Partnership with Rockwell Automation a Win-Win for MB Kit Systems Customers

There can’t be too many U.S. manufacturers who haven’t heard of Rockwell Automation.  The Milwaukee provider of industrial automation and information products employs 22,000 people, with global sales and support capabilities, customers in more than 80 countries and sales of more than $6 billion annually.

The company’s product lines have grown tremendously since its days of supplying automatic starters and switches, circuit breakers, relays and other electric equipment during World War I. Today, Rockwell Automation’s capabilities extend to every aspect of the factory floor, including advanced process controls, design & operations software, drive systems, motion control, motor control centers, safety components and more. With continued growth in factory automation, the industrial automation giant is sure to have a hand in the success of many U.S. and global manufacturers.

However, as extensive as the company’s capabilities are, the full implementation of Rockwell Automation’s solutions oftentimes relies on the expertise and assistance of other suppliers.  That’s where its Encompass Partner Program comes in.

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MB Kit Systems Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

MB Kit Systems celebrates 20 years in Akron, OH

MB Kit Systems Inc., dba item North America, is proud to announce its 20th year anniversary as the first company to offer the item Machine Building System in North America!


As the first U.S. company to provide this innovative aluminum framing system, the sales & engineering teams at MB Kit Systems have unique expertise in designing and building mechanical solutions for a wide range of custom machine building, linear motion, material handling, safety guarding and stair and platform applications.


Even after two decades in Akron, Ohio, MB Kit Systems has continued to improve the capabilities we offer our partner network. Just this year, we added a second Multicam 5000 router, a Haas VF-4 vertical CNC machine, and an upgraded saw to increase production! These additions not only further expand our in-house capabilities beyond assembly of item aluminum framing systems but also enable us to better optimize component processing and decrease turnaround times.


MB Kit Systems

Our technical expertise is matched by our attention to customer service. Our sales team manages each order and project, providing customers with an easy single point of contact. Investments in technology enable us to offer proactive notifications with automatic shipping confirmation emails to ensure customers are informed when their order has shipped, how it’s shipped, and when it’s going to arrive.
Our 20 years serving U.S. manufacturing companies have enabled us to become experts in designing and building effective mechanical solutions. With thousands of completed solutions, we have learned best practices for building machine bases & frames, safety guarding and enclosures, material handling solutions, and belt-driven linear actuators. Partners of MB Kit Systems Inc. in Akron, Ohio, can be confident they are collaborating with the leading item extruded aluminum framing experts in the United States, with the most experience designing and building custom mechanical solutions.
Contact us or call 888-729-4500 for assistance with your next project. 
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Reshoring: Bringing Manufacturing Back to the US

Manufacturing companies are shifting production facilities back to the United States, a trend referred to as reshoring. Based on a survey of manufacturing executives from the Boston Consulting Group and discussed in Industry Week, companies are showing a growing inclination toward reshoring, reversing a trend two years ago of expected additional manufacturing investments in China. In the chart below, the difference becomes clear. From 2013-2015, interest in locating new manufacturing capacity in China dropped 10 percent.

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Ohio and MB Kit Systems: Vital Partners in Aerospace Industry

Ohio holds a special place as the foundation and catalyst for the aerospace industry. It was Dayton, Ohio, that was at the forefront of aerospace development, serving as the Wright Brothers’ home base and research lab. After patenting and growing into one of the first airplane manufacturers, they proved the viability of engine- propelled aircraft. Ohio’s impact on the aerospace industry expanded further throughout the 20th century.

Ohio manufacturing businesses converted to wartime production during WWII, with aerospace businesses and other manufacturers providing much-need parts for military aircraft. In 1941, the precursor to NASA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, established the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory in Cleveland. By locating one of its largest research centers in Ohio, NASA could recruit and develop its  astronauts locally; a total of 25 astronauts hailed from Ohio. This facility is now just one of NASA’s 10 locations in the United States and continues to conduct engine-based research as the John Glenn Research Center.

After Cleveland was chosen as the location for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Research Facility, Ohio quickly became a location for astronauts to be trained and recruited. Aerospace manufacturing expanded in the 1950s, as part supplies and engineering firms grew, keeping Ohio involved in various civilian and military projects. MB Kit Systems continues this tradition by building custom machine frames, specialty enclosures and work platforms for aerospace suppliers and companies.

NASA Glenn Research, home of astronauts

NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio

Beyond the success of NASA in Ohio, the private and public sectors invested heavily in the state. Various research facilities developed in Ohio, including the University of Dayton Research Institute, which allowed cutting edge research to take place and attracted additional companies. Over the years, numerous aerospace testing and production facilities launched in the state, including Orbital Research Inc., Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics. Ohio grew to become an integral part of aerospace production and, to this day, Ohio companies are the largest suppliers to both Airbus and Boeing. 2016 is also a notable year for the NASA Glenn Research Center as this marks the 75th year that they have been innovating within a range of propulsion technologies.

Current Aerospace Industry Impact

The U.S. aerospace and defense industry is poised to add 39,443 jobs in 2016, an increase of about 3.2% and the first job growth in the sector in five years”

The aerospace industry is one of the largest export centers for the United States and estimates place “total aerospace and defense gross exports in 2015 at $143.3 billion”

The estimated impact of the aerospace industry has an $8 billion impact on the Ohio economy. Notably, Wright Patterson Air Force Base has a $5 billion impact on the state economy. NASA Glenn Research Center also contributes $1.3 billion to Ohio’s gross state product. Mike Heil, president of OAI (Ohio Aerospace Initiative), estimates that more than 1,200 Ohio companies are generating $2.13 billion in sales and are employing nearly 130,000 workers for the production of airplane parts. The state’s education system supports the ongoing growth and development of this industry, with the University of Dayton and the University of Cincinnati each maintaining aviation and aerospace research centers, with a total of 10 state universities offer aerospace doctorates.

Custom assemblies for aerospace applications

MB Kit Systems has years of experience successfully collaborating with suppliers and manufacturers in the aerospace industry. Our can design complex machine bases, and assembly equipment meeting exact specifications.

The item Machine Building Kit System enables us to design and build precise mechanical solutions including beltdriven linear actuators, roller conveyors, and safety hard guarding. The versatile and modular aluminum system enables MB Kit Systems to provide solutions that are adaptable to workflow changes.

Take advantage of MB Kit Systems' no-cost engineering services for your next aerospace related project. For a catalog, brochures, or to start your next project, contact our sales support team now!

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T-slotted Aluminum Profiles: Reusable and Reconfigurable

National-environmental-education-foundationAs students across the United States gain increased awareness of environmental issues during National Environmental Education Week, April 17-23. It is the responsibility of everyone, including manufacturing companies, to be mindful of our environment impact and find ways to curb inefficiency and remove unnecessary waste.

One way for manufacturers to adopt environmentally friendly principles is by utilizing item’s Machine Building Kit System. item’s high-quality extruded aluminum profiles enable manufacturers and solutions builders to design and build modular mechanical solutions that can be updated as needed, reused, and easily recycled.
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IIoT: The Industrial Internet of Things

IIoT Industrial Internet of Things item North America
The IIoT is Changing How Manufacturer Plan for the Future

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a catch-all phrase for the network of communications between formerly non-computer-connected objects. Within the manufacturing community, another term has been defined, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This covers any technology and software that allows for the capturing, processing and transfer of information between different sensors gathering new data. This new information can help increase production efficiency, improve logistics, and bring constant improvement to the production process. While IoT is just taking off, there have been many tangible benefits and case studies from manufacturers at the forefront of fully connected factories. 

One possible benefit of IoT, cited by Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, is increased ROI from the extended use of equipment through better production and failure analysis. 

If we can take an aircraft engine, and if we can get 10 percent moretime on wing for that engine, that’s worth billions of dollars to our customers,” he said. “But you have to be able to do a better job on analytics and modeling failure, and things like that.

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Custom Machining Expands with Additional CNC Router

At MB Kit Systems in Akron, Ohio, we’re proud to announce we have doubled our panel processing capacity with a second CNC Router. The design and processing of custom panels are a core service offered by MB Kit Systems. Panels are utilized for enclosures, workstations, tabletops, testing rigs, and other mechanical solutions our engineers design. Depending on the application, specific panel materials will be suggested by engineers to ensure the most appropriate materials are used.

If you have a structure, guard, or machine with panels built by MB Kit Systems, then it was likely processed on one of two routers in Akron, Ohio. Tailoring to our diverse customer base, including original equipment manufacturers and end users across many industries, MB Kit Systems is able to quickly process custom panel solutions from a variety of materials.


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STEM -- A Path Forward for Manufacturing

Like other manufacturing companies, item North America has a keen interest in the continued development of a well-educated workforce. As a company that designs and builds custom mechanical solutions such as linear motion systems, machine safety guarding and enclosures, automated assembly lines, industrial workbenches and factory platforms and stairs, the growth of item North America is partially dependent on our ability to find and hire well-qualified mechanical engineers and other skilled staff.

After years of focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, a growing STEM workforce has developed to help lead domestic manufacturing growth in 2015. You may have noticed industry outlets reporting on the resurgence of domestic manufacturing and new technological advancements that have facilitated this growth. Many are sharing expectations of continual growth into 2016, pointing to the constant demand of STEM positions and increased STEM interest in students throughout the education system. 

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Aluminum Framing System Offers Versatility for Automation Equipment


Upgrading a facilities’ manufacturing production process from manual to automated production can be a complex and often daunting endeavor. The transition scope involves working with partners, including machine builders, integrators, programmers, and distributors. It can be overwhelming and projected costs can rise quickly, with the long-term investment and ROI hard to predict.

One way to effectively implement an automation project is with an extruded aluminum framing system. Using a high-quality t-slotted aluminum extrusion framing system to build automation equipment lowers maintenance costs, guarantees customization, and yields systems that can be fixed, modified, and updated with only a few tools.

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Trial By Digging: Kent State University Competes at NASA Robotic Event

Trial By Digging: Kent State University Competes at NASA Robotic Event

We last saw Kent State University’s robotics team back in April of 2015 during an early test run of their robot, just weeks before traveling to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for NASA’s Sixth Annual Robotic Mining Competition.

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item North America launches new website

item North America, which designs and constructs extruded aluminum mechanical solutions, including linear actuators, material handling systems and machinery for a wide range of industrial applications, has launched a new, multi-media website that demonstrates the company’s products and capabilities.

The new website highlights the Akron, Ohio, company’s primary production capabilities in linear motionsafety hard guarding, material handling, machine building and stairways and platforms

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