The American Mold Builder 2019 Issue 3

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Issue 3 2019

Building a Business on Tooling Repairs n Onboarding for Employee Retention n Better Supply Agreements n Plan for Lead Time Reduction

The Official Publication of the American Mold Builders Association


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ON THE COVER Laser technologies aid in mold repair at United Tool and Mold. Photo credit: Creative Technology Corp.

Issue 3 2019

CONTENTS 18

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FEATURES ///

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DEPARTMENTS /// Speak Out .................................................... 4 Association ................................................. 14 Product ...................................................... 22 Industry ...................................................... 34 Calendar ..................................................... 42 Ad Index ..................................................... 42

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Profile United Tool and Mold Keeps the Industry Running

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Technology Mold Coating Treatments Add to Performance, Protection

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Benchmarking The Impact of the Onboarding Process on Employee Retention

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Operations A Deeper Look at Onboarding Checklists

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Safety Workplace Implications for Marijuana Use

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Review EHS Summit Emphasizes Preparedness

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Strategies Five Steps to Better Supply Agreements

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Production Four Key Attributes that Deliver Lead Time Reduction

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Management Seven Steps to Turn Employee Potential into Performance www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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SPEAK OUT ///

A

Toby Bral

AMBA President MSI Mold Builders

s the days get shorter and summer comes to a close, I find myself wondering when I blinked: Suddenly, we are coming up on fall again. Kids are going back to school, vacation season is winding down, and football is in the air again. The summer months seem to be a little slower for the industry. With so many people taking time off, it takes longer to get everyone together and to keep projects going. I hope you were able to use this time to recharge and prepare for the fall. Hopefully, we’re all ready for a new push of built-up projects and work.

I took my family to Washington, DC, on our summer vacation. It was the first visit for my kids, and it was great to see them experience the history of this great country. Most of my trips to DC involve meeting with elected officials and staff to promote plastics and moldmaking. While it’s important to make sure our voice is heard in the sea of chaos that is the current political environment, this trip was about taking in what was around me. The biggest takeaway I had was an awareness of just how much people have sacrificed over the years to ensure we can live free and create opportunities for ourselves if we want to work for them. From Arlington National Cemetery to the stars on the WWII Memorial, from Ford’s Theater to Mount Vernon, there are reminders of how much sacrifice was made to make sure we can do what makes us happy and achieve success in our lives. Many of us in the US moldmaking industry see career success as working for a highperforming company built on the principles of hard work, dedication and doing things the right way. The US moldmaking industry has been formed by hardworking individuals with entrepreneurial spirits who thought, “There has to be a better way to do this.” We, as AMBA members, know how important it is to share best practices, to see how we may be able to do something better and to remain competitive in the world marketplace in the face of outside competition that may not work to the same standards as we do. You have heard me talk in past letters about the situation regarding Chinese mold tariffs, which were lifted after about six months due to false statements of US domestic capacity being full. The AMBA, along with Harbour Results, is pushing hard to make sure our senators and representatives know there is plenty of US capacity to take on a larger share of US mold builds. The AMBA has participated in the Plastics Fly-in in DC to promote the domestic mold building industry, but we now are taking a more active role in combating the Chinese mold tariff suspension. The goal is to educate officials about the capacity in the US and to make them aware of some overseas practices with which we don’t agree. All of this is being done in the hopes of at least stopping the renewal of the one-year suspension (set to take place later this year when reapplications for exemptions are due). The AMBA sent out a form letter and a flyer to help you, as members, easily reach out to your representatives with data to educate them. Several members already have reached out to their elected officials, and I would highly encourage everyone else to reach out because there is strength in numbers. We must help protect mold building from unfair practices (labor standards, mold dumping, currency manipulation) to ensure the industry’s future here in the US. Looking at the AMBA schedule this fall, plenty of online opportunities exist to continue to learn and exchange ideas with others. A machining survey and an additive manufacturing webinar are coming up, and a couple of virtual peer networking opportunities are available, too. We also have in-person events, with the Emerging Leaders workshop on October 15 and a plant tour of United Tool and Mold scheduled for October 24. With all these options, I hope you can find an event or two to help you learn about what’s new and maybe pick up something that makes your operation just a little bit better. n 4

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American Mold Builders Association 7321 Shadeland Station Way, #285 Indianapolis, IN 46256 p 317.436.3102 • f 317.913.2445 info@amba.org • www.amba.org

Officers National President Toby Bral, MSI Mold Builders Immediate Past-President Justin McPhee, Mold Craft, Inc. Vice President Jim Sperber, Master Tool & Mold Secretary and Legal Counsel Alan Rothenbuecher, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Board of Directors Tom Barr, TK Mold & Engineering David Bowers II, JMMS Mike Devereux, Mueller Prost Don Dumoulin, Precise Tooling Solutions Greg Eidenberger, Paragon D&E Dan Glass, Strohwig Industries Mike Mullholand, Freeman Co. Andy Peterson, Industrial Molds Group Kenny Skar, Vincent Tool Tyler VanRee, Legacy Precision Molds, Inc.

AMBA Team Troy Nix, Executive Director Kym Conis, Managing Director Susan Denzio, Business Manager Rachael Pfenninger, Project Manager

Advising Editor: Kym Conis Advertising/Sales: Susan Denzio Published by:

www.petersonpublications.com

2150 SW Westport Dr., Suite #101 Topeka, KS 66614 P: 785.271.5801 Managing Editor: Dianna Brodine Asst. Editors: Liz Stevens, Nancy Cates Art Director: Becky Arensdorf Graphic Designer: Mikell Burr Opinions expressed in this publication may or may not reflect the views of the Association and do not necessarily represent official positions or policies of the Association or its members.


We are celebrating our 40th Anniversary, and on behalf of the entire Alliance family, we want to thank you for being our partners in this journey. We wouldn’t be here without you. There have been many changes over the years, but one thing has remained unchanged: our grit. It is that grit that makes us who we are and defines our company. When you look around the shop you will see grit coloring our hands, dusting our benches, and swirling through the air. Small remnants of dirt from delivering on promises rain or shine, little pieces of left behind polishing stones, grease, sand and plastic from the molds we clean, abandoned splinters of welding wire and laser engraving soot are just a few of the examples of grit that surround us daily. It is threaded into the fine detail of our lives and no matter how much you clean there will always be a hint of grit that is left behind. That GRIT is the kind you find in our hearts. The GRIT of courage and strength to start a company from nothing. The GRIT to put it on the line and to try new things that no one else thinks possible. The GRIT that provides the passion and perseverance to take on challenges no one else could. The GRIT to do whatever it takes to not only get the job done, but done right. The GRIT that Alliance was built on is a special grade. It makes us who we are and holds us together as a family. GRIT is in our blood and it flows through our veins, feeding the hunger to be better each and every day. The same Alliance GRIT that started as a dream in a garage 40 years ago is alive in every single person that calls this place home. It is our GRIT that makes the difference between us and every other company out there, and it’s the reason why we will continue to be a dominant force in the industry for the next 40 and beyond.

FOLLOW US:


PROFILE

United Tool and Mold Keeps the Industry Running By Brittany Willes, contributing writer, The American Mold Builder

“O

ur mission is to keep the plastics industry running,” said United Tool and Mold (UTM) Chief Operating Officer Chad LaMance. “In the world of just-in-time delivery, our main focuses are in keeping our customers’ presses running and preventing lines from going down.” Established in 1995, the Liberty, South Carolina-based company had established itself as a typical tool builder focused on new tool

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builds. That business model changed, however, and now UTM has built a strong reputation as a one-stop shop providing engineering changes and repair services for the plastic injection and blow molding industries.

Switching gears to repairs

As the industry itself changed, UTM’s business model shift was the result of a determination to “take on whatever crisis our customers could throw at us,” according to the company’s website. Quickly seeing the benefit to throwing its expertise behind repairs, the company opted to change directions regarding the types of services provided so it could handle any problem or issue that customers experienced. Today, UTM and its 80 employees focus on “engineering changes and emergency and general repair services, as well as hot runner services,” said LaMance. “We provide laser engraving and laser welding to repair surface cracks, damaged corners and edges, damaged gates and parting lines. Furthermore, we provide


PROFILE

UTM’s new 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Liberty, South Carolina, is optimized for efficient workflow with three spotting presses, 14 overhead cranes and a “drive-through” concept that allows two 40-foot tractor trailers to load or unload simultaneously.

With a fleet of five SOS (Service-On-Site) vans and five heavy trucks, United Tool and Mold ensures quick turn to minimize downtime – “Keeping the Plastics Industry Running.” Photo credits: Creative Technology Corp. preventive maintenance services to keep molds running at an acceptable level. We can evaluate molds to make sure the cooling circuits are performing as they should be and help troubleshoot any issues our customers may have.”

Hot runner systems are an important specialty at United Tool and Mold. A fluidized bed with a basket of 40”x 40”x 80” uses heated sand to quickly clean and restore like-new performance.

By switching its focus to the engineering and repair side of things, UTM is able to be more flexible in its approach to finding and developing solutions for its customers – and those customers aren’t the only beneficiaries of its increased flexibility. The company contributes value to the plastics industry as a whole with its ability to work with and support other tools shops to complete warranty work or repairs – or even prepare new tools for delivery. UTM provides global landing and incoming inspection services for its customers who have molds built around the world. “We look for partnerships with local resources and global companies,” said LaMance. This includes working with OEMs and tool builders page 8 u

United Tool and Mold’s engineering team includes a wealth of experience in plastic injection molds, blow molds and die casting. www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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PROFILE t page 7 to inspect tools for damage, check water circuits or perform assembly, if needed – anything to ensure even those molds built overseas are ready to run when placed into service at the injection molding or blow molding facility. “That’s just one way we benefit the industry as a whole,” he continued.

Automation provides the advantage

According to LaMance, one of the biggest changes UTM has seen in the last few years is an increase in pressure for better lead times and accuracy, while at the same time dealing with a lack of engineering experience due to the ongoing talent crisis. “There is less and less experience to communicate the details of a given problem and achieve an across-the-board solution,” he said. “This includes the initial information we receive, troubleshooting and correcting the problem.”

A new 5-axis machining center has the capacity to handle most any size mold as a complete assembly without costly and timeconsuming disassembly and assembly.

Gets you to market faster ISO 9001-2015 CErTIFIED

Not to be deterred by such challenges, UTM has turned its eye inward in order to find the best solution to these issues. Thus far, the best solution has proven to be reviewing UTM’s internal processes to find ways to achieve faster lead times with fewer errors. LaMance noted, “We have focused on our internal processes and systems to make sure we are getting and providing the necessary information for a given project.” For UTM, this has meant revitalizing its internal processes. “Processes and automation are becoming a must,” he stated, especially in an industry that every day is expected to deliver more product at greater speed, in flexible quantities and without error. As a result, many manufacturing facilities have begun relying on automation as a way of remaining competitive. It helps that the tool building industry – and manufacturing in general – lends itself well to automation. For instance, it has been predicted that anywhere from 10% to 15% of manufacturing jobs will be automated by 2025. By 2035, it is predicted that number will rise to around 35% to 50%. Without a doubt, automation is here to stay, and many companies have embraced the technology as a means to better serve their customers.

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UTM is no different in that – even as it works to develop greater flexibility, improved processes and larger capabilities – the company also is “working for robotics and automation to become manufacturing processes we can utilize even for repairs and changes,” said LaMance.

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While robotics and automation are tools that UTM plans to incorporate in the future, it currently is utilizing other technologies as a way to better serve its customers and its own processes. For instance, the company recently developed its own mobile app to increase communication regarding job status and production.

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Issue 3 2019

“When it comes to providing information back to our customers, one challenge that we have had is tracking molds and work progress,” LaMance explained. “We worked to develop an app


PROFILE that we use during every step of the job – from initial pickup of the mold on the truck to work completed in the shop and delivery back to the customer. The app allows us to take pictures and document each step in the process. It creates accountability for everyone.” Using this technology, UTM employees benefit by being able to instantly check any job, confirming how the mold was picked up and which components may have been picked up with it. At the same time, project managers, no matter where they are, are able to log in to the app and access pictures and documentation directly from the shop floor that shows the progress of the work. “Our truck drivers take pictures at the time of delivery as well,” said LaMance. “This ensures that the mold and all of its components are accounted for, and there is no question as to how or when everything was delivered.” As a tool for increasing accountability, the app has proven itself to be incredibly useful.

Expanding facilities and equipment

The mobile app is not UTM’s only new investment. According to LaMance, the company has made several improvements over the last few years, all designed to expedite its work and improve its geographical reach, including the launch of a brand new website. First and foremost, however, was an investment in new facilities.

While headquartered in South Carolina, UTM opened another facility in 2009 in Rainbow City, Alabama. This building consists of 25,000 sq. ft. capable of handling tooling up to 60,000 lbs. It serves the Highway 20 corridor from Atlanta to Mississippi and surrounding areas. Ten years after opening its third facility, UTM made the decision to combine the two existing South Carolina shops into a new 60,000 sq. ft. facility, which UTM moved into in 2019. The facility is capable of handling an impressive 120,000 lbs. of tooling for lift and repair. Investing in a new facility has allowed UTM to continue its dedicated efforts to continually improving flexibility and process capabilities. In addition to creating a larger facility, the company has invested in new machinery, including 14 overhead cranes and three new spotting presses, which will aid in controlling workflow and processes to better meet its customers’ expectations and needs. Further improvements also include the purchase of “a Faro arm for scanning and probing, which allows us to not only validate our quality but to improve our reverse engineering capability as well,” LaMance stated. page 10 u

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PROFILE t page 9 “We have increased the number of laser welders and laser engravers. We have invested in our mold cleaning and validation process as well,” he continued. “With an increased demand for faster mold changes, many of our customers are using quick change, centralized connections for water, hydraulics and pneumatics. With so many customizable options available, we have worked hard to duplicate our customer specs and connections for testing purposes. This means that when a mold is returned, we can be confident that it will go directly into a press and run without issues.” The improvements continue. “We purchased a new five-axis CNC machine with a 3 meter x 4 meter table to handle the larger molds we work on,” LaMance added. “We’ve also added a fluidized bed for cleaning hot runners and as a burnout service. The basket is large enough at 40 x 40 x 80 inches to handle most all manifolds we see.”

Response time is critical

Laser welding and laser engraving services are critical components of United Tool and Mold’s capabilities.

In-house improvements are not the only area on which UTM has focused. It also has worked to increase its mobile service-on-site capabilities. UTM offers 24-hour service, 365 days a year, with employees who are willing to stay until the work is done. “We have dedicated repair technicians for on-site service available to assist our customers’ tool room employees or provide immediate repairs to keep the mold running,” said LaMance. The company’s service-on-site van is fully stocked with tools to make repairs without losing valuable time to running out for parts. “Not every situation allows for on-site service as a solution, but many times it is a valid option to repair a mold,” he explained. “We can help our customers create parts at an acceptable level until they have time to remove the mold and take it out of production for full repairs.” Being able to quickly service customer machines at the customer’s facility is an incredible competitive advantage in an industry where downtime equals lost revenue. In fact, according to LaMance, UTM’s speed is one of the biggest benefits it provides. “Our response time is one of our best advantages,” he noted. “We maintain our own truck fleet that includes 11 vehicles, ranging from service-on-site vans up to tractor trailers that can haul 82,000 lbs. Our processes are set up for speed and agility. Once we get the call from our customer, we can quickly get a truck in route.” Speed, flexibility and a determination to provide solutions for even the toughest problems are what help United Tool and Mold stand out as it lives its mission to keep the plastics industry running. “Our goal is to be an asset to our customers to help them produce parts at an optimal level,” said LaMance. “No job is too big or too small. Whether it is an engineering change or an emergency repair, we are here to help.” n

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TECHNOLOGY

Mold Coating Treatments Add to Performance, Protection By Dianna Brodine, managing editor, The American Mold Builder

T

ooling life is at the top of the list of concerns for any molding project since downtime for repairs jeopardizes profit margins. Mold coatings and surface treatments have the ability to extend the life of injection molding tools, offering corrosion protection, increased performance and reduced wear. Two AMBA-member companies provided additional insight into mold protection options. Dynamic Surface Technologies is headquartered in Canton, Michigan. “There’s a distinction between what we do, which is surface treating, and coating processes,” said Loren Epler, president of Dynamic Surface Technologies. “Our DYNA-BLUE® and DYNA-BRITE™ surface treatment processes are intended to increase the life of tools for injection molding, diecasting, stamping and other types of tooling applications.” Standex Engraving Mold-Tech, located in Carol Stream, Illinois, is the largest provider of surface finishes for molds, said Paul Williams, senior program manager for Standex Engraving MoldTech. “We design and apply textures to molds, including leather grains, stipples, geometrics and other decorative finishes,” he said. “We get involved in mold coatings because these finishes need to be preserved, and our Tribocoat process does that.”

Why apply mold coatings or other protection processes?

Coatings and surface treatments add a layer of protection to the mold steel, reducing wear that can occur as resins move though the tool. With today’s resin options containing a variety of additives and minerals meant to strengthen the molded plastic part, wear and tear on tooling can mean additional time in the repair shop. Corrosion also can be reduced through the application of a coating or surface treatment, protecting the steel. “Every time you inject material across the surface of a mold, there’s a wear factor,” said Williams. “It could be caused by the materials, but sometimes the way a material is injected into a mold or certain gating processes may have conditions that contribute to wear in affected areas.” 12

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Photo courtesy of Dynamic Service Technologies A mold coating or protective surface treatment can make it easier for plastic resins to move through the mold, reducing cycle times and providing for a quick release of the molded part. All of these benefits reduce overall wear and tear on a mold. “Treating the mold steel can double or triple the life of a mold’s surface at a cost that’s very modest when compared to the cost of the tool,” explained Epler. “With production levels at their peaks, downtime becomes a critical thing – it can cost the molder a lot of money. Coatings and treatments can make the tools last longer with less downtime and can improve the quality of the parts, too. In the long term, that can eliminate processes like flash trimming that may need to be performed when a tool starts to wear down.”

How are today’s resins impacting tooling life?

Plastics molders are finding that resin additives meant to improve end part quality are reducing tool life and production efficiency. “To strengthen plastics, resin manufacturers are adding glass-filled minerals,” said Epler. “The glass particles are hard, and that wears the mold out faster. That’s a big problem for molders.” Although the addition of glass fillers can significantly improve the strength of plastic parts, glass fillers are highly abrasive. To counteract the effect the abrasiveness has on tooling, some molders recommend running equipment at slower speeds, which reduces parts per hour coming off the line. And, the wear still occurs. In addition, flame retardant resins, frequently used in electronics, can be caustic to a steel mold surface. “When you start putting those in the equation, you really need to have a protective process that can prevent the attack,” Epler explained. Williams added, “Any time the surface begins to show wear and tear – whether it’s due to corrosive materials like PVC or additives


TECHNOLOGY like glass – you’re changing the surface of the tool,” explained Williams. “And, of course, that changes the appearance of the surface. Prevention is paramount if it can replace maintenance. Mold coatings preserve the decorative finish appearances that designers have specified and approved for the production parts.”

How are mold coatings and surface treatments different?

“When talking about mold coatings, typically what comes to mind is a chrome plating or physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating, where the coating lays on the surface of the tool,” said Epler. PVD coating is a vacuum deposition process, and chrome plating is an electroplating process. Both offer a decorative component, with metallic finishes that can be used to enhance the appearance of a tool, while still providing a barrier against damage and corrosion. Standex Engraving Mold-Tech offers Tribocoat, a composite electroless nickel coating process. It can be welded and benched without any negative effect and it can be removed if surface damage occurs and needs to be repaired. “If the tool has a decorative surface, a coating that can be applied or removed typically is recommended to make it easier to re-etch the surface,” said Williams. “Etched

textures can be more difficult to repair on tools that have been treated with an impregnation process.” Dynamic Surface Technologies has a proprietary process wherein the “coating” is diffused into the steel, which means it can’t peel or flake off. In addition, said Epler, the surface treatment process is effective around curves or ribs. “Many coatings are ‘line of sight,’ so if the tool has deep ribs, some other processes can’t penetrate to the bottom of the ribs or through the water lines,” he explained. Both processes provide protection against wear and corrosion, and tool builders should consult with experts regarding the best process for their particular application.

What is the takeaway?

With tight production deadlines, injection molders can’t afford tooling downtime. Mold builders can offer added value to their customers with education about the potential benefits of protective coatings or treatments. “These days, everything is ‘just in time’,” said Epler. “With production levels so high, if a tool needs to be repaired, it can really affect profits.” Preventive measures in the form of added coatings or surface treatments may be the difference between a profitable job and one that veers into the red. n

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ASSOCIATION /// Nominate a Champion – Educational Outreach Contest Launched

AMBA recently launched the fourth annual Educational Outreach Contest in celebration of manufacturers who work to engage young people in the manufacturing industry. On Manufacturing Day 2019 (October 4), AMBA will recognize three member company champions with the 2019 Educational Outreach Award in recognition of their efforts over the last year (since October 6, 2018). Three scholarships will be awarded – in the amounts of $1,000, $750 and $500 – to the program of the winners’ choice. These champions’ efforts are helping to close the skills gap and mitigate workforce development issues in their respective communities. For contest details or to submit a nomination, visit AMBA.org. Deadline is Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

AMBA Awards $70,000 in AMMA Grants

On August 22, 2019, the AMBA awarded nearly $70,000 to the 2019 recipients of the American Mold Manufacturing Advancement Grant (AMMA Grant). Developed by the AMBA and first launched in 2017, the AMMA Grant invests in the advancement of the mold building industry by supporting programs and projects that fall within three primary areas: training, advocacy/industry promotion, and research and development. To date, AMBA has awarded $210,000 in grant funding in support of members’ workforce development efforts. Funds awarded this year will support students at all grade levels with a variety of programs, including job shadowing, competitions that encourage interest in apprenticeship programs, the integration of structured curriculum specific to the skills trade industry, technical training, CNC software, robust CTE (career and technical education) programs, robotics kits, Manufacturing Day activities and more. Grant recipients this year include the following AMBA members: TK Mold & Engineering, Inc. (Romeo, Michigan); Westminster Tool, Inc. (Plainfield, Connecticut); Wepco Plastics (Middlefield, Connecticut); Snider Mold Company, Inc. (Mequon, Wisconsin); Prodigy Mold & Tool, Inc. (Haubstadt, Indiana); Precision Mold & Machining Services, Inc. (Warren, Michigan); M.R. Mold & Engineering Corporation (Brea, California); Legacy Precision Molds, Inc. (Grandville, Michigan); Creative Blow Mold Tooling (Lee’s Summit, Missouri); Century Die Company (Fremont, Ohio); and Armin Tool & Manufacturing Company (South Elgin, Illinois). Congratulations to all 2019 AMMA Grant recipients!

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Expand What You Know During AMBA Webinars

Address Challenges during AMBA Peer Networking Sept. 11, 2019 Join other AMBA members during AMBA’s Peer Networking sessions, where senior leaders and human resources professionals have the opportunity to share their challenges, discuss potential solutions and pool available resources. Peer networking sessions take place via conference call and are free for members. Visit AMBA.org/Events to register. Implementing Additive Manufacturing Oct. 8, 2019 During this webinar, Jon Carlson of GF Machining will explain the process of additive manufacturing and the features and benefits it offers the mold and die market. Attendees also will learn how other mold builders are implementing the technology and how it continues to develop in the marketplace. This AMBA webinar is free for members. Visit AMBA.org/Events to register.

Event Approaching: Operation Homefront Golf Scramble Sept. 13, 2019 | 11:00 a.m.

Don’t miss the annual Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales Golf Scramble. As in past years, the event will be held at the Countryside Golf Course (Mundelein, Illinois), followed by awards and dinner at Lindy’s Landing (Wauconda, Illinois). Funds raised through the event will benefit Operation Homefront, whose mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. To learn more and register, visit https:// alliancelasersales.com/golf/.

Emerging Leaders Workshop: Leading from Within October 15, 2019 | 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Indianapolis, Indiana

Join other AMBA young professionals during this half-day workshop for the AMBA Emerging Leaders group, where under-40 AMBA members will participate in the Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment, a tool that measures a person’s motivating drives and needs. During this event, Heather Haas of Advisa USA will provide personalized coaching, measuring and diagnosing opportunities for performance improvement and leadership development for each attendee at the individual, team and organizational level. Participants will walk away with an increased self-awareness and confidence that will allow them to optimize their strengths in the workplace and leadership ability. Register today at AMBA.org/Events.


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Annual Wage and Benefits Survey Launched

AMBA has launched its annual Wage and Benefits Survey. This survey collects and analyzes information on more than 50 job functions commonly found in mold building operations. The report generated from this survey is available at no cost to all participants. The survey will close on Friday, November 1, 2019. To complete the report (and receive a free copy), visit AMBA.org/ Resources/Open-Surveys.

NEW MEMBERS MoldWorks USA, LLC Tom Grimes, Owner 515.314.9601 Modern Mold Corporation David Bowes, President 440.236.9600 www.modernmoldcorporation.com Modern Mold Corporation is located in Columbia Station, Ohio, and was established in 1984. The company specializes in design engineering, complex mold manufacturing and injection molding across multiple industries. Modern Mold Corporation is in the process of expanding and moving the business into a new facility.

ASSOCIATION

Viking Plastics Kenny Ulrich, Tooling Manager 812.283.4435 www.vikingplastics.com Viking Plastics Indiana designs, builds and maintains molds for the injection molding industry. The company has experience serving a variety of industries, offering a wide range of tooling capabilities, including new tool build, mold repairs and maintenance, engineering changes, in-house sampling and production machining services. Powermark International LLC Gregg Powers, President 815.978.0313 www.powermarkint.com Powermark International is a reliable source for high-quality, cost-competitive mold production. The company offers complete manufacturing capabilities, in-house engineering, modern machining equipment and 24/7 mold delivery. With domestic and international capabilities and rigorous project oversight, customers can count on Powermark International to produce tooling of the highest quality within competitive budget parameters. n

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BENCHMARKING

The Impact of the Onboarding Process on Employee Retention By Rachael Pfenninger, project manager, AMBA

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ne of the primary challenges facing today’s manufacturers is workforce development, which includes the hiring and retention of capable employees. A critical component of retaining strong employees actually can begin, however, with a smooth onboarding process. In Roy Maurer’s article, “New Employee Onboarding Guide,” Maurer argues that onboarding should “be a strategic process that lasts at least one year... because how employers handle the first few days and months of a new employee’s experience is crucial to ensuring high retention.” He goes on to cite the CEO of BambooHR, writing that, “Organizations that don’t focus on acclimating new employees to their corporate culture are at a significant disadvantage... Employees who know what to expect from their company’s culture and work environment make better decisions that are more aligned with the accepted practices of the company.”

to lean on. It also helps ease them into the company culture, can contribute to their early productivity and allows them to feel supported. 3. Prepare for their arrival. Setting up their space in advance gives new hires more time to absorb their surroundings and the company culture, while also providing a head start on training for their position. 4. Encourage managers to make time for new hires in their schedule. Investing in the relationship between managers and employees early on can directly impact the future success of new hires, while also developing the leadership of those new hires’ managers. n

References

Dewar, Jen. (2019, January 26). 10 Employee Onboarding Statistics You Must Know in 2019. Sapling. Retrieved from https://www.saplinghr.com/ blog/10-employee-onboarding-statistics-you-must-know-in-2019

Incorporating a smooth onboarding process – or a process of any kind, if one doesn’t currently exist – can have a significant impact on the company’s bottom line, as well as the employee’s experience. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee turnover can be as high as 50% in the first 18 months of employment, which then can cost a company six to nine months of an employee’s salary to identify and onboard a replacement.

Kurter, Heidi Lynne. (2018, October 25). 4 Onboarding Tactics To Increase Retention and Inspire Unwavering Loyalty. Forbes.com. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/heidilynnekurter/2018/10/25/4onboarding-tactics-to-increase-retention-and-inspire-unwaveringloyalty/#127faa5e12e9

Despite how much of an impact onboarding can have on a company’s pocketbook, most organizations still struggle with putting a smooth process in place. According to the article, “10 Employee Onboarding Statistics You Must Know in 2019,” by Jen Dewar, 88% of organizations don’t onboard well. Dewar argues that many employees feel this way because 58% of surveyed organizations say their onboarding program is focused on processes and paperwork, rather than on the experience of the employee and how welcomed they feel into the organization.

Why the Onboarding Experience is Key for Retention. Gallup Blog. Retrieved from: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/235121/whyonboarding-experience-key-retention.aspx

So, how can organizations improve their onboarding processes for new employees? Heidi Kurter, contributing writer for Forbes.com, recommends the following tactics: 1. Extend a warm welcome before Day 1. Creating a favorable first impression can keep new hires engaged and leads directly into getting them excited and making them feel like they are part of the team. 2. Pair the new hires with a mentor. This can reduce anxiety and “fear of the unknown” by providing employees with someone 16

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Maurer, Roy. (2019). New Employee Onboarding Guide. Shrm.org. Retrieved from: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talentacquisition/pages/new-employee-onboarding-guide.aspx

AMBA Releases New Employee Onboarding Checklist Compilation

Because effective onboarding can play such a strong role in employee retention and overall workforce development, the AMBA recently gathered examples of New Employee Onboarding checklists, as well as demographic and HR policy data from 39 US mold builders. This benchmarking opportunity includes an addendum of more than 20 new employee onboarding checklists and related documents. To purchase the full report, visit AMBA.org/publications.


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OPERATIONS

A Deeper Look at Onboarding Checklists By Liz Stevens, contributing writer, The American Mold Builder

A

MBA recently published its New Employee Onboarding Checklists Report for 2019, based on a survey of 39 mold manufacturers in 13 states across the nation. The report includes a summary of the respondents’ geographical locations, annual sales levels and number of employees. The report also presents statistics on the percentages of companies that have formal onboarding processes and dedicated human resources (HR) personnel. AMBA gathered onboarding checklists from the survey participants, scrubbed them of identifying information and compiled them into the report. In a review of this wide variety of checklists, some common content was evident. A group of best practice approaches also stood out, and a handful of smart, unusual ideas emerged.

Common practices

Many mold manufacturers use bulleted check-off lists that present the general tasks to be done by human resource personnel, such 18

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as adding employees to the payroll system or assigning them lockers. The check-off lists also generally itemize the paperwork to be delivered to new employees – such as employee handbooks – or forms to be collected from them, such as tax withholding documents and insurance applications. Some manufacturers use “to do” lists that also cover orientation activities (“give an explanation of ISO certifications,” for example), include prompts for HR personnel to provide safety overviews and set up training schedules, or remind human resources staff to discuss the company’s attendance rules or the standard supplies/ equipment provided to employees. Among these common task/form lists, some AMBA members opt for documenting a more wide-ranging onboarding process by giving HR personnel a detailed roadmap of paper and/or computer records to create. The roadmap of what to create can range from personnel files to immigration records to reminders on the HR calendar for insurance and retirement plan eligibility dates. Giving new employees comprehensive info about payroll, benefits, probationary periods, work hours, overtime, time clock instructions and company rules is typical, and these items frequently appear on the onboarding checklists. Manufacturers also include reminders that can include the following instructions: deliver overviews of health/safety policies, provide a cheat sheet on the software used by employees for HR/ payroll tasks, make an outline available to help employees complete required paperwork, furnish details on important contacts at the plant and conduct a welcome/orientation facility tour.


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Best practices

The mold manufacturers that AMBA surveyed shared several outstanding examples of best practices in their onboarding checklists. In some cases, the practices provide added value for new employees, while in other cases, the best practices are especially helpful for HR personnel. Onboarding practices that outline safety and training information ensure that new employees are ready for a successful start on the job. One mold manufacturing company gives employees a succinct dress code that covers the usual appearance-oriented rules but also stresses the no-no’s that are in place for everyone’s safety, such as no loose-fitting clothing, no open-toe or open-heel shoes and no free-flowing long hair. Another valuable point included on the best onboarding checklists covers safety glasses and ear plugs, with an overview of the disciplinary consequences for employees who fail to wear them. A mold manufacturing company that is especially attuned to the value of employee training includes a detailed training plan to be described and scheduled during the onboarding process. This company’s training checklist lays out the hands-on training and videos to be presented to the employee during Day One orientation and throughout the first two weeks of basic training. The list prompts HR personnel to schedule quarterly training/videos for the employee’s first year on the job. And, the checklist reminds HR to do team introductions; connect the employee with an assigned mentor; and set up 30-day, 60-day and 90-day reviews.

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OPERATIONS t page 19

One company uses a productionoriented quiz that asks new employees to describe things like a press’s number of cavities, the number of parts to pack per box, the packaging process, job and part numbering, and proper labeling.” Three of the mold manufacturers that participated in the AMBA report use checklists that are laid out chronologically, to give HR personnel a detailed roadmap of pre-hire, orientation, postprobationary period and even termination tasks and forms. One of these three manufacturers categorizes the checklist tasks as “prior to hire,” “prior to start date” and “after 90-day probation.” Another divides the tasks into phases that correspond to the interview/job offer phase, the pre-employment phase, the firstweek orientation phase and a Week Two onboarding wrap-up phase.

the number of parts to pack per box, the packaging process, job and part numbering, and proper labeling. The production quiz also includes some multiple-choice questions, testing the new employee’s knowledge, for example, on the wide-ranging impact of poor-quality production or proper shift change procedures. A particularly enterprising manufacturer uses an onboarding test to make sure new employees can match the identifying numbers stamped onto parts to the corresponding details found on packing/ shipping labels. And, one well-organized manufacturer documents the station start-up checklist, as well as the workstation specs and instructions. The workstation checklist includes specifications for mold, material and process setup, plus an instruction sheet of process instructions and packing/packaging details. This gives new employees valuable information in printed form. With suggestions and examples from 39 AMBA members, the New Employee Onboarding Checklist Report can be an invaluable resource for companies seeking to implement or improve guidelines for new employees. n To purchase the AMBA’s New Employee Onboarding Checklists Report for 2019, visit AMBA.org/publications.

The third manufacturer that uses a chronological layout breaks the tasks into “first week of hire,” “first of month following 30 days of employment,” “first of month after 6 months of service,” “miscellaneous/ongoing” and “after resignation/termination.” Each of these companies has demonstrated onboarding practices worth adopting.

Thinking outside of the box

Mold manufacturers sometimes go out of their way to make sure new employees can hit the ground running. One company provides a handout of its product quality policy so that new employees know, from the first day, that the bar is set high for excellence. The policy notes that parts of inferior quality, whether discovered before shipment or found by a customer, accrue as negative points for an employee and that this can lead to termination. Several companies include quizzes as part of their onboarding processes. One quiz sprinkles a few easy questions into the mix with more serious questions on issues such as personal protective equipment, accident prevention and the use of fire extinguishers. Another quiz focuses on the hazardous chemicals in use at the plant, along with emergency first aid and cleanup procedures. One company uses a production-oriented quiz that asks new employees to describe things like a press’s number of cavities, www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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PRODUCT /// Milacron Launches New and Upgraded Mold-Masters Solutions

Milacron Holdings Corp., Cincinnati, Ohio, an industrial technology company serving the plastics processing industry, now offers Fusion-Series G2 and Melt-CUBE EVO. Fusion-Series G2 is a completely preassembled and pre-wired system that allows for one-step drop-in installation and connection, ensuring that molds are back into production as quickly as possible. Focused on highquality economical production of medium to large parts, it is the ideal system for automotive, appliance, logistic and many other similar applications. The new Melt-CUBE EVO, with its simple inline design, minimizes downtime and improves processing capabilities. Tips are secured by a single bolt, which allows molds to be serviced up to 85% faster than before. For more information, visit www.milacron.com.

HEIDENHAIN Announces New Motion System and Linear Encoder

International motion control feedback distributor HEIDENHAIN, with North American headquarters in Illinois and California, announced two new products: the ETEL TELICA motion system and the NUMERIK JENA LIKgo linear encoder. TELICA is ETEL’s newly developed positioning platform dedicated to semiconductor backend processes, as well as the electronics market. Available soon, this system allows users to handle the requirements of advanced packages with a placement accuracy in the µm range, over a working space of up to 870 x 800 mm, allowing very high duty cycles and throughput. NUMERIK JENA’s LIKgo linear encoder is a newly designed low-cost linear install with generous mounting tolerances, thanks to a new scanning technology that provides significantly improved signal quality. Measuring steps down to 78.125 nm are possible. For more information, visit www.heidenhain.us.

OPEN MIND Introduces hyperMILL® 2019.2 Software Suite

German-headquartered OPEN MIND Technologies AG, a developer of CAD/CAM software solutions, has introduced hyperMILL® 2019.2, a new version of its CAD/CAM software suite. The software’s new features include high-precision 3D finishing, 5-axis tangent machining, high-performance turning and new CAD-for-CAM technologies. When using the 3D shape Z-level finishing cycle, hyperMILL® 2019.2 now offers a “high-precision surface mode” option that ensures ultra-smooth surfaces with tolerances in the micron range. The “smooth overlap” function also improves 22

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surface finish and is available in many cycles. In hyperMILL® 2019.2, the hyperCAD®-S “global fitting” function is directly integrated into the CAM strategy for five-axis tangent machining. With this function, multiple faces can be joined into one face with a controlled ISO orientation. For more information, visit www.openmind-tech.com.

CGTech Offers VERICUT 9.0, the Next Generation of VERICUT

CNC software company CGTech, of Irvine, California, now offers VERICUT v9.0. VERICUT simulates real NC data on digital twin machines to prevent crashes, identify conflicts between setups and tooling, and ensure machined parts match engineering designs. VERICUT 9.0’s enhancements increase power and improve efficiency. Users can save time with instant access to viewing the workpiece, CNC machine or both. Improved connectivity to tooling websites and cloud repositories auto-configures VERICUT for optimization. Major functions can be used in any view and easily switched between Workpiece and Machine views, layouts and docking arrangements. Force optimization reduces machining times up to 70% and enforces manufacturer’s recommended cutting conditions to extend tool life. For more information, visit www.cgtech.com.

iDAdditives Offers iD Eco-Pro 360 Cart

LaGrange, Illinois-based iDAdditives, a maker of purging compounds, foaming agents and liquid systems, now offers the iD Eco-Pro 360 cart, a pump and filter combination unit for flushing cooling passages in injection molds and heat exchangers. It removes, protects and helps prevent rust within cooling passages, heat exchangers and water lines. The built-in filter function allows the Eco-Pro 360 solution to remain at peak performance for optimal reusability. The cart is designed to be used with five to 55 gallons of material and runs off compressed air, with no electricity needed. For more information, visit www.idadditives.com.

Starrett Introduces New Generation Benchtop Horizontal Digital Video Comparators

The L.S. Starrett Co., Athol, Massachusetts, a manufacturer of precision measuring tools and gauges, metrology systems and more, has introduced a new generation of its HDV300 and HDV400 benchtop Digital Video Comparators. CNC motion on the new HDV systems is significantly faster, enabling greater user measurement throughput. At 10 mm/sec., speed on the Y-axis has tripled and X-axis speed has almost doubled at 45 mm/sec. In addition, improved LED ring lighting provides a more consistent illumination. The computer and M3 controller in the new systems are located inside the HDV housing, resulting in a clean design with minimal external wiring and connections. For more information, visit www.starrett.com.


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PRODUCT

Progressive Components Releases Insulator Block for High-Temperature Tools

Progressive Components of Wauconda, Illinois, a developer and distributor of componentry and software for the injection mold industry, announced the release of its new Insulator Block. The block installs on the outside of the mold and protects Progressive’s CounterView and CVe Monitor from temperatures found when molding high-temperature resins. The maximum temperature for a CounterView is 120°C/250°F, and a CVe Monitor is 90°C/190ׄ°F. When utilizing an Insulator Block, both units will perform with mold temperatures up to 180°C/360°F. The block can be installed on either half of the tool, but for the CVe Monitor, the stationary side is recommended for optimal cable routing. For more information, visit www.procomps.com.

HRSflow Offers New SA Series Hot Runner Nozzles

Hot runner system manufacturer HRSflow, San Polo di Piave, Italy, announced a new SA series of hot runner nozzles that enable very small nozzle cutout for producing molded parts with weights of less than 1 gram. With the small-sized hot runner nozzles of the SA series, HRSflow has expanded its range by adding a size that is ranked below the smallest P series to date. The new screwed-in nozzles are suitable for the injection molding of techno-polymers with a shot weight of about 1 g or less and for wall thicknesses below 1 mm. Typical applications range from the automotive industry to technical components, houseware, and logistics and environmental applications, including frequent color changes, processing of glass fiber reinforced plastics or the molding of high-quality part surfaces. For more information, visit www.hrsflow.com.

Meusburger Offers Cavity Pressure Measurement Sensors

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Austria-based Meusburger, a maker of dies, molds, jigs and fixtures, now offers sensors for cavity pressure measurement. The E 6740 Cavity pressure sensor is available for direct measurement, and the E 6750 Cavity pressure sensor for indirect measurement. They are compatible with all piezoelectric pressure sensors, as well as the company’s components currently available on the market. The range includes two types each for direct and indirect measurement, as well as page 25 u

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t page 23 suitable mounting accessories and connection cables – available from stock with CAD data download from the Meusburger web shop. For more information, visit www.meusburger.com.

BORIDE Introduces Mold Makers Diamond Compound Kits

BORIDE Engineered Abrasives, Traverse City, Michigan, has created convenient kits for its Mold Makers Diamond Compound. Manufactured in Michigan, Mold Makers Diamond Compound is known in the industry for its wide thermal processing range and consistent diamond particle distribution, allowing it to be used under the most demanding conditions as well as for precision finishing on all types of molds and dies. Each kit includes five 2-gram syringes of the most popular grades and a 2-ounce bottle of Diamax Thinner. The new kits allow polishers to try a wide range of the diamond compound, and are available in oil- and water-based formulations, as well as medium, heavy, extraheavy and super-duty concentrations. For more information, call 231.929.2121 or visit www.borideabrasives.

PRODUCT

quality deviations without additional machining processes. The new machines make difficult-to-realize designs easy to generate, allowing for greater creative freedom and faster time to market, especially in industries such as automotive, information and communications technology (ICT), medical and packaging. For more information, visit www.gfms.com.

Gesswein Offers Hybrid Diamond Compound

Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Gesswein, an international provider of tools and supplies, now offers Hybrid Diamond Compound, an enhanced compound that is both oiland water-soluble. Uniform synthetic diamond particles allow for consistent results. Polishing time is reduced and surface finish is even, thanks to strict diamond tolerances. Polishing under heat and pressure is achieved due to the compound heat stability. The compound is available in 1/2, 1, 3, 6, 9, 15, 30, 45 and 60 microns in medium, standard and strong concentrations. It comes in two sizes, 5 g and 18 g, and can be used with Gesswein’s lubricant/thinner. For more information, visit www.gesswein.com.n

HASCO Offers Extended Hose Range

German-based HASCO has introduced the new HASCO EPDM hose Z8525/... with high-strength, synthetic textile reinforcement that can be used on systems operating with water or superheated steam. It is available in three colors — red, blue and black — ensuring the clear and simple arrangement of heating/cooling lines. With its synthetic textile reinforcement, the flexible, non-twist and kink-resistant EPDM hose is suitable for operating pressures of up to 20 bar and a temperature range of -70°C to +140°C. Ready-made hoses are available in diameters of 9, 13 and 19 mm and standard lengths of 10 m and 50 m. Special lengths are available on request. For more information, visit www.hasco.com/en/.

GF Machining Solutions Unveils New Laser Series GF Machining Solutions, Lincolnshire, Illinois, a provider of machine tools, technical solutions and services, has introduced its new AgieCharmilles LASER S series. The series, which includes the LASER S 1000 U and LASER S 1200 U, provides a fully digital solution to the limitations of conventional and manual surface texturing methods that reduce

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SAFETY

Workplace Implications for Marijuana Use By Liz Stevens, contributing writer, The American Mold Builder

M

arijuana now is legal, in some form, in 33 US states. Marijuana use still is illegal at the federal level, but attitudes and laws are changing. That’s partly because medical marijuana is being used legally in many states for the treatment of a variety of conditions, with pain topping the list. And, lawmakers in nearly a dozen states have passed laws that allow for recreational use, too. American employers must keep pace with these changes by learning how federal laws – such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – now may apply to marijuana use in the workplace and by adjusting the policies toward marijuana use at their companies.

Medicinal and recreational use

Thirty-three states allow cannabis for medical use. As the groundbreaker, California legalized the medicinal use of marijuana in 1996. The latest states, Utah and Missouri, followed suit in 2018. Under most of these laws, medical marijuana is available only to individuals who qualify for a patient registry. In most cases, a doctor must certify a patient’s ailment and make a recommendation that medical marijuana is needed for therapeutic purposes. Each of the states in which it now is legal has a list of allowable conditions. In some states, the lists are restrictive, while in other states they are expansive. According to Leafly.com’s “Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card by State,” Alabama, for example, only 26

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allows cannabis or CBD for treating epilepsy. For Michigan, 10 allowable ailments are listed and for Illinois, nearly 40 conditions qualify a patient for medical use. University of Michigan researcher Kevin Boehnke, PhD, and his colleagues examined how people enrolled in state-approved programs are using medical marijuana. Boehnke and his fellow researchers found that more than 800,000 patients were enrolled in medical marijuana programs in 2017 in 19 states. Their count did not include users in those states that don’t require formal enrollment. Some estimates put the total figure at more than two million medical marijuana patients in the US. Recreational use of marijuana is legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Additionally, 22 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. According to survey results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, “Approximately 14.6% of US adults [1 in 7] reported using marijuana in the past year [2017].”

On the work front

Whether the topic is medical or recreational use, Marijuana Moment’s legislative tracker shows that state and federal lawmakers were scheduled to consider more than 750 cannabisrelated bills for 2019 sessions. The legal tide has turned, and the


SAFETY incoming wave is rearranging the landscape, the rules and the policies for many employers. The American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) recently broadcast “Workplace Highs and Lows: OSHA, the ADA and Medical Marijuana,” a webinar covering medical marijuana and the workplace. The webinar was presented by two attorneys from Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, a US law firm with core strengths in energy, labor and employment, litigation, and transactional law. Presenter Nelva Smith is a labor and employment attorney and a member of the firm’s Workplace Safety Team. She has presented on several occasions nationally on OSHA topics. Co-presenter Vanessa Towarnicky provides guidance to clients with regard to compliance issues arising under state and federal employment laws, such as the ADA. The hour-long webinar explored OSHA rules in the workplace, the ADA and its prohibition of discrimination based on disabilities, and how changes in the legal status of marijuana are impacting these regulations. Smith and Towarnicky delivered a comprehensive presentation, discussing existing laws, emerging legislation and even recent

legal case studies. While the regulatory and legal aspects of the topic are best left to the legal professionals, following are some highlights and suggestions for employers.

OSHA and marijuana

OSHA has issued changes in its guidance, as recently as October 2018, of the Record-keeping standard, which includes its antiretaliation provisions. These changes are more extensive than can be addressed in this overview article. Separate from OSHA laws, the Drug-free Workplace Act, which covers federal contractors, allows for drug testing – and this may extend to subcontractors of federal prime contractors. Department of Transportation regulations, with zero tolerance for the use of illegal drugs, also allow for drug testing. As it pertains to marijuana and safety in the workplace, employers should be aware of the implications of OSHA’s General Duty Clause. Under the General Duty Clause an employer shall provide a workplace “…free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm…” Employers should be cautious that OSHA could issue citations under the page 28 u

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SAFETY t page 27 clause if they do not have a clear policy on marijuana use (medical or recreational) in the workplace, particularly when there are safetysensitive positions involved. In light of the General Duty Clause, it is imperative that employers train supervisors to recognize impairment observed on-shift that stems from off-shift use of marijuana and establish a policy for this situation. And, the presenters recommended employers create clear policies and procedures for supervisors to follow if they detect on-the-job use and impairment.

ADA and medical marijuana

“A complete mess for courts, employers and attorneys, with diametrically opposing federal vs. state laws.” That’s how the Steptoe & Johnson presenters described the Americans with Disabilities Act in conjunction with state laws that pertain to medical marijuana. The ADA forbids employers to discriminate based on disability. With medical marijuana use on the rise for a growing number of conditions, employers must be careful to avoid bias against users. Some employers that have always had drug-free, zero tolerance policies and are enforcing these policies with regard to medical marijuana use – in aspects of employment including hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training and more – now are seeing

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legal claims as a result. Other cases against employers include “failure to accommodate” claims brought by ADA-qualified individuals. Overall, in ADA lawsuits, some courts are beginning to rule in favor of employees. Understanding the meaning of “qualified individuals,” “reasonable accommodations” and “undue hardship” requires careful consideration and should be done on a case-by-case basis. It is noteworthy that while people engaged in illegal use of drugs are excluded from claiming disability, recovering drug addicts are protected by ADA rules. The ADA does not yet protect the use of medical marijuana at the federal level, but state courts may apply anti-discrimination laws differently where medical use has been legalized. And, it is important to note that the Family and Medical Leave Act could cover leave for conditions that are treated with medical marijuana. To prepare for ADA and medical marijuana issues, the attorneys suggested that employers do the following: • Check for “qualified employer” status under ADA or state disability laws • Explore state medical marijuana statutes and what they cover • Check for medical marijuana laws at the municipal level • Review and revise workplace policies • Engage in an interactive process to consider reasonable accommodation • If using a testing facility, make sure it meets state requirements • Advise testing facilities of any new workplace policies

The only constant is change

At the state level, three new types of marijuana laws are unfolding: decriminalization (entailing no prosecution for certain levels of possession), medical marijuana statutes (with requirements and conditions) and full legalization. Federal laws are in flux too. Attorney General William Barr says that he will not pursue enforcement of prohibitions against marijuana for individuals who are in compliance with state laws. Legislation is advancing in both the US House and Senate. The House bill, Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2019, would amend the Controlled Substance Act regarding the status of medical marijuana and would provide for expunging some marijuana offenses from conviction records. The Senate’s bill, the STATES Act, includes similar language. The Steptoe & Johnson attorneys conclude that, with marijuana becoming an increasingly important issue and the legal atmosphere primed for fast development, employers must really stay on their toes. n The full webinar, “Workplace Highs and Lows: OSHA, the ADA and Medical Marijuana,” is available for purchase. For more information, visit www.amba.com.

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SEPTEMBER 2019

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REVIEW

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the can’t-miss safety event of the

T

he 2019 Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Summit was held in July in Columbus, Ohio. The event was the largest to date, with more than 100 attendees gathering to share leadership and safety best practices with other manufacturing professionals. With a focus on worldclass safety, more than 25 industry safety speakers provided implementable ideas that attendees could use to improve their own operations.

Speakers stress preparation and prevention

Keynote speaker Kina Hart offered a personal account of the importance of safety by recounting the tragic loss of her left arm in a conveyor belt accident. She described how lack of knowledge and training contributed to the

Following the emotional keynote address, attendees had the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions to grow their peer networks and exchange ideas on the most pressing EHS topics. Breakout sessions then provided a deep dive into relevant topics, including detailed information on the requirements for Tier II reporting; mill and calender operational safety, including a drill rescue video; issues arising from the legalization of marijuana in some states; fall hazard recognition and protection procedures; and monitoring and controlling air emission sources.

How to Survive an OSHA Inspection

danger to a current employee, that typically will trigger an onsite inspection by OSHA.

Employee complaints are the most common source of OSHA inspections. Typically, if a former employee registers a complaint, OSHA will send a letter to your facility. When you respond in a sufficient manner to that letter, OSHA closes out the complaint without an on-site visit.

Many times, these complaint inspections occur because the employee has brought up the concerns at a safety committee meeting or to a supervisor, and they’ve fallen on deaf ears. Eventually, the employee comes to a point of being so disgruntled or concerned about their own health and safety that OSHA is notified. One of the biggest things an employer can do to eliminate the potential for OSHA visits due to employee complaints is to address employee concerns. Do they have complaints? If they are voicing them, are you tracking them? Are you addressing them in a timely manner? These are critical questions.

Chris Whitehorne, U.S. Compliance

However, if an active employee reports an imminent danger – such as entering into confined spaces without proper monitoring or working at heights above 12 feet without fall protection – and OSHA determines that there’s imminent

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day that forever changed her life. Driving home that the last line of defense is safety first, Hart encouraged active participation in safety while also discussing the effect injuries have on coworkers, family and friends.

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Bill Wahoff and Nelva Smith, Steptoe-Johnson If an OSHA compliance officer asks your employees if you have an energy control program, and all you’ve ever talked about is lockout/tagout, they might say, “no.” Keep terminology in mind. When you train your employees, if you don’t give them the right jargon, they might not recognize it in a private interview. Among the many requirements for lockout/tagout procedures, don’t forget these:

HS Summit is pleased elcome keynote ker Kina Repp

Lockout/Tagout and Machine Guarding Standards

REVIEW

lockout/tagout each machine on the facility floor – and then list the steps to verify that the energy has been disconnected. If the lockout/tagout is not verified, operators can be injured. Training. Training for authorized and affected employees – and all other employees whose work operations may be in an area where energy control procedures may be utilized – is vital. How often is training conducted? How many new people have joined the department?

take the lead

Periodic inspection. It is required – at least annually – that a review of energy control procedures is conducted. Document the step-by-step process that someone must go through to

Retraining. Retraining must be done whenever an employee has a change in job assignment and whenever new machines, equipment or processes that present a new hazard are introduced into the facility.

A Safety Professional’s Guide to Prepare for, React to and Address Workplace Violence Events

where those locations will be so they can answer questions about the situation occurring and the facility.

In the event of an active shooter situation, pre-planning must take place between the emergency responders in your community and your company. Some of the items to be addressed include the following:

Perimeter. Emergency responders will need to establish a perimeter around the building to keep people away – loved ones, media, normal traffic flow within the community. You may need to, in preplanning, assist emergency responders in helping to plan that perimeter area.

Command post. Preestablish where those command posts are going to be. The fire chief is often the one to do that – to look at your facility and the surrounding area to make recommendations. Make sure the people from your organization who are assigned to the command post know

Rally points. The “run” part of “run, hide, fight” is that we want everyone to rapidly evacuate a facility. Rally points are for those people who become injured in running from the facility so medical aid can be given – and emergency services need to know where those rally points are located.

JULY 17-18, COLUMBUS, OH

e year • Register now at www.arpminc.com/ehs Scott Lowry, Three60 Response LLC

Emergency Planning 101

Matthew McCrystal, Ohio Emergency Management Agency The Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) for any organization should contain all of the information necessary to appropriately respond to and recover from an emergency situation. This plan is just like a “go bag,” where all information is in one place and easily can be taken from the site of an emergency to the site where responders are gathered. Information to have on hand and ready to go includes the following: • Recordkeeping / Important forms • Pre-scripted messages • Important phone numbers

• Facility and area maps • Employee lists When developing an EOP, don’t start from scratch – there are plenty existing resources and tools. FEMA (www.fema. gov) provides the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide – also known as CPG 101 – to walk novice and experienced planners through plan development with information, checklists and a list of questions to consider. The Ohio Emergency Management (www.ema.ohio.gov) also offers several resources. n

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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STRATEGIES

Steps to Better Supply Agreements By H. Alan Rothenbuecher, partner, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

S

upply agreements serve as the lifeblood of many manufacturing companies. These agreements outline the terms and conditions controlling the supply of goods and services between various parties. Without this framework, many businesses could not meet the pressing demands of the modern-day marketplace. With so much riding on these agreements, savvy business professionals must pay particular attention to agreement terms. Failure to critically think through options and deal terms often leads to lost profits and liability concerns over the life of a supply agreement. Parties to a supply chain contract can mitigate their risk by following certain best practices. While no provision in a contract should be overlooked, the five areas discussed in this article are the most important for risk management strategies.

Critical commercial terms

The first step in drafting any supply chain contract is to ensure that the written document captures all critical commercial terms of the parties’ agreement. Failure to clearly and concisely document the commercial terms of an agreement is an invitation for future misunderstandings and disputes. Failure to agree on a particular term (with the exception of quantity) is not automatically fatal to a contract. In the absence of an express agreement between the parties on a particular term in cases involving the sale of goods, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) permits courts to “fill in the gaps� by reference to default rules and sources such as the prior course of dealing between the parties and usage in the trade. However, if the lack of agreement between the parties on commercial terms is sufficiently pronounced, a court may find that there never was a meeting of the minds between the parties to form any contract at all.

Quantity

The most critical term in any contract for the sale of goods is the quantity term. It defines both the volume that the buyer is committing to purchase and the volume that the seller is committing to 32

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supply. To achieve a binding contract for the sale of goods, it is essential that the parties negotiate and document the quantity of goods to be purchased. A written quantity term is the only term that must appear in a contract for the sale of goods. A written quantity term need not be expressly set forth as a number. It is sufficient that there is a writing, signed by the parties, from which a quantity can be determined, even if doing so requires reference to evidence outside of the document. For example, a quantity term may be expressed as the requirements of the buyer or the output of the seller.

Duration and early termination

When parties are negotiating a supply chain agreement that they intend to apply on an ongoing basis, the parties must agree on the duration. Absent an agreed duration, a contract may be terminated by either party upon reasonable notice. A seller who may be making a significant investment of capital and resources to supply a product will want to make every effort to lock in a longterm commitment from the buyer. Related to the issue of duration, parties must consider the impact of provisions that provide a right of early termination. An early termination provision can have significant financial consequences for both the buyer and seller. A party that thinks it is locking its customer or supplier into a long-term agreement will risk losing the benefits of that agreement if it does not pay close attention to early termination provisions. If the contract includes early termination provisions, the parties should consider addressing in the contract the financial consequences of an early termination. For example, sellers should negotiate for the right to recover unamortized capital expenditures incurred in connection with the agreement.

Warranties and disclaimers

Warranties are the promises a seller makes regarding goods or services being provided to the buyer. Supply chain contracts typically include express warranties. In addition to these express warranties, the UCC may supply a number of implied warranties that will be considered part of the contract unless they are disclaimed. The most well-known examples of implied warranties


STRATEGIES are the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and the implied warranty of merchantability under the UCC. When negotiating a supply chain contract, buyers should seek to obtain the broadest warranties possible. On the other hand, sellers should strive to limit the warranties they give. When possible, sellers also should seek to disclaim any implied warranties under the UCC. Any such disclaimer must be conspicuous. A disclaimer buried in the proverbial fine print runs the risk of being held unenforceable.

Limitation of remedies and damages

Both buyers and sellers should pay close attention to any limitation on remedies or damages contained within the agreement. Although limitations of damages and limitations of remedies share a common goal – shifting of risk – they are different concepts. A limitation of remedy is a tool, most often used by sellers, to reduce the remedies that a buyer may be entitled to in the event of a breach. The most common example is a provision limiting the buyer’s rights to “repair or replacement” of any defective goods. A seller that wants to include such a provision in its contracts should take steps to ensure that it is, in fact, willing and able to stand by its offered remedy. If the remedy is found to have “failed of its essential purpose,” it will be deemed unenforceable. In contrast, a limitation of damages seeks to mitigate risk either by capping the damages that may be awarded for a breach or by eliminating certain categories of damages altogether. Buyers and sellers must carefully consider the risk-shifting implications of limitations of remedies and damages.

Conclusion

The supply chain in the manufacturing industry is fraught with risk. Manufacturers can mitigate risk by following best practices when drafting their supply chain contracts. The areas discussed above are critical for risk management. These areas should be the focus of any company seeking to manage risks. n

I am simply precise. Extension of product range P1 – 2,000 new dimensions, thicknesses and materials. – Maximum availability – thousands of stress-relieved annealed plates available from stock – Precision, high-quality surface and parallelism will enhance performance – HASCO uses high quality European steel – Traceability and Certified – The efficient production processes enables constant quality and costefficiency

www.hasco.com

Building assets and business, and then protecting them from capture by others, is Alan Rothenbuecher’s forte. He has developed a particular experience in the plastics industry (in general) and additive manufacturing (in particular), enabling him to assess business trends and needs, and provide services via alternative fee arrangements. His industry experience has led to Rothenbuecher being selected to act as general counsel for and serve on the board of industry trade associations, such as the Manufacturers Association of Plastic Processors and the American Mold Builders Association. For more information, visit www.beneschlaw.com.

rf eldo Düss 2019 D 19 er K 20 3 Octob 06 2 h t o C 16 ble. 1, bo 0 l l a vaila h a s t ticke Free

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org Anz_P1_3_75x10_America.indd 1

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06.08.19 12:59


INDUSTRY /// Hillenbrand to Acquire Milacron Holdings

Batesville, Indiana-based Hillenbrand, Inc., a global diversified industrial company, and international firm Milacron Holdings Corp., offering manufacture, distribution and service of highly engineered and customized systems within the plastic technology and processing industry, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which Hillenbrand will acquire Milacron in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2 billion, including net debt of approximately $686 million as of March 31, 2019. For more information, visit www.Hillenbrand. com and www.milacron.com.

Integrity Tool & Mold Opens Injection Molding Facility in US

Integrity Tool & Mold, Oldcastle, Ontario, Canada, a mold designer and manufacturer, has opened its first plastic injection molding facility in the US. Integrity Injection Molding, Inc., is located in Pulaski, Tennessee. The 35,000 sq. ft. building will begin with five presses from Krauss-Maffei and Yizumi, ranging from 500 tons to 1,800 tons. This location will offer quality systems, tooling support, mold flow analysis, in-house tryouts, R and D support, design visibility and logistics services for both automotive and non-automotive customers. For more information, visit www. integritytoolandmold.com.

HASCO Rebrands Hot Runner Division

Germany-based HASCO, an international supplier of modular standardized components and accessories, announced that its Hot Runner division now is presenting products under the brand name HASCO hot runner. Involved in the invention and development of standard mold components for 95 years, and with 45 years of experience, HASCO plays a pioneering role in hot runner technology and feels that this segment (from left to right): Wolfgang calls for a differentiated Glawatsch, WITTMANN approach to customer care, BATTENFELD; Florian product management and order Larisch, HASCO; Rainer processing. In addition, HASCO hot runner opened a newly Weingraber, WITTMANN constructed hot runner technical BATTENFELD (Photo: HASCO) center at its location in Guntramsdorf, Austria. In the new HASCO hot runner technical center, several WITTMANN BATTENFELD systems are in operation, including a SmartPower 120/350, a WITTMANN model ATON plus dryer and a TEMPRO plus D model dual zone temperature controller. For more information, visit www.wittmann-group.com and www.hasco.com.

Progressive Offers New CADalog; Announces Alliance with VISI CAD

Progressive Components and Tooling Software Technology, LLC (TST), Wauconda, Illinois, announced advancements to an 34

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already extensive CAD Library that includes new file formats and download options. The new CADalog is a streamlined method to receive the entire Progressive Components catalog of CAD geometry in the file format of choice, as a USB drive or online download option. Designers who receive the CADalog USB will receive notifications as new products are released and have the opportunity to download just the newly added components for easy updating. The company also announced an alliance bringing Progressive’s library of parts to VISI CAD, exclusively distributed in North America by TST. Initially, TST added commonly used mold components to its library, which now are available. Concurrently, additional programming is underway to generate Progressive’s 7,000+ SKUs, with an estimated completion of November 2019. For more information, visit www. procomps.com/CAD and www.procomps.com.

Superior Die Set Welcomes New CEO

President and CEO Frank Janiszewski of Superior Die Set Corporation, Oak Creek, Wisconsin, announced that the company has hired a new CEO, Martin Girga, to lead the organization. The steel and aluminum products manufacturer has operated for the past 96 years under the leadership of three generations of Janiszewskis. Girga will handle all day-today business responsibilities, while brothers GIRGA Frank and Casey Janiszewski will remain the majority shareholders of the company and be cochairmen of the Board of Directors. Most recently, Girga was the vice president and general manager of Giddings and Lewis in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.superiordieset.com.

Tooling Tech Group Updates Peening Hammer Literature

Tooling Tech Group (TTG), Macomb, Michigan, a provider of highly engineered tools and automated assembly equipment to a wide range of industries, has announced its new series of literature focused on its Peening Hammer offering. There is a twopage general capabilities flyer, a four-page operating manual and a pricing guide available for the product. The peening hammer can be used to renew worn punch and die trim-tooling quickly and easily, without having to pull the trim tool out of the press, saving significant time and cost. For more information, visit www.toolingtechgroup.com.


///

Guill Tool & Engineering Rolls Out New Website

Guill Tool & Engineering, West Warwick, Rhode Island, provider of extrusion tooling design and manufacturing, rolled out a new website. The new site offers a detailed look at the company’s product line, with a wide range of standard and customdesigned extrusion tooling, including crossheads, inline heads, rotary heads and extrusion tips and dies. The site includes a listing of all product and specifications with calculation tools to compute annual cost of lengthy concentricity adjustments and crosshead replacement analysis, plus calculators to compute draw-down, feet per minute and pounds per hour. For more information, visit www.guill.com.

HEIDENHAIN Opens TNC-CNC Academy

Developer of motion control feedback solutions HEIDENHAIN, Schaumburg, Illinois, recently opened its TNC-CNC Academy. The CNC controls training center, located in the Chicago area, is available for users at all levels, including those interested in five-axis machining. All classes are taught by HEIDENHAIN specialists with many years of controls and CAM experience. The academy’s multi-level classes include basic CNC training to in-depth training sessions on new HEIDENHAIN control software upgrades, postprocessor optimization and specialized classes for connected machining and in-process inspection. In addition, the academy offers service classes for service teams to practice troubleshooting and repairs of HEIDENHAIN components on real machine tools. This includes practice on a five-axis high-precision machining center equipped

INDUSTRY

with spindle speeds of up to 42,000 rpm. For more information, visit www.heidenhain.us.

Hypertherm Announces Minor Version Release of ProNest CAD/CAM Nesting Software

Hypertherm, a Hanover, New Hampshire-based manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, announced a minor version update to ProNest® 2019, its CAD/ CAM nesting software for automated cutting. New features include PDF import for directly importing vector-based PDF files and eliminating the need for separate .dxf and .dwg files, scribe text additions for automatically marking parts during import with unique identifying information and reposition work zones, which allows parts to span multiple work zones in a single nest. Hypertherm also is announcing improvements to its ProNest LT software, including cutting techniques used to specify how parts should be cut based on sections of a part’s geometry, automatic height control, which can be automatically disabled and PDF import included at the LT level. For more information, visit www. hypertherm.com.

Future-Forward Technologies on Tap at Makino Technology Expo

Makino, Mason, Ohio, has announced its upcoming 2019 Makino Technology Expo, a biennial exhibition highlighting new and improved manufacturing technologies, processes and strategies vital to transforming machining operations. The three-day event takes place Sept. 10-12 at Makino’s Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The event is set to include demonstrations of some of Makino’s latest high-precision machining technologies. There also will be guest speakers and special exhibits from various partnering companies, including Mastercam, Mitsubishi Tool, Erowa, NS Tool, MST, CAM Tool, Big Kaiser and Zoller. For location and event registration, visit https://www.makino.com. n

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PRODUCTION

Four Key Attributes that Deliver Lead Time Reduction By Laurie Harbour, president and CEO, Harbour Results, Inc.

A

s you know, the manufacturing industry is facing a great deal of uncertainty. From tariff and trade agreements to a (potential) looming recession, many tool and die shops are experiencing challenging times and finding it difficult to see what’s in store for the future. Although these factors are out of a shop owner’s control, it doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done to improve business. In times like these, it is critical that shops focus on what can be controlled. Does your shop have a strategic plan? Are you in close communication with your customers? Have you cut any unnecessary expenses out of the budget, including material costs and overtime? What are you doing in the areas of continuous improvement? All of these are steps in the right direction to steer through difficult economic times. Another area within your control that should be looked at closely is lead time – this supports the customer, assists your sales team and reduces the number of labor hours on jobs. Accurately forecasting and reducing lead times are critical factors for any manufacturing operation. For shops, the consequences of extended lead time can not only impact the customer relationship but also prove to be very costly due to the inefficiencies. Following are four key aspects that should be integrated across the facility to help better manage operations and reduce lead time.

Standardization

Your shop operation is based on tasks that are completed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to produce molds. Standards can be applied to any process, task or procedure relevant to a shop’s operation. Without standards, you are inviting uncertainty. Many shop owners are insistent that mold development is an art – but in reality, this is not the case. Take a good look at all of your operations, including every step of the mold design and development process and machining. Are there steps that are repetitive or similar? If so, this is an opportunity to establish a standard or set of standards based on the type of mold being produced or the activity being performed. With a set of standards or rules in place for processes and implementation, shops can reduce variability and create more predictable outcomes, resulting in time savings and improved quality.

Optimization

Getting the most out of people and machines also is necessary to reduce lead time. Are there time lags when moving a block 36

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from machine to machine? Is your CNC equipment software optimized for speeds and feeds? By taking the time to optimize both equipment and processes, your shop will achieve greater efficiencies and reduce lead time. For example, to reduce machine run time, CAM programs should be designed to take full advantage of a machine’s capabilities. To ensure optimal machine programming, whether the machine is new or existing, cutter paths and speeds/feeds need to be addressed. Listening to a machine run no longer is an accurate gauge of performance. In fact, some shops are finding differences of up to 20% between programs on the same or similar machines. Comparable improvements are being found after optimizing cutting tools for depth of cut and spindle rpm. To avoid this and maximize machine use, take the time to measure how long the program should run vs. how long it actually runs.

First-time quality

Ensuring a mold is produced correctly at all levels is another critical way to reduce lead time. While this sounds like common sense, time and time again a quality issue during the build process creates additional work, which adds time and cost to production. Therefore, shops have a great deal of opportunity in machining quality. As internal customers become more stringent with incoming quality requirements (e.g. missing features, deburring, etc.), shops must hold the machining department to the same standards that other areas of the shop are utilizing. The lost time linked with sending tools back to CNC for re-work is tied to increased overtime and makes it more difficult to achieve tighter delivery timelines.


PRODUCTION To eliminate lost time and ensure first-time quality, shops are starting with the basic task of validation. First, validating machines are properly calibrated, and then the calibration is confirmed through the use of machine probes, CMM and cloud scans. Unfortunately, many shops are confident that a given block or component is to spec, so they don’t check them at all. This means a possibly flawed part proceeds directly to the next operation… and the error isn’t discovered until too much time and effort have been wasted.

Investment in automation and software

Manufacturing automation and Industry 4.0 will transform the tool and die shop floor. As technology advances and is integrated with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Virtual Reality (VR), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the industry is seeing a new area of automation in which software and machinery are increasingly more capable and the manufacturing value stream is more integrated. Automation is being implemented at varying levels, depending on the industries served and the products being produced. However, looking at the full manufacturing process, there are many key areas – including CNC machining, maintenance, logistics, production scheduling, design/engineering, management and administration – Magazin: AMBA

Sprache: EN (USA)

where automation currently is being applied. These automations allow companies to develop and integrate new methods, techniques and systems that help reduce human intervention on the shop floor and, as a result, maintain or improve quality and efficiency. To best understand where automation could be applied most profitably to improve performance and reduce lead time, shop leadership should conduct an audit to determine what technology and software has the easiest implementation to achieve the desired results. Taking the time to address and manage these four aspects in your shop will take valuable time from your daily routine. However, by addressing them, you can make a significant impact in the quality, cost and lead time you offer to customers. n Laurie Harbour is president and CEO of Harbour Results, Inc., a business and operational consulting firm for the manufacturing industry, offering operational and strategic advisory expertise, as well as proprietary assessment programs, to help optimize business performance. For more information, visit www.harbourresults.com.

Format: 190,5x123,825 mm

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AS: 24.07.2019

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MANAGEMENT

Seven Steps to Turn Employee Potential into Performance By Brad Wolff, managing partner, PeopleMax

I

magine coming to work on Monday to discover that the company’s meticulous, rule-following accountant and creative, eccentric marketing person have switched positions. How’s this likely to work out? In truth, some variation of this misalignment is common in most organizations. An employee alignment process puts the right people in the right seats. Most business leaders say that 80% of the work is done by only 20% of the workforce. The 20% are the top performers – and they usually produce three to four times more than the others. The main reason can be attributed to correct job alignment, rather than attitude or drive.

• Assessment-takers may provide different answers based on which of the following they consider: how they actually see themselves, how they believe others see them and how they want to see themselves. • Assessment-takers use a specific context or situation to answer the questions. For example, answers to questions related to “extroversion” (sociability and talkativeness) may vary depending on context differences (small vs. large groups, familiar vs. unfamiliar people, level of interest in the topic of conversation, etc.). • If an assessment is used for a job application, the applicant may have an opinion on what traits the employer is looking for and skew the answers accordingly.

Here’s evidence: It’s common for top performers to be moved or promote … and then they become poor performers. Likewise, many poor performers become top performers when moved to appropriate roles.

What’s a better option? Select an assessment that delves beneath the personality into what is more core or innate with people. This eliminates the biases of personality assessments and provides more valid and reliable data.

Bottom line: Everyone can be a top performer or a poor performer, depending on how well the work aligns with their innate characteristics.

3

Understanding the alignment problem

Putting employees in the right seats

How can an organization be deliberately created to align employees’ work with their innate characteristics (abilities)?

1

Shift the mindset away from focusing on skills, experience and education. It’s common for people who are “great on paper” to get hired and become poor performers. In that same vein, many top performers started off lacking in the “required” skills experience and education. When people’s work aligns with their innate characteristics, they can utilize their natural abilities and unleash their passion for their work. Also, the best training system and management team will not turn poorly aligned employees into top performers.

2

Select the right assessment tool. Many organizations use personality assessments in the hope of gaining more objective information about people to set them up for success. However, the results can be disappointing due to the following inherent pitfalls: • The traits typically thought of as “personality” are mostly surface-level, observable behaviors – not what’s underneath. The drivers of behavior are more accurate, predictive and stable. 38

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Establish trust with the employees. Inform the employees about the company’s commitment to align their work with their natural gifts. Don’t hide things or surprise people. People want to do work they’re good at and enjoy.

4

Develop an understanding of the innate characteristics being measured. Before people’s innate characteristics can be aligned with their work, it’s essential to understand what these characteristics mean. In other words, how does each one impact the way people think and behave. This provides the basis to identify which characteristics are needed for different types of positions within each organization.

5

Develop clarity on the job duty breakdown. It’s important to know what people will do on a day-to-day basis in each job. The hiring team (direct manager and others with a major stake in each position’s success) meets to gain clarity on the percentage of time spent performing each job responsibility. Duties that are very similar in nature (family of duties) should be grouped together. Estimate the percentage of time spent working on each job duty family.

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MANAGEMENT t page 38

6

Determine which innate characteristics are critical. The hiring team determines which innate characteristic is critical for each job duty family. The team also should agree on the desired range for each characteristic. For example, on a 1 to 10 scale, the range for creative thinking should be between 7 and 9 for certain positions. An optimal range should be developed for each critical characteristic.

7

Administer assessments and align employees with job functions. Assess both current employees and potential new hires and then compare the results to the desired ranges. Take the appropriate action based on the strength of the level of alignment. Top performers almost always fit into desired ranges for each critical innate characteristic. If this is not the case, adjust the desired ranges based on the data. Other factors should be considered, including the following: • When current employees don’t align with their jobs, evaluate other positions within the company that do align well. • Openly discuss available options with employees who are misaligned. Develop a plan to shift roles or tweak job descriptions when this is feasible. Frequently, there are other employees who’d be thrilled to trade positions – or even some duties – that better match their own innate characteristics. • For applicants applying to open positions, only interview the people who align well with the desired innate characteristics. When people are interviewed who don’t align, there may be a temptation to discount the assessment results. This rarely ends well. In the end, the most important job of management is to maximize the return on investment of its workforce. Peter Drucker said, “The task of a manager is to make people’s strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.” The most important thing a leader can do is to put people in a position to excel rather than get by or fail. How are you doing in your most important task? n

Self-Centering

Brad Wolff specializes in workforce and personal optimization. He’s a speaker and author of “People Problems? How to Create People Solutions for a Competitive Advantage.” As the managing partner for Atlanta-based PeopleMax, Wolff specializes in helping companies maximize the potential and results of their people to make more money with less stress. His passion is empowering people to create the business success they desire, in a deep and lasting way. For more information, visit www.PeopleMaximizers.com.

The EROWA Self-Centering Vise is a powerful, compact precision vise that performs under the heaviest machining demands. When used with our 148 P pallet, the vise can hold blanks with 19,000 N of clamping force at 60 Nm of torque on the spindle.

www.americanmoldbuilder.com | www.amba.org

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SEPTEMBER

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, September 10-12, https://amba.org/events/electrichybrid-vehicle-technology-expo/ 2019 Makino Technology Expo, September 10-12, www.makino.com Webinar: Peer Networking: Senior Leaders, September 11, www.amba.org/events Webinar: Peer Networking: HR, September 11, www.amba.org/events

OCTOBER

Webinar: Implementing Additive Manufacturing, October 8, www.amba.org/events/implementingadditive-manufacturing Emerging Leaders Workshop: Leading from Within, October 15, www.amba.org/events OESA and Harbour Results Inc. 2019 Automotive Tooling Update, October 20, www.oesa.org/events Plant Tour Workshop: United Tool and Mold, October 24, www.amba.org/events PLASTEC Minneapolis, October 23-24, www.plastecminn.com

AD INDEX /// Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales......................................... www.alliancelasersales.com/tmfgalliance................................................ 5 AMBA Conference 2020.......................................................... www.amba.org........................................................................................ 20 AMBA Recruitment Tools........................................................ www.amba.org/resources........................................................................ 29 Crystallume, a Division of RobbJack Corporation................... www.crystallume.com............................................................................ 19 Dynamic Surface Technologies................................................ www.dynablue.com...................................................... Inside Back Cover Erowa System Solutions........................................................... www.erowa.com..................................................................................... 41 FALCON Tool Company......................................................... www.falcontool.com............................................................................... 28 Federated Insurance.................................................................. www.federatedinsurance.com................................................................. 24 Finkl Steel................................................................................. www.finkl.com........................................................................................ 27 Gesswein................................................................................... www.gesswein.com................................................................................ 23 Grainger.................................................................................... www.grainger.com.................................................................................. 40 HASCO America, Inc............................................................... www.hasco.com...................................................................................... 33 INCOE Corporation.................................................................. www.incoe.com...................................................................................... 13 Kruse Training.......................................................................... www.krusetraining.com.......................................................................... 11 Meusburger............................................................................... www.meusburger.com............................................................................ 37 Milacron/DME.......................................................................... store.milacron.com................................................................... Back Cover Mold-Tech Midwest.................................................................. www.mold-tech.com............................................................................... 35 MoldMaking Technology......................................................... www.short.moldmakingtechnology.com/leader..................................... 39 PCS Company........................................................................... www.pcs-company.com............................................................................ 9 Plastic Engineering & Technical Services, Inc......................... www.petsgroupintl.com.......................................................................... 17 Progressive Components........................................................... www.procomps.com/pins..............................................Inside Front Cover Superior Die Set Corporation.................................................... www.superiordieset.com......................................................................... 21 Ultra Polishing, Inc................................................................... www.ultrapolishing.com........................................................................... 8 Vincent Tool............................................................................. www.vincenttool.com............................................................................. 10 Wisconsin Engraving Co. Inc./Unitex...................................... www.wi-engraving.com.......................................................................... 25 ZWSOFT.................................................................................. www.zwsoft.com/zw3d........................................................................... 15

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the american MOLD BUILDER

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Issue 3 2019



Get Your Plates UNDER CONTROL DME Internal Latch Locks & 2-Stage Ejectors

DME’s Two Stage Ejectors for precise plate control. Can be configured in two (2) sequences; top last & bottom last.

DME’s Internal Latch Lock allows control of mold plate opening sequence. This product is ideal for mold bases with stripper plates.

POSITIVE, PRECISE PLATE POSITIONING For your most demanding projects.

For floating plates and multiple ejector plate mold configurations, don’t take chances that can lead to crashing and scrap. Save time and money by eliminating these issues during the design phase by adding DME Internal Latch Locks and 2-Stage Ejectors. Innovative, and energized with industry leading technology, products and services for you - it’s DME today!

Call Toll Free at: 800.626.6653 KSHOW 2019 16-23 October Düsseldorf, Germany Hall 1, Booth 1C05

Or visit us at: store.milacron.com