Q: How would you describe your company’s primary business?
A: Jergens Inc. manufacturers workholding devises, specialty fasteners and lifting solutions in Cleveland, Ohio. Our flagship products include the Ball Lock Mounting System, Kwik-Lok Pins and the Lift-Check Center Pull Hoist Ring.
Q: In brief, what is the history of your company, and how has Jergens changed through the years?
A: In 1942, Jack Schron, Sr. founded Glenn Tool and Manufacturing, with his father Christy in Cleveland, OH. In response to the needs of wartime production, they began to manufacture standard components with the goal of helping American manufacturers operate quickly and more efficiently.
As business boomed, Glenn Tool changed to Jergens Inc. and the company has grown to comprise three distinct business units: Workholding Solutions, Lifting Solutions and Specialty Fasteners. Over the past 75 years, Jergens has been at the forefront of manufacturing innovation through cutting-edge technology and workforce development to continue its goal of “manufacturing efficiency”.
In 2016, Jergens opened its Fast Forward Technology Center as a STEM educational space to help students learn about the manufacturing industry, use advanced manufacturing technology and engage in project-based learning. Since its inception, Jergens has partnered with several local schools to share this space as an alternative learning program which has intern lead to apprenticeships and job placement at Jergens.
Q: What are your thoughts on Industry 4.0, or the fourth Industrial Revolution?
A: Industry 4.0 has led to increased use of automation and additive manufacturing presenting an increased need for skilled labor. With this revolution, we are also seeing smaller lot sizes and increased customer solutions for unique applications as well as changes is material.
Q: What difficulties have you faced in the American market this past year?
A: A lack of skilled employees is a trend we have seen, which is a reason we developed the Fast Forward Technology Center. We have also seen an increase in offshore competitors.
Q: What successes has your company had since last year?
A: Jergens is experiencing a steady increase in sales this year. We have added new and automated equipment, improved our process flow and we’ve introduced some new products. We have also evolved our marketing efforts to focus more on digital media.
Q: What do you want to see in the future for this industry?
A: We would like to see more of a focus on training which is again why we have developed our Fast Forward Technology Center and partner with local school districts for various alternative learning programs. A change in attitude toward the industry is also something Jergens strives to achieve, enticing youth to enter the industry. In terms of economics, less regulatory constraints would help propel this industry as well.