Engis Manufacturing company located in the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, Illinois, has become a world leader in the design and manufacture of superabrasive finishing systems. Engis serves a wide spectrum of industries from aerospace to robotic grinding cells.
When asked about its supply chain challenges, Ken Werner, Engis Executive Vice President, said, “Our supply chain is okay for the most part. We only have a problem with a few of our imported components, which we are able to manage.” These components include small motors and electrical meters used in their manufacturing processes.
“Our biggest challenge is a lack of skilled workers,” Mr. Werner continued. “Despite these issues, our overall sales are quite good, especially our domestic sales.”
Engis China sales are slower, while sales to India have increased by 20 percent, according to Mr. Werner. He pointed out that “Asian sales are down in some sectors because several of our large customers are still working down the inventory that they had doubled up on during the pandemic. Some of the same customers continue to have supply chain shortages with other suppliers, which has impacted their ability to ship products.
He explained that Engis domestic sales were especially good in the foundry sector, as robotic grinding of castings using electroplated super abrasive wheels are rapidly being adopted in foundries that are modernizing their operations. Engis engineers work with its customers to design specific grinding wheels that are best suited for their applications.
A fascinating example where Engis diamond abrasive products were developed for a unique application was for polishing the beryllium mirror segments of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The Webb's larger primary mirror has six times the light-gathering power of Hubble's primary mirror. This is important for being able to look at the longer, dimmer wavelengths of light that have enabled the James Webb Space Telescope to explore and answer questions not only about our solar system but also deep into the universe.
Mr. Werner noted that a reported international sales turnaround should take place by the 2023 third quarter.
You can find much more interesting information about the Engis Corporation at www.engis.com.