Kristen Lem

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Nearly 30 Years Under Their Conveyer Belt and Ultimation is Still Innovating!

Woman-Owned Company Has the Handle on Hand Push Trolleys, Automation Technology, and More

You may not recognize Ultimation by name, but chances are, you are very familiar with the brands and organizations they work with: Ford, Nissan, Volvo, and the United States Navy just to name a few.  Around since 1988, Ultimation specializes in assembly line equipment and conveyors.  They design, manufacture, and install automation equipment and assembly conveyers for facilities of all sizes.  In short, they are a huge reason so many of us are able to enjoy our favorite cars, equipment, and virtually anything requiring an assembly line to be built.  With nearly three decades under their conveyer belts, this woman-owned company grew their products to be some of the most innovative in the industry.  Below are just a few reasons Ultimation is one to watch as they continue to revolutionize how our most beloved and widely-recognized items are made.

They Work with Tesla

In July 2017, Tesla’s Model 3 Electric Car went into production with Ultimation in the passenger seat and along for the ride, offering their support with heavy duty tire and wheel delivery trailers.  To give you an idea of volume, the Tesla launch fleet consisted of 5 Ultimation trailers, each containing 6 levels and 230 tires.  Not only must the delivery be made on time, but there are literally a lot of moving parts, as a right tire wheel for example needs to be delivered in the right sequence.  Furthermore, with a luxury vehicle like the Tesla, tires are never stacked on top of each other to prevent damage.  Ultimation CEO Jaqueline Canny was pleased to welcome Tesla into their roster stating: “We are now seeing nearly all North American automotive manufacturers using Ultimation’s tire and wheel delivery trailer technology. Our conveyor systems are in daily service delivering tire and wheel assemblies to plants at GM, Ford, Chrysler and now Tesla.”

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They’ve Got a Grip on Hand Push Trolleys

How hard is it getting from point A to point B? Pretty difficult if you are trying to move … oh say a few thousand pounds. Luckily, Ultimation makes transportation a snap with one of their most classic products: The I-Beam Trolley System Conveyor.  These trolleys have the ease of being hand operated (vs. motorized), yet they are made of cast iron designed for continuous, heavy-duty operation, transporting up to 4,000 pounds.  Don’t let the simplicity of this early innovation fool you.  Though products are attached rudimentarily by hook, they are able to maneuver around curves of varying distances, making it one of Ultimation’s most versatile products used in many settings, ranging from home workshops to industrial assembly plants.

Their Retrofit Kits are Anything but Retro

With traditional gravity roller conveyors already widely used at many companies, Ultimation saw an opportunity to motorize these existing systems.  Their Retrofit Kits literally “snap in” says Operations Manager Dawn Milot, “providing new life to old conveyors and allowing our customers to better support the demanding ‘just in time’ delivery requirements of today’s marketplace.”  In addition to being cost-effective and sustainable, the kits use “zero pressure accumulation” (ZPA) technology, which honestly … is the stuff of sci-fi movies.  In a ZPA situation, parts move along the motorized the conveyor until they get close (but do not touch) the product in front of it.  The system is programmed with a logic card and used in combination with the kit’s photo-eye sensors to control each zone along the conveyor.  As you can imagine, this results in more efficiency and less programming/commissioning time.

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It’s Alive! Wait, Let’s Make Sure it Works First.

Ultimation’s 3D technology allows customers to view how their conveyers will work before they are built.  Trolleys are created in a “virtual factory” with 3D before-and-after rendering.  With this service, not only do customers get a visual on their completed conveyer, they can actually check the ergonomics of loading and unloading, confirm loads and output rates, and catch any discrepancies early on before time and money is potentially wasted.

Did We Mention They are Woman-Owned?

Whoever said “leave the heavy-lifting to the men” sure had it wrong.  Ultimation CEO Jacqueline Canny has been the woman behind manufacturing and moving tons of product since 2011, the same year they became WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) certified.  Canny was also recently recognized as a Michigan Diversity Business Leader for her work at Ultimation, which was also named to Corp! Magazine’s annual Salute to Diversity List.  The honor was accepted by Canny, joined by her leadership team: Operation Manager, Dawn Milot and Accounting and Administration Manager, Carol Barker.

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