IN THE GROOVE: Scot A. Jones, CEO of Groov-Pin Corp., said that even though “the economy is not growing that quickly right now, we’re encouraged by what seems to be a return to America of manufacturing.”
PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS
By Patricia Daddona PBN Staff Writer
Manufactured products like grooved pins are commonly used in lawn sprinklers on golf courses, in fire hydrants and in bike kickstands.
“If you look really carefully, you’ll see them in a dentist’s drill, but you’re probably preoccupied,” said Scot A. Jones, CEO of Groov-Pin Corp.
Groov-Pin and its subsidiary, Precision Turned Components, operate from facilities in Smithfield and Newnan, Ga., as well as at field-application offices around the country.
The company has made the patented fasteners since 1926, Jones said, adding threaded inserts in the 1950s. The firm developed its precision turning component lines, which had been around since the 1940s, to serve the telecommunications industry in the 1980s.
Like the grooved pins, the threaded inserts and custom-made precision parts have useful applications, though they might not be easily recognizable products to the uninitiated, Jones said.
For example, threaded inserts hold together the cable junction boxes on telephone poles to keep the elements away from the electronics. They hold trim in some of the BMW dashboards and can be found in wood furniture projects that require assembly, he said.
Likewise, precision turning components can be found in sutures used in endoscopic surgery, in connections for satellite communications and cell-phone towers, and even in the connections of airline power and battery cables, Jones said.
Each of Groov-Pin’s many products provide a strength, durability and reliability upon which the company has built its reputation, Jones said.
The threaded inserts, for instance, enhance the holding power of a fastener in a soft metal like aluminum, improving the clamping force so fewer and smaller fasteners can be used to accomplish the same result, he explained.
One of the biggest changes in this industry, partly in response to the economic downturn, has been a reduction in the setup times and lead times – that is, the time it takes the manufacturer either to prepare the job to get ready to run or complete the job from start to finish.
Ten years ago, Jones said, it was not unusual to have 12 weeks of lead time.
“Today, we’re shipping many of our products in an average lead time of 20 days,” he said. This increased demand from customers “makes a lot of sense, because our customers were experiencing the downturn as well, so they’re trying to be more responsive and competitive.”