Top Executive at Hunt Valley’s Active Minerals Urges Manufacturers to Embrace Technology or Be Left Behind

Press Releases
Updated on: March 29, 2024

A senior executive at one of the country’s largest exporters warned regional manufacturers today that they must bring technology onto the factory floor or face losing revenue, market share and even their businesses.

Speaking at an event hosted today by SC&H Group and Howard Bank about the future of manufacturing, Michael Janney, Chief Information Officer of Hunt Valley-based Active Minerals International, said by adopting the latest technology, Industry 4.0, his company increased profit, reduced costs, and gained efficiencies while transforming itself from a distributer to a global leader producing and marketing clay minerals.

“If you don’t take the initiative your competition will,” said Janney. “Active Minerals might be a small company compared to our competition, but we are blowing them away. We are more nimble and have the capabilities to produce high quality and cost-effective products.”

SC&H and Howard Bank, a locally owned and managed community bank, jointly sponsored the event, Manufacturing A Smarter Future, held at the Mount Washington Mill-Dye House on Thursday, April 27.

“Active Minerals is a prime example of how manufacturers can take their business to the next level by embracing Industry 4.0,” said Ron Causey, CEO of SC&H Group. “We are pleased to host this event with Howard Bank, one of the leading community and business banks in the area. We share a common interest in providing our Clients and others with valuable and timely information that provides insight and practical advice for business success. This is just another example of how we are fulfilling this effort.”

“Manufacturing is such a vital part of this country,” said Jim Witty, Howard Bank’s Executive Vice President, Chief Lending Officer. “Michael’s story about the success of Active Minerals shows why manufacturers must be willing to evolve and adopt new technology. We are proud to partner with SC&H Group to sponsor such a great event.”

The event was the first of a multi-part series, Manufacturing A Smarter Future, SC&H Group is hosting to promote and help grow a stronger industry of manufacturers.

Active Minerals produces Kaolin and gel quality Attapulgite clay which are used in scores of products ranging from iPhones and sneakers, to circuit boards, fiberglass, drywall, and carpeting as well as industrial coatings. Its business is exploding and the company ranks as the U.S.’s 75th largest exporter.

During the session, Janney explained how the company took “baby steps” adopting technology in its manufacturing process. The move started about four years ago when the company invested in data management software to collect and analyze date on its mill equipment.

In Active Minerals’ case the payoffs have been profound helping spur revenue growth at a double-digit pace along with EBITDA. Almost immediately the company realized savings after the system detected that Active Minerals was over filling its 50 pound bags by an average of one-half pound per bag. After adjusting its bagging equipment, the company reaped significant savings. Within months, the investment paid for itself.

“We love technology here,” said Janney. “Where we are with technology and where the average manufacturers are with technology is light years apart.”

About SC&H Group
SC&H Group is an audit, tax, and business consulting firm dedicated to minimizing risk and maximizing value for our clients. SC&H Group’s practices advise leading companies from emerging businesses to the Fortune 500 on accounting, tax, profitability, and strategy solutions. Clients in all states and worldwide benefit from SC&H Group’s commitment to delivering powerful minds, passionate teams, and proven results on each and every engagement. Learn more at

About Howard Bank
Howard Bancorp is a bank holding company with total assets of $1 billion at December 31, 2016. Its principal operating subsidiary, Howard Bank, is a locally owned and managed, growth-focused community bank serving businesses, professionals and individuals in the Greater Baltimore area through 13 full service branches. Howard Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ: HBMD). For more information, visit,

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