CJ Brings Home the Bronze!

In 2009, Caterpillar (CAT), one of Clifford-Jacobs’ largest customers, rolled out a new Supplier Quality Excellence Program (SQEP).  Clifford-Jacobs rose up to the task to seek bronze level certification over this last year which primarily focuses on quality (rejects – or PPM, parts per million rejected) and on-time delivery. 

Quality has come a long way.  Clifford-Jacobs improved PPM by 98% from 2009 to present.  Our forge shop went 7 months straight without any rejections of CAT parts from December to June. 

On-time delivery has been a challenge with an influx of business as well as long lead times from steel mills.  Clifford-Jacobs production, quality and shipping staff work very closely to make the certification standard of 95% on-time delivery every month. 

Coupled with the focus on quality and delivery, Clifford-Jacobs implemented Six Sigma initiatives over the past year in conjunction with the CAT SQEP.  Kyle Zook, Forge Engineer, will be Clifford-Jacobs’ first Six Sigma Black belt and spearheaded several projects to streamline processes, become more proactive at identifying  quality issues and be able to better meet needs and special requests of our customers.  Under the direction of our Deployment Champion, Jesse Lindley, Product Manager, Clifford-Jacobs expects to improve efficiencies internally, that will ultimately impact our customers in a positive way. 

New Customer Account Specialist

In an effort to better serve our customers, Clifford-Jacobs has brought Aaron Brown on board as our new Customer Account Specialist.  Aaron is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Industrial Technology.  With a strong focus on quality engineering, scheduling and process improvement, Aaron brings some great skills that will immediately contribute to the continued success of Clifford-Jacobs.  Coming from a manufacturing background in quality at Danville Metal Stamping and most recently as an Industrial Engineer at FedEx Ground over the last seven years, Aaron joined Clifford-Jacobs on 10/25/10 to serve as a key liaison for our customers as well as assist with projects that will enhance various operations.  To contact Aaron directly, call 217.352.5172 x 253 or email or  

Keeping the Pace

Most industries that Clifford-Jacobs serves have all nearly tripled their orders this year.  This is a very exciting time in manufacturing and to keep up with the pace, Clifford-Jacobs is making big leaps in production.

Clifford-Jacobs is currently working overtime whenever possible and we will be adding an additional hammer crew in October.  Additionally, Clifford-Jacobs will be ramping up with a second shift for the first time in over 30 years.  This will be in place before the end of this year.  We expect to lower lead times to a manageable level within a few months thereafter with this added production staff.

Any questions, comments or concerns can be directed to

New Quality Manager at CJ

Clifford-Jacobs Forging Company is proud to announce the newest member of our team, Gretchen Clifton, assuming the role of our quality manager. Gretchen has more than 30 years experience in manufacturing with emphasis in production, processing, auditing and quality control systems. She has held positions as both business unit manager and launch coordinator for automotive interior trim products, as well as quality manager positions for various organizations. Beyond those roles, Gretchen has served as a facilitator for employee based operating teams, lending her strengths in leadership, coaching and mentoring. Gretchen has a strong background in quality system implementation and is an ASQ CQA- Certified Quality Auditor and a lead auditor for ISO/TS 16949. For the past nine years, Gretchen has been a consultant for IL Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC), helping many manufacturing companies and other organizations improve their operations. To contact Gretchen, email or call 217.352.5172 x 261.

Clifford-Jacobs to Exhibit at OTC

Clifford-Jacobs is looking forward to again exhibiting at Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). OTC is the premier event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. Topics to be discussed at the show include drilling technology, health, safety and environment, offshore pipelines, and regulatory issues. OTC attracts more than 60,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors, representing more than 110 countries. The show will kick off Monday, May 3rd at 9 am and will end Thursday, May 6. Be sure to visit Clifford-Jacobs in booth #8445 and visit the OTC website for tickets and more information.

Clifford-Jacobs Hires Brown

CHAMPAIGN, IL: Clifford-Jacobs Forging Company hired Lori Brown to manage internal sales. Brown is a 16-year veteran in sales and marketing, most recently as Sales Manager for the American Sport Education Program (ASEP), a division of Human Kinetics. “With her experience in the technology, publishing and healthcare fields, we’re excited to have her jump right into the mix,” says Jason Ray, Vice President-Sales of the IMT Forging Group. As Internal Sales, she will be working closely with the internal staff to ensure the great customer service for which Clifford-Jacobs is known. Brown, a Parkland College alum, lives in Mahomet with her family. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Fundraising Committee, and enjoys spending time with youth sports, as coach for various organizations and IHSA/USSF soccer assignor and referee.