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VOLUME -23 NUMBER 2
Publication Date: 02/1/2008
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Electronic Mfg. Services
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February 2008 Issue
Electronic Mfg. Services
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Building the Best, and Building it in the U.S.A.
Overview of production floor at Morey's Woodridge, IL facility.
By Mike Martel
As the concept of outsourcing electronics manufacturing in Far East manufacturing plants loses its luster, a number of homegrown U.S. manufacturers are developing niches of their own. One of these is The Morey Corporation in Woodridge, Illinois, specializing in the manufacture of hardened electronics. This 100-million dollar EMS bills itself as a leader in advanced, reliable hardened electronics.
The company is known worldwide for its reliable products for applications in which they simply cannot fail. For more than seven decades, it has been at the forefront of innovation in electronic product development and manufacturing for the telematics, display and controller markets. The company has long-term manufacturing relationships with top-tier industry leaders in the commercial transportation, aeronautical, agriculture, construction, military, and other heavy equipment industries. The Morey Corporation has long been an Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) Provider, and has grown to become an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) and a world leader in its class over the last decade.
Hardened Telematics Unit
For example, an advanced hardened electronic telematics unit, developed and manufactured by The Morey Corp., was recently deployed by Earthwave
Technologies. The EMS provider developed and manufactures the GS-307 telematics unit, but of equal or greater importance Morey hardened the electronics to survive the harsh environment of heavy duty construction equipment. The GS-307 collects GPS and vehicle data and then transmits the information to a facility operated by Earthwave. Earthwave Technologies provides fleet and construction management solutions systems that collect specific and customizable data from customer fleets, which is then delivered to its customers in easy-to-utilize, useful reports. Earthwave solutions are designed to maximize the utilization of its customers' fleets — increasing productivity and eliminating excess expense to maximize customer profits. The data is transmitted via Aeris
(http://www.aeris.net), a major wireless communications service provider dedicated exclusively to the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Telematics marketplace across North America. Aeris's network enables Earthwave Technologies to provide this vital data to its customers in real time. This collaborative business model, common in sophisticated telematics systems represents another facet of Morey's capabilities.
The Morey Corporation began when William Morey started building radio test sets for Montgomery Ward in 1934. William's son Richard took the helm in 1958. Richard's three sons — Scott, Jay, and Dana — became involved in the company during the 1980s, with Scott becoming President in 1991. During Scott's tenure, company revenues have grown from under $10 Million to nearly a $100 Million today. It moved into its current state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot corporate headquarters in June, 2000.
In September, 2007, the company unveiled the new Richard and Gene Morey Innovation Center, a 27,500 ft
advanced engineering development center dedicated to new product and process development. The new facility incorporates state-of-the-art laboratory and research facilities as well as production equipment for electronics assembly. The new Center is named for the second generation of the family to operate the company.
Started as Monarch
The company started life as Monarch Manufacturing. It was renamed when William Morey started building radio test sets for Montgomery Ward in 1934. As with any new organization, the first few years presented many challenges, but with the advent of World War II, opportunities grew, and Morey supported the national efforts manufacturing radio components and torpedo detonators.
The business continued to flourish through the Korean War; however, with the drums of hostility fading, and the need for military radio equipment declining, Morey had to change to survive. William's son, Richard joined the enterprise and helped develop a new market, manufacturing silver mica condensers and insulators. The strategy worked, and William Morey passed the torch to his son, Richard, in 1958.
New Cable Design
At the same time, Morey developed the cord reel with a unique "continuous cable" design. The cord reel elevated the company to the next level and eventually found use in numerous mission-critical applications including Military, NASA, Medical, Aviation and Telephony. Morey cord reels have been used in space, installed on Polaris submarines, and continue to be used today in commercial aircraft cabin infotainment systems offered by Rockwell Collins. The next major milestone in Morey history was based on the company's relationship with Western Electric, which purchased over one million Cord Reels for use in their secretary switchboard products in the late 1950s. In 1960, Western Electric asked Morey to quote and manufacture a printed circuit board (PCB) assembly. The small PCB amplifier assembly, primitive by today's standards, was the company's introduction to the world of electronic "solid-state" assembly.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the company's core business became contract electronic (PCB) manufacturing; it became established as a reliable and prompt "tier one" supplier of custom electronic assemblies for Fortune 100 companies including AT&T, Caterpillar, Honeywell, IBM and Westinghouse, many of which continue to be Morey customers today.
Home for 33 Years
In 1967, the company built a new facility in Downers Grove, Illinois that ultimately served the organization for 33 years. It was in this facility that the company and electronic manufacturing grew up together. The 1970s saw the implementation of automation, initially with through-hole technology, followed by the addition of Surface Mount Technology. Personal computers were introduced and a new field known as software development began to grow and Morey began manufacturing electronic assemblies for Caterpillar in 1978. The 1980s witnessed tremendous growth in electronics with microprocessor-based electronic assemblies penetrating numerous new applications and markets and three of Richard Morey's sons became actively involved in the business. Scott Morey joined the firm in 1980, Jay Morey in 1984, and Dana Morey in 1985. During the 1980s, the company greatly expanded its expertise in hardening electronics for rugged applications, an area that has continued to grow. This decade also saw Cord Reels expanded into "air-to-ground" telephony on commercial aircraft. The company worked extensively with Airfone to define the mechanical envelope, and to develop and manufacture the first handsets used on commercial aircraft. Morey retractable cord reels were incorporated into the GTE Airfone design and were subsequently incorporated into systems produced by AT&T Wireless, Hughes Network Systems, In-Flight Phone, Rockwell Collins and Sony. Scott, Jay and Dana were elevated to President and Vice Presidents respectively in 1991. Throughout the 90s, Morey's business was concentrated in commercial aviation with air-to-ground telephony and contract work focused on hardened applications. However, as the Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) market underwent tremendous change and consolidation, The Morey Corporation began redefining itself yet again, establishing rigorous process controls, developing an ISO 9000 Certified Quality System, and expanding its product development capabilities.
To serve the increasing needs of its customers, Morey moved into a new state-of-the-art 100,000 ft
Corporate Headquarters in Woodridge, Illinois in June 2000. The new facility further enhanced the company's competitiveness and helped lay the foundation for the company to weather the dot-com recession and subsequent China migration. In fact, since 2000, Morey has consistently grown its business, developed new products, and diversified its customer portfolio with OEMs such as Case New Holland, General Electric, and International Truck and Engine. Today, it continues to push its technological expertise while embracing the workmanship standards of the past.
The market for telematics products is booming, and the company is poised to capitalize on this boom. It recently completed packaging development to harden and manufacture what is described as the world's smallest, most affordable global satellite tracking tag for Orbit One. The new extremely rugged product, introduced by Orbit One and Numerex, is the first in a series of revolutionary, self contained, battery-operated, multi-year, global satellite tracking tags, part of their OrbitOne
TAV (Total Asset Visibility) Solution.
Measuring just 7.25 x 3.25 x 1-in. (184 x 83 x 25mm) and weighing only 13 ounces (369g), the inexpensive product, currently called the SX1, can be attached in seconds to high value assets such as intermodal shipping containers, trailers, buoys, barges, mobile generators, etc., by use of several "peel and stick" mounting options and transmit their GPS location over satellite. The satellite-based SX1 is part of a complete, turnkey global tracking and monitoring solution specifically designed for emergency response.
Certified to exceed MIL STD 810, IP68 and NEMA 6P ratings, the made in U.S.A. SX1 is said to have the highest environmental integrity of any RFID, satellite, or cellular tracking device and is capable of delivering up to seven years of uninterrupted service with a single, easily field-replaceable battery pack. In addition to providing global GPS visibility, the SX1 will help alleviate security concerns, reduce demurrage and fleet downtime, and increase operational and logistical efficiencies for military and commercial shippers, forwarders, steamship lines, port operators, customs clearance, trucking, and air and rail users.
Keith Gelinas, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said, "We're pleased that Orbit One chose us to build this remarkable new product for them, leveraging our expertise in hardened, high-reliability electronics to partner with their global leadership in the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions, satellite-telematics, and asset tracking and monitoring markets. These are technologies and markets poised for substantial growth."
For more information, contact: The Morey Corporation, 100 Morey Drive, Woodridge, IL 60517
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