The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Podcast: ‘Everybody in the Building Gives a Darn’

Manufacturing Revival Radio speaks with Jim Hennen of the Braas Company.
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\"DreamlandManufacturing Revival Radio is a Dreamland Radio production with hosts Todd Schnick and Todd Youngblood. On this show, we feature the companies, the leaders, the innovators leading the charge and driving the innovation. Through the blood, sweat, and tears of working men and women from here at home, to around the world. Learn more at Manufacturing Revival Radio.

Because the Braas Company is an ESOP – a company owned by its employees – "everybody in the building just gives a darn," according to Jim Hennen, vice president of sales for the Eden Prairie, MN-based distributor of automation components.

That’s just one of the many comments made by Hennen in this episode of Manufacturing Revival Radio that stuck in our heads. Of course, it makes an attitudinal difference when company growth and success is directly tied to the value of your retirement plan.

Another big differentiator is the Braas business model. They have made big, long term investments in developing and maintaining technical expertise. Whether application engineering, robotics, vision, 3D vision or high-end motion control, Braas customers can depend on Braas employees to know more than they do.

That depth of expertise is vital in many situations. Hennen describes how difficult it is, for example, for a medical device manufacturer to get FDA approval for a design change. If even a single component becomes unavailable, sales of that device come to a screeching halt. That manufacturer needs to have LOT of confidence in the tech skills of its supplier.

Our discussion of “the next big disruptive technology” was also fascinating. Collaborative robots can work in and among human beings with little or no safeguarding. They can take over boring, repetitive, dangerous, carpal tunnel producing tasks and enable the people to apply their higher value talents.

Break even for an investment in collaborative robots? Less than a year, maybe as little as three months. Yeah, I’d call that disruptive!

And there’s more.

Click on the play button above to listen to the interview, or download the audio file at Manufacturing Revival Radio.

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