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Christmas Reflections by Mike Reader

Michael Reader

Time through the Hands of the Young of Yesteryear

To me, and many others of my generation, the notion that time goes by more quickly the older we get, is actually becoming a reality.

When we were young, there seemed to be an eternity from one Christmas to the next. Remember when you were “five and a quarter” or “six and a half?” Looking back, I have fond memories of waiting for the Sears and the JC Penney Christmas catalogs to arrive—by U.S. Postal Service—sometime in early September. Plenty of time to dream about Christmas presents…   My sisters and I would flip through every page, front to back, looking for the latest in toys, so we could show our parents and put them on our Christmas lists.

Precision Plus of Elkhorn, WI Celebrates MFG DAY with an Open House for the Community on October 8, 2015

Michael Reader

We want to extend a sincere “Thank You!” to everyone who helped make Precision Plus’ (PPI) 2015 Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) Open House a success!

In all, there were forty-two guests who participated in the event on Thursday, October 8, 2015–members of our community that included educators, students, business partners, and the public at large.

The evening event, which began at 5:00 pm and concluded at 7:30 pm, centered on the manufacturing process as it is practiced at Precision Plus

Mike Reader, President and CEO of Precision Plus kicked off the evening by introducing the team, and sharing his thoughts about manufacturing. He pointed out the marked shift the industry has made over the years from a “dark, dirty and dangerous” environment, to clean, high tech industry surroundings that offer rewarding, high-paying careers to individuals who can combine their applied knowledge of STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), with the practical know-how of how things get done.

Following, several team members spoke about some of the different aspects of the operation:

  • Bill Wells, Sales and Engineering Manager, addressed the quoting and purchasing aspect of the business;
  • Rachel Cates, CAD Drafting, Engineering & Quality Assurance Support Specialist, talked about the design process, and featured a 3D design of a component;
  • Steve Dues, Application Engineer, explained how the CAM software works, and shared a video that takes a part from a 3D print design, through the CAM software to the CNC machine;
  • Terry Mumper, Manufacturing Engineer, talked about the Tornos machines, and the importance of math for designing CAMs;
  • Tom Lankford, Production Manager, explained how to optimally schedule production on different machines, and talked about the benefits to start “getting your hands dirty early in shop classes,” in order to become successful in a machining career;
  • Dale Wittlieff, Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement, talked about how quality fits into “everything” that PPI does, and explained the specifics.
  • Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training, spoke about PPI’s education outreach, and showed the “Millennials Video” made by Wisconsin Manufacturing & Commerce.

Following the presentations, guests took tours of the facility, had refreshments and took home a key chain souvenir, a scaled replica of the component featured by Rachel Cates in the 3D design and by Steve Dues in the video.

We look forward to MFG DAY 2016!

Precision Plus Completes Recertification of ISO 9001:2008 Accreditation Status

Michael Reader

Precision Plus of Elkhorn, Wisconsin has recently completed a recertification audit to remain accredited as an ISO 9001:2008 organization. The audit was conducted by an independent third-party auditor.

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies representing 162 member countries, which collectively develop international standards for products, services and systems. The ISO is an independent, non-governmental organization with standards that aim to ensure quality, safety and efficiency, and are instrumental in global trade.

The ISO 9001:2008 Standard refers to the requirements for an organization to have a quality management system in place that meets the requirements outlined by ISO, which are generic in nature and can be met by any organization “regardless of type, size and product provided.”

According to ISO, any organization seeking to meet these requirements:

  • needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and
  • aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

Dale Wittlieff, Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement at Precision Plus (PPI) is responsible for ensuring the company meets the requirements set by ISO. When he joined the company in 2012, Wittlieff was charged with the task of reengineering PPI’s quality management system, which has been since followed by maintaining and improving on the system’s effectivity by means of continuous assessment.

Audits of PPI’s quality management system occur every three years over 3.5 days, with 1.5 days surveillance audits scheduled for the two years in between. For all audits, Precision Plus must present work instructions, procedures and documented evidence to show their system’s compliance with the standard.

This year, ISO has revised and released ISO 9001:2015 and replaces the 2008 version. This update increases the requirement sections from eight to ten, includes new areas such as risk management, and removes some items. Dale Wittlieff has already begun planning out the reengineering process required for Precision Plus to meet the 2015 standards.

Wittlieff is also responsible for coordinating audits required by customers whose mission-critical products demand a thorough assessment of PPI’s quality management system. Accountability and documented evidence are a major part of the process.

For more information, please contact Dale Wittlieff by email or by calling 262-743-1700.

PMPA Continues to Be At the Center of the Precision Manufacturing Industry

Michael Reader

For over eighty years, the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) has played a key role in the journey of the industry. The PMPA is truly a 360-degree trade organization comprised of industry leaders who understand that having an active and strong manufacturing industry is vital to the overall strength and stability of our economy. Through a full-range of programs and services, the PMPA helps its members “meet their operational challenges and focus on new business opportunities.”

With plenty of involvement opportunities at all levels of membership–active, associate, technical or affiliate, the PMPA attributes the success of the organization to its members and their ongoing involvement at all levels.

Precision Plus is vested in this organization, actively participating in several committees at the national level including Strategic Planning, PMTS (Precision Machining Tool Show), Management Update, Government Affairs and Quality, as well as playing an active role in the PMPA local Wisconsin chapter.

Precision Plus will be represented at the PMPA Management Update Conference taking place in San Antonio, TX from February 27 through March 1st, and the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS)  in Columbus, OH scheduled for April 21-23, 2015.

Jeff Lemmermann, Precision Plus’s CFO and CTO is scheduled to speak at the Management Update Conference on the subject of hacking.

Then, preceding PMTS, Precision Plus’ Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training, and Dale Wittlieff, Director of Quality and Continued Improvement, will be at hand at the 2015 PMPA National Technical Conference, also taking place in Columbus from April 19 through the 21st. Along with Robin Rutschlling of Clippard Instrument Laboratory, Inc., and Rich Nast of Bracalente Manufacturing Group, Butters will share actionable steps during a program titled, “How to Deal With the Skilled Training Issue.” The panel will provide real-world examples of “what their shops are doing in their communities to draw the best and the brightest into our industry.”

Dale Wittlieff will assist in a presentation entitled “ISO-9001:2015; A Look over the Horizon.” Although this revision will not become official until the end of 2015, this session aims “to provide insight as to how you can best prepare for this change,” learning about key changes, understanding what is needed to comply, and hearing examples on how to implement the new requirements.

Click here for more information on the PMPA, and timely information industry updates on their Speaking of Precision Blog.