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The Talon beside-the-press granulator from AEC Inc. highlights a system for product development and manufacturing at its North Uxbridge, Mass., plant.

AEC/Sterling also named Kevin Chudyk as vice president of size reduction for the Nelmor and Ball & Jewell lines of granulators. Chudyk's experience includes positions at auxiliary equipment makers Sterling Inc. of Milwaukee, Conair Group of Pittsburgh and EMI Corp. of Jackson Center, Ohio, and screw manufacturer Xaloy Inc. of Pulaski, Va.

Meanwhile in North Uxbridge, AEC invested $600,000 in a Bystronic laser machine to cut steel sheet and plate.

Several changes in manufacturing layout and product design started when AEC developed the Talon 6x8 granulator. Chudyk said the goal for the Talon is to ship within 24 hours of receiving an order. In the Ball & Jewell line of products, the same granulator carries the name Vision 6x8. The two lines are sold through different sales representatives.

Product design began in February. The design was completed in three months, and the first prototype was manufactured in May.

The final product was commercialized Sept. 1.

The Wood Dale, Ill.-based firm wanted a granulator that required minimum machining and would be easy to assemble. All parts are designed for laser cutting, which does not create burrs on the steel. AEC also reorganized the factory into manufacturing cells.

Price of the Talon is $4,800. The granulator boasts a small footprint, quiet operation and a dual-entry hopper with a low profile.

Tel. (508) 278-5584, fax (508) 278-6801.