As a follow-up to his visit to Bison Gear & Engineering for National Manufacturing Day in 2014, Governor Rauner took time on Thursday, November 30 to meet with members of the Bison management team. The governor received an update on the state of global competition in the power transmission market and how that is impacting both Bison’s operation and other manufacturing facilities in Illinois. “Bison Gear & Engineering was honored to host Governor Rauner again. Manufacturing is the backbone to the US economy, so we are very pleased that Governor Rauner continues to visit local companies like Bison. Our team provided a first-hand look at the challenges we face and the opportunities that exist within the manufacturing sector in Illinois,” said John E. Burch, CEO.
Bison showcased a significant investment made in capital equipment and staffing over the past five years. This investment has allowed the company to add a new product line that addresses shifting customer demand for more efficient gearmotors. “By introducing the PowerSTAR line of right angle gearmotors, Bison was able to develop a hypoid gear box that significantly improves motor efficiency vs. comparable models that operate at only around 40% efficiency. This advancement has allowed our customers to achieve a higher output measure of torque with reduced power demand,” said Matt Hanson, vice president of product development.
Governor Rauner toured the plant floor at Bison with Executive Vice President of Operations, George Thomas. The tour highlighted many of the upgrades Bison has made to become more energy efficient and improve environmental impact. “A matching grant from the Illinois Department of Energy has allowed us to bring updated equipment online to address the increasing demand for our PowerSTAR gearmotors and newer lines of energy efficient DC motors,” said Thomas.
The governor concluded his visit with a short town hall session for Bison employees. Several topics were covered relating to how his office is working with other branches of government to address the increasing tax burden on Illinois residents. Governor Rauner also spoke about multiple state sponsored programs which have been enacted to improve access for educational programs focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).