Innovation and community charity are mainstays with the associates at Lockrey Manufacturing

By Chris Galford

Robots. Automated machine processing. High tech defines the facilities at Lockrey Manufacturing, as this product of the industrial 1950s has made the transition from mechanical to electronic processing. What began as Lockrey Screw Products has evolved continuously over the years, adapted to the times, and shown that diversity is key in maintaining relevance in the business sphere.

One of the stories Don Vollmar, president of Lockrey, is fond of telling is that the company has lost its largest customer seven times in its history yet continues to flourish.

“Our diversity is king. It allows us to stay in business,” Don said.

That diversity has extended to robotics in the modern era, utilizing automated programs and production technicians for guaranteed precision in material handling. Thanks to highly skilled associates operating and programming them, those machines do what would be mindboggling to most floor workers even today: consistently addressing tolerances down to a scale of one-tenth of a thousandth of an inch, according to Don. It puts them at the forefront of their game.

Of course, having a communal buy in doesn’t hurt either.

“We bring a lot of expertise for our customers. At Lockrey profits are a result of what we do, not the focus. Our goal is that every person that walks in every morning to go to work feels they can make a difference in our company — and then we expect them to make a difference,” said Don.

Yet at the same time, the associates are taking its innovation and returning it back to the community. According to Carol Denton-Tunison, a Lockrey CSR, their involvement with local charities are quiet, but proactive, and the company actively seeks one project each spring and fall.

“We have a lot of associates that know how to expertly run machines, but they also have a lot of expertise with plumbing, building, gardening, so we will pool our brain powers and select a charity that gives us a chance to get out there and dig up the grass, paint a building, build a structure,” Carol said.

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