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Metalforming, Blog Style

By: Brad Kuvin

Sunday, August 01, 2010
 
Metalforming, Blog Style

We’re all, in some , tied to one common community, right? One where we can share and learn from each other’s experiences, to help improve, ultimately, our own lot in life.

For this reason, the new website of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) has just launched several social-media outlets, including a bevy of Twitter accounts (including mine, www.twitter.com/metalforming) and a Facebook page.

Also new is the PMA blog (www.pma.org/blog), featuring four industry bloggers: PMA President Bill Gaskin; PMA Educational Foundation Educational Director Dave Sansone; 2010 PMA Chair Gretchen Zierick (president of Zierick Mfg. Corp.); and, yours truly.

Several blogs already have been posted, so check in often and add your comments. One blog harks back to an article in last month’s issue on press-brake technology, where Trumpf product manager Shane Simpson made an interesting observation about today’s metalforming shops. Noting that the person responsible for blanking sheets may not care how grain direction affects bend accuracy in the fabrication shop, Simpson observed that some associates may only be concerned with their own work and not with how their performance might affect the performance of their coworkers.

Ultimately, to truly optimize your pressroom efficiency, your workers need to have each other’s back. And so, I wonder in my blog: How many shops are there where the associates have each other’s backs?

I’ve also recently blogged about the very difficult decisions faced by managers of small- to midsize metalformers regarding how best to restore some level of previously shed capacity to handle an uptick in business. I quoted (in my blog titled, Tier Two Automotive Suppliers Getting a Raw Deal) one automotive Tier supplier who stated:

“Do you put on the second shift (and) add workers? Bring back the machine idled for a year at $50,000, or wait because you don’t need it until September?”

Also up for recent discussion among PMA’s blog team: BP’s battle in the Gulf —“For the White House to put an entire global company at risk by requiring it to commit to an unlimited liability is morally wrong,” writes Gretchen Zierick; and a program in Connecticut that has teachers from high schools and technical colleges spending 160 hours each working in manufacturing facilities to gain hands-on experience with technology (CNC machining and robotics, for example) that they then can share with their students back in the classroom.

“What a breath of fresh air!” writes Dave Sansone. “Teachers learning real-world experience they can pass on to their students. Education and industry working together for the benefit of both. Grant money being spent wisely.”

Our blog has a little for everyone, so read and respond at will. After all, it’s your community.

 


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