FHC Named 2012 Maine MEP Manufacturer of the Year

October 24th 2012
FHC Named 2012 Maine MEP Manufacturer of the Year

The Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) has named FHC the 2012 Manufacturer of the Year, in celebration of Manufacturing Month.

From the headquarters in Bowdoin, Maine, FHC serves a global neuroscience community with precision instruments and comprehensive technical support. Recognizing that innovation is the key to future growth, we have created a culture where innovation flourishes, leading to the design and manufacture of more than 7,000 unique metal microelectrodes and a broad range of state-of-the-art clinical and research instrumentation. For our success in demonstrating how a continual focus on innovation can enable a mid-size Maine firm to become a global leader in the field of neuroscience, FHC has been selected as the MEP manufacturer of the year.

The award is given each year to a Maine company that has demonstrated outstanding vision, leadership and manufacturing excellence. George Gervais, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner, facilitated an award ceremony last week. Participants included top state economic development officials, local state legislators and representatives from the Maine congressional delegation offices.

“In honoring FHC as the 2012 Maine Manufacturer of the Year, we celebrate a company that recognizes the key elements of success in a competitive global economy,” said Bruce Pulkkinen, chairman of Maine MEP. “First, the company has focused on innovation as a central business strategy and has created an Innovation Center that partners with customers to anticipate and solve their needs. Second, they have invested in their workforce by training them in advanced innovation techniques, creating a Great Ideas Group that challenges team members to find new solutions. Third, they continuously improve their operations by applying lean manufacturing techniques, starting with the establishment of their own internal lean champions. And fourth, they have embraced global markets for their products, opening offices in Europe and South America, while looking to expand in Asia. This combination of internal and external strategies exemplifies what it means to become a next generation manufacturer.”

Maine MEP project managers have worked with FHC over the past two years to provide Innovation Engineering management coaching and lean manufacturing consulting that have helped achieve product and process improvements.

“Every manufacturer recognizes that innovation is the key to long-term success, but many companies find it one of the most challenging goals to attain. FHC has distinguished itself by the way in which it has institutionalized the processes for generating new ideas and rapidly testing them for commercial success,” said Gervais. “Through this process, FHC is able to collaborate with clients and bring new products to market in exceptionally short time-frames with minimal waste of money and time and hence minimal risk. This application of the principles of Innovation Engineering has enabled a Maine firm of 100 employees to achieve an international reputation in its field.”

FHC’s focus on collaboration includes recognition of its role in the local community.

“We are pleased that FHC is committed to staying in Maine and works hard to be a valuable community asset,” said John Butera, Senior Economic Advisor to Governor Paul LePage. “It provides on-site childcare and fitness centers for its employees that are also open to the general public. And the firm each year awards thousands of dollars in higher education scholarships through the FHC Community Education Foundation. “

“On behalf of our entire company, FHC is pleased and honored to be selected as the Maine MEP Manufacturer of the Year. Truly this recognition goes to the entire team, globally, who ensure that FHC products are designed, manufactured and delivered to our customers with superior quality and performance. With our guiding principle of innovation through collaboration, we are humbled to work with our customers to provide pioneering solutions for neuroscientists and neurosurgeons worldwide. This award is testimony that Maine firms can compete with the best in the world,” said FHC’s CEO Keri S. Seitz.

October is Manufacturing Month

October 2012 has been designated as Manufacturing Month to highlight the importance of manufacturing in the U.S. economy. Maine MEP in conjunction with Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers around the country are celebrating manufacturing excellence in cooperation with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).