SWISS TURNED COMPONENTS | (262) 743-1700

MSOE Freshman-Life Update from Precision Plus Intern Amanda Mudlaff

Michael Reader

Amanda Mudlaff is a freshman at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). Since 2014, she has served as a dedicated intern and an apprentice at Precision Plus (PPI) in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Her work is impeccable and her enthusiasm is contagious. She’s also an applied student who has earned a scholarship from PPI, with the possibility of it being renewed for the next three years. She will be back at Precision Plus for a short-term winter break internship when school is off.

Precision Plus Participates at MSOE’s 2015 Career Fair, and Shares Intern Success Stories

Michael Reader

Once a year, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) holds a career fair, which provides businesses a chance to meet qualified students face-to-face. In 2015, the fair took place on Friday, October 9th, at MSOE’s Kern Center. According to the organizers, the fair is “the perfect venue to gain exposure” for any company. MSOE is regarded as the fifth most innovative university in the Midwest, offering the twelfth best undergraduate engineering program in the U.S.

There is no wonder why more than 200 companies participate in the fair, looking to attract qualified individuals for internships or jobs. This is the second consecutive year for Precision Plus (PPI) to participate in the fair. Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training for the company was at hand to talk to students about the company’s summer internship program, which provides practical experience and brings to life theories and processes learned in the classroom.

Four of Precision Plus’ 2015 summer interns (Britt Campbell, Carson Filko, Jessica Flock, and Amanda Mudlaff) are currently enrolled at MSOE. Some of PPI’s 2015 summer interns were featured in a video produced to celebrate Manufacturing Month by Wisconsin Manufacturing & Commerce. Precision Plus has also pledged two scholarships for incoming mechanical engineering freshman students who attend the school and participate in PPI’s summer internship program.

Mike Reader, Jr.’s Internship Story at Scot Forge

Last year’s MSOE Career Fair also presented an opportunity for Mike Reader, Jr., pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at MSOE, who after a four-year summer intern at Precision Plus looked for a chance to gain broader industry experience with a different company. In the summer of 2014, he and other PPI interns had taken a tour of Spring Grove, IL based Scot Forge, a company that is regarded as the industry leader in open die forging and rolled ring forging. Their products, quite the opposite of what he had experienced at PPI, are parts that could weigh as little as 100 pounds, or as much as 150,000 pounds—a considerable departure from Swiss precision machining.

Mike applied for a summer internship with Scot Forge as well as for a scholarship/internship opportunity. After several interviews, he was awarded one of eight 2015-2016 Peter I. Georgeson scholarships, and a 2015 summer internship.

At Scot Forge, Mike interned with a self-sufficient team consisting of a project group, an engineering group, a maintenance department, and a machine repair department where he spent most of his time. There, he worked with several different team members on a variety of assignments: from learning how to MIG weld, to welding new structures, working on big gearboxes, large servo motors, and transmissions, to realigning heads on turrets, working on the electrical cabinets of different machines, as well as on cooling systems with pumps, and much more.

Mike’s goal was to get hands-on floor experience, to observe successes and failures, but especially how failures can be reversed. Mike credits the ingenuity of his team members, typically with a farming or construction background, who always found a way to get things done.

Mike enjoyed interning at Scot Forge, an employee-owned company, where employees look to each other for solutions and take ownership of their work. He returned to MSOE in the fall.

In his spare time, Mike loves learning about cars and engines, and is currently fascinated with his 2004 VW Passat W8 motor—the way it’s configured, how the cylinders are arranged, and what makes it perform the way it does.

Mike will be graduating from MSOE in the spring of 2016, and his goals and aspirations are to enjoy what he is doing, while applying schooling and skills, and having fun along the way.

Precision Plus’ 2015-2016 Year Education Update

Michael Reader

By Mark Beilman
Director of Education and Training

The 2015-2016 academic year is well underway, and so are Precision Plus’ efforts to continue spreading the word among students, parents and teachers about career possibilities in manufacturing.

In addition to visiting schools, talking to technical education teachers, and participating in career and technical education (CTE) committees, Precision Plus (PPI) makes itself present at high school and college career fairs.

On September 9, 2015, PPI was present at the Panther Fest Career Fair at Wilmot Union High School, and plans to be at Beloit High School’s career fair on the 24th. On October 9th, the destination will be Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), which will hold its career fair then.

On September 15, 2015, PPI attended Gateway Technical College Elkhorn Campus’s Open House, which showcased the new Community Center conference room, the Student Life Center, Walworth County Job Center, Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA), the Veterinary Sciences building, and the Walworth County Educational Consortium’s Alternative High School.

Drawings of the anticipated new CNC Center were also on display. Precision Plus is fully vested in the success of this program. The first Youth CNC Boot Camp at the Elkhorn Campus began in July. One of the highlights of the program is the mentorship which each individual student receives from a designated industry professional.

A “Meet-and-Greet” luncheon for students and mentors was held at the college on September 18th, where mentors were announced and appointed. The luncheon was sponsored by WCEDA and the Walworth County Job Center. Precision Plus is excited to mentor two students during the 2015-2016 year: Elliot Salentine from East Troy High School and Cameron Bunne from Elkhorn High School. The students will not only receive ongoing mentoring, but will have an opportunity to work at PPI beginning in February of 2016, in accordance to their curriculum.

Precision Plus also encourages schools to bring classes to tour its facilities. On September 16, 2015, Career Advocate Lindsay Healless from Beloit Middle School brought her students to interview Mike Reader and Chris Clausen about careers in manufacturing. The students asked very good questions during the interview, but two of the students, Emily and MacKenzie, stumped Reader and Clausen when asked how they balanced work and their personal lives, and what were the most difficult portions of their jobs.

Two other schools are scheduled to tour the facility in October: the Walworth County Educational Consortium’s Alternative High School on the 8th, and Whitewater High School on the 15th.

The most anticipated event, however, is the celebration of Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY). Precision Plus is opening its doors for an open house on Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Students, educators, parents, legislators and the public at large are invited to partake in an informal presentation by several PPI employees on what their roles are at the company, and take guided tours of the plant. To attend this event, please register HERE.

Precision Plus is committed to education and to bringing awareness of career opportunities in high-tech manufacturing. To schedule a tour of our facility and/or allow us to make a presentation to your group or organization, please contact Mark Beilman by email or by calling 262-743-1700.

Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus Continues His Commitment Closing the Manufacturing Skills Gap, by Serving as a Corporate Member of the MSOE Board

Michael Reader

In October of 2014, Precision Plus’ President Mike Reader was welcomed as one of the newest corporate members to join the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) Board.

MSOE Board is comprised of representatives of business, industry, government and education, which “governs the operations and the future planning of the university through a series of standing committees.” Above all, MSOE’s Board of Regents and Corporation members consider the relationship between industry and the university “a hallmark of MSOE.”

As a member of the MSOE Board, Reader reiterates his commitment to closing the manufacturing skills gap by strengthening the ties between education and real world high-tech manufacturing.

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) ranked 14th Best Undergraduate Engineering Program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Other interesting “by the number” information about the school can be found here.

Precision Plus Participates at the Milwaukee School of Engineering 2014 Career Fair

Michael Reader

Each year, Milwaukee School of Engineering holds a career fair open to all majors. The 2014 MSEO Career Fair took place on Friday, October 10th. Precision Plus was one of over 200 companies exhibiting at the event for the purpose of recruiting and meeting students one-on-one.

Both Mike Reader, President , and Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training, worked the booth, along with Mike Reader, Jr. who is presently attending the institution.   Mike Jr. is one of five former Precision Plus’ interns/apprentices who are currently enrolled at MSOE.

The conversation with students was non-stop, making the event highly successful with nearly 40 applications received specifically from those majoring in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology.

Precision Plus is planning to more than double its current capacity by next year, and is currently hiring for various positions.

MSOE’s Rapid Prototyping Consortium Continues a Long Standing Tradition of Research and Innovation in Additive Manufacturing Industry

Michael Reader

Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus and Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training were asked to speak at the October 17, 2014 meeting of the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Rapid Prototyping Consortium.   The meeting also featured Reed Pulver, National Accounts Manager of All-State Industries and Vito Gervasi Director or R&D, Rapid Prototyping Research. Tom Bray, Dean of Applied Technology Center at MSOE began the meeting with a presentation on the history of the organization and recognition of long standing members.

For over 23 years, the consortium has forged together one of the most successful academic-industry partnerships in additive manufacturing, and is a powerful ally to businesses to drastically cut down on the turnaround time for producing a prototype. A driving force of the consortium has been MSOE’s Rapid Prototyping Research Department, which is credited with many rapid prototyping research accomplishments, such as creating—and patenting– a complex, three dimensional lattice structures modeled after the atomic bond structure found in diamond (TetraLattice), and developing an algorithm to produce the first complex protein model built using rapid prototyping.

The Rapid Prototyping Consortium has consistently been at the forefront of technology. “Today, with its 10 installed systems and over 15 material choices, the center supports about 65 consortium companies on a daily basis with their new product development needs.” Among member organizations, the consortium includes not only industrial companies, but also educational institutions.

Rapid Prototyping Center’s tagline is “Use tomorrow’s technology today.” Sheku Kamara is the director of the consortium.

Precision Plus is an Active Member of the Communities in Which We Live and Operate

Michael Reader

Precision Plus of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, operates on a focused vision based on four pillars: integrity, empowerment, innovation and respect. That is a principle that we apply both internally and externally. We believe that the communities in which we live and operate are an integral part of our operation, and that our participation is a testament to our commitment.

Our officers and directors believe it is important to lead by example. The following represents our involvement with our local and professional communities during September.

Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training is now serving on the Education Committee for the Waukesha Business Alliance. He is part of a subcommittee that is working to update the Education Policy Statement.

Butters is also serving as the Secretary for the Elkhorn Economic Development Alliance (EEDA). The EEDA is forming as an LLC with Memorandum of Understandings with the City of Elkhorn and the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA). The group will be the first response team working with businesses relocating to our community.

Bill Wells, Director of Sales and Engineering and Mike Reader, President and CEO, are both part of the committee that is organizing the next Precision Machine Technology Show (PTMS) promoted by both Gardner Business Media and the PMPA. The show is scheduled for April 21-23 in Columbus, Ohio.

Jeff Lemmermann, CFO and CIO, presented on the subject of securing municipal information before the Illinois Municipal League of Chicago on September 20, during their 2014 annual conference at the Chicago Hilton.

Mike Reader, President and CEO, accepted an invitation by Frank Habib, Vice President of Development at Milwaukee School of Engineering  (MSOE) to join their Corporate Board of Directors.

 

Bill Wells, Director of Sales and Engineering, coordinated a golf outing for the Wisconsin Chapter of the PMPA. The event took place at Lake Lawn Resort and was attended by eighty-eight business professionals.

Precision Plus’ Barry Butters Is Certified to Teach Project Lead The Way’s Engineering Design and Development Capstone Course to High School Students

Michael Reader

Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus spent two full weeks at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in June to complete intensive training to enable him to teach the course ‘Engineering Design and Development’ (EDD) to high school students. The course is a capstone course of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum.

As per the description of the capstone course on PLTW’s website, “Engineering Design and Development (EDD) gives students the opportunity to work in teams to solve problems of their own choosing.  Under the guidance of a community mentor, teams employ all the skills and knowledge gained through previous coursework to brainstorm, research, construct and test  a model in real-life situations (or simulations); document their designs; and present and defend the designs to a panel of experts.”

Butters participation was sponsored by the Elkhorn Area School District. Beginning in fall 2014, he will be teaching Elkhorn Area H.S. students as well, as other students from local school districts, the EDD Course at Precision Plus’ classroom.

The instructors’ training at Milwaukee School of Engineering teamed up the participants to go through a simulation of the EDD program, which they will be teaching during the school year. Butters collaborated with Phil Winegar, Technology and Engineering Instructor at Menomonie High School, and Brent Siler, Technology and Engineering Instructor at Middleton High School.

The mission for the teams in the training course was to come up with a problem, a solution, develop three design models to implement the solution, and, after choosing one, present their project to a panel of engineers.

Butter’s team pursued a solution for preventing young children from chocking on food. The team focused on the development of a consumer device that would check the softness of food. It was not so much about having a working solution to the problem in two weeks, but rather about understanding how to approach the entire engineering process to come up with a solution.

After a great deal of brainstorming and a decision matrix, three possible prototype solutions–a spring-loaded plunger, a collapsible knife, and an elastic cutter–were printed on a MakerBot 3D printer.

Next, the team selected one potential solution and the solution was tested through experimentation. In the image to the left, butters tests the selected model for its ability to detect the softness of food consistency.

Finally, the results of their entire project and engineering  process were presented to a panel of engineers for scrutiny and recommendations. Pictured on the image to the right are Butters and his teammates Phil Winegar and Brent Siler.

Upon completion of the course, Butters and all the other participants received certificates from PLTW Master Teachers Sharon Tomski and Denise Kimblern, PLTW Affiliate Director Steve Salter, and MSOE V.P. of Academics, Dr. Frederick Berry.

All the training course graduates were looking forward to teaching this program in the fall.