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Companies Combine to Make Communication Devices

July 7, 2004

2 Min Read
Companies Combine to Make Communication Devices

Originally Published MPMNJune 2004


Companies Combine to Make Communication Devices

Susan Wallace


David Binczik, director of operations for AbleNet Inc. (left), and Michael Brusseau, director of business development for ATEK Co. (right), hold two of AbleNet's specialized communication devices used to assist children with severe disabilities. The new products are manufactured and assembled by ATEK under a new supply partnership with AbleNet.

A new manufacturing and supply management partnership will produce a line of educational recording and playback devices for children with severe disabilities. ATEK Co. (Brainerd, MN; www.atekmanufacturing.com)and AbleNet Inc. (Minneapolis) will manufacture and manage the supply of five products with 25 variations.
The arrangement benefits both companies. For AbleNet, it provides broad manufacturing capabilities. For ATEK, the partnership allows the company to continue its diversification plan of partnering with firms that are looking for an expert to take over their supply chain and manufacturing tasks.

"We began with a single AbleNet product that had over 140 different components," says Christy Orris, the chief executive officer at ATEK. "Within 40 days of providing AbleNet with a proposal, we were able to produce and assemble all of those different components into finished product while reducing AbleNet's manufacturing costs on certain products and ensuring finished product quality of 99% or better on the entire product line." 

Present volume for the AbleNet products manufactured and assembled in ATEK's facilities will exceed $1 million this year, according to Orris, with volume expected to double in the second year. "We learned quickly from AbleNet that this is an underserved industry with very large potential for future growth. With AbleNet's creativity in developing and marketing communication devices for children with severe disabilitiespartnered with ATEK's manufacturing and assembly capabilities, we believe we have the ideal combination of strengths to make a huge contribution to the quality of life for these children," she continues.

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