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Thinking Outside the Box

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Design Engineer Tyson Augustin works on SCS’ new Pave Button

Traditional Braille applicator SCS has evolved to offer much more.

Red Wing, Minnesota-based SCS Elevator Products Inc. manufactures cab and jamb Braille, industry signage, safety barricades, buttons, contact bases and custom orders. It focuses on North America but ships around the world. It also provides part design, toolmaking, diecasting, metal stamping and injection molding services.

SCS said that, like most companies, its biggest challenges are the tight labor market, cost of raw materials and benefits for employees. It currently has 75 employees and is growing as it adds new clients including OEMs, independents, fixture companies and distributors. Always looking to expand its footprint, SCS plans to continue growth by finding new customers and increasing market share through product development. It will also “continue to introduce new products as we identify needs in the industry,” President Dave Muelken added. Striving to provide the best customer service it can, SCS stresses responsiveness and proactiveness. Muelken said it is committed to face-to-face customer visits, tradeshows, networking and providing quality products.

SCS was originally Stencil Cutting and Supply Co., founded in the mid 1970s by Robley G. Cook. The visually impaired Cook recognized a need to assist others with sight problems by providing directional Braille signs. He identified the elevator industry as the primary market for his Braille sign product. His overtures were well-received by the OEMs, which began using his stamped-metal Braille signs on door jambs and cab control plates. Cook passed away in 1983, and the business continued to operate with a focus on continued growth using newly designed diecast Braille plates to aesthetically complement all elevators.

Since the mid 1970s, SCS has grown to provide a wide range of manufacturing capabilities. It continues to focus on designing, manufacturing and providing finished products using its core competencies of injection molding; diecasting (polishing, straight lining, painting and plating); and metal stamping.

The ISO 9001:2015-certified company has an experienced engineering staff that uses rapid-prototyping technology to achieve short lead times and cost-effective methods to meet customer requirements. It also keeps a wide selection of inventory on hand. SCS says that, from proprietary products to contract manufacturing, its goal is to make its customers feel that choosing it is like working with an extension of their own facilities.

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