General Machine Company of New Jersey (GEMCO) achieved ISO registration in March 2001! After 11 months of hard work by a dedicated team, GEMCO’s goal was achieved through a consortium approach of ISO Program Implementation. Benefits of internal system improvements and product quality have already been realized.
GEMCO was founded, in 1916, on Evergreen Street in Newark by John L. Muench Sr.. Started as a machine shop, GEMCO received the patent for the first tumble blender, a double cone design, built for the blending of gunpowder to prevent explosions common with other mixing apparatus in the 1930’s. The spherical disk valve, dual eccentrics, the Porta-Hopper detachable hopper blender system, Gemocomatic automated drum loading/unloading system, a more efficient slant cone tumble blender, internal agitator systems, the airless spray system are some of the other patents and innovations that followed.
Continuing in that tradition of innovation and industry leadership, in May 2001 GEMCO unveiled a second project that ran concurrently with the ISO certification effort. At a major industry event, the Powder Show in Chicago, they announced development of a magnetically coupled agitator to help eliminate seals and cross contamination. The patent is pending.
GEMCO moved from Newark to their current location in Middlesex, New Jersey in 1983 and employ 35people. GEMCO has over $7 million in sales, and manufactures tumble powder-processing machinery including blenders and dryers for industries that deal with powders. Their clients represent the following industries: pharmaceutical, dietary supplements, food, cosmetic, powdered metals, ceramics, general chemical, explosives, nuclear and plastics. GEMCO also manufactures a special spherical valve for specialty powder and slurry applications across an even wider spectrum of the industry.
Mr. Zangara, GEMCO President, was introduced to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP), a NIST Network Affiliate, through a seminar on ISO 9000 Program Implementation that was cosponsored by Middlesex County College. Mr. Zangara expressed an interest in obtaining ISO 9000 registration and how NJMEP could assist GEMCO. In April 2000 GEMCO joined a five company ISO 9000 Program Consortium funded by a New Jersey Department of Labor Customized Training Grant. , The ISO 9000 program implementation was provided by Alamo Learning Systems and the grant program was managed by NJMEP.
GEMCO assigned a team dedicated to completing quality work within the allotted time. The ISO team extended to every employee and was led by Clark Beebe, ISO Management Representative, with the support and hands-on involvement of Mr. Zangara, President of GEMCO. “This project was both a major challenge for GEMCO and a significant achievement. It was a challenge to get all the various elements within GEMCO to find a significant amount of time to work together on what was initially viewed as an ‘outside’ project. It was, however, a great achievement to successfully finish the project on time and have everyone develop internal cooperation and mutual appreciation for each other’s projects and disciplines. The fact that we did it gives everyone the confidence to tackle the next project with a confidence and resolve that would not have been possible without ISO under our collective belts,” stated GEMCO President, Robert C. Zangara.
Overall, the project boosted the confidence of the employees – knowing that they could take it on successfully while still conducting business.
Other benefits are also evident. Product improvements now occur more quickly. The project provided an on-going structure for management awareness, tracking and oversight of the details that can prevent potential problems, and GEMCO has realized improved internal systems for documentation, training and vendor control. “ISO certification allows us to distinguish ourselves from our competition in an ever tougher business environment for machinery manufacturers with the cost structure that is in New Jersey today. The system is still new, but we expect cost savings and efficiencies to increase as the on-going corrective and preventive systems continue into the future”, explained Robert C. Zangara, GEMCO.
“We have found NJMEP to be responsive, professional and personally involved with our projects as well as any questions during implementation. Their representatives are experienced and provide the unbiased outsiders’ view that is often difficult to see in the daily turmoil of running a business,” stated Robert C. Zangara, GEMCO.
GEMCO is a participant in NJMEP’s Made in New Jersey program. Click here to view their profile!