Page 21 - MetalForming March 2019
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  Since joining Qualtek in 2016, Roberts has invested in, among other areas, quality con- trol. Included is this Test Resources tensile-testing machine, demonstrated here by director of quality Jim Chamberlain.
Qualtek continue to find opportunities to leverage PMA’s services to support our business.”
Case in point: Qualtek human resources manager Lori Wise, who joined the company in May of 2017. Among her charges: find cost-effective ways to invest in developing the skills and talent of the company’s employees.
“We are a lean organization,” she says, “and, as such, our struggle has been to free up the time and the resources for training. We feel PMA’s METALFORM EDU is a great solution for us.”
Leading Qualtek’s efforts to immerse team members in skills development, Wise pledges that “we will be signing up every one of our employees. We are currently evaluating the skill sets of each employee and identifying training based on his/her individual needs. METALFORM EDU is a one-stop plat- form for new-hire onboarding, provid- ing opportunities for employees to learn new skills, as well as leadership development.
“We believe that training is vital— to the company and to our employees,” Wise continues. “Providing training through METALFORM EDU will help our employees develop the needed skills and abilities to help them further their careers, while contributing to the overall business goals of the company. We will implement the industry-specific training developed by PMA, and use the basic courses on safety, management training and quality built into the system. In addition, PMA also provides free month- ly webinars for industry-specific train- ing, as well as quarterly webinars for managers’ professional development.”
Wise also appreciates the ability to share ideas with other human-resource professionals working in the metal forming industry, via PMA’s HR net- working group.
“As an HR department of one,” says Wise, “I find the PMA HR listserv (e- mail-based networking group) an amazing resource. It’s a large group of other HR professionals working in our industry, comprised of talented pro- fessionals who are willing to share their
deburred and electro-polished—a process Qualtek developed to create a matte finish preferred by surgeons.
“Having used servo-press technol- ogy for 10 years now,” explains Fagnant, “has allowed our tool and die makers to learn how to design tooling to take advantage of what servo presses can do. The ability to slow the ram at impact, for example, lets us design very tight punch-die clearances and improve dimensional tolerances of stamped parts—critical for our aero- space and medical work.”
As an example, Fagnant showed us the “next generation” of tie bands, down-gauged by as much as 35 percent to reduce weight and improve aircraft fuel efficiency. Stamping these thinner parts to tight tolerances requires the precise process control provided by servo presses—and the expertise of the Qualtek die-development team.
“In addition, Fagnant adds, “the servo presses improve the shop envi- ronment for our operators—the press- es, compared to conventional presses, run more quietly, produce smaller burrs on the parts, and produce less head/friction in the die.”
Robert adds: “In 2018, we began stamping near-fineblank-quality parts on the servo presses, holding tolerances as tight as 0.0002 in. With simultaneous
investments in quality inspection equipment and ERP software (Global Shop), we have positioned ourselves for future growth, and success.”
Learning the Industry—from the Stamper’s Perspective
Roberts’ relationship with PMA has proven vital, he says, as he has transi- tioned from press supplier to press user. He first became involved with the association in 2004 during his tenure with Aida, and continues today.
“In 2004, I returned to the United States as Aida America Corp.’s presi- dent, after serving as president of Aida’s European operations,” shares Roberts. “Frankly, I didn’t know the North Amer- ican press market very well, especially at the various tiered levels. Becoming involved with PMA at the Board level and participating in educational and networking events, such as the annual meeting (now called Forming our Future), proved extremely useful in many ways. I met the decision-makers of many potential customers, and I was able to learn about the challenges and opportunities in the North American market. That knowledge provided Aida with valuable insights when developing products to address those challenges. Now that I’m on the manufacturing side of the industry, my colleagues at
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