South Bend, Ind.-based supplier Clean Seal Inc. has passed its ISO 9001:2008 Surveillance Audit, according to a news release.
Clean Seal received its audit from National Quality Assurance USA Inc. The release stated that by passing the audit Clean Seal demonstrates “a continued commitment to meet rigorous criteria for assuring quality in the products and/or services they provide their customers.”
The process of achieving ISO 9001:2008 has enabled Clean Seal to continue to improve and streamline its operations. The company said that it also reinforces Clean Seal’s long-standing commitment to its clients and business partners.
Clean Seal, founded in 1978, is a national manufacturer and distributor of weather stripping materials to the bus, rail, general transportation, appliance, boating and recreational vehicle industries. The company also stocks an extensive line of rubber hose and recently added a line of electromagnetic shielding products.
HiSpec Wheel & Tire Inc., a supplier of aluminum wheels to the RV, medium truck and niche automotive industries, announced the certification of the company’s quality system based on the ISO 9001 standards.
According to a press release, international standards such as those required by ISO 9001 are critical to original equipment manufacturers and play an integral role in the quality of products they produce. ISO standards are also a key component in providing greater protection for consumers and the environment.
“This is a major step in our continuous effort as the industry leader in providing the safest and most reliable RV and specialty trailer wheels to our customers,” said Jim Guibert, director of sales and marketing for Mishawaka, Ind.-based HiSpec Wheel & Tire. “We have always been a leader and innovator in our industry and our ISO accreditation is yet another way that HiSpec differentiates itself from the competition in the specialty trailer and heavy-duty wheel manufacturing industry.”
“The fact that we were able to achieve it in nine months is an indication of the organization that has always been part of the HiSpec way,” added Ron Williams, general manager at HiSpec. “Moving forward we are committed to meeting our customer’s needs and providing innovative solutions and products at a competitive price. This is just another step to improve the quality and safety standards in the RV and specialty trailer industries.”
Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Ultra-Fab Products Inc. has introduced the Ultra 30-inch scissor jacks, designed to add stability to travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and horse and cargo trailers.
According to a press release, the scissor jacks install easily by welding or bolting to the RV frame with 3-inch by 10-inch multi-hole mounting plates. The jacks are ruggedly constructed and feature a black powder coat finish that resists rust. A strong worm gear jacking mechanism eliminates slipping and the 5-inch by 9-inch footpads help combat sinking and tilting.
Once installed, the Ultra 30-inch scissor jacks are easy to operate. By using the hand crank that is included in the Twin-Pack, simply crank the jacks down until they are firm against the surface. And since they extend from 4 3/4 inches to 30-inches, the scissor jacks will offer stability even if the campsite is not level.
One of the unique features of Ultra-Fab’s scissor jacks is the use of a thread and nut at each end that work together when lowering or raising the unit. The company said the design allow RVers to move the jacks up or down 20% faster than other brands.
If RVers want to eliminate hand cracking, an Ultra Speed Socket scissor jack drill accessory is available. The 30-inch Scissor Jack also comes in a single pack but that does not include the hand crank.
The Ultra 30-inch scissor jacks are available through Arrow Distributing, Keystone Automotive, Stagparkway, NTP, Bell and Northern.
Hickory, N.C.-based components supplier Hickory Springs Manufacturing Co. has introduced the patented Fall-Away Cross Bar, a mechanism designed to raise the comfort level in sleeper sofas.
According to a press release, the Fall-Away Cross Bar is designed to sit 2.5 inches lower than previous models, creating a gap between the mattress and the bar so the sleeper does not experience any discomfort. While the middle bar of the mechanism is necessary for support when the sofa is in a seating position, once the bed is opened, the Fall-Away Cross Bar rotates to its lower position.
The new sleeper mechanism will be offered to all existing customers at no additional cost, making it an industry standard from Hickory Springs. The Fall-Away Cross Bar can be used in all towable and motorized RV models.
“Our new Fall-Away Cross Bar is a ‘hidden value product.’ You may not see the difference, but you can definitely feel it,” said Mickey Thomas, director of sales for the company’s JSI division based in Elkhart, Ind. “There is nothing else like it on the market. Complaints about the discomfort of RV beds are legendary. It was time to get innovative to eliminate the mid-back discomfort RVers feel due to the middle bar of a hide-away bed digging into their body. This truly gives our customers a unique selling point.”
Hickory Springs sleepers come with innerspring or foam mattresses in a wide range of sizes, lengths and depths, complete with a convenient patented Headlock Dual-Locking TV Headrest.
Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier D&W Inc. announced the following hires and promotions:
• Angie Reed has been promoted to general manager. She will be responsible for day-to-day operations in the mirror and glass division. Reed previously worked in the company’s sales department and has more than 15 years of experience in the RV industry, as well as 10 years of management and purchasing experience. She is a resident of Elkhart.
• Paul Warning has been promoted to plant manager. He will be responsible for managing production and maintenance departments in the mirror and glass division. Warning has been with the company for 10 years. He earned a bachelor’s in biochemistry from Purdue University and a master’s in biology from Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis.
• Jay Riblet has been hired as a sales representative. He will focus on maintaining and increasing the customer base in the distribution and the mirror and glass divisions. Riblet, who graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s in general studies, is a resident of Elkhart.
• Shannon Eary has been hired as a buyer in the mirror and glass division. She will be responsible for daily purchasing of raw materials, negotiating with suppliers and controlling inventory levels. Eary has more than eight years of purchasing and inventory control experience, as well as 15 years of experience in the RV industry. She is a resident of Elkhart.
Founded in 1967, D&W D&W has continued to grow and has become a key supplier of mirror, heat ducting products, heating and AC outlets and sealants to the RV industry.
William Kuehne has joined Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Elixir Industries Inc. as division manager of its aluminum extrusion and RV products for its reopened facility in Mishawaka, according to a press release.
Previously Kuehne has held management positions with companies supplying the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing, mass transit and heavy truck industries.
Elixir President and COO Dwight Knowles reported that the Mishawaka plant, which had been in operation for over 35 years, reopened in 2011 with a number of additional offerings. Since reopening, the division has introduced an RV entry door with a production process that is “one of a kind in the industry,” according to Knowles.
He noted that new and additional jobs will become available at the Mishawaka location as the division restarts idled equipment and customer demand continues to increase.
White Plains, N.Y.-based Drew Industries Inc., parent to recreational vehicle and manufactured housing suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., posted first-quarter sales that eclipsed any quarter in the company’s history.
According to the company, revenue increased 32% to $224 million in the first quarter, ended March 31, compared with $169 million the year prior. The sales growth, boosted by recent acquisitions, was primarily the result of a 34% sales increase by Drew’s RV segment. The RV segment accounted for 87% of Drew’s consolidated net sales.
Net income during the quarter was $11.1 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, compared to net income of $9.4 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, a year ago.
“Over the past few months, retail demand in the RV industry has improved,” said Fred Zinn, Drew’s president and CEO. “Despite continued concerns about high unemployment and slower economic growth in the U.S., industry-wide retail sales of travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs increased more than 6% for the three months ended February 2012, compared to the year-earlier period. Although the RV industry is sensitive to economic conditions, we are optimistic about the potential for long-term growth in retail demand for RVs.”
Jason Lippert, CEO of Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components and Kinro, added, “As we expected, the acquisitions we completed and the new products we introduced over the past two years added substantially to our sales growth in our core markets and adjacent markets in the first quarter of 2012. This sales growth, combined with significant increases in industry-wide production of both RVs and manufactured homes, was a great start for the year.”
Drew reported that sales growth continued in April 2012, reaching approximately $80 million, 34% higher than in April 2011. Excluding the impact of acquisitions, Drew’s net sales for April 2012 were up approximately 22%. Sales orders for May have remained strong.
As anticipated, the company’s operating margin improved in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, which was impacted by higher material costs, higher production costs in one product line and start-up and integration costs.
Drew will provide an online, real-time webcast and rebroadcast of its first quarter 2012 earnings conference at www.drewindustries.com today at 11 a.m. Eastern. Individual investors can also listen to the call at www.companyboardroom.com.
To view the entire report click here.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) completed several key acquisitions and new product introductions during 2011 and early 2012 that positioned the company to expand into new markets. In turn, the company also began manufacturing aluminum extrusions at a 300,000 square-foot facility in Elkhart, which is currently running three presses and has the capacity to expand further.
“One of the key developments for Lippert in 2011 was the addition of Lippert Extrusions,” said LCI President Scott Mereness in a press release. “We launched this operation to meet both our internal needs for extruded aluminum, and to service the larger Midwestern market.”
Recent growth by LCI included greater market penetration into the cargo, truck cap, horse, livestock and other specialty trailer industries. Its new aluminum extrusion facility will produce parts for all its products sold to those industries. Mereness explained that Lippert Extrusions would help to open new markets and be part of the growth engine for Lippert Components and its sister company, Kinro Inc., over the next five years.
“Adding the extrusions plant was not only good vertical integration, but also enables us to sell a significant portion of the plant’s output to new outside markets,” Mereness said. “As we add capacity, we will be able to sell quality aluminum extrusions to manufacturers and assemblers we have never reached before. Any manufacturer in need of high quality aluminum extrusions is now our potential customer.”
Lippert noted that all scrap from the extrusion process is recycled into aluminum raw material for reuse. In addition, the powder coat process used by Lippert Extrusions is environmentally friendly and more durable and scratch resistant than liquid paint.
For more information, call (574) 535-1125 or visit www.lippertcomponents.com.
Patrick Industries Inc., a supplier of building and component products for the recreational vehicle manufactured housing and industrial markets, reported growth in sales and earnings for the Elkhart, Ind.-based company’s first quarter ended April 1.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2012 were $102.7 million compared to $69.5 million in the same quarter of 2011, an increase of $33.2 million or 47.8%. The sales increase reflected a 57% increase in the company’s revenue from the RV industry and a 36% increase in revenue from the MH industry, which represented approximately 69% and 18% of first quarter 2012 sales, respectively.
Approximately $11.6 million of the revenue improvement was attributable to acquisitions completed since June 2011, with the remaining $21.6 million increase primarily attributable to increased RV market penetration, improved residential cabinet and furniture business in the industrial market, and a 10% increase in quarterly wholesale unit shipments in the RV industry.
Patrick post net income of $5 million or 47 cents per diluted share, an increase of $6.2 million or 60 cents per diluted share, over the net loss of $1.2 million or $0.13 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2011. First quarter 2012 net income included a non-cash charge of $1.7 million or $0.16 per diluted share related to mark-to-market accounting for common stock warrants. The first quarter 2011 net loss was impacted by non-cash charges related to the refinancing of Patrick’s former credit facility.
“We are pleased and energized by our improved first quarter revenue growth and profitability as we are realizing many of the benefits of strategic and operational initiatives executed over the past three years as well as the sacrifices, commitment, and dedication of our team members,” said Todd Cleveland, president and CEO. “Our acquisition initiatives have contributed to our overall profitability and we believe the addition of key team members to the Patrick organization will continue to provide ongoing benefits as we continually focus on bringing value-added innovative products and services to our customers.”
To view the full report click here.
NTP Distribution Inc. today (April 23) announced the opening of a new shipping warehouse within Keystone Automotive’s Kansas City, Mo., distribution center on April 30. Similar to NTP’s recent opening and moves in Exeter, Pa., Corona, Calif., and Austell, Ga., RV products will occupy a section of this 250,000-square-foot facility.
The company also announced it will be closing its distribution center in Elkhart, Ind. Customers who had been serviced from Elkhart will receive service starting April 25 out of NTP’s Exeter, Atlanta or Kansas City distribution centers. The company said this will coincide with a significant increase in the number of customers receiving next-day fleet service on their orders as a result of Keystone acquiring NTP last October.
“As we’ve said since we became a part of Keystone, we’re all about growth,” said Greg Boyd, president of Wilsonville, Ore.-based NTP. “This is just another step in our ability to service our customers better, allowing us to penetrate areas like the Great Plains states and Colorado with improved delivery services.”
“Our goal is to continue to provide our customers with the best service in the industry. We have taken special measures to avoid disruption in service while we make the transition,” said Sean Hennessy, director of operations for NTP.