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Made in America: Interpower

When they first set up shop, they didn’t make anything in America. Now, they manufacture nearly everything in the U.S.

Bob Wersen founded Interpower in 1975. The company is a leading manufacturer of North American and international cords and cord sets that power everything from industrial machinery to medical equipment.

When Wersen first set up shop in Iowa, the company didn’t manufacture anything in America, but as he soon found out, the best way of doing business was to make nearly everything in America. 

Wersen founded his company with the core principles of providing value and customer service, because he was frustrated with the market. It would take days to get quotes, because it required a lot of phone tag with foreign suppliers. Interpower found a shortcut when they started making standard sizes that could ship right away. 

The company generally serves midmarket and smaller companies. Companies that aren’t in a position to buy a lot of cords at one time. They're looking to buy exactly what they need and they want it fast. If it’s a standard part, Interpower ships same day. Custom parts take one week, and it helps equipment manufacturers minimize raw material inventory. 

Made in America

Wersen remains committed to American manufacturing, because of the people. The Interpower staff is cross-trained to do everything in the factory, so when the schedule changes or something moves to the top of the queue he can direct labor to wherever it is needed. The team rallies together to keep the company nimble. 

Interpower has continued to reinvest in the company. First, they set up a cable manufacturing facility in Lamoni, Iowa. They have since expanded the plant and added state of the art manufacturing equipment. 

One of the newest investments is a custom-built extrusion machine. The extruder produces more than 1,000 feet of cord per minute, jacketed, labeled and typically sent to the plant in Oskaloosa where it is cut and assembled and shipped to the market. 

The company has also invested in elite testing facilities to make sure that when products go to be tested by various agencies, there aren't any surprises. 

Every Interpower product goes through a rigorous series of tests. The stretch’em, bake’em, tumble them and even set them on fire. All to make sure they remain reliable and safe. They not only want to meet standards, but exceed them. Often doubling expectations, because when  you're powering medical equipment, failure is not an option. 

Having a domestic cordset manufacturing resource in the United States allows American manufacturers to compete globally with the assurance that they'll be able to quickly source the cords and cordsets that they need to serve customers around the world.

Made in America is a new show from IEN that features U.S.-based companies that 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 [email protected].

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