REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – Black & Decker, which is expected to announce a new $25 million manufacturing plant in Mission, Texas, employing 400-plus workers within the next week or so, is very pleased with its maquila operations in Reynosa.

The toolmaker, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker, is particularly happy with the high-tech nature of its 500,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in Reynosa. Some of the staff at the plant are featured in a video produced by Cisco. The video starts by saying “Stanley Black & Decker is a global manufacturer of products. DeWalt is a professional power tool brand. Reynosa is our largest professional power tool manufacturing facility in the world.”

Mike Amaya

Mike Amaya is plant manager of DeWalt Power Tools, Stanley Black & Decker, Reynosa. Amaya said: “Our plant here in Reynosa is highly vertically integrated. We do a lot of the components ourselves. We are so huge, on half a million square feet, that we have got to make sure that all of our processes are aligned, get people in the plant quickly and get finished goods out quickly just as well.”

Nick DeSimme is vice president of operations for DeWalt Power Tools, Stanley Black & Decker, in Reynosa. DeSimme said: “For us, it is absolutely critical that we monitor our output on an hourly basis to keep production on track. Anytime production goes down, anytime that we have an issue, it is imperative that we know rightaway and respond very quickly.”

Amaya said: “The metrics basically drive our business. We have to make products as high quality as we can and we’ve got to keep as little inventory as we need and yet still service the requirements of our customers.

Gary Frederick, chief information officer, Industrial and Automotive Repair Division, Stanley Black & Decker, Reynosa, said: “The challenges at the Reynosa facility were two-fold. They were mirroring technology with people and making that as seamless and integrated as possible. The second was to improve the efficiency of our lines and deploying our assets, both people and material across those lines.”

Federick thanked Cisco and AeroScout for their help with technology that helps them identify quality control issues. He said if there are any hiccups, management can respond in a very timely manner to keep production on track.

Amaya said: “We are able to look at trends. We are able to see the material flow and the way people are flowing through the plant and figure out how to do better improvements on that.”

Leticia Salas, continuous improvement manager for Stanley Black & Decker in Reynosa, said Cisco was empowering the Reynosa plant managers, production supervisors, the production leader and the whole workforce. She said the operators working on the production line feel “more motivated.”

Amaya said he believes productivity has gone up 75 to 90 or 95 percent.

Frederick said: “Our people in Reynosa are now embracing technology because the technology is so transparent to them.”

Amaya added: “The global competitive nature of professional tools has been getting tougher and tougher. This solution is very efficient, high productivity, low cost, easy to implement.”

De Simme added: “Our plans for the future are to the AeroScout Cisco solution throughout the rest of this facility and utlimately throughout the rest of the facilities globally. The manufacture of professional power tools to deliver cost, quality, products and services to the customer when they want it and when they need it.”

Click here to watch a video of the production that occurs at the Reynosa plant.

USA Today reported last January that Stanley Black & Decker would be moving more manufacturing back to the U.S., including construction of a new $35 million factory after acquiring the Craftsman brand from ailing retailer Sears Holdings.

Jim Loree

The newspaper reported CEO James Loree as telling investors in a conference call that expanding in the U.S. makes business sense amid uncertainty over U.S. future trade policy with Mexico and China.

“It is going to be advisable to have more manufacturing in the U.S.,” Loree said.

Stanley Black & Decker was in the process of purchasing Craftsman for about $900 million, U.S. Today stated.

Stanley Black & Decker has about 3,000 workers in the United States, up from 800 three years ago, the USA Today story stated. It has 29 plants in the U.S.

The Rio Grande Guardian will bring local reaction to the news about the Mission production facility as soon as it comes in.