manufacturers Expect Their Products “Connected” by 2018

According to IDC Manufacturing Insights, connected products are not only top of mind but proliferating across manufacturing segments.

As manufacturers move down the path toward creating products that have inherent connectivity to support added functionality, they also open up the possibility for many new types of aftermarket opportunities, what IDC refers to as connected services.

The report, IDC PeerScape: Manufacturing Practices to Launch a Successful Connected Service Initiatives, presents five best practices culled from research and conversations with manufacturers in the past year. It indicates manufacturers are increasingly turning to services as a means to improve profits, increase customer satisfaction, and differentiate from competitors. Connected services leverage connected products to unlock the data-captured insights coming off the products.

According to the new report:
– By 2020, onboard service revenue will grow at double the pace of product-related revenue.
– It is no longer a question of whether manufacturers need to offer connected services but what services they should offer and how quickly they can launch them.
– Connected services will redefine the manufacturer’s role and cumulative value throughout the customer life cycle.

According to the report, to date, many of the plans for connected service are in the ideation/development phase because of the significant amount of change required in processes, functional alignment, and technology to support a comprehensive connected service operation. Early adopters have been successful in launching some of the less disruptive connected services such as product monitoring and are using these as test beds for more complex initiatives.