Indiana Manufacturer Expands Use of METALFORM EDUMarch 30, 2023
General Stamping and Metalworks (GSM), headquartered in South Bend, IN, and having celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022, has long served OEMs in various industries, including lawn and garden and other agricultural as well as solar. In 2017 the company built a 190,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing operation and today boasts 295 employees in South Bend, and 75 more at an operation in Tomah, WI. GSM processes include metal stamping, as well as robotic and manual welding, sheet and tube bending, rollforming, laser cutting, and tool and die making and repair.
Training Progresses from CDs to Online Platform
For many years, the manufacturer employed CD offerings and onsite training from the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) to augment its inhouse skills training and on-the-job training (OJT), according to Kathy Crimmins, GSM director of cultural development. A few years back, the company became aware of PMA’s online METAFORM EDU training program, but not until Eric Nelson joined GSM in May of 2022 as training and development manager did the company ramp up its usage.
METAFORM EDU features nearly 40 PMA-exclusive courses and more than 800 total courses, covering topics such as precision measurement, blueprint reading, SPC, CNC, Six Sigma, lean manufacturing and safety. Coming soon: online courses designed for experienced press operators and die setters.
“Kathy and I put together a list,” says Nelson, recalling GSM’s initial foray into METALFORM EDU, “going through the curriculum and choosing several courses that we associated with leadership—communications, critical thinking, etc. Initially, we had our 34 managers take eight courses, and they then gained access to the entire METALFORM EDU library.”
Quick Assessment of Training Schedules and Progress
Using the program, Nelson quickly can see all of the certificates earned by trainees, including many that they took on their own initiative. And, he can set up training via METALFORM EDU that tailors to specific job functions.
“For example, our staffing manager and his lead have utilized some of the stamping courses,” says Nelson, “our engineering team took geometric dimensioning and tolerancing courses, and our maintenance team completed some of the electrical courses.
“METALFORM EDU has a very large course catalog with much to choose from,” Nelson continues. “And, with more detailed press brake training courses coming soon, we will utilize those with our press brake team.”
GSM has employed METALFORM EDU thus far chiefly for training in theory, backed by the company’s inhouse OJT and skill assessments, report Crimmins and Nelson. And, some team members still use PMA’s older training CDs, especially in the stamping area.