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Pelco Integrates Advanced Manufacturing Technologies


Pelco Products is the largest traffic and utility hardware manufacturer in the country. Producing brackets, lighting, poles, pedestrian push buttons, copper theft deterrent solutions, and hundreds of other parts, the company supplies customers around the world. Founded in 1985, Pelco employs about 120 at its factory in Edmond, Oklahoma, just north of Oklahoma City.

The Challenge

When Phil Parduhn founded Pelco Products 35-plus years ago, he was committed to innovation and integration of the latest manufacturing technologies. In fact, Pelco continuously develops new products and has secured numerous patents. It holds an industry reputation as a forward-thinking enterprise. But over the years as hundreds of new products were rolled out, operations became inefficient and physically sprawled across a large factory campus. Phil’s son Steve - now CEO - knew the overall production process and individual production flows were due for a major makeover. For advice, he turned to Kevin Barber, a manufacturing extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, part of the MEP National Network™. Barber had worked on numerous projects with Pelco and was considered a trusted advisor by the Parduhns.

The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance is a valuable state resource and an important part of Pelco’s team. Our significant modernization and integration of advanced manufacturing technologies just wouldn’t have been possible without them.

— Steve Parduhn, CEO

MEP's Role

Barber met with Steve Parduhn and other leaders to discuss objectives and how to incorporate advanced manufacturing technology and concepts into production operations. To help create maximum efficiency and meet future capacity goals, Barber brought in Rajesh Krishnamurthy, an applications engineer working for the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance. Krishnamurthy has vast experience in plant layout and design. He examined flow, digitizing certain processes to create a computerized model of production movement. This allowed Krishnamurthy and managers to test different scenarios without having to shift actual equipment or combine tasks. The virtual simulations even let Pelco test new technologies without having pieces onsite.

Optimal schemes were established for individual functions and those processes were then transferred to the real-world factory floor. Together, they were coordinated and streamlined to create the most efficient overall operations. New equipment was purchased and advanced manufacturing concepts like additive manufacturing stations and robotic welding cells were integrated. Krishnamurthy is currently working to install a company-wide Industrial Internet of Things system.

Pelco is now a statewide advocate for the adoption of new technologies, often hosting tours and making presentations to manufacturing groups.

Created April 28, 2022