Humtown’s family-owned, three generation legacy stems back to 1959, when Russell Lamoncha opened a small pattern shop in Columbiana, OH called Humtown Pattern. After supplying patterns to a loyal customer base for two decades, Russell’s son Mark Lamoncha bought 25% interest in the company. In 1977, Mark pivoted the business, moving into a new, but related industry – sand core and mold production, with a new name called Humtown Products. In 1995 after Russell “graduated” on to his heavenly reward, brothers Criss and Mark equally bought out Russell’s interest in Humtown Products. Later, Mark bought out Criss’s interest, now owning 100% of the company.
Not long after the financial markets crash of 2008, Mark Lamoncha, now the President of Humtown Products, was desperate to find a way to prevent the business his father Russell founded in 1959 from going into bankruptcy. After exhausting all financial opportunities and fresh out of ideas, Mark took a last chance effort. Rather than totally seeking out God’s full wisdom and discernment, and in an effort to save his pattern shop and sand core and mold manufacturing business, he pulled up to a convenience store and bought two lottery tickets.
Mark was not at all a gambler. He was normally a deeply diligent and rational business leader, as well as the owner of several industry patents. Mark had grown his father’s original small pattern shop into a 250-plus employee leader in the foundry industry. However, as the normal flow of business from foundries across the country slowed to a bare trickle, and with staff layoffs leading to a team of only fifty employees (for whom he doubted he could meet payroll in the near future), he thought maybe this was how God would answer his desperate prayers.
He scratched off the tickets. Both were losers. He went back into the store and bought a third ticket – another loser.
On the drive home to the small rural Ohio town in which he lived and worked, Mark thought about the possibility of losing the home he was about to walk into. Then came a transformative moment, as he heard a voice in his head – his own conscience or the voice of God, take your pick – say, “You might lose your home? What about all your employees who might lose their homes?”
Mark broke down as he realized that while his employees’ fates mattered to him, he saw their issues as very much secondary to his own. He then prayed not for an escape from his own problems, but for a solution to everyone else’s looming personal financial downfall at Humtown.
A mere nine hours later, Mark had written out the framework of what would become the Visual Earnings System, a now patented method of dramatically improving productivity by enhancing the human skills and potential of Humtown’s workforce through technological innovation. In fairly short order, this real-time process of measuring and showing team member’s their rate of productivity – doing so by a compelling gamification methodology that would send payrate’s soaring – would result in sustained increases in productivity of 250 to 400 percent. The Visual Earnings System significantly lowered production costs, sped up delivery of product to foundries, and has led to six-hour work days for all production team members befitting the pace of their efforts.
Ultimately, Humtown pulled out of the recession. In fact, the sustained success of the Visual Earnings System earned Humtown the 2020 National Association of Manufacturer’s Leadership Award for Unleashing Human Potential.
However, the Visual Earnings System would hardly be the last groundbreaking advancement in the industry spawned by Humtown’s culture of relentless innovation. Foundries arguably represent the oldest manufacturing industry on earth, dating back at least 5,000 years, with sand cores and molds dating back at least 3,000 years.
While there have of course been technical advances in process and materials, over the centuries there have been no real disruptions or major evolution in the foundry industry – until the recent advent of the commercialization of 3D printing of sand cores and molds by Humtown and Mark Lamoncha’s son, Brandon Lamoncha. For its leadership in bringing profitable production methodology via additive manufacturing to the foundry industry, Humtown won a second 2020 National Association of Manufacturing Leadership Award.
In recognition of winning both awards, Humtown was also named the National Association’s 2020 Small and Medium Sized Manufacturer of the Year (inclusive of all industry categories).
Ultimately, Humtown’s culture of relentless innovation – in which technology unlocks rather than demeans human potential – is leading foundries into the Industry 4.0 era, advancing sand core and mold production through a unique hybrid model of conventional and toolingless additive manufacturing. Humtown’s dedication to providing precision engineered solutions is supported by a seamless concept-to-delivery business model and responsive customer care, leading to an unmatched reduction in scrap rate, a bottom-line measure of process and product quality in the foundry industry.
THE GROWTH OF HUMTOWN ADDITIVE
Humtown became one of the earliest adopters of sand 3D printing, using this innovative – and toolingless – technology to produce cores and molds for the foundry industry. Brandon Lamoncha and the Humtown Team saw the potential of this technology in 2014, thanks to a project call through America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. With partners from the Youngstown Business Incubator, University of Northern Iowa and Youngstown State University, Humtown was able to take one 3D printer and successfully commercialize this technology for the foundry industry.
In steps Humtown Additive, a division of Humtown that specializes in the additive manufacturing of sand cores and molds. Since receiving that first sand 3D printer back in 2014 through a partnership with Youngstown State University, Humtown Additive has continued to add to its fleet, now boasting five sand 3D printers in their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Leetonia, Ohio.
This toolingless technology has led Humtown into industries and applications that were never thought possible. Humtown Additive has continued to partner with other companies in the additive manufacturing space to further grow the capabilities of this technology, producing parts that would not be possible through conventional methods of production.
After almost a decade of relentless technological innovation, Humtown Additive’s success culminated in 2020 when they won the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) award for Engineering and Production Technology Leadership for their role in the Commercialization of 3D Printing in the Metal Casting Industry, and ultimately the 2020 Manufacturer of the Year.