Author: carmenw

Digital Lab Expands Partnerships

The CIRAS Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy recently added two new partners, Pratum, an information security company, and ProPlanner, specialists in tools for complex assembly manufacturing. “Partnerships are key to our efforts to de–risk technology adoption for Iowa companies,” said Chris Hill, CIRAS program director. “Our technology partners play a key part in … Continue reading Digital Lab Expands Partnerships

Dubuque Screw Products Gains Space with New Process Flow

Iowa State sophomore engineering student and CIRAS intern Cassie Larsen was ready to take on a new challenge when she learned about an opportunity with Dubuque Screw Products (DSP). The northeast Iowa business needed a new shop layout for its expanding facility. “The company had a few ideas, but they were open to anything that … Continue reading Dubuque Screw Products Gains Space with New Process Flow

Investing in Automation for Future Growth

Lisle Corporation began business in 1903 and still uses a portion of its original building today. While rightfully proud of its history, this Clarinda–based manufacturer is forward thinking, especially when it comes to the future of its workforce. Lisle is collaborating with CIRAS to make smart decisions to help ensure they have the staff and … Continue reading Investing in Automation for Future Growth

Continuous Improvement Vital to Company’s Success

For companies new to continuous improvement (CI) or in the early stages of building a CI team, Tony Hogan has five pieces of advice: choose momentum over perfection; get comfortable in the gray; know what problems you’re solving; bring everything back to business metrics; and make progress visible. “Leave lots of space for learning,” said … Continue reading Continuous Improvement Vital to Company’s Success

Tell Your Story

“We are a great place to work” This is one of the most common things we hear when visiting companies throughout Iowa. Most of the time, they are right. Great culture, supportive leadership, strong pay and benefits—yet they still have trouble attracting employees. Why? Every employer that is looking for people says, “We are a … Continue reading Tell Your Story

Cleaning for Hope Finds Success While Helping Others

Starting a business from scratch isn’t easy, but with hard work and determination, Lily Okech made it happen. Okech is a refugee from Uganda who arrived in the United States in 2005 as a ninth-grader without the ability to read or speak English. She soon learned to do both. In 2018 Okech started Cleaning for … Continue reading Cleaning for Hope Finds Success While Helping Others

Building Your Employer Brand to Attract and Keep Talent

With more competition for employees, how your company is perceived as an employer is more important than ever. Businesses become employers of choice through solid leadership, comprehensive total rewards, engaged workers, and a company culture that employees believe in and are excited to be part of. Three actionable tactics can help your organization to strategically … Continue reading Building Your Employer Brand to Attract and Keep Talent

Making Safety a Priority

  There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all safety plan for manufacturing facilities, and nobody understands that better than Jack Hasken. Jack Hasken is president and CEO of Jackson Manufacturing, a custom plastic injection molding facility in Maquoketa. Jack runs the company with his wife, Sarah, who is instrumental in setting the company’s strategic … Continue reading Making Safety a Priority

Partnerships Help Plas-Tech Tooling Grow

Much has changed in the years since Dean and Marcia Sonquist launched Plas-Tech Tooling in 1993. The business long ago moved from the couple’s garage into a building in Garner. The company’s labor force has grown from 1 employee to nearly 30 full-time workers, and the focus of the business has broadened significantly. The Sonquists … Continue reading Partnerships Help Plas-Tech Tooling Grow

Persistence Pays Off

Landing a government contract isn’t an easy task, but it is possible—especially if you have someone knowledgeable to guide you through the process. Just ask Cinnamon Rost. Rost, who owns and operates 1809 Design in Clive, submitted her first government request for proposal (RFP) in 2020. “It was daunting, but CIRAS made it more manageable,” … Continue reading Persistence Pays Off