Editorial


 

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A 40-yr. Retrospective:
Gratitude to Amazing Volunteers for Their Industry Commitment

By: William E. Gaskin

Monday, May 1, 2017
 

Readers of MetalForming magazine may not know that its parent organization, the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), celebrates its 75th year of continuous service to the metalforming industry in 2017. The original PMA, the Pressed Metal Association, was established in 1913, in anticipation of World War I. Inactive during the Depression, the association re-emerged in 1942 as the Pressed Metal Institute (PMI), with 42 charter members.

In 1961, PMI became the American Metal Stamping Association (AMSA), to better reflect the evolving use of stamping technologies. In 1987, AMSA was renamed the Precision Metalforming Association, recognizing the evolution of technology in the precision sheetmetal-fabricating sector. This new PMA identified with related technologies including metal spinning and slideforming, as well as CNC sheetmetal-fabricating processes such as press-brake bending, turret-press punching, and laser and waterjet cutting.

It was my good fortune to join the staff of AMSA (now PMA) in 1977, and to serve as the association’s president since 2000. Forty years ago, with little manufacturing knowledge, my learning curve was steep. Early involvement with ANSI B11 standards-writing committees for mechanical power presses and other technologies, and work on additional industry-driven standards, taught me why the metalforming industry is critical to our nation’s economic well-being, and to our ability to compete globally.

I’ve also been privileged to work with several AMSA/PMA committees, including those addressing safety, performance benchmarking, technical research and government relations—activities that help PMA member companies improve their performance. These too were opportunities to learn, to better-understand our industry and to help our countless volunteers make a difference. The enduring goal: enable North American metalforming companies to compete and grow, in spite of heavy regulatory burdens.

Toward that end, PMA developed industry-leading video-based metalforming-training programs, which now are being redeveloped for online delivery thanks to the support of the PMA Educational Foundation. Also critical are PMA’s aggressive advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., helping to level the playing field in North America and globally.

Projects such as these only can be undertaken with the involvement of countless skilled operators, setup technicians, managers and executives who generously volunteer their time, so that others can share in their knowledge and expertise.

This year marks my last as president of PMA, and I’m retiring with nothing but fond memories and optimism regarding the future of PMA and the metalforming industry.

Looking back on my 40 years with PMA, I am filled with gratitude to have had the opportunity to represent this industry. I’m also grateful for the amazing member volunteers, including PMA’s officers and directors, who have been resolutely committed to the metalforming industry, and will continue to be the drivers of PMA’s long-term success.

 


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