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Showing posts from 2015

The Importance of Proper Cutting Clearances

By: Peter Ulintz, PMA technical director
An important requirement of any die operation is the proper alignment between all the working components. In stamping operations, accurate alignment is necessary to maintain proper clearances between punch and die steels. Cutting, punching and trimming operations require cutting clearances that are held within close limits. Because many stamping features are not symmetrical or totally round, cutting clearance usually is measured at one side of the cutting profile and specified as a “per-side” clearance. The amount of clearance applied and the sharpness of the cutting steels have a direct effect on the quality of the sheared edges. When the cutting clearances are small, press and die alignment becomes critical. If this alignment is not maintained properly, the punch and die details may contact each other and the cutting edges may be damaged. Clearances that are too tight will produce an edge defect known as secondary shear - sometimes referred to…

2015 Awards of Excellence in Metalforming Announced

We have announced the winner for our 2015 Awards of Excellence in Metalforming.  Presented annually, the awards recognize the high standards of achievement set by the metalforming industry in the areas of design, safety, quality, training and education, process control, product development, and productivity.
Winners were honored with a special plaque, commemorative flag and a cash prize on November 8, 2015, during the FABTECH tradeshow in Chicago, IL, and will be featured in the December 2015 issue of MetalForming magazine.
We applaud the achievements of this year’s winners, who have dedicated themselves to continuous improvement of their products and services. 
Award Winning Company Location
Higgins-Caditz Design Award
Quality Industries
LaVergne, TN

Pitcher Insurance Agency Safety Award
Trans-Matic Mfg. Co.
Holland, MI

Zierick Manufacturing Corporation Productivity Award
Highlands Diversified Services
London, KY
Pridgeon & Clay Excellence in Quality Award
Kryton Engineered Metals
Ce…

The EPA’s Ozone Rule and What It Means for Manufacturing

On October 26, the Environmental Protection Agency released the new standard for ground level ozone, the main component of smog. The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone (O3) lowers the requirement from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. In 2008, the EPA revised the 1997 standards from 80 ppb down to the current 75 ppb.
The rule, which takes effect in 2017, requires states to submit plans to the EPA showing how they will reduce ozone emissions to comply with the new standards. This will include restricting economic activity, rejecting power plant permits, and blocking highway infrastructure projects.
What exactly does this mean for manufacturers? A recent study showed that the new standard would reduce the U.S. GDP by $140 billion annually by restricting manufacturing and other economic activity in areas of the country that currently exceed the new ozone limit. That estimates to 1.4 million fewer jobs through 2040.
Emission levels in roughly seventy Ohi…

Difficult People: Are Emotional Vampires Driving You Batty?

By: Colleen Kettenhofen
This November, I will be speaking at Precision Metalforming Association’s Executive Development Academy in Chicago. There, you will be hearing me share tools, tips and techniques for managing difficult people. If you’re thinking, “I need some help now!” here are a few tidbits to tide you over. In my book “Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You,” I reveal seven magic “wands” if you will, for dealing with difficult people. During this upcoming holiday season, many participants in my keynotes on leadership have asked me for tips on dealing with difficult people in the workplace, and in general. Here’s one suggestion for that…
Do what you can to refill the well so Emotional Vampires don’t drive you batty! In a tough economy, everyone experiences adversity from time to time—whether it’s caring for a loved one, job insecurities, reduced incomes, managing a difficult employee and more. Maybe it’s that you’re “hanging in there” and dealing with a difficult boss. People seem t…

Big Data: How your business benefits

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Business expert, Patrick Schwerdtfeger describes how using "big data" in your business can reduce expenses, increase revenue, and avoid disasters.


Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a leading authority on global business trends including ‘big data’, demographic forecasting and the social media revolution. He has lectured at numerous academic institutions including Purdue and Stanford Universities, and is the author of the award-winning book Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley). Patrick is a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV and has spoken about business trends, technology and digital marketing at hundreds of conferences and business events around the world. Patrick will be a featured presenter at the Executive Development Academy on November 9-11, in Chicago, IL.  For more information about EDA, visit www.pma.org/eda/

Preparing your Small Package and Freight Shipments

Whether you’re sending the smallest packages or the largest freight shipments, proper shipping preparation can help ensure the success of your shipment. Here are a few tips on how to get ready to ship both small packages and freight shipments.
Small Package Believe it or not, the type of box you use is a very important choice. While reusing a box may seem like a good money-saving idea, a box that has been used multiple times before isn’t as structurally sound as an unused box, and your shipment could be damaged more easily. When packing your box, be sure to provide proper cushioning for the items inside the box. Different items require different types of cushioning material, depending on the size, shape and weight of the item.
Seal your package tightly with high-quality tape, and label your package effectively. Put all of the usual items on your label (recipient’s name, address, zip code, etc.), and if you’re sending the package to a P.O. Box, include the recipient’s phone number. …

A Celebration of Modern Manufacturing

On Friday, October 2, manufacturers across the country will open their doors to students, parents, educators, job seekers and other members of their local communities for tours and information sessions in celebration of Manufacturing Day (MFG Day).

PMA and MetalForming magazine are proud sponsors of this event and encourage members to host an event at their facilities.

Held annually, MFG Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing and is meant to encourage today’s youth to consider a career in this profoundly important industry. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of manufacturing to the American economy and to create a future pipeline of skilled workers.

“PMA is pleased to support Manufacturing Day,” said PMA President Bill Gaskin.  “Our members look forward to sharing their passion for manufacturing with their communities, showing off their high-tech facilities to the next generation of Americans who will ensure that our sector continues to drive the econom…

Retaining Talent: The Role of a Supervisor

Contrary to popular belief, pay is not the primary reason that employees leave their jobs.  The number one reason cited among job changers is the environment created by their supervisor.   To retain talent, companies must focus attention on their supervisory staff.  This means more than just picking the right person for the job; you must continually monitor how effective the supervisor is with his/her assigned team.

Knowing how to supervise does not come naturally.  Often, supervisors are promoted because they have an exemplary performance record, yet the skills required on the factory floor differ from those needed to encourage and engage employees.  These skills can be learned with support and coaching from management.  Taking the time to nurture your supervisors will pay off.  According to Rick Dacri, human resource consultant, knowing how to supervise “is learned and developed and with good training, lots of coaching and mentoring, along with experience and time, one can become go…

PMA’s August Business Conditions Report

CLEVELAND, OH—August 18, 2015—According to the August 2015 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate little change in business conditions during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 127 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The August report shows a slight upswing in economic activity, with 26% of participants predicting that activity will improve in the next three months (up from 18% in July), 59% expecting no change (down from 65% last month) and 15% believing that economic activity will decline (down from 17% in July.

Metalforming companies forecast little change in incoming orders during the next three months, with 33% anticipating an increase in orders (down from 36% in July), 45% predicting no change (the same percentage reported in July) and 22% expecting a decrease in orders (up from 19% last month).

Current average daily shipping l…

A Few Moments with Hal Becker – CEO, The Becker Group Inc.

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Hal Becker is a nationally known expert on sales, customer service and negotiating. He conducts seminars or consults to more than 140 organizations a year. At the age of 22, he became the #1 salesperson among a national sales force of 11,000, for the Xerox Corporation. Six years later in 1983, he survived terminal cancer only months after launching Direct Opinions, one of America's first customer service telephone survey marketing firms that facilitates more than two million calls per year with offices throughout the U.S.A. and Canada. He is the author of "Can I have 5 Minutes of Your Time?" which is now in its 21st printing and is used by many corporations as their "Sales Bible." He has also authored three other best sellers and has been featured in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Nations Business and hundreds of newspapers and radio/TV stations around the world, and is currently syndicated in more than 45 newspapers and magazine…

PMA’s July Business Conditions Report

CLEVELAND, OH—July 29, 2015—According to the July 2015 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate steady business conditions during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 114 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The July report shows that 65% of participants expect that economic activity will remain unchanged during the next three months (up from 60% in June), 18% predict that activity will improve (down from 23% in June) and 17% believe that economic activity will decline (the same percentage reported in June).

Metalforming companies forecast a slight improvement in incoming orders during the next three months, with 36% predicting an increase in orders (up from 33% in June), 45% anticipating no change (compared to 48% in June) and 19% expecting a decrease in orders (the same percentage reported last month).

Current average daily shipping lev…

Harry Moser Speaks Reshoring with PMA

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In 2010 an initiative with the goal of bringing good, well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the United States by assisting companies to more accurately assess their total cost of offshoring, was started by Harry Moser, founder of Reshoring Initiative.
Moser will speak at Sourcing Solutions ™ powered by the Precision Metalforming Association on September 30 – October 1, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. Sourcing Solutions is a powerful procurement program that brings together buyers and suppliers of fabrications, metal stampings, components, special tooling and dies, assemblies and more. The program is designed to introduce buyers to top-quality suppliers in a single location who have been pre-screened based on buyer specifications. 
Last week, we had the opportunity to speak to Harry and to ask him a few questions about the mission of the Reshoring Initiative and about his personal connection to this mission. 

Q: What drove you to take initiative with this issue?
A: I grew up in Elizabeth, Ne…

PMA Member Spotlight -- Beth Weissenrieder-Bennis, Weiss-Aug Company, Inc.

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Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features an outstanding member sharing his/her insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

PMA is pleased to highlight Beth Weissenrieder-Bennis, director of strategic planning and marketing for Weiss-Aug Company, Inc., East Hanover, NJ. Weiss-Aug provides custom insert molding, precision medical and automotive metal stamping , and assembly solutions. With more than 40 years of experience serving the automotive, medical, electronic and semiconductor industries, the company's experts in design, engineering, tooling and manufacturing excel at providing precision manufacturing through innovative design.

Hear Beth's thoughts about technology challenges facing metalformers, finding skilled workers, how social media works within her company's marketing strategy and more!

Q:  Which job classifications are the most challenging to find skilled workers? A:  Die makers and die technicians, tooling designers, and new product developme…

PMA’s June Business Conditions Report

CLEVELAND, OH—June 12, 2015—According to the June 2015 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect little change in business conditions during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 121 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The June report shows that 23% of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (down from 24% in May), 60% expect that activity will remain unchanged (the same percentage reported last month) and 17% believe that economic activity will decline (up from 16% in May).

Metalforming companies forecast a slight dip in incoming orders during the next three months, with 33% predicting an increase in orders (down from 35% in May), 48% anticipating no change (compared to 50% in May) and 19% expecting a decrease in orders (up from 15% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels also declined …

Meet our Interns!

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Hayley Milloy, Julie Barnes and Ben Taylor have joined the Precision Metalforming Association and Women in Manufacturing teams as part of the PMA/WiM summer internship program.
Hayley Milloy is from Rocky River, Ohio and is a recent graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business, majoring in Marketing, and minoring in English Literature.
Julie Barnes resides in Akron, Ohio and is a recent graduate of Stark State College of Technology in North Canton, Ohio. She received an Associate’s Degree in Digital Video Media and is attending school again in the fall for Photography.

Ben Taylor calls North Canton, Ohio home and will be a senior at Miami University this fall. He is pursuing a degree in Strategic Communications, with double minors in Economics and General Business, concentrating on Media Economics. 
















Q: What is a fun fact about you?
Hayley: I have 10+ nicknames.  They range from things like “krunk money” “hoopla” to “hootie.” They’re very ra…

PMA Chicago District Company Named to Crain’s Chicago “Fast Fifty” List

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This week, Precision Metalforming Association member company B.L. Duke was ranked 40th in a Crain’s Chicago article featuring an annual summary of Chicago's fastest-growing companies, known as the “Fast Fifty.” The rankings include 50 companies that accomplished notable gains over a five-year period and highlight new companies that appear on the list. The CEOs of potential “Fast Fifty” companies were interviewed by Crain’s to find out how they were able to grow, what they did to improve and how they will continue their success moving forward.













B.L. Duke has grown almost 300 percent over the past five years. As an industrial clean-up company, they specialize in the processing of recycled metal, plastic and cardboard refuse, which is then sold to steel mills and plastic manufacturers worldwide. CEO Lou Plucinski attributes their success to a limited loss of business, which is unique in the industry today. He also credits the company’s exponential growth to a number of factors, one o…

PMA’s May Business Conditions Report

CLEVELAND, OH—May 13, 2015—According to the May 2015 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect softening business conditions during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 126 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The May report shows that 24% of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (down from 33% in April), 60% expect that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 58% last month) and 16% believe that economic activity will decline (up from 9% in April).

Metalforming companies also forecast a decline in incoming orders during the next three months, with 35% predicting an increase in orders (down from 41% in April), 50% anticipating no change (compared to 47% in April) and 15% expecting a decrease in orders (up from 12% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels also dipped in May. Thirty-…

It's time for you to be recognized for your high standards of achievement!

PMA’s Awards of Excellence in Metalforming recognizes the high standards of achievement set by the metalforming industry in the areas of design, quality, safety, training and education, process control, product development and productivity.

Winning companies benefit from: 

company acknowledgement at the FABTECH tradeshow.recognition in a video presentation highlighting the winning companies' accomplishmentsprominent coverage in MetalForming magazine reaching more than 55,000 readers in the metalforming industry.customized announcements to send to your key customers, suppliers and prospects.key presence on PMA's website, visited by nearly 100,000 people annually.induction into the prestigious winners circle
This sounds great, doesn't it? So what’s stopping you from applying? 

“I don’t have time to fill out an awards application—I’m too busy developing innovative training and safety programs, evaluating suggestions for improving productivity, and providing world-class
customer…

PMA Member Spotlight -- Karla Aaron, Hialeah Metal Spinning, Inc.

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Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features an outstanding member sharing his/her insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

PMA is pleased to highlight Karla Aaron, president of Hialeah Metal Spinning, Inc. (HMS), Hialeah, FL. Established in 1957, HMS is a woman-owned company specializing in metal spinning and deep drawing. The company has distinguished itself from other metalformers by combining the benefits of spinning and deep drawing to create a competitive advantage for its customers. This combination allows HMS to offer the most cost-effective solution for each application, while ensuring superior quality.

Read about Karla’s thoughts on technology challenges facing metalformers, finding skilled workers, what’s on her wish list for her facility this year and more!

Q: Which job classifications are the most challenging to find skilled workers? A: Finding what I call “talent” is always a challenge. This is especially true today given the double whammy of increased …

PMA’s April Business Conditions Report

CLEVELAND, OH—April 17, 2015—According to the April 2015 Precision Metalforming Association  (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect little change in business conditions during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 120 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The April report shows that 33% of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (down from 35% in March), 58% expect that activity will remain unchanged (the same percentage reported last month) and 9% believe that economic activity will decline (up from 7% in March).

Metalforming companies also forecast that incoming orders will remain steady during the next three months, with 41% predicting an increase in orders (down from 43% in March), 47% anticipating no change (the same percentage reported in March) and 12% expecting a decrease in orders (up from 10% last month).

Current average …

PMA Member Spotlight -- Julius Feitl, Progressive Machine Die, Inc.

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Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features outstanding members sharing their insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

PMA is pleased to introduce Julius Feitl, President of Progressive Machine Die, Inc, Macedonia, Ohio.



Q:  Which job classifications are the most challenging to find skilled workers? A:  Press Operator and Setup Person – Most schools tend to focus on CNC operators, machinists and laser cutting, but there aren't any programs in schools specifically designed for press operators and setup people. At this point, the best way to find a skilled press operator or setup person is to hire them away from a competitor. This position is essential to stamping. I hope that in the future, schools start to offer training programs to develop these roles.
Q:  What is the biggest technology challenge metalformers face today? A:  Understanding the benefits that servo presses offer by way improving efficiencies.
Q: What is on your wish list for your shop, next year (i.…

PMA’s March Business Conditions Report

CLEVELAND, OH—March 18, 2015—According to the March 2015 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect steady business conditions during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 110 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The March report shows that 35% of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (up from 33% in February), 58% expect that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 59% last month) and 7% believe that economic activity will decline (down from 8% in February).

Metalforming companies also anticipate little change in incoming orders during the next three months, with 43% predicting an increase in orders (down from 44% in February), 47% anticipating no change (compared to 48% in February) and 10% expecting a decrease in orders (up from 8% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels also rema…

PMA Tennessee District Tours Local College Mechatronics Program, Is Featured in News Story

PMA was featured in a Daily News Journal article about our Tennessee district’s gathering last week at Middle Tennessee State University, which has a special mechatronics major - a program that combines mechanical, computer and electrical engineering, systems integration and project management.

A current senior at the school, Daniel Kiviniemi - who is also an employee of PMA member Feintool Tennessee Inc. - helped lead the tour through the MTSU machtronics program facilities like the Experimental Vehicles Program featuring impressive technologies including the NASA Lunar Rover.

The PMA tour, which took place last Thursday, also included some 40 students from The Academy of Information Technology at Overton High School Tennessee District.  PMA Tennesee district Chairman Perry Hytken is quoted as saying of the tour, “I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see some of these students in mechatronics some day.”

This article provides a good example of ways that local PMA districts sho…

PMA Welcomes New Chairman Bill Smith

During the MFG Meeting in Orlando, FL last week, there was a changing of the guard at PMA.  Bill Smith, CEO of Termax Corporation in Lake Zurich, IL took over as 2015 chairman of the PMA board of directors.  Smith assumes the chairmanship following Jody Fledderman's tenure through 2014.
Smith accounced that the theme of his one-year term will be To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected.
With that theme in mind he and the PMA board will be focused on: 1) Developing a PMA mentorship program, 2) Establishing a new funding initiative for the PMA Educational Foundation, and 3) Raising awareness of the PMA/NTMA One Voice advocacy program in Washington, DC.
Here's a video of our new chairman testing out the weight of the gavel.
Congratulations, Bill!  We look forward to seeing your positive influence on the future of PMA!