A classic tale of “Made in America” manufacturing, with a modern robotic twist

Bad Boy, USA

2014-04-15 – Bad Boy Mowers has hit the big time, riding a surge of American manufacturing innovation aided by robotic welding technology from ABB.

The “can-do” spirit is a deeply held defining ideal of the American tale; the country’s history is strewn with stories of garage tinkerers building the next big thing.While this legacy is something Americans are quite proud of, the realities of the modern world sometimes seem to have relegated this kind of “can-do” success to software innovators such as the Facebooks and Apple Computers of the world—with recent examples in manufacturing being hard to find. Yet a resurgence in home-grown American manufacturing is now taking root in the country, largely driven by advanced technology.

Through a combination of determination, solid management, and robotic technology from ABB, Bad Boy Mowers, based in Batesville, Arkansas, is one such example of this kind of resurgent manufacturing success.

Founded in 1998, the company has always had the goal of building the best and highest quality zero turn lawn mowers on the planet. They commenced their first mower sales in 2002, and each and every year since they’ve doubled their production and built a new building to meet demand.

“We have hundreds of thousands of mowers out there right now,” says Jeff Mynatt, Director of Operations for Bad Boy Mowers. “From where we started to where we are now, in such a short period of time, is pretty amazing—especially given that the zero point turn mower market is very competitive.”

“Made in the USA” means everything to Bad Boy
Walking through the 800,000 square feet of production space that Bad Boy currently occupies, it’s clear that the company has a family atmosphere. There’s a palpable pride in the fact that Bad Boy strives to keep as much of the manufacturing in-house, and in the USA, as possible.

“We try to do as much as we can do on our own machines—from getting in the metal, to fabricating it, to welding, to cutting it out and painting it—we try to limit what we have to purchase overseas,” says Mynatt. “We do purchase a little bit from overseas suppliers, but very small amounts. Most of our parts on the mower are bought or made here in the US.”

Indeed, Bad Boy fabricates its own mower decks in house; they also build their own  frames and most of the smaller associated parts. “A lot of our competitors use a stamped deck, but we do not,” says Mynatt. “Bad Boy lawn mowers are welded up and are very strong. We use heavier metal than most of our competitors do, everything is hand fabricated and we weld in extra reinforcement, which results in a unique machine. Our mowers are built to last.”

Source: ABB

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