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Delaware Valley Manufacturers Strut Their Stuff on National Manufacturing Day

("Baxter" is an industrial robot made by Onexia Inc., based in West Chester, Pa.   Credit: Paul Kurtz)

(“Baxter” is an industrial robot made by Onexia Inc., based in West Chester, Pa. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

MALVERN, Pa. (CBS) — Today is National Manufacturing Day, and to celebrate, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center held a pep rally of sorts at Penn State’s Great Valley campus.

The “Made in America” event gave local firms a chance to showcase some of the more cutting-edge technologies available to manufacturers.

“Our claim to fame is the Wizard of Oz pinball machine,” says Tom Krol (below), founder of Imet, a Bucks County company that specializes in printed circuit board assembly. “We make all 56 printed circuit boards in that machine, the most state-of-the-art pinball machine out there at the moment.”

Then there was Baxter, distributed by the West Chester firm Onexia.  Baxter (top photo) is robot designed for small assembly lines and small budgets, says company spokesman Dan Selke.

“Most robots, to integrate, the cost of development and integration is very high.  Baxter itself is $22,000 (but) over the lifetime of the warranty, that comes down to around $5 an hour of operation.”

 

(Tom Krol stands next to a high-tech pinball machine for which his company fabricated the circuit boards.   Credit: Paul Kurtz)

(Tom Krol stands next to a high-tech pinball machine for which his company fabricated the circuit boards. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

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Though robots have obliterated the human assembly line, Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center CEO Joe Houldin says manufacturing remains vibrant in this region, tucked away in small industrial parks.   And, he says, the industry continues to evolve.

“Many, many fewer jobs in the low skilled area, but a growing number of  very good jobs for those that are able to acquire a higher level of skill,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

 

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