Expansion work begins at Vaughan & Bushnell Manufacturing

BUSHNELL — Six weeks after Vaughan & Bushnell Manufacturing Co. announced their acquisition of Rockford-based Dasco Pro, Inc., Vaughan began moving machine parts from Rockford to its Bushnell plant Monday.
Mike Havens, operations manager at the Bushnell plant, said the relocation of machine parts from Dasco was “the first of many trucks that will come to the city” and “the first move of the large equipment” including several large presses with industrial movers.
“This is the first step of many trips that will be made to Bushnell,” he said.
The equipment being moved is similar to what is currently used for the products being made, Havens said.
“(We moved) a lot of presses, furnaces, wheel graders, grinding equipment and polishing equipment. There will be paint lines, packaging equipment, CNC turning machines will also be moved, and it all needs to be moved in phases and this is the first of many.”
Havens went on to say the equipment being moved from Dasco will be relocated to the Norforge site which Vaughan & Bushnell purchased over a year ago this past April.
“Ever since the purchase we have been remodeling, relighting in preparation for this move,” he said.
Vaughan & Bushnell doubled its manufacturing capacity when the tool company purchased the Norforge site, which added an additional 100,000 square feet of production space.
“So, we knew it was going to happen, and we’ve been preparing for over a year for this, and are still today preparing,” Havens said. “We’re finishing up new roofs on some buildings to new L.E.D. lighting in some buildings to new furnaces and painting. Some of the buildings we purchased were not in use and had been sitting dormant for several years, so those buildings had to be restored and brought back up to standards. We’ve done a lot of work in getting ready for this move.”
Havens also said, “Some of the equipment that was left there by the previous owner we have to move to other buildings before we’re going to do some of this manufacturing.”
In addition to moving machine presses from Dasco, several very large presses weighing 20 tons were relocated at the Norforge site.
“So, we’re moving some of the large presses that were at Norforge down the street several blocks to another building that we’re going to setup that we call the press building and have several large presses in there making parts,” Havens said.
Dasco equipment was moved from Rockford to Bushnell on Monday, and the large presses at Norforge were moved Tuesday morning to another building at the same site.
“All of these buildings that Dasco is going in were previously Norforge buildings, and there are multiple buildings,” Havens said. “It’s just a matter of laying it out in those buildings the best it’s going to suit our manufacturing needs. We’re going to utilize all of these buildings.”
He said there are really five buildings in the Norforge site.
“We’re going to utilize all of them and we already are in several of them,” he said.
When the equipment reallocation is done, they will be producing around 15,000 punches, chisels and nail sets per day on the Dasco side. Vaughan currently manufactures 8,000-10,000 hammers, axes and pry bars a day, he said.

Reach Christopher Ginn by email at cginn@mcdonoughvoice.com or find him on Facebook