Five manufacturing legends, past and present, were named as inductees to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Hall of Fame at the organization’s recent convention in Arizona.
The five inductees for 2008 are:
• Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, who joins his father, JCB founder Joseph Cyril Bamford, also in the Hall;
• Jerome Increase Case, founder of the J.I. Case Machinery Co., now Case Corp.;
• Ron DeFeo, chairman and CEO of Terex Corp.;
• Donald Fites, former chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc.;
• LeRoy Hagenbuch, co-founder and president of Philippi-Hagenbuch Inc.
Bamford became chairman of JCB at the end of 1975. He has overseen efforts to promote industry workforce development, such as a company educational center to educate adults in engineering, manufacturing processes and international business. Under Bamford’s leadership, the company has grown from a regional equipment manufacturer to one with 300 products and manufacturing plants on four continents selling to 150 countries. JCB has won more than 50 awards for exports, marketing, design, technology and care for the environment. Under Bamford’s leadership, the company developed a backhoe that can reach 60 mph and was designed for the U.S. Army to use in hazardous environments.
Bamford was knighted in 1990. He also, before taking the helm of JCB, established JCB’s French subsidiary in Paris, which became the model for JCB’s international development.
“To be inducted in the AEM Hall of Fame is a huge honor, but what makes this extra special for me is that it is an honor I share with my late father, the founder of JCB, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame 15 years ago as an inaugural member. He always considered the award one of the most prestigious he ever received — and that’s a view I share.”
Case founded the J.I. Case Machinery Co. in 1842 and became a leader in both construction equipment and agricultural machinery. In 1869 his “Eclipse” thresher made significant advances by combining a variety of new attachments, boosting capacity and requiring one less person to operate. In 1878 he introduced self-propelled steam-powered tractors, which found new applications in construction, on steam rollers and graders. As a founder of the Racine (Wis.) Manufacturers’ National Bank and the First National Bank of Burlington (Wis.), Case contributed to the industry through his work in providing financing for customers to buy equipment, which helped to stimulate industry growth.
He was also a leader in pushing the global frontiers of the off-road equipment industry, expanding into Russia and Western Europe in the 1850s. He greatly enhanced steam engine safety by adding a spark arrester to engine smoke stacks. To reduce boiler explosions, Case added a “Judson’s patent” governor to prevent the engine from racing and a “fusible plug” as a safety valve when the water level dropped too low. Case served three terms in the Wisconsin State Senate, two terms as mayor of Racine and as president of both the Racine County and Wisconsin State Agricultural Societies. In 1870 he helped found the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters.
DeFeo is chairman and CEO of Terex Corp. DeFeo joined Terex in 1992, as president of the company’s then Heavy Equipment Group. He was appointed president and chief operating officer in 1993, became CEO in 1995 and chairman of the board in 1998. Before joining Terex, he served in senior-level positions with J.I. Case Co., directing operations for North America and Europe. DeFeo instituted the Terex Business System as he led Terex from a financial holding company to an operating model that melded together a collection of more than 50 companies. Under his leadership, the company has experienced a 12-year compound annual growth rate of 27 percent. It has operations in the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
DeFeo has been an advocate for increasing industry involvement in educating the public on the need for adequate investment in U.S. infrastructure. As an example, in early 2008 he spearheaded a national conference on the subject at a college campus that brought together leaders in government, business, organized labor and industry. This event aimed to reach out to students on the importance of infrastructure maintenance and to help elected officials see the issue in nonpartisan terms. Through DeFeo’s guidance, Terex facilities take leadership roles in their communities. An example of this is the program that matches up to $2,500 when a Terex employee donates to a non-profit organization.
Donald Fites served as chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. from June 1990 until his retirement in February 1999. He spent 42 years with Caterpillar, 16 of which were overseas. Fites was instrumental in providing the momentum for product and market innovations and new ventures. For example, in 1975 he directed a study of engine capacity that set the course for the growth of the company’s engine business into the 1990s. During the 1980s he oversaw creation of the Caterpillar Logistics Services program, which markets the company’s parts distribution capabilities to other companies.
His contributions helped Caterpillar increase quality through product and process redesign. For example, from 1987 to the mid-1990s, Caterpillar decreased equipment production time from 25 assembly days to six, and reduced in-process inventories by 60 percent. In the mid-1970s, Fites introduced engineering with cross-functional Japanese-style teams to Caterpillar’s product development group. The teams included talent from manufacturing, marketing and design, and enabled sustainable integration of the development process. In 1995, Financial Magazine named Fites “CEO of the Year” and The Wall Street Transcript named him gold award winner of the machinery industry.
LeRoy Hagenbuch is co-founder and president of the engineering firm Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. Hagenbuch’s patent for the first commercially available tailgate designed for off-highway haul trucks was only the beginning. He is now credited with 89 patents, 51 in the United States and 38 in other countries. The most recent patent refines rear-ejection technology, allowing operators to push the load from the back of a haul truck instead of raising the bed. To advance the process of mine reclamation, he developed many products to efficiently haul overburden and other materials.
Hagenbuch has made outreach and industry progress a mainstay of his career. He has written white papers on vital industry topics, spoken at conferences and trade shows worldwide, and been active with many associations on behalf of the industry. His operating philosophy has been to extend the safety focus beyond training and awareness; each Philippi-Hagenbuch engineer is challenged on the safety of their product designs. In addition, each staff and production meeting at the company starts with a discussion of a critical safety topic.
Hagenbuch is a member of many state and national business and industry associations, including the Association of Iron and Steel Technologies, the Master Mechanics, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.