Miller Electric

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Company Overview

The Story Behind
The Power of Blue
®



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Miller Values

Integrity - Doing the right thing

Commitment and loyalty - To our people and their families, our customers, the industry and to each other.

Teamwork - Valuing the input of all. Empowerment. Trust.

Entrepreneurial spirit - Risk taking... Encouraging it... Learning from it... Celebrating the successes

Innovation

Simplify (80/20). Improve flow. Focus on what is important

Exceeding expectations


Miller Principles

Simplify
- Deliver Value
- Be Easy to Do Business With

Flow
- Improve Productivity
- Reduce Inventory
- Improve Response/Delivery Time

Focus
- Place efforts strategically

Trust
- Foster a team effort to collective success

Empower
- Develop synergy among people

 

Our Company

Miller Electric Mfg. Co., with headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin, manufactures arc welding and cutting equipment designed for manufacturing, fabrication, construction, aviation, motorsports, education, agriculture and marine applications. Wholly owned by Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW), the company maintains its global leadership by setting the industry standard for reliability, quality and responsiveness. Its famous tagline, “The Power of Blue®,” is inspired by the blue color of Miller equipment.

This company began with an innovation that responded to customer needs, growing from a one-man operation to the world’s largest manufacturer of arc welding and cutting equipment. Miller keeps the tradition alive by focusing on its top priority: people.

Miller by the Numbers
The company started in 1929 when Neils Miller recognized the need for a small, affordable arc welder that would operate on the type of electricity readily available in rural Wisconsin. That spirit of innovation and problem solving lives on today. All of Miller’s 1,450 employees, working in 1 million sq. ft. of space, are encouraged to share ideas that improve products and processes, quality, safety and employee wellness.

Miller exemplifies the “80/20” philosophy. This ITW principle, widely recognized as a means for continuous improvement, says that 80 percent of sales arrive from 20 percent of products sold to key customers. Following this principle, Miller is organized into product-focused factories, known as business units, which optimize production flow and improve quality. Today, Miller measures lead times in days or even hours. As a result, no other welding company matches Miller’s responsiveness when it comes to fast delivery, product quality or after-sale support.

One simple fact showcases the power of Miller’s organization: while the number of production workers is about the same as it was 15 years ago, today’s workforce produces twice as many welders. Few companies in the world can boast a 100 percent production increase, much less do it with a workforce that has an average tenure of 19+ years and a turnover of less than 2 percent.

Miller people “bleed blue” with their dedication, and it shows through their community involvement. They annually donate thousands of personal hours for community improvement projects, and the company also gives them paid time off for these efforts as well. Through ITW Foundation, Miller has directed more than $1 million to local causes since 1993.

Advancing Welding Technology
Miller’s long history of innovation includes the first welder with a built-in wire feeder, the Millermatic® 35. Not until 1971 was there an “all-in-one” MIG welder that was affordable and easy to use—and perfect for welding on automobiles, farm and ranch equipment and home-hobby projects. Millions of Millermatics later, this product family has rekindled the love of metalworking just for fun (witness the popularity of shows like American Chopper), and it has turned many garage-shops into multi-million dollar fabrication businesses.

On the industrial side, Miller led the charge that made “inverter” technology widely accepted with the XMT® 304 multiprocess welder. Today, advanced products like the XMT, Axcess®, Dimension™ NT 456 and Millermatic 350P set the industry standards for reliability, arc quality, productivity and ease-of-use. In fact, Miller believes that putting more technology inside the machine should make it easier to use, not harder. That’s why its advanced welders are also among its most operator-friendly.

Miller products also build our future—literally. Next time you pass a construction job site or service truck, look for a Miller welder working hard. Miller designed its first gas engine-driven welding generator more than 50 years ago, and today the company’s Bobcat™ and Trailblazer® products are the most popular in the industry.


The Power of the People

Miller was the first U.S. welding equipment manufacturer—and one of the first few U.S. manufacturers of any product—to comply with the new ISO 9001:2000 standard. The standard addresses meeting customer requirements and achieving customer satisfaction in much greater detail than old standards.
Miller does business through an ever-increasing focus on customers’ welding challenges in specific market segments and applications and, ultimately, their complete satisfaction. Miller knows that customers in these industries don’t just buy welders; they want welding system solutions.

Often, these solutions come from good communication, a key element to Miller’s success. According to Miller President Mike Weller, “Because of our close relationships with our distributors and end-users, we have the opportunity to identify the key issues facing them and help create effective solutions. You’ll see that reflected in our products and services.”

As Miller looks to the future, and continues to make innovative steps, the company recognizes that the real Power of Blue isn’t in the products. It’s the power of Miller people, working together with customers and distributor partners, to make our future even stronger.