HeidelbergCement AG has implemented a global program to continuously optimize operational and commercial processes at 500-plus sand & gravel and crushed stone sites. Aggregates-CI succeeds CLIMB Commercial, a margin-improvement effort that comfortably met a $130 million-plus target for 2013-2015. Management projects Aggregates-CI to attain comparable watermark by 2018.

At North American facilities, “Aggregates-CI is a continuation of our focus on improving operational processes, quality control and margins,” notes Lehigh Hanson Director, Corporate Communications Jeff Sieg. “Our approach is driven by operations working hand-in-hand with their quality control and sales teams to identify and share best practices across the company so plants can operate at peak efficiency while also improving product balance and customer satisfaction.”

From a global perspective, HeidelbergCement Chairman Dr. Bernd Scheifele sees Aggregates-CI as “the next logical step. We will leverage the structures and processes developed in CLIMB Commercial in order to further drive operational and commercial professionalism and efficiency, such as in sales and distribution. The continuous improvement of our working processes with the goal of further optimizing our margins is an integral part of HeidelbergCement’s DNA.”

Effected in late-2012, CLIMB Commercial focused on margin improvement through optimization of the product and customer mix in aggregates. HeidelbergCement followed with a Continuous Improvement Program in cement operations during 2014.

Denise Johnson

The Caterpillar Inc. board has elected Material Handling & Underground Division Vice President Denise Johnson to succeed retiring Resource Industries Group President Ed Rapp, effective April 2016. Her successor will be named at a later date. 

“Denise leads one of the largest and most complex businesses in the company; her division makes products primarily for the mining, waste and construction industries and employs about 8,000 people in 14 locations spanning four continents. She has successfully managed costs during the mining downturn and been deeply involved in restructuring within Resource Industries, all while gaining market position for multiple products in her portfolio. Denise has accomplished these business results while also delivering outstanding safety and quality metrics,” says Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman. “Above all, Denise is a leader inside and outside of Caterpillar. Whether engaging with employees, strengthening relationships with key mining customers or serving as a strong role model to recruit more female engineers, [she] consistently excels.”

Johnson joined Caterpillar in 2011 as Caterpillar’s Specialty Products general manager, responsible for nearly 20 facilities around the world. Prior to her arrival, Johnson spent 22 years with General Motors, where she built expertise in operations and product management in a series of positions in the United States, Canada and Brazil. A year later, she was elected vice president of the Caterpillar Diversified Products Division with responsibility for industries including forestry, paving and on-highway trucks. In 2013, Johnson became vice president of the Integrated Manufacturing Operations Division overseeing major operations in Caterpillar’s largest division at the time, shifting to her current role the following year.

Hyster-Yale Group has entered into a preferred vendor cooperation agreement with robotics specialist Balyo Inc. to market self-guided trucks in North America. The manufacturer of Hyster and Yale lift trucks will broaden its capabilities by offering robotic high-productivity solutions for the materials handling industry, while Balyo aims to accelerate adoption of its robotic solutions. Balyo technology enables trucks to navigate without the help of reflectors, wires or magnets—selecting facility structural elements instead to build a vehicle map. Once the map is created, each self-guided truck compares, in real time, what its navigation module sees against the stored map, allowing the truck to self-locate, and move along its intended path.

32 Link 400Link Manufacturing, Ltd. in Sioux City, Iowa, was recently recognized for its 20 years of continuous ISO Quality Certification. The company is ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 14001 certified. SRI Quality System Registrar Lead Auditor David Cummings (shown here, center) presented an award of recognition to Link Quality Manager Pete Hoekstra (left) and Vice President & General Manager Jim Huls.

“We are proud of our long-standing relationship with SRI, and our pledge to upholding the highest quality standards set by ISO,” says Huls. “Providing outstanding quality for our customers is one of the key tenets of our Mission Statement. It’s a valuable point of differentiation we bring to our OEM partners, and something we’ve been committed to since our inception more than 35 years ago.”

ISO/TS16949 is an automotive sector-specific Quality Management System set of requirements, and ISO 14001 is an international standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS). Link attained ISO 9001 certification in 1995, ISO/TS 16949 certification in 2004, and ISO 14001 certification in 2014.

Stephen Noble has been named vice president, Manufacturing, Eaton Vehicle Group, based in Galesburg, Mich. He most recently served as vice president, Operations, for the Eaton Hydraulics business in Turkey, and joined the company in 1983 as an industrial engineering apprentice for the Axle and Brake Division in the United Kingdom. He has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility including plant manager for the Kings Mountain, N.C., transmission facility and general manager, Off-Highway Drivelines in Brazil.

Todd Duewel has been promoted to regional sales manager at W.R. Meadows, leading sales efforts at Hampshire, Ill., headquarters and the York, Pa., branch. He previously held the position of sales manager for the Hampshire office, and has served in both inside and field sales capacities since joining the company in 1989.

Daimler Trucks North America has appointed Kary Schaefer as general manager, Marketing & Strategy, leading Freightliner Trucks and Detroit marketing organizations in product launches; steering product strategy requirements; and, implementing customer and dealer satisfaction initiatives. Based in Portland, Ore., she will maintain responsibilities from her most recent post, general manager of the Enhanced Platform program for vocational products.

Schaefer has held engineering positions since joining DTNA in 1995, and in 2008 was named chief engineer, responsible for the Cab Engineering Department. She was instrumental in developing innovations that improved fuel efficiency, and oversaw cab systems development for the Freightliner 114SD and Western Star 4700 models, plus series-wide Western Star interior upgrades. Prior to DTNA, she held leadership positions with Boeing, Pacific Testing Laboratories, Abossein Engineering and Cloud Cap Technologies, a division of United Technologies Corp.

Cummins Filtration Inc., a leader in diesel engine filtration technology, has relocated its headquarters to One Century Place in Nashville. The company will occupy a newly redesigned 30,500-sq.-ft. space forexecutives plus sales, engineering, purchasing, finance, and human resources staff. The office consolidates all employees on a single floor, allowing for an entirely open and flexible workspace.

“This will ensure that we have capacity for growth, and the open floor plan will provide opportunities for teams and individuals to focus, learn, collaborate, and socialize,” says Cummins Filtration General Manager Amy Davis. “It will encourage employee engagement and productivity while improving our utilization of the workplace.”

Franchisor rebrands All American

33 CCLogo 150The parent company of Budget Blinds and Tailored Living, has added Concrete Craft, billing it as the world’s only decorative concrete franchise geared to offering consumers decorative, stamped and stained concrete services for residential and commercial properties. The third brand further expands what Home Franchise Concepts officials note is a commitment to providing consumers across North America “simple and sophisticated design solutions in a convenient, shop-at-home environment.”

Orange, Calif.-based HFC has effected a transition to the Concrete Craft brand since acquiring the All American Decorative Concrete franchise system in late 2014. Concrete Craft President John Kostro and Vice President Dan Lightner remain at Atlanta headquarters and will seek to expand the Concrete Craft footprint beyond Chicago; Dallas; Naples, Fla.; Valparaiso, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; and, Charlotte, N.C., franchises.

“We are in a growing, $1 billion industry and have a solid infrastructure in place to grow this home franchise brand, just as we have done with Budget Blinds and Tailored Living,” affirms HFC CEO Shirin Behzadi. “We look forward to providing consumers with an expanded variety of services that all three of our brands offer together.” Between its three franchise brands, he adds, HFC has sold 1,235 franchise licenses across North America. An investment of $103,000–$168,000 is required from those interested in Concrete Craft franchises. —