Getting into the Art of Gears

Getting into the art of gears is what members of the Society of Plastics Engineers’ Chicago Section and Mold Technologies Division did last week when they toured the manufacturing plant of Winzeler Gear in Harwood Heights, Illinois.

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Getting into the art of gears is what members of the Society of Plastics Engineers’ Chicago Section and Mold Technologies Division did last week when they toured the manufacturing plant of Winzeler Gear in Harwood Heights, Illinois. It was fascinating.

Winzeler Gear is a second-generation, family-owned company that is celebrating 75 years in business this year. Led by John Winzeler, the Company serves mainly the automotive, off-road, lawn and garden, and office automation industries by manufacturing more than 150 million precision-molded plastic gears annually.

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I had the pleasure of attending and touring the Winzeler facility, and whether or not one already has an interest in plastic gears, by the time the tour was completed there was no doubt that these precision gears and gear assemblies are more than just functional – they are works of art. Almost immediately, as you enter the Winzeler facility, you see what they call Fashion Gear Art – various gears connected together to make a woman’s dress and gear jewelry. The whole building is built around showcasing gears as more than their intended industrial end-use. Gears are boring? Not at Winzeler Gear. They are the result of excellence in product design, strategic partnerships, and collaborative processes and, above all, a vision that makes one think differently about gear design and manufacturing.

The creative culture that drives Winzeler Gear is apparent at every turn. Even as you leave the facility (especially at night) windows with cheerful, colorful gears depicted on them peer out at you, making sure you captured the culture that is Winzeler.

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Throughout the Winzeler Gear facility is what the company calls Fashion Gear Art. Even the building's windows showcase colorful pictures of gears, which look particularly artistic from outside at night.

Look for a more in-depth look at Winzeler Gear in 2016.

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