NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Dave Archer
At Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems, ideas come to life from the white-hot forge of a plasma cutting table.
The company, which produces products such as Torchmate and Vernon Tool, is a leader in the design, development, and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc-welding systems, plasma, and oxyfuel cutting equipment. For 30 years, Lincoln Electric has manufactured cutting machines from small home machines to large capacity industrial machines.
The company’s Reno location is where the Torchmate line of automated plasma cutting tables is assembled. Torchmate tables come in all sizes, from entry-level to industrial machines, making them suitable for businesses in agriculture, industrial manufacturing, architecture, and other industries. They’ve been used to create Burning Man art, race cars, and other custom metal fabrications.
“From an entrepreneurship standpoint, we’re helping small businesses start and grow their businesses.,” said Jeff Knoll, marketing manager. “So, we’re typically the first piece of automation that a small business will buy.”
The 100,000-square-foot facility in South Reno is where the cutting tables come together—from raw material, to assembly, to testing. The largest table the company produces in Reno stands eight feet wide and 22 feet long and weighs 10,000 pounds.
Torchmate began in 1979, in Harwood, Maryland, when Applied Robotics, Inc. began offering a low-cost, motor-driven, pantographic shape cutting machine. It allowed an operator to trace the shape of an existing part and quickly and easily make torch-cut a replica from metal.
In the 1990s, Torchmate moved its manufacturing to the Reno area. Then in 2011, a new cooperative organization was formed joining Torchmate and Vernon Tool brands in Reno under the name Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems.
Today, to create a pipeline of skilled workers for the facility and to support the local workforce and students, Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems has forged partnerships with many local educational institutions, such as Career College of Northern Nevada, Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno.
“Dealing with an automated piece of equipment requires a certain skill set to support it and educate our customers,” said Yonaton Necoechea, general manager for Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems. “So, some of the biggest initiatives that we have is partnering with the local schools to develop joint programs.”
Some of the programs, such as the one at CCNN, have already yielded results—three graduates are now full-time employees at Lincoln Electric Cutting Systems.
This education effort also creates a ripple effect, Necoechea said.
“A lot of people are familiar with Lincoln Electric, but they have no clue that we have a big facility right here in Reno,” he said.
See Lincoln Electric Cutting 100,000-square-foot vertically integrated manufacturing facility in Reno during NCET’s Tech Wednesday event from 5:30–7:30 p.m. on June 12. For more information and to purchase registration, visit NCETwed.org.
Dave Archer is president/CEO of NCET, which produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.