Thursday, July 10, 2008

The result of a lot of hard work

Now that we have a clean floor, we could have a barn dance or a rave, but I think we'll maybe just wait a couple of weeks to let the concrete cure and then...
Stay tuned!

More progress...

It may look like bobcat rodeo or bobcat demolition derby, but it's really just a bunch of guys working hard!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Changes - first there was a lot of steel...

This are images from our factory floor in mid-June 2008
Stay tuned for changes!

Monday, June 23, 2008


As can be seen above, a photograph can say a thousand words!

We recently brought in a professional to get product shots, as well as people and machinery. The results will be posted on our website ( as will as in some sales and marketing literature. We expect this will show the diversity of industries and markets that we serve, highlighting our capabilities in stamping, fabrication and, as always, in quick-turn prototyping.

More to come soon!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

PMA Sales and Marketing Roundtable

Looking forward to reporting next week on the PMA Sales and Marketing Roundtable in Nashville, which is taking place this Thursday 5/15.

Topics for discussion will include - among other things - Market Trends, Quoting, Material Pricing, International Opportunities & Strategic Planning.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tooling and Manufacuring Association

We are also listed with the Tooling and Manufacturing Association - although this listing is permanent!

I am currently serving on the Marketing Committee with TMA as we work together with our peers to find the best ways of marketing this industry to the public, as well as to our customers!


PMA Member of the Month

On the website of the Precision Metalforming Association, we are now listed as the "Member of the Month!"

Click on the title of this post to get to the site and scroll down just a little.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another selection of samples

Quick-turn prototypes - we made these in 3-5 days to help our customer get their product to market quickly
These were a fun project - we produced a multitude of these for the telecommunications industry

Acquisition of these upright parts was a dire emergency for our customer, so we turned them around in rapid fashion and helped them close the deal with their customer.
A 20-piece assembly, often called a "card-cage" for the electronics industry
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Engineering examples

The frame - critical to machine stability! - for an industrial packaging customer

Industrial packaging - 7 ga. construction. This particular item is part of a major project where we are working together with our customer to reduce costs - even in the face of increased steel costs!
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Friday, April 4, 2008

We came across this article written about the incredible depth and diversity of the Chicago manufacturing base. Best I can figure, this was written in the early 1970's. Have things changed since then in Chicago (and at Laystrom - see the highlighted section on page 3) - yes and the rate of change is constantly increasing. For those of you who are 'seasoned' like I am, seeing a few of the old company names serves as a reminder of how much things have changed.

I would argue that the Greater Chicago area still has the most depth and diversity of any US manufacturing center. Many of the company names mentioned are gone, but we still have a lot of talented companies!

Has Laystrom changed -- sure. Just like Chicago, we have developed a lot more depth and diversity to what we do. Back then, we made metal stampings for 'aircraft and automotive' markets. In 2008, we still make metal stampings but our processes are just as much CNC sheet metal fabricated parts (lasers/turret press/robotic welding) and short run type metalformed parts as it is stampings. And we do very little these days for the automotive marketplace and instead concentrate on other markets - Among many other market segments, we service medical, telecom, ag. and construction equipment, packaging systems, and lab testing equipment. We do a lot of prototyping today. Bob Laystrom

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Amada Press Brake!

With 130T of forming power and a 10' bed, our Amada HDS is versatile and productive every day!

Not just a big hammer, but a practical and efficient machine!

The ability to program offline, as well as form multiple bends in one set-up is critical to our success in meeting and exceeding customers' expectations.
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Friday, March 21, 2008

Interesting article from MPO

This article is related to EMS, but the principles it speaks of apply at multiple levels.

Some good advice from Medical Product Outsourcing on choosing a supplier, and how Laystrom can help:

1. Clearly define your expectations.

This is great for both customer and vendor, creating a win-win scenario right from the start. As a manufacturer, the better we understand what the expectations are, the better we can customise solutions to fit that customers' needs.

2. Ensure that a prospective supplier’s technologies for product and process mirror your own.

Currently we are working with some customers to help align our processes with theirs. Sometimes the best option is for us to add more value by incorporating higher-level assemblies into our processes so that that customer can focus more on their areas of expertise. We have spent time with our customers helping them develop their designs so that they can best manufactured in the most efficient manner possible.

3. Since quality is the top priority, guarantee that it will remain superior at the EMS company.

I think quality has to be a given these days. Not having the appropriate standards to validate top quality production standards will create a mismatch of technologies and culture.

4. Look for a culture fit.

An excellent point! How can you do business with people you can't communicate with on all levels? This ties really strongly to an alignment of expectations and establishing that value is being created for both vendor and customer.

5. Decide if you want a supplier that will partner with you actively as you introduce the medical device.

The level of interaction between vendor and customer can be critical to success on any project. Overloading a supplier can create delays, and not outsourcing enough may overload the internal systems creating a backlog which affects time to market. This balancing act is something to consider early on with the setting of expectations and the alignment of resources. We work with many different vendors to provide multiple levels of complex solutions to help our customers make the best decision about how much to do in-house and how much to outsource.

6. Identify how a supplier ensures reliability and business continuity.

Laystrom has been around for over 50 years and has a very diverse customer base, allowing us to ride out the variations in the marketplace. We use the knowledge that we gain from all those different customers (medical, agriculture, telecommunications, packaging, appliances) to build systems that ensure we can remain competitive and consistent.

7. Don’t buy just on price.

Excellent point! Bravo! :) Seriously, this is something I have recently heard our customers talking about more and more. The "total cost" of product solutions, and the idea that proximity and embedded-engineering and service and reliability and, sometimes, just being able to pick up the phone and communicate, in critical to success. price has its place, but not at the very real cost of productivity and quality.