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Representatives from NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Visit SII

Last Friday, we were honored by a visit from representatives of the National Institute of Standards & Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) who were interested to see our growing company’s operations first hand.

Guests included Aimee Dobrzeniecki, Deputy Director of NIST MEP. According to their website: “The Manufacturing Extension Partnership is a catalyst for strengthening American manufacturing – accelerating its ongoing transformation into a more efficient and powerful engine of innovation driving economic growth and job creation.”

Deputy Director Dobrzeniecki made a number of comments that brought smiles to the faces of the SII team, including, “It was a pleasure to visit a wonderful example of a new manufacturer poised for great success resulting from their individual hard work combined with the best resources of the federal government accelerating success and reducing the risks associated with exporting.  We are glad that MEP and ExporTech could contribute.”

NIST MEP manages the ExporTech program. ExporTech trains promising U.S. companies on how to export their products thus supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI).

Stress Indicators participated in the MEP ExporTech program in 2009 when the company was just beginning its export program. The program was very worthwhile according to SII President, Charles Popenoe III who told the group, “The experience we gained through ExporTech was a great catalyst for us to expand not only our export program but our entire business.  After just two years, SII exports currently account for more than 50% of the company’s sales.” Click to read about the company’s trade mission trip to Brazil in 2010.

It was during the ExporTech program that SII was introduced to Melissa S. Kelly-McCabe, MS, GPCC, of Clear Intent Strategy, Inc. and Michael Stone of Stone & Associates. Both create and administer the ExporTech training sessions and were instrumental in helping to uncover the export potential for SmartBolts.

Ms Kelly-McCabe commented, “It is pretty exciting to see how Stress Indicators has grown – and the path forward seems up-up-up! Congratulations! The SmartBolt is such an innovative product – I love using it as an example of U.S. ingenuity and innovation.  The faces of people who know bolts light right up when I tell them about the visual tension indicator. Thank you for a great visit.”

Mr. Stone concurred by adding, “It’s phenomenal to see how much Stress Indicators has grown since participating in ExporTech and the TradeWinds mission in Brazil! SmartBolts are a perfect example of how innovative U.S. companies can develop successful, unique products that generate economic and job growth for the country. It’s thrilling to see your success….and it seems that the sky is the limit with so many potential applications for SmartBolts. Our energy and motivation comes from seeing wonderful companies like yours ‘take off’, and knowing that we were able to play a valuable role supporting all your hard work.”

Charles Popenoe III describes the company’s electrical busway success story. Above, representatives from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership look on as Stress Indicators President, Charles Popenoe III describes the company’s electrical busway success story. He explained, “General Electric was the first to include our DTI SmartBolts in their electrical busway products — now they are in demand by electrical busway manufacturers around the globe for this specific application.” He added, ” The company’s mission now is to greatly expand the use of SmartBolts in many new applications through the education of our potential customers as to the superiority of tension over the commonly used method of torque measurement, which can be very misleading to installers and safety inspectors. SmartBolts measure bolt elongation, the only true measure of tension and tightness of a joint.” Pictured from left to right are Melissa S. Kelly-McCabe, Aimee Dobrzeniecki, Charles Popenoe III and Michael Stone.