Ledwell has a new division to add to our ever expanding product line: Ledwell Power Group. We recently acquired the assets of J-j Manufacturing Company in Henryetta, Oklahoma. After nearly 35 years in the industry, the owners of J-j Manufacturing were ready to pass on their pneumatic (air) products manufacturing business. Ledwell & Son, one of J-j’s largest customers, was the perfect option with its current machining capabilities as well as its desire to manufacture all parts and pieces in-house.
Transporting the company from Henryetta down to Texarkana required a small army. Over a 3-day period, 12 people and 4 trucks transported machinery, tooling, parts, racks, bins, benches raw material and computers. While that was happening, another crew at Ledwell was tearing down walls and rearranging existing machinery to make room for the incoming freight. Over 4000 square feet was opened for this venture. Over a short weekend, machines were set in place and Ledwell was back up and running with virtually zero down time.
The logistics of blending J-j into the Ledwell company proved more difficult and time consuming than expected. The previous owners had their (proven) ways to operate all aspects of their company and many of those ways were difficult for us to assimilate. We had to learn new computer software, bills-of-material, machine drawings, machining codes, customer knowledge and product knowledge in a very short period of time. Additionally, we had to begin the long task of rebuilding inventories of raw material, purchased items and semi-finished goods. Fortunately, Ledwell had the people and machine resources to solve these “opportunities”.
For the past few months we have placed all-hands-on-deck acquiring the knowledge to move the company forward in the marketplace. Machining techniques are producing better parts, at a faster speed. Our semi-finished goods inventory is growing, assembly processes are increasing and we are now beginning to make some engineering improvements. These changes are important, not only to our customers, but also to us as a large consumer of the products. We manufacture almost 2,500 standard products that comprise the over 400 pneumatic parts we offer.
In the future, expect to see a more nation-wide presence of our new addition. We will be developing a group of distributors and agents to sell our Air Products in the OEM and aftermarket. To that end, we are already adding additional multi-spindle machines and building a larger assembly/test area to increase our output. Expect to see more innovative products that will allow us to be responsive to customers’ needs.
Sizes range from 1.50″ to 8.00″ bore with various rod sizes, double rods, strokes and mounting. These cylinders are interchangeable with many others in the industry. Electric-over-air valves are available for wired control.
Manual, pilot operated, electrically operated, special function valves, and circuit savers. We have both pneumatic feathering and bang-bang control valves.
Hydraulic Valve Actuators
These actuators are used to stroke (shift) a variety of commercially available hydraulic control valves and dump pumps. We also have the ability to supply wireless remote controls so that the valves can be shifted away from an operator’s station.
Power Tower Consoles
Simple truck body air controls are integrated into a single stand-alone box (tower). We offer the industry’s widest selection of controls serving the needs of many vocational vehicles; dump, water, maintenance, lifting, winching, oil field, farm and feed, etc. The consoles can incorporate feathering control sticks, panel mounted air regulators and detented push-button operators to power cylinders or pilot controls. They can also be used to mount electrical switch panels and have “side boxes” installed to hold customer supplied valves.
Pneumatic Supply Manifolds and Hydraulic Return Manifolds
To eliminate extra plumbing and fittings, we manufacture several different configurations of aluminum air manifolds and hydraulic return line manifolds.
Electric Tarp Control Kits
We build a 12vdc electric, chain-drive tarp kit. The tarp bars and tarps are also available upon request.