Mike Necessary, President and CEO
Prudent American Technologies is a premier USA based contract manufacturer of highly engineered plastics and CNC machined metal components, Conceptualized in September 2018, the company is the result of a merger between Molding Solutions, Inc., a thermoplastics contract manufacturer from Lexington, Kentucky, established in 1980, and Chiptec, LLC., founded in 1984, a precision machining contract manufacturer from Decatur, Alabama.
Chiptec was a primary supplier to Molding Solutions. “They were the precision machining partner of the organization, and Molding Solutions took care of the injection molding, assembly and order fulfillment,” states Mike Necessary, President and CEO at Prudent American Technologies, Inc. “We had an ongoing relationship for many years before merging the two companies.” It was the idea to bring all these capabilities under one roof that enabled Prudent American to tackle their clients’ pain points better.
Today, the company is on a transformation journey as they grow and respond to the rapidly changing needs of product developers. A strategic full-service provider, the company can do it all for a customer or meet specific needs. Assembling a formidable team of experts, specialized tools, and precision machinery has allowed them to take the bold step of becoming the Amazon of its space--a one stop shop for precision machining and engineering -- which gives the company a competitive edge as they continually innovate for their customers.
Addressing the Need for Faster Time to Market
At a time when the focus is on speed, Prudent American Technologies addresses the issue head on. The company’s advanced engineering process is streamlined for rapid design, prototyping, and production of products. The company leverages a combination of in-house resources, dedicated manufacturing facilities, and partner organizations. In many cases, Prudent American has dedicated equipment for specific customers and product lines.
“We are putting ourselves in a position to serve and partner at the early stages of the product development process, and this allows us to help define what solution fits the needs and desires of our customers,” says Necessary. “Our value is driven by understanding our customer's business, focusing on their goals, and aligning our capabilities to provide those solutions.”
Completing Incomplete or Partial Designs
Many companies have new product requirements but are unable to design them. “Or maybe they come to us with the product design, but it is incomplete and will require DFM (design for manufacturability) simulation and analysis. We are able to assist and lead this next technical stage of the process. Once the design is complete, we have the capability to help our customer with the actual tooling to produce the product,” says Necessary.
This is where Prudent American really shines. Depending on the customer need, Prudent American offers services from the cradle to the grave, helping them design a product or change their design to be more manufacturable and support them with the effort to tool it up.
We are putting ourselves in a position to serve and partner at the early stages of the product development process, and this allows us to help define what solution fits the needs and desires of our customers
The company does not shy away from adapting to the customer’s evolving requests. In addition to the advanced engineering process, the Prudent American team can be the warehouse, as well as the final fulfillment point that includes: retail & bulk packaging, kitting, and assembly services.
From 2D Prints to 3D Printing
With 3D printing picking up pace, it’s become a massive part of Prudent American’s advanced engineering process. “If somebody comes in with 2D prints, you are dead in the water. You have to create 3D data as a starting point for everything you do,” informs Necessary.
In its injection molding facility, Prudent American uses a software package called Moldex 3D, which allows the team to simulate the mold filling process, eliminating the strenuous process of creating it physically and fixing issues later, such as gate size, location, or venting. Moldex 3D allows Prudent American to simulate based on materials that have been characterized by their viscosity and flow characteristics creating a data profile. This is used to simulate the filling of that mold and the cavities, allowing adjustments to the design before ever cutting the first chip.
As new technologies emerge and evolve, Prudent American Technologies is quick to embrace them. The days of manufacturing products from 2D prints are long past. Most manufacturers now work in the 3D realm with customers, suppliers, and engineers requiring 3D data as the first step. Prudent American excels through the advanced engineering process by taking this 3D data and using it to perfect and streamline the up front work to “speed products to market.”
One example is the additive manufacturing process. Originally developed for crude prototyping in the design of products, it is now an everyday tool used not only in product design, but in the manufacturing of products that might not warrant the investment in high volume tooling or processes. A second example is in the use of simulation systems in both the CNC and injection molding operations of the company. Flow modeling software can marry tool, material, machine, and process to predict needed adjustments to properly and most efficiently mold or machine a product. The alternative is a process of trial and error where initial assumptions yield to “give and take” and changes, costing valuable time and money. In Prudent American's CNC operation, CAM software offers a similar advantage where the company can predict and test work holding, machining steps, cutting tools on the exact equipment planned, allowing engineers and manufacturing teams to perfect the process before the next step is ever taken.
Breathing Life into Ideas
When the mission statement of a company reads, “Creating an environment where we are trusted by our employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and local communities to act in their collective best interest,” you can bet they have the substance to back up the bragging rights. It is not a surprise to find these words on the website of Prudent American. A leader in the injection molding and precision machining manufacturing space, customers in the aerospace, automotive, firearm, military, medical and industrial markets can vouch for the superior quality, performance, high-quality standards, and top-notch customer relationships, which they have experienced and come to expect from Prudent American over the years. Housing the most talented personnel from Lexington, Kentucky, and Decatur, Alabama, clients can find the answers to creating the most challenging products from Prudent American’s combined 80,000 square feet manufacturing facilities.
“In a world filled with graveyards of failed companies in technology, Prudent American believes in working on the business rather than just working in the business”
But as they say, Rome was not built in a day, and Prudent American becoming a juggernaut in its space did not happen overnight.
Catering to Customers
Prudent American has a “customer-centric” culture that is reflected in how their team members (also known as Heroes) are continuously improving how they serve internal and external customers. This approach delivers innovations for customized solutions to customers from diverse industries. Over the years, it has crafted a versatile program and offers every customer the highest standard of quality. Customers can be assured that there is continued effort to improve methodology, facilities, capabilities for customer requirements, and continued certifications. With a range of solutions such as injection molding, assembly, engineering design, product design, process technologies, packaging and fulfillment, Prudent American is certified to several standards: ITAR, ISO 9001:2015, AS9100D, ANAB (American National Standards Board), and NSF (National Sanitation Foundation).
Continuous improvement is a hallmark of Prudent American’s philosophy. The company continues to refine, adapt, adjust, and maybe even back up and start over in situations where the direction it took wasn’t what worked for customers, so they fixed this. Investing in the team and the people is a massive part of its roadmap as well.
“We are very good in particular markets, but we would like to see more growth in new industries," notes Necessary. Essentially, we are taking what works for our existing customers and replicating this approach to serve new opportunities.”
“As we talk about the speed of change, it continues to be imperative that we are customer centric regardless of the markets we are serving. We are committed to industry and product diversity, and we are certain we can achieve this with our core team focused on becoming highly collaborative by owning our mission, strategy, and values. This approach is providing leadership at all levels of the organization steering us towards the achievement of our mission,” concludes Necessary.