21ST Century Manufacturing Network at RCBI Helps Kanawha Electric & Machine Grow

Kanawha Electric & Machine Company is growing and an important component of that growth, says Vice President Larry Ward, is the company’s membership in the 21ST Century Manufacturing Network at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI).

Established by RCBI in 1997, the 21ST Century Manufacturing Network is a collaborative venture of more than 400 members of the West Virginia - and the surrounding region’s - manufacturing community, mostly small to medium-sized companies such as Kanawha Electric & Machine.

“Members of our Network come together online,” explains Charlotte Weber, Director and CEO at RCBI. “With the click of a mouse they share timely information about business opportunities, build bridges to real-world collaboration and, ultimately, combine their strengths to compete more effectively in the global market.”

The RCBI Network is “second to none,” says Kanawha Electric’s Ward. “It has fostered our ability to interconnect with prospective business partners and new opportunities for business.”

Founded in 1937, Kanawha Electric originally was located in Kanawha City. Today it has a modern facility on a 7.5-acre site in Belle. In its earliest years, the company concentrated on the repair and service of electric motors, generators and pumps. Today, it serves a wide range of needs for the chemical, industrial and mining markets in West Virginia and the region.

Ward has nothing but praise for RCBI and especially for its staff members.

“Although RCBI is most commonly recognized for its state-of-the-art facilities and its wide range of advanced assets,” he says, “it’s the RCBI staff that truly provides West Virginia-based companies with a distinct advantage in business development and opportunities for market expansion. RCBI assisted us with guidance in our efforts to become ISO 9001: 2008 Certified and Registered. Additionally, RCBI provided a resource for advanced technical training of the precision machinists in our employ.”

The RCBI Network, Ward says, “”has provided us a venue to better position our company today as well as for the future. It’s acted as a key component in our continued growth during a very difficult economic period.”

For additional information about the RCBI 21ST Century Manufacturing Network, log on www.21stmanufacturing.org or call 304.781.1625 or 800.469.RCBI (7224).