Based in Wapakoneta, Ohio, FlexArm is a machine tool manufacturer known for its tapping arms that serve the metal and fabrication industries.
Since 1984, the third-generation company has been well known in the agriculture, oil and automotive markets, but their machine tools work for anyone tapping holes.
With 40 employees, FlexArm runs a lean and mean shop out of Wapakaneta, Ohio, a relatively small town with a population under 10,000. However, the company is an example of how a manufacturing footprint can have a big impact on a small town, and still sell products all over the globe. The company's tapping arms are being used at giants like Tesla, SpaceX, GM and GE.
The arm looks deceivingly simple, but it's capable of very precise work.
Made in America
Kennedy remains committed to American manufacturing because of the control and peace of mind. He has control over the process and he's not beholden to overseas partners.
The company recently opened up a new facility down the road, and it was exciting to move out of an old industrial facility that's a relic from the 1980s and into a new space.
The new facility was designed to make FlexArm production more efficient, but it's also about employee pride and creating a family-like atmosphere.
The average employee is only 33 years old. Across the manufacturing industry, the average age is 44.
Finding good people has been a challenge for FlexArm, but National Sales Manager Brandon Recker is excited to see what the future holds for the youthful team.
Four years ago, when Nick Kennedy took over the company, he inherited 8 employees. While the company is at 40 employees now, Kennedy says it was a long road. The company turned over 50-60 people in the process, all in an effort to get the right team.
To stay ahead of the competition, FlexArm as well as all American manufacturers, need to continue to reinvest in the company to stay ahead of foreign competition.
Manufacturing is America's foundation, and it’s important that companies like FlexArm remain committed to it.
Made in America is a new show from IEN that recognizes U.S.-based companies who remain committed to manufacturing in the United States.
IEN gained exclusive access to tour some incredible facilities in the nation, and speak with the key figures crucial to the companies' success.
The show is now in its second season. To recommend your company for an upcoming episode, email Tom Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org.