Author Archives: NFoster

Vitex Welcomes New Purchasing Manager

Arthur Karageorges

Arthur Karageorges joins Vitex as new purchasing manager

April 2, 2021 – We are pleased to announce and welcome Arthur Karageorges as our new Purchasing Manager.

In this newly created position, Karageorges will be responsible for acquiring materials, supplies, and equipment for the company’s extrusion and value-added businesses; locating and vetting vendors; and streamlining the company’s purchasing process to reduce expenses and improve effectiveness.

“This is an exciting time for the company as we’re experiencing tremendous growth and it was time to add this role,” said Andrew Curland, President of Vitex Extrusion. “Arthur brings a wealth of knowledge and experience sourcing, negotiating, and managing the purchasing needs of large corporations that we will benefit from.”

Karageorges brings over 30 years of manufacturing supply chain, global distribution, and inside sales experience. Previously, as Director of Global Distribution for Boyd Corporation, a leader in engineered materials and thermal management solutions, he worked with the world’s top electronics distributors to help Boyd strengthen its market position.

“I’m excited to join the Vitex Extrusion team and look forward to improving their purchasing process and finding opportunities for cost savings,” said Karageorges. “My strengths in communication and relationship building will contribute to the future success of Vitex, our customers and our chosen vendor partners.”

Employee Spotlight: Vic Hasek, Senior Manufacturing Supervisor

Vic Hasek, Senior Manufacturing SupervisorVic Hasek jumped into manufacturing 17 years ago when construction work couldn’t provide the pay and stability he wanted. Thanks to a good friend and fellow Vitex employee, Vic joined the aluminum extrusion team and quickly moved up the ranks. In his current role as Senior Manufacturing Supervisor, he manages the people, machines and production output of the company’s growing value-added business.

Q & A with Vic Hasek

Tell us about your history with Vitex and what you do in your current role?

I started on the packing line, then moved up to packing supervisor. When the fabrication department started in 2007, I moved over to run that group and have been there ever since. On a day-to-day basis, I’m doing a little bit of everything: managing the floor, keeping the machines running, managing production flow, hiring and training new employees, and working with customers who have unique machining and/or packaging requirements.

It’s been exciting seeing the growth of our value-added business. We started with just a couple CNC machines. Today, we have over two dozen machines and offer a range of fabrication capabilities, as well as a dedicated kitting, assembly and packaging team. I take great pride in the fact that our group solves a lot of the challenges working with aluminum that are beyond the capability of most machining shops.

What do you like most about working in manufacturing?

I’m glad I took that first step to get into the industry, even though I knew nothing about manufacturing or extrusions. Vitex took me aboard, trained me, gave me a career I truly love, and helped me provide a stable life for my family. It’s also an industry where there is always something new to learn and plenty of different career paths. Particularly here at Vitex, we have lots of opportunities for employees to figure out what they like to do and to make a career for themselves.

What do you attribute to your success at Vitex?

Dedication to getting the job done. When something comes up that needs to be attended to quickly, which is a normal part of any business, I can be counted on to get it done. Needs and requirements also change over time, so being flexible and able to embrace change have helped me along the way, too.

Tell us about a favorite project you’ve worked on?

When we installed the new pack line in 2015, I was asked to be a part of the installation team. I was reluctant at first to be involved, but I’m glad I got involved. The project was exciting and working with the Italian [Prezzi] team who built the line was great and I learned so much about the startup process. There was an overwhelming sense of accomplishment when we finished and started running the machines.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love the outdoors and New Hampshire has something to offer for every season. I’m usually snow mobiling in the winter, boating in the summer and camping in the fall.

Vitex Extrusion Invests in New Aluminum Extrusion Press Line to Double Production Output

March 10, 2021 – We are excited to announce we are investing $12 million in the first phase of a new aluminum extrusion press line for our Franklin, NH facility. The investment will double our current extrusion output to 55 million pounds and support growing demand from customers and partners for aluminum extrusions and value-added components.

Made by Italy-based Presezzi Extrusion Group, the world-class 2,920-ton, 8-inch press line includes the latest in automation and mechanical technology and advanced safety features, including:

  • Presezzi ESS energy-saving system, which provides a 35% reduction in energy requirements compared to many existing systems.
  • Six-stage, energy-efficient tapered aluminum billet furnace.
  • Two-stage post extrusion quench system with enhanced, distortion-free cooling.
  • High-precision double-stage finish saw.
  • Fully automated operation, post extrusion through transfer to tempering operation.

Aluminum Extrusion Press Line

“We see continued demand from new and existing customers across all industries for custom extruded profiles, as well as expanded downstream, value-added manufacturing process requirements, including precision machining, fabrication, laser tube cutting, automated welding, and assembly, says Andrew Curland, Vitex Extrusion President. “The new press line enables us to address this demand and support future growth plans for the company.”

The new extrusion line is expected to be operational in December 2021. The project’s second phase will commence in late 2022 and include additional aging capacity, automated overhead crane movement, and automated packaging. Vitex will partner with Presezzi and Belco Industries for the new equipment and planning.

Continued Investments in Manufacturing Capabilities

Vitex has been investing in and modernizing its Franklin facility for the past 13 years. Initial stages focused on developing value-added fabrication and machining services to support its electronics, solar, sporting goods, furniture, tier 2 automotive, and building and construction customers. In 2010, Vitex selected Presezzi Extrusion for its first 8-inch  press to replace an aging 7-inch press.

Over the last ten years, more than $18 million has been invested in a state-of-the-art quench system; automated profile stacking, handling, and packing systems; and additional CNC machines for greater value-added capabilities. In 2020 the company’s value-added business was moved into a dedicated 50,000 sq. ft. facility, adjoining the company’s Franklin campus.

Employee Spotlight: Steve Jackson, Director of Business Development

Steve Jackson, Director of Business DevelopmentDuring his 25 years in the extrusion and fabrication industry, Steve Jackson has worked with a variety of companies serving the industrial, consumer, electronics and defense industries. Steve joined Vitex in August 2020 as Director of Business Development, offering customers a wealth of experience and his engineering background to help solve many of their complex extrusion and fabrication issues.

Q & A with Steve Jackson

What are some things you like most about your role?

I’ve been in sales a long time and really enjoy working with customers in different industries and helping solve their challenges. If we can make our customers’ lives a bit easier, we have a true partnership that can last for years.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Listen to those with more or varied experiences than you’re own. It’s always important to learn from others, as well as consider the conversation from their perspective.

What are your thoughts on working in the manufacturing industry?

I am proud to be part of an industry that is making America stronger. I firmly believe that to compete on a worldwide stage, having strong US manufacturing is a must.

Among Vitex’s offerings to customers, what are you most excited about?

Vitex’s extrusion and fabrication capabilities and the manufacturing quality we output make us a standout among the competition. The company has invested millions to improve the surface quality of its extrusions and to increase its capabilities, and it shows!  Combined with our sister divisions at Momentum Manufacturing Group, we are one of the largest manufacturers of metal in the East with over 550,000 square feet of manufacturing space. That’s definitely something to be excited about, too!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Hustle and work hard. There will always be people with more ability, but hard work will get you where you want to go, and then some. Additionally, a team is always stronger than an individual.

What advice would you give to new hires?

Observe and learn. At Vitex, and in the manufacturing industry, there are always new opportunities for growth and advancement, but you need to be proactive and let people know what you’re interested in.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am a BIG sports fan, both on and off the field—over the years I’ve coached for several different youth sports. As a Patriots fan, the Superbowl was a throw-back game to me.  I believe in the old saying, “Offense sells tickets, but Defense wins Championships!”  In this game, the Buccaneers’ defensive line dominated Kansas City, leaving Mahomes no chance.  The same applies to manufacturing—it’s important to “Block & Tackle” (Service, Quality, Price) to be successful.

New Laser Machining Technology Cuts, Drills and Punches Faster and With More Precision than CNC Machines

Laser Machining

A mainstay of today’s metal fabrication industry, computer numerical control, or CNC technology, goes back to the 1940s when the first machines emerged. Early CNC machines used punched tape, which was then commonly used in telecommunications and data storage, to direct the machines’ actions.

Today, CNC machines have multiple built-in tools, including drills, taps, and milling tools, which are programmed for automated production. The simplest machines move in one or two axes, while more advanced systems feature five-axis technology. Many are capable of rotational motion and even flipping parts automatically so material can be cut on all sides with no manual intervention.

Despite their many capabilities, CNC machines have their drawbacks including a significant investment for specialized equipment and sizes. Additionally, if an aluminum profile requires several machined features, heavy tooling investments and longer production time make CNC machine use costly.

Introducing Laser Beam Machining Technology

Today, new laser machining technology can replace the need for multiple processing actions, including cutting, machining, drilling, and punching, with a single laser operation. These lasers can also be used to cut intricate shapes and features that can’t be made with other methods, or that require extensive CNC cycle times or multiple punch tooling investments.

The method has quickly gained popularity and become the industry standard for many industrial sectors, including automotive, metalworking, aerospace, and microelectronics. Here’s why:

Benefits of Laser Machining

Flexibility

Laser machines do not require an exchange of tools for each separate operation. The same setup is suitable for cutting a lot of different shapes, including intricate cuts, within the same material thickness. As a result, production times can be considerably shorter.

Precision

Unlike competing techniques, laser cutting can produce highly complex geometries with better precision and excellent levels of tolerance. With a positioning accuracy of +/-0.1 mm, laser cutting enables high precision to be achieved without any post-treatment.

Repeatability

With a repeat accuracy of +/- 0.05 mm, laser machines ensure parts are near replicas of each other.

Speed Laser Cutter in Action

Laser cutting machines cut extruded aluminum shapes and feature faster than traditional CNC machines dramatically reducing processing time. This is especially true for more complex cuts. When compared to other thermal cutting methods like plasma or flame cutting, a laser is far faster (up to a thickness of 10 mm). The exact advantage point, however, boils down to the power of the laser itself.

Quality

Laser machines guarantee excellent performance whenever clean cuts and smoother edge finishes are needed, as the highly focused beam can hold tight tolerances around the desired cutting region. And, since a laser’s heat affected zone (HAZ) is relatively small, the material being worked is less likely to warp or distort. A smaller HAZ area results in more predictable and reliable parts.

Automation

While an experienced machine operator still plays a role in the final quality, contemporary laser machinery is highly automated requiring little need for manual labor. In addition, many machines come with feeding systems for extrusions up to 30-feet long and follow-up conveyors to further reduce the need for physical handling.

Contactless Cutting

In the case of laser cutting, only the beam makes contact with the material. Therefore, there is no mechanical friction to cause wear and tear. Additionally, since the materials cut with lasers typically do not require additional cleanup, such as deburring, production times can be shorter.

Versatility

Laser cutting is able to handle virtually everything thrown its way, whether cutting steel, nickel, aluminum, or brass. Lasers are also used for cutting reflective metals and non-metallic materials, including polymers, rubber, and plastics.

Adaptability

Laser beam machines easily adapt to ever-changing manufacturing demands, both in terms of production volume and market needs. And, machines can be set up and repurposed for specific needs much faster than traditional CNC processes.

Interested in Learning More?

When fabrication of high-volume, uniform wall-thickness aluminum extrusions is required, Vitex Extrusion and laser cutting may be the solution. Contact us today to discover how laser machining technology could be used for your extruded aluminum parts and profiles.

Vitex Extrusion Expands Aluminum Extrusion Manufacturing Capacity with New Facility

Vitex Fabrication Facility
August 24, 2020 – We are excited to announce the expansion of our aluminum extrusion manufacturing business with the long-term lease of a 50,000-square-foot facility. The building, located at 109 Industrial Park Drive in Franklin, NH, is adjacent to our existing 115,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and will be dedicated to machining, fabrication and assembly of aluminum extrusions.

“Over the last few years we’ve made a number of strategic investments in new equipment and technologies to meet the downstream manufacturing needs of our customers. As a result, our existing building could no longer accommodate the “value-added” business growth,” said Andrew Curland, Vitex Extrusion President and CEO. “We’re fortunate this nearby facility became available, allowing us to move our machining and fabrication business into a manufacturing space that will accommodate continued growth.”

The new facility will house more than two dozen of the company’s CNC machines, dedicated work cells, deburring and punch systems. In addition, plans are underway to install robotic-based cellular production units for larger volume OEM production platforms.

“The percentage of our extrusion output requiring machining, fabrication, and other value-added features is continually expanding,” said Curland. “The added space allows us to continue investing in new manufacturing equipment and technologies to support customers focused on product development, rather than internal production capabilities.”

We expect to have the new building fully operational by September 2020.

Vitex Extrusion Welcomes New Director of Business Development

Steve Jackson

Steve Jackson, Director of Business Development

August 19, 2020 – We are pleased to announce and welcome Steve Jackson as Director of Business Development.

Jackson joins Vitex as Director of Business Development responsible for developing short-, mid-, and long-term new business opportunities for the company with a focus on value-added extrusions. He brings 25 years’ experience driving growth for aluminum extrusions and fabricated products across a variety of industries.

“We’re excited about the next phase of our value-added business, which has been steadily growing over the last few years thanks to several strategic investments in new equipment and technologies,” said Andrew Curland, President and CEO of Vitex Extrusion. “Steve’s experience helping customers with their fabricated products and aluminum extrusions are instrumental to improving and growing our value-added business.”

Vitex Extrusion Announces COVID-19 Precautions

To our valued customers,

Like you, Vitex Extrusion is working hard to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our employees and community safe.

We have instituted a number of changes to minimize exposure among our team and to protect our customers and ongoing operations. They include:

  • All employee business travel is prohibited until further notice.
  • All non-essential plant visits to Vitex have been postponed until further notice. This includes visits from new employee applicants, vendors, and customers. An exception list is maintained for critical plant functions.
  • All meetings with more than 2 individuals – socially distant spaced – have been canceled.
  • Sanitation procedures for plant break rooms and bathrooms have been doubled. The janitorial staff has been trained and outfitted with necessary PPE for their continued protection.
  • Hand sanitizers and hygiene posters have been placed throughout the plant.
  • Break rooms are limited to 10 individuals at a time and social distancing is being enforced throughout the plant.
  • Any employee who shows symptoms of illness will be sent home.
  • Contingency plans are in place for any confirmed instances of COVID-19 among our employees or their families.
  • Truck driver procedures have been modified. If you currently pick up material from Vitex, we will share the updated plans with you directly.

Thanks to our dedicated team members and stable vendor partners, current operations are running well, and we’ve not had any supply issues. These are unprecedented times; should our situation change we will update you. Please let your inside sales manager know if pertinent changes occur on your end. We are here to support our customers as best we can.

As always, we are grateful for your business.

Team Vitex

NSA Industries Announces Corporate Name Change to Momentum Manufacturing Group

Momentum Manufacturing GroupSAINT JOHNSBURY, Vt., Feb. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ NSA Industries, one of the top ten largest specialty manufacturers in North America, today announced it will be changing its corporate name to Momentum Manufacturing Group. The name change captures the internal energy and consistent double-digit growth posted year after year as it strengthens its focus on providing end-to-end solutions for customers in a broad range of industry sectors from automotive, aerospace and solar, to security, medical sciences, logistics, exercise equipment, and restaurant and hospitality.

“Our customers are continuing to look for greater agility and supply chain efficiency,” said Jim Moroney, CEO of Momentum Manufacturing Group. “We’ve heard their challenges and responded, making continued strategic investments and acquisitions. Each helping us to build the most dynamic and full-service metal fabrication, machining, extrusion, and contract manufacturing operations in the Northeast.”

In 2014, NSA set out on an organic growth-focused acquisition strategy. Since then it has completed four acquisitions including the 2018 addition of Georgetown based Metal Tronics and the 2020 addition of Franklin, NH-based Vitex Extrusion. Each of the acquisitions is expanding the company’s full suite of capabilities and creating opportunities to broaden its support and market share with existing customers while fueling the entry into new high growth industry sectors.

Under the new corporate name, the company seeks to continue to build “Momentum”, with partnerships, acquisitions and several investments in powder coating, robotics and automation technologies planned for in 2020.

“In an industry that is very fragmented and in many cases lacking investment, we are breaking the mold,” Moroney continued. “We seek to create lasting value for our employees, our customers and the communities where we operate.”

About Momentum Manufacturing Group
Momentum Manufacturing Group, with over 540 employees, is the largest specialty contract manufacturing company of its kind in New England and one of the top 10 largest in North America. NSA works collaboratively with customers to develop manufacturing solutions, including engineering, prototype development, metal fabrication, precision machining, aluminum extrusion, powder coating, screenprint, and assembly. The Company currently operates out of seven state-of-the-art facilities with 24/7 lights-out operations in St. Johnsbury and Lyndonville, VTGroveton and Franklin, NH and Ipswich and Georgetown, MA and totaling nearly 500,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space. For more information visit www.mmg1982.com.

Vitex Extrusion Acquired by NSA Industries

FRANKLIN, NH – January 6, 2020 – Vitex Extrusion today announced it has become part of NSA Industries, LLC, provider of metal fabrication, machining, powder coating, and assembly operation headquartered in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Vitex provides aluminum extrusions, machining, and fabrication services to customers in a number of end markets, including lighting, solar energy, and automobile accessories. The acquisition is an important strategic step expanding NSA Industries’ capabilities and moving it into the high-growth industry of aluminum extrusions. Becoming part of NSA Industries now enables Vitex to become a complete contract manufacturing partner to its customers.

“Vitex is a highly successful aluminum solutions provider committed to providing greater services to our customers,” said Andrew Curland, President and CEO of Vitex Extrusion. “Now we can offer our customers NSA’s design, machining, fabrication, and contract manufacturing services, which are unmatched in the Northeast. This merger transforms our business into one of the largest, fully integrated aluminum extrusion manufacturers in the U.S.”

“Aluminum extrusions are a high-growth industry, making this an exciting opportunity for NSA,” stated James Moroney, CEO of NSA Industries. “Vitex Extrusion has a great reputation for its manufacturing capabilities and its commitment to quality and customer service. We’re very pleased to welcome them into the NSA Industries family of companies.”

About Vitex Extrusion

Vitex Extrusion is a fully integrated aluminum extrusion manufacturer serving the needs of system integrators, OEMs and product manufacturers. In addition to producing aluminum extrusions, Vitex provides design support and prototyping, fabrication, machining and tooling, as well as parts assembly, packaging and supply chain solutions. Operating 24/7 from its world-class 115,000-square-foot facility in Franklin, NH, the company continues to build its strong market position. For more information visit www.vitexextrusions.com.

About NSA Industries

NSA Industries, LLC, with over 400 employees, is the largest contract manufacturing company of its kind in New England. NSA works collaboratively with customers to develop manufacturing solutions, including metal fabrication, precision machining, powder coating, engineering and prototype development and assembly. The company currently operates five state-of-the-art-facilities located in St Johnsbury, VT, Groveton, NH and Ipswich & Georgetown, MA totaling over 375,000 sq. ft. For more information visit www.nsaindustries.com.