WAUNAKEE, WISCONSIN, U.S. — With a third year of double-digit growth and plans to expand manufacturing facilities in the United States, there’s no stopping NORD Drivesystems.
“We’re very much in a growth mode,” said Torsten Schultz, president of NORD Gear Corporation North America, in an interview with World Grain. “We’ve seen growth all across the board. We can offer a complete package solution for our customers. We obviously position ourselves to be solution driven.”
With global headquarters in Bargteheide, Germany, and its North American home base in Waunakee, Wisconsin, U.S., the global family business is a leader in the power transmission industry. Its main products include gear boxes, electric motors and frequency inverters as well as high torque gear boxes.
In just the United States, where NORD has 400 employees, the company builds 600 gearboxes a day and 300 motors a day, Schultz said. Early this summer, the company plans to break ground on an expansion project in Waunakee that will add another 60,000 square feet of factory space and 16,000 square feet of office space.
“We are also celebrating our 40th anniversary in the United States,” he said.
NORD is proud of its after-market service, vowing great customer service with local engineers who can help the end users.
“They can really help end users develop customized drive solutions,” Schultz said. “Thirty percent of our orders are built to custom specifications.”
Another factor that differentiates NORD is its lead times, he said, noting that 24% of items are shipped the same or next day, 44% in five days and 70% in 10 working days.
“We’ve really set the bar very high for the industry,” Schultz said. “We’re building 650 drives with all the variations every day; that’s a big complexity from a logistics side. That’s where we really help our customers. We can help them very quick, quote very quick and supply the product very quick, so that gives us a big competitive edge.”
NORD is always improving, he said, such as the addition of online tools at www.myNORD.com where customers can configure products, get quotes, download drawings, check their order status and more.
“24/7 you can help yourself online,” Schultz said. “It makes things easier for our customers. The industry is changing. People don’t want to wait long to get a quote or a drawing; they want to have immediate access to their requirements.
“We’re very proud of the tools we have and we’re developing more and more along that line.”
On the product innovation side, NORD developed NSD TUPH, an alternative to stainless steel at a fraction of the price. A molecular conversion of the aluminum alloy surface provides a 5-8 micron layer of surface hardness, which makes it seven times stronger than the normal aluminum alloy.
It costs 30% to 40% less than stainless steel and it’s much lighter in weight. NSD TUPH also transfers heat better so it has a much better thermal capacity. Schultz said NORD has more than 1,000 units installed in the United States, some of them running up to eight years already.
“They’re keeping up very, very well, so they’ve proven themselves,” he said. “It holds up to abrasive washdown environments.”
For the grain industry, NORD offers a screw conveyor package (SCP), which it said is a compact and cost-effective alternative to traditional screw conveyor drives. The design eliminates the need for top motor mounts, pulleys, belts or guards.
“It’s very interchangeable, very service friendly and safe,” Schultz said. “We can put the SCP on various gearbox models. By minimizing parts and eliminating belted input systems, NORD’s SCP provides easier system maintenance, increased reliability, and superior drive performance.”