AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology’s Board of Directors has announced that it has elected Douglas K. Woods as AMT President.
Woods comes to AMT from Parlec, Inc., a company that specializes in tooling, workholding and presetting solutions, where he was President. Prior to that post, he was President of Parlec International. Woods was a member of AMT’s Board of Directors from 2000-08 and was its chairman in 2005-06. He was also chairman of the committee for AMT’s Custom Automated Systems Group.
Woods brings a wealth of manufacturing experience to AMT, having worked at everything from small tool and die shops up to multibillion-dollar machine tool corporations. His international experience and connection to a broad manufacturing base allows him a unique perspective on member needs.
“We are very pleased that Doug has agreed to take on this challenge,” said Ron Schildge, Chairman of the AMT Board of Directors. “His experience and commitment to this industry will serve AMT and its members well in these challenging times.”
Woods also was president at Liberty Precision Industries, a company he joined in 1990. He held executive posts with the Automation Systems Divisions of Cross & Trecker and Gleason. He began his career at Alliance Automation Systems, where he served his apprenticeship and went on to hold several management positions.
Woods has been involved with other associations that represent manufacturing, including the National Tooling & Machining Association and the Rochester (N.Y.) Tooling & Machining Association.
Sometime in 2005, management at Eaton Hydraulics began seeing jobs from other factories move to Mexico for low-skill workers there. They didn’t want that for their own plant and began a strategic focus on training. They believed that the future of their facility was tied to skilled labor—and people who could be flexible in their work duties—and training would be the differentiator for their unit.
Eaton began by investigating the standards set by NIMS, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills and visited a local manufacturer, EJ Ajax and Sons, that incorporated NIMS credentialing into their on-the-job training. They met with Rich Davy, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, to design registered apprenticeships based on the NIMS competencies. Changing from a time-based to a competency-based apprenticeship was key to measure the effectiveness of the training employees received.
They made training a negotiating point with their unionized workforce who recognized that more opportunities are in store for those who learn more. “We wanted to show our employees that management was committed to them, show the State we were committed to registered apprenticeships, and show schools we were committed to ongoing training of new hires,” says Scott Swier, Manufacturing Manager at the Eaton Fluid Power Group.
Julie Anderson, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said, “It’s nice to see actions matching commitments and it’s going to help make this plant more stable.”
Eaton was the first in the nation to have a NIMS competency-based tool maker apprenticeship program agreed to by labor and management. Eaton also had the nation’s first NIMS-certified machine tool maintenance technician and the nation’s first tool and die maker. But Eaton didn’t stop there. The capstone to their apprenticeship programs would be to have the training program itself NIMS accredited.
NIMS accreditation sends a powerful message that the program meets national industry standards. This is an important message to internal and external customers, the board of directors, employees, future employees, customers and the community at large. It represented what Eaton Hydraulics stood for.
The accreditation process for Eaton took about eight months and included:
• Self-Study - Eaton rated themselves against NIMS quality measures including administrative support, instructional quality and capacity, curriculum, equipment and tooling, advisory council roles, safety and the integration of the national standards.
• Third-Party, On-Site Audit - A three -person team comprised of industry and education personnel conduct an on-site review, verifying the self-study report and documentation. The team interviewed administrative and corporate personnel, instructors, workers, advisory council members and industry leaders. The team also inspected the facility and equipment and analyzed safety practices.
And just this spring, Eaton added another to their lists of firsts: Minnesota’s first NIMS –accredited training program for Machine Maintenance and Tool Program Levels I, II, III. Steve Mandes, NIMS Executive Director, recognized Eaton’s accomplishment with a plaque given to Lee Marske, Plant Manager, in a small ceremony attended by management at both the plant and corporate levels, machine tool and maintenance employees, and others. Marske noted that it was a team effort of achievement. “This goes to all of you,” he said.
“Eaton has given us a model that any company, with the right commitment, can implement,” said Mandes.
Tess Skeels, HR Manager at the Eaton Fluid Power Group, holds the NIMS Accreditation.
Front Row Lawrence Harer maint supervisor Tess Skeels HR Manager Julie Anderson Union Rep. IAM Debra Bultnick mfg liaison for workforce dev. Richard Lobitz Rich Davy dept. of labor Steve mandes
Back row Brian Litzau James Smith Ron Krueger Training Coordinator Mark Haege Lee Marske Plant Manager Scott Swier Manufacturing Manager Randy Willard
NIMS Officials planned to celebrate the issuance of the 20,000th credential in May of this year, but certification candidates were so active that they ran right past that number to 21,000 as of May 20th.
NIMS experienced an 18.5% growth in its certifications in 2008 and it appears the organization may well exceed that rate this year as credentialing activity continues unabated throughout the United States.
Congratulations to all credential holders who have been a part of this record!
Wednesday is Earth Day. But at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, we consider every day to be Earth Day. After all, we've been in the "green manufacturing" business for nearly two decades.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Wednesday is Earth Day. But at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, we consider every day to be Earth Day. After all, we've been in the "green manufacturing" business for nearly two decades.
Stretching from Huntington in the west to RocketCenter in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, RCBI spans the state with its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers. Our facilities are equipped with the latest, most sophisticated equipment available. Our machines offer unequalled precision and efficiency. In the manufacturing process they drastically reduce the time, energy and waste required to produce whatever it is that you happen to be making.
This, in turn, enables a manufacturer to use fewer natural resources and create less pollution while achieving greater productivity.
RCBI provides access to this state-of-the-art equipment to manufacturers throughout the region. They can try it out, lease its use and, as is often the case, ultimately invest in similar equipment for their own plants.
The highly qualified RCBI staff assists workers from companies leasing time on the equipment, showing them how to use it. If a firm decides to invest in the sophisticated machinery, our staff members will go into the plant and train its workers on the spot. This service is made available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In addition, we provide a broad range of training programs to prepare individuals to enter the manufacturing field. For example, 250 men and women have earned more than 1,000 individual National Institute of Metalworking Skills certifications through RCBI's highly successful Machinist Technology Program. Nearly half have elected at the same time to earn associate degrees through RCBI's affiliation with the MarshallCommunity & TechnicalCollege in Huntington or Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Keyser. The rigorous, hands-on training that RCBI provides is helping meet regional manufacturers' need for additional skilled machinists.
The next step in machinist training is computer-numerical-controlled machining which, obviously, introduces computers to the process. This enables machinists to realize greater precision, efficiency and speed than they can attain manually. This, in turn, brings "greening" to the manufacturing process. RCBI provides CNC training, also, to veteran machinists as well as newcomers.
Another service providing a strong tint of "green" is the RCBI Quality Certification group that helps manufacturers develop and implement documented quality systems to ensure that they remain effective, sought-after and environmentally conscious suppliers. To this end, RCBI offers a strong schedule of specialized, quality-focused courses in the latest practices and techniques, and regularly helps companies develop work instructions and supervisory management skills.
Establishing an effective quality management system has become a necessity driven by competitive global market forces. To stay in business, companies must prove that they can provide a quality product or service and continually improve their processes. They must produce in "lean" environments with the minimum amount of waste to provide value to their customers. They must manage their impact on the environment and provide conditions that are healthy and safe for their employees and surrounding communities.
RCBI's experienced, skilled Quality Certification group provides training and implementation assistance at any of our Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers - Huntington, South Charleston, Bridgeport or Rocket Center - or at the manufacturer's plant site. In doing so, they're helping to make manufacturing more environmentally responsible - "greener" - throughout the region.
These are a few of the ways RCBI has been and is working toward sustainable manufacturing, defined as "the creation of manufactured products that use processes that are non-polluting, conserve energy and natural resources, are economically sound and safe for employees, communities and consumers."
You can be confident that we will continue and strengthen our efforts to help manufacturers and their employees become increasingly "green" - and profitable. That's why we're here.
Weber is director and chief executive officer of the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, rcbi.org.
NTMA/NIMS National Apprentice Competition Winners Announced
Indianapolis, Indiana - Saturday, April 18th, 2009 –
The 37th Annual NTMA/NIMS National Apprentice Competition culminated this past Saturday evening at the Awards Banquet Celebration, presented by the Indiana Chapter of NTMA and Ivy Technical Community College. At the ceremony apprentice Mark Evangelist, of Stellar Precision Components in Pittsburgh, PA, was awarded first place. Rounding out the top three were Josh Geschke, of MAG Giddings & Lewis, and Andrew W. Warren, of Six Sigma, Inc., who were awarded second and third place prizes.
In addition to numerous other rewards, Minister Guillaume Scheurer, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland announced that the recognized apprentices will participate in a Swiss Business Hub USA 10-day trip to Switzerland for the Swiss Manufacturing Experience. NIMS Board member and Chairman of AgieCharmilles, Harry Moser, will guide the winners on their tour of Swiss manufacturing.