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Building cool stuff at Oat Foundry

Oat Foundry CEO Mark Kuhn, City Councilman Bobby Henon in front of one of the company’s split flap displays.

At Oat Foundry, the motto is, “We build cool stuff,” for brands and companies worldwide.

Oat Foundry opened in 2013 at the Frankford Arsenal Business Center, 2275 Bridge St.

City Councilman Bobby Henon sponsored a resolution recognizing October as Manufacturing Month, and honoring Oat Foundry for its innovation and dedication to the manufacturing industry. The resolution labeled Oat Foundry as a unique and award-winning team of engineers that prides itself on innovation and design work.

Oat Foundry is best known for its split flap displays – those black and white signs recreated from old train station departure boards that produce a “clack, clack, clack” sound. Customers include Starbucks, American Airlines, NFL teams, Google and Nestle.

The Eagles use a lightweight split flap box, held up on the sideline, to call some plays. The box will be marketed to high school teams.

“It saves them about eight seconds,” said Oat Foundry CEO Mark Kuhn, adding that the box helped the Eagles win the NFC East last year.

Recently, Oat Foundry teamed with the Committee of Seventy for a “We Vote” initiative. Twenty-five artists helped create a picture flap, displayed at La Colombe Coffee’s Fishtown headquarters.

The split flaps are just one of many “cool” products made by the company.

“We manufacture them here, and they go all around the world,” Kuhn said.

City Councilman Bobby Henon sponsored a resolution honoring Oat Foundry and its CEO, Mark Kuhn, during Manufacturing Month.

Kuhn, a Yardley native, is one of six Drexel engineering graduates who created Oat Foundry.

Last Friday morning, Kuhn took Henon, who helped establish the city’s Manufacturing Task Force, on a tour of the company’s 6,000-square-foot operation. There are 15 employees. Plans are for Oat Foundry to expand within the business center.

Earlier this year, Oat Foundry pivoted to produce 10,000 face shields to assist the city’s first responders in combating the coronavirus pandemic.

“We felt fulfilled in our vocation,” Kuhn said of the good deed.

The pandemic forced cancellation of the company’s annual “OatToberfest,” when one of the highlights is an Oat Foundry-produced mobile device that launches hot dogs and bratwurst sandwiches into the crowd.

Henon said Oat Foundry plays a big role in helping to make Philadelphia a manufacturing hub.

“I’m really proud and happy that they’re here,” he said. ••

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