In In The News

Sharp Increases in Efficiency, Productivity Attract Local Media Interest

Investments in new equipment and a heightened focus on safety and efficiency have contributed to a major transformation at the American Industries plant in Sharon, Pa.

“Over the past year we’ve increased revenues by 20 percent and cut our recordable incident rate in half,” said JASON LHOTA, general manager.

“We’ve also implemented several continuous improvement initiatives that have resulted in greater productivity and a cleaner, safer work environment.”

American employs 80 people at the 100,000-square-foot Sharon facility and is a leading provider of new and reconditioned railcar components and systems, including wheelsets, bolsters, side frames, couplers and yokes and truck assemblies.

After the Norfolk Southern derailment in nearby East Palestine, Ohio, in February 2023, railroad companies and their suppliers came under increased scrutiny.

Although none of the parts involved in the incident came from American Industries (or any other Stucki company), “the American Association of Railroads really tightened things up throughout the industry,” said Jason.

Before the Norfolk Southern incident, the company had implemented several changes as part of Stucki’s continuous improvement program, which was launched in 2021 and has streamlined operations at several Stucki companies.

The Sharon plant completed more than $1 million in equipment upgrades, including the addition of a CNC (computer numeric control) boring machine, which creates precise holes needed for parts, and a modern, computer-controlled lathe.

The upgrades emphasized workplace cleanliness and safety.

“We have installed a management operating system to review key performance indicators and checklists before every shift and spend five minutes at the end of the day cleaning our work areas,” said Jason.

Another priority was to reduce the number of times material was moved around the shop.

“We would move a wheelset or coupler 10 or 20 times around the building, which is a waste of time and money,” he said.

“Now, material is moved four times from start to finish.” The improvements at American Industries were detailed in a recent article in The Herald(may encounter pay wall), the daily newspaper serving Sharon and the surrounding area.

“They ran a front-page story that highlighted our improvements over the past year,” said Jason.

“It was a shot in the arm for our entire team and a testament to their dedication and hard work, because they’re the ones who make it all happen.”

Learn more about American Industries here, or call us at 724.981.4100 and visit our Contact Us page


Mike Roknick (left) of the Sharon Herald talks with Jason Lhota on the shop floor.

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