Empire Hits Bull’s-eye at Wild West Open House


By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association

Sancho, the 1-ton steer with 10-foot-long horns stands ready to test the courage of guests at Empire's open house.

Sancho, the 1-ton steer with 10-foot-long horns stands ready to test the courage of guests at Empire

When the theme is Wild West, and the company is Empire, there will for sure be a grand time. For one day in September, just after Patriot Day, their Michigan warehouse and production areas were transformed into a small western town. Horses outside; vendors inside. In one corner, a mighty, one-ton steer named Sancho awaited anyone brave enough to climb aboard.

Why, there even was a wanted man with a sheriff in pursuit. Their path wound through dueling pianos in the saloon, beside vendors in a top-notch casino and past cactuses big as trees all the way up to a mechanical bull. Shoot, there was an honest to goodness stagecoach. You could test your roping skills or connect with people from a huge crowd of folks worth knowing.

You name it; Empire had it at their open house, including a robot cell expertly put together by Bill Waldie, Roger Norris, and the Empire crew — tops hands in robot technology. If you saw the robot, you know they have innovative cable carrier solutions as well as people that know automation.

Empire knows how to dress a robot -- no bull!

Empire knows how to dress a robot -- no bull!

Members of Robotic Industries Association for only a few months, Empire has a long and bold history made all the more interesting by its collection of seasoned talent. In business since 1999 when it was founded by the Brewster family, some 200 employees help the company power its way to a 30 million dollar revenue stream that values good relationships.

Inside their warehouse, along with the robot, were a score or so of vendor booths. Many were RIA members. Many were of a caliber to be RIA members. Empire keeps good company and wants good things for its customers.

Yet all the want in the world can’t control the weather. Like any good spaghetti western, clouds swirled outside and threatened the good times. Would the party be spoiled by a cloudburst? Would anyone apprehend the desperado depicted in wanted posters for a $10,000 bounty?

As it turns out, everything went off without a hitch. The Empire men left little to chance protecting everything with tents and shelters. Mother Nature graciously relented and hundreds of guests rolled in dry and happy. When I left, the sheriff still hadn’t brought the outlaw to justice, but there was something fishy about those two – even a family resemblance.

Based on what I learned from my hosts, they believe network quality can be achieved before a factory system is installed, checked when it is installed, and verified in production mode. They offer quality assurance to the control engineers and plant personnel that have to live with an IT networking system. They preach quality as a core value, and judging by their open house they walk the walk in whatever they do.

Get to know Empire. They think big and have class. They also like to push the frontier. Ask them about their wireless applications for the factory floor. Ask them what they can do for your factory network. From cabling and dress packs to complete Ethernet solutions, they aim straight for the bull’s-eye.

Their open house was a great roundup of people, many I knew and was glad to see again and others I was only too happy to meet. Thanks, Empire.

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