Issue

May 2017

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Made in Washington is a monthly photo feature about a Washington manufacturer.

At a boutique hotel in the chic Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., you can use your smartphone to check in and use it again to unlock the door to your room.

Although we are still in the early months of a new presidential administration, we have seen an upending of the status quo and an undoing of America’s role as a leader in a more integrated, global economy.

During World War II, when accommodations were scarce, the house where I’ve lived for the past 28 years was a flophouse for more than a dozen railroad workers. Beds were lined up six to a room.

You would think that getting corporate boards of directors to achieve gender balance was an issue addressed — and answered — a generation ago. And you would be wrong.

There’s a fight going on. Then again, when isn’t there one at the intersection of business and politics over the past woes, present condition and future prospects for American manufacturing?

If there exists a common thread in the crazy-quilt method of the Kushner/Trump administration, it surely must be the enthusiastic repudiation of “government overreach.”

The only thing people ask of product packaging is that it organize, protect and market what’s inside, doing so as efficiently as possible. Three generations of the Wall family have built a successful packaging business that continues to grow and innovate. 

Skills describes itself with a one-two-three mnemonic: one mission (creating a stable, rewarding workplace for people with disabilities), two bottom lines (financial and social) and three paths to achieve its goals (employing people with disabilities, offering vocational programs and serving as a role model/resource to the community). 

Bakeries often have leftover ingredients and finished goods that are past their sell-by date. Feed Commodities turns these cereal and grain-based bakery byproducts into animal feed in a certified safe-feed facility. 

Canyon Creek has invested millions in expanded manufacturing and showroom space and replacing aging machinery, all with an eye toward boosting production capacity and quality while accommodating growth.

Pharmaceuticals don’t have to be produced by the millions in one-size-fits-all formulas. They can be customized to match patients’ specific ailments.

Outdoor gear takes a beating in rugged conditions. Gear Aid makes the adhesives, tapes, water repellents, cleaners, lubricants and deodorizers to restore camping equipment and sporting goods to prime condition.

Hops are a crucial flavoring ingredient in beer brewing, and Yakima Valley happens to be the world’s center of hops production.

The name certainly suggests its aerospace heritage, but Aero Precision today focuses on another product requiring sophisticated manufacturing and razor-thin tolerances. 

Accrafab needed room to expand its contract manufacturing and machine-shop operations. It scouted possible locations in Washington and across the state line in Idaho.

Moving something big and heavy — like a nuclear-reactor pump, a boat or an entire spacecraft — can be tough even with wheels. So why not let compressed air do the job? 

“Sustainability” has two applications in manufacturing these days. In the pages ahead, learn how the best of Washington manufacturers match the meaning of sustainability … however it’s defined.