An interview with Jack Schron, President and CEO of Jergens, Inc. featured in Assembly Magazine
What does Factory of the Future mean to you and Jergens as a manufacturer?
JS: The factory of the future means staying on top of cutting edge of technology. It is deploying various advanced technologies in all aspects of our business. I see the factory of the future not only being a smart factory, but a secure factory. A smart factory is the basis of the internet of things. Its foundation is built upon communication, connectivity, adaptability, and autonomy. We are living in the beginning stages of this factory with the use of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, real time analytics, and sensor communications across the globe. With rapid technology advancements in the smart factory, the importance of security in todays world is monumental. A secure factory gives us the ability to create parts and systems without error. The secure factory needs to focus on data encryption. Not only does it protect us against security breaches, but it allows stricter proprietary controls.
What measures has Jergens taken over the years to continue to grow and stay on the cutting edge of technology and develop its factory?
JS: At Jergens, our manufacturing area is not just a factory, it’s a technology distribution center. It’s our mission to continually improve our products, processes, and services. We are an inclusive facility employing the most talented and creative experts in the industry to evolve our business.
Technology is also sometimes seeing things before they were a thing. In the early 2000s, many people thought manufacturing wouldn’t exist in the United States. Jergens sensed there would be a skilled labor shortage. We took that opportunity to develop an online training venue of industrial manufacturing skills called Tooling University. Since its launch in 2001, Tooling U has enrolled over half a million students. Our next gen of Tooling U is Jergens Fast Forward Technology Center.
Can you tell me a little more about Fast Forward – the meaning behind the name, it’s goals, and the vision?
JS: Fast Forward Technology Center was designed to target students at an early age to close the manufacturing skills gap. It’s project-based learning that acts as a supplement to in-classroom education. Engineers today want to be on the manufacturing floor working with parts and Fast Forward is a hands-on experience and training center right on our shop floor. We developed Fast Forward to not only attract people in industrial skills, but also attract students interested in STEM to manufacturing. Since we opened the doors in 2016, we’ve had over 2000 visitors.
What technologies has ASG implemented or are currently developing to help your customers have a factory of the future?
JS: ASG is continuously pushing the boundaries in the assembly industry. ASG also partners with worldwide brands such as Fiam, Hios, Gedore, and TM Robotics to provide their customers an array of exceptional products. With over 40 years of experience, ASG sets the highest standards and continues to lead in assembly innovation. ASG Precision Fastening proudly manufactures the X-PAQ at our world headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. The X-PAQ, an acronym for Precision, Accuracy, and Quality, is a world-renowned precision torque and angle DC electric fastening system. ASG Automation was developed in early 2015 to provide custom automated solutions for their customers applications. Together, ASG’s skilled team devotes countless hours in research and development; continually striving to create the Factory of the Future.