Menominee- On June 29th, 2013, L.E. Jones held its first annual softball tournament. The teams were divided by department, and the foundry team took first place. All proceeds were to go to a local charity which was voted upon by participants. The Menominee Animal Shelter won the vote and was presented with a check for $500.00.
By Mike Desotell, Eagle Herald staff writer
Menominee—Odds are fairly good that most people traveling through Menominee on U.S. 41 will drive right past one of the largest employers in town and never know it. Located two blocks off the main highway, L.E. Jones Company keeps a pretty low profile—even though some 365 people walk through its doors each day. What the company lacks in location, it more than makes up for in world recognition. For more than 70 years, L.E. Jones has been making heavy duty valve seat inserts for some of the biggest names in the business—Cummins, Caterpillar and Volvo. Those specially designed, made-from-scratch parts have found their way to the four corners of the earth.
Success is no accident to the company that prides itself on tried and tested manufacturing processes and a loyal and dedicated workforce. The combination of these factors has led company officials to recently agree to invest $2 million in new equipment. It's part of an open-ended multi-year master plan to reinvest in the company. Right now high tech machinery such as CNC lathe turners, automated inspection equipment and grinding machines will be going into the 10,000-square-foot addition built in 2011. While the current phase of development will not involve adding any additional square footage, future phases will. In the coming years the company will be looking at new offices, additional bays and perhaps a new shipping and inspection area; all on the current footprint in the 1200 block of 34th avenue.
"Realizing we were coming up to a capacity issue here at the plant, I talked to David Doll, who is the president/CEO and owner, about getting some additional capacity in here," said Daniel Ward, vice president/sales and marketing. Doll then went to Scott Smith, vice president of manufacturing, and his team to see what was needed to increase production. Loaded with ideas, he took the plan to the board of directors, which approved spending $2 million. Smith said there's plenty of room on the property for a couple more 10,000-square-foot expansions over the next several years.
What does all this mean when it comes to the workforce? Well, by the company's own admission, the last half of 2012 was not stellar. The company went through some downsizing with layoffs. On the up note, about two-thirds of those who were released have now been called back. "We're kind of in that phase right now getting everybody that was displaced last year back to work," said Smith. "When I started here in 2002, I was blown away by the demographic of how many people were here 20 years or more and the knowledge they have."
Ward agreed, saying,"We're very proud of what we do here and what our employees do to make world-class parts."
Smith credited low turnover to the fact that L.E. Jones is a good company to work for. "With a real low turnover, it means we have a lot of people who have been here a lot of years,” he said. “Our experience is really our strong point."
Menominee—After months in the making, the L.E. Jones Company has unveiled a new company logo. “The changes made to our logo and corporate brand reflect the high performance expectations for our customers and L.E. Jones distinct ability to meet these goals,” said company president and CEO David Doll.
The company is recognized as a world leader in the production of valve seat inserts for medium and heavy duty engines. More than half of the inserts made at the main facility in Menominee are exported to Sweden, France, Brazil, India, China and Japan, to name a few. L.E. Jones has offices in Chengdu, China and Houston Texas.
L. E. Jones Company is very pleased to announce the promotion of Todd Trudeau to the position of Senior Product Engineer. Trudeau has been with L. E. Jones for over 18 years and provides leadership for the company with its worldwide customers in the development of engine valve train. Trudeau came to L. E. Jones after working five years with General Motors, specializing in valve train and camshaft chain drive systems.
The L.E. Jones team is proud to be a part of Da Yooper Plunge and able to support our local DAR Boys and Girls Club along with the River Cities Community Pool.
L. E. Jones has been a contributor to the Peninsula Foundation for a number of years with scholarships given in name of Ame & Catherine Vennema and Peter Vennema. Helping our area youth continue their education is a priority and hope to grow this contribution in the future.
In collaboration with the Local Union, UAW 566, we participated in the Toys for Tots Campaign. We donated 40 toys to the children in our local area. In addition to Toys for Tots, LEJ donated to the Union’s Adopt a Family.
Around the world, engine and truck makers face a fierce reality of ever-changing regulatory and environmental requirements coupled with intensified end-customer demands driven by the need for greater performance and lower cost. The volatile economic environment of the past several years, combined with erratic swings in order volumes, have made it challenging to predict future volumes and ideal inventories.
The best engine and truck makers face these challenges with innovative designs and by fostering true partnerships with top-flight suppliers. L.E. Jones is just such a partner to many of the world’s greatest engine and truck makers. Why? Because L.E. Jones is able to quickly adapt in assisting with engine design parameters and testing, materials technology, production capability, capacity management (up and down) and assisted just in time inventory management and shipping. L.E. Jones is a vital partner in our customers’ success—minimizing costs and providing enhanced service well beyond supplying parts.
We are honored by our customer relationships. We know the issues they face and consider it our job to help them thrive while overcoming simultaneous challenges in multiple markets.
Precision valve seat inserts are all we do…
For the world’s finest valve seat inserts, the global engine community looks to the L.E. Jones Company, because we simply do it better than anyone else. Our long history of excellence and leadership has earned us a respected position within the global engine manufacturing community. Since 1941 L.E. Jones has produced valve seat inserts for the world’s premier engine manufacturers at our production facility in Menominee, Michigan. Today we have an additional, brand new, state-of the-art manufacturing operation in China to support our global customers.
Quality must be our top priority…
Valve seat inserts are an essential and critical engine component and must be manufactured to meet exceedingly tight tolerances and function flawlessly. Engine manufacturers trust L.E. Jones and have honored us, and our exceptional product, with numerous awards for quality and service. L.E. Jones has a culture committed to quality and that is why we have ultra-low PPM rates having produced over 700 million inserts over the years.
OVER 70 YEARS
of world-class commitment to quality.
The L.E. Jones Company is the world's largest manufacturer of heavy-duty valve seat inserts. That's virtually all we have done since our founding in 1941—and we do it better than anyone else in the world. This isn't a claim we make lightly. In a time of corporate diversification, we have chosen to excel in producing the one single product we pioneered more than 70 years ago.