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Precision Plus October 2015 Education Update

Michael Reader

During the month of October, 2015, students from two local high schools visited Precision Plus in Elkhorn, Wisconsin to tour the facility and learn about careers in manufacturing. Mark Beilman,  Director of Education and Training, organized the events.  Beilman also visited an intermediate school (grades 4-8) during their career fair, to share the manufacturing message.

On Thursday, October 8th, Precision Plus welcomed Gateway Technical College’s Alternative High School, a creation of the Walworth County Educational Consortium in partnership with Gateway Technical College and local high schools. Allison Ender, Teacher of Senior Skills, and Derek D’Auria of the Walworth County Economic Development Center led the group of six students.

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Students and teachers first listened to Mark Beilman’s presentation on the company, the processes and the products manufactured at Precision Plus He also addressed the group about career possibilities at the company and the industry. Later, Beilman along with Tom Lankford, Production Manager, and Steve Dues, Tooling Engineer, led the students on a tour of the plant..

On October 12, Mark Beilman attended a Career Fair at the McNeel Intermediate School in Beloit, Wisconsin. He and Lindsay Healless, Career Advocate for Beloit Schools, talked to students during their lunch breaks not only about manufacturing, but also about the importance of education for succeeding in life. The students were then given an opportunity to visit the Precision Plus table and ask questions about CNC machining, manufacturing, and the benefit of getting a good education.

On October 15, 2015, students and teachers of Whitewater High School in Whitewater, Wisconsin came through Precision Plus for a presentation and tour, similar to the one given earlier in the month.

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Precision Plus continues its initiatives to bring technology to classrooms and schools to see manufacturing first hand.

For more information, please contact Mark Beilman via email, or by calling 262-743-1700.

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 of Elkhorn, WI To Hold a MFG DAY 2015 Event on October 8th

Michael Reader

Manufacturing Day℠ (MFG DAY) commemorates modern manufacturing with an annual celebration. The principal goal of this day, typically held in early October, is to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

Precision Plus of Elkhorn, WI will hold a MFG DAY event on Thursday, October 8, 2015, from 5:00 pm until 7:30 pm. Presentations and tours for students and the public are scheduled to start every half an hour. Following each tour, there will be a Q&A session and refreshments will be served. Precision Plus asks that no open-toed shoes be worn.

For highlights and a slide show of Precision Plus’ 2014 MFG DAY celebration, click HERE.

You may register for Precision Plus’ MFG DAY event online NOW, or by calling 262-743-1700.  For more information on this event or to schedule a tour on a different day, please contact Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training.

We look forward to a full house!

Precision Plus Efforts Help Bring a New CNC Boot Camp to Walworth County

Michael Reader

There is no doubt that Precision Plus had rallied incessantly to bring CNC training to Walworth County in Wisconsin. With Gateway Technical College’s (GTC) February 2015 announcement of their Elkhorn Campus expansion, which will include a new state-of-the-art manufacturing training center, CNC training in Walworth County is now a reality. As early as July 2015, incoming high school seniors will be able to attend a CNC Boot Camp at the Elkhorn Campus.

The CNC Boot Camp has proved to be a successful 14-week training program for adults, and it is currently on its 22nd session at the iMET Center in Sturtevant.  About three years ago, the same program was developed for high school seniors, to be taken in conjunction with their regular high school classes. The High School CNC Boot Camp—also known as the CNC Youth Boot Camp–also includes an internship with a manufacturing company.

This past year, Precision Plus supported the program by taking Boot Camp student Scott Dvorak from Waterford Union High School as an intern. Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training said, “Logistically, this was the first time that it made sense to sponsor a student. Scott attends early morning classes at the school, which is about a 30-minute drive from Precision Plus–a much shorter ride than it would be for his CNC classmates who typically attend the Racine School District. He arrives at the company at 10am and works until 3pm.

The CNC High School Boot Camp at the Elkhorn Campus is certainly a plus for Walworth County students and the community. Its July kickoff, however, is contingent on having enough interest from area students. Applications are due no later than May 1, 2015.

With the short time frame in mind, Precision Plus’ mission became to bring the news to as many people as possible and encourage students and parents to look into the program.

On Tuesday, February 24th, Barry Butters attended the Whitewater High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Committee meeting along with Derek D’Auria the Executive Director Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA). The meeting is held twice a year for the school’s career, technical education teachers, so they can, in turn, share curriculum, and classroom updates with their industry partners and discuss new ideas and developments. Butters and D’Auria took this opportunity to inform the group about the CNC High School Boot Camp coming to Walworth County.

On Monday, March 9th, Barry Butters along with Rich Lofy, the Coordinator of the CNC Youth Boot Camp, spoke to a few East Troy students and parents at East Troy High School about opportunities in the machining industry and the boot camp itself. The event was coordinated by Stacey Kuehn, Assistant Principal at East Troy High School, and it was in conjunction with the school’s parent-teacher conference night.

On Friday, March 13th, Butters met with Lauren Paterson, a Badger High School student, her parent and the Badger High School Career and Technical Education Coordinator, Marie Collins, to discuss the Boot Camp and show Lauren some actual CNC applications.

On Monday, March 16th, Butters met with five students, two parents and the three guidance counselors from Elkhorn Area High School to talk about the CNC Youth Boot Camp and tour Precision Plus, so as to give the them a good understanding of the CNC machining industry.

  1. Butters begins the tours with a PowerPoint talking to students about what they will be seeing on the floor
  2. Butters shows the students parts that are being run on the Tornos Cam machines
  3. Butters talks about the Swiss type CNC machine
  4. Butters shows the students the Miyano CNC turret lathes
  5. Butters talks about the optical comparator and the precision that is held on the parts

On Tuesday, March 31st, three Gateway new student specialists and their supervisor toured Precision Plus to gain a better understanding of the machining industry.

The new student specialists were,

  • Amanda Hruzek, who services Delavan Darien High School, Williams Bay High School and Badger High School
  • Joseph Sell, who services Whitewater High School, Burlington High School and the Wisconsin School for the Deaf
  • Katie Graf, who serves the Walworth County Alternative High School, Elkhorn Area High School, Catholic Central High School, East Troy High School and Big Foot High School

Their supervisor is Angela Becerra-Chvilicek, who is the Director of College Access for Gateway.

Today’s machining professionals require a solid and balanced mix of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) background, mechanical aptitude and great problem solving skills. As such, it is imperative that those in the guidance/counseling areas have a firm grasp of the skills required to be 21st century machinist.The visit included a PowerPoint presentation and tour of the facility.

On Wednesday, April 1st, Precision Plus hosted another tour for students interested in the CNC Boot Camp in Walworth. The participation included two students from Burlington High School, one from Badger High School, one from Waterford Union High School, one from Elkhorn Area High School, and one from Wilmot High School. Each student brought along a parent. There were 12 people total for the tour.

Independently of Precision Plus’ efforts, two information meetings have taken place already. There will be one more chance for students to attend an information meeting for the CNC Boot Camp at the WCEDA office on Wednesday, April 8th. The WCEDA Office is now located in the South Building at the Gateway Elkhorn Campus. Interested students can call Marci Barr at 262-741-5263.

 

Precision Plus 2014 Summer Interns Headed Back to School

Michael Reader

The second year of Precision Plus’ Summer Internship Programs comes to an end, as the 18 interns head back to their respective high schools (East Troy, Badger, Elkhorn Area, Richmond and Wilmot) and colleges (U.W. Madison, U.W. Platteville, Milwaukee School of Engineering).

Although the internship program includes classroom time, the students spent most of their time on the floor, observing and learning from seasoned professionals and putting their new knowledge to work—hands-on.

Featured below are a few of Precision Plus summer interns in action.

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The end of the summer internship program was highlighted by field trips to several area manufacturing facilities as well as to the new iMET Center.

On August 8, 2014, the students and Precision Plus’ Director of Education and Training Barry Butters toured the iMET (SC Johnson Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology) Center– within Gateway Technical College– located in Sturtevant, WI . The iMET Center is a state of the art training facility. It also houses a FAB lab. “Fab labs are a global network of local labs, enabling invention by providing access for individuals to tools for digital fabrication, to make almost anything.” The students found the 3D scanner and 3D printers of particular interest.

On August 13, 2014, a trip was coordinated to visit the Haas Factory Outlet Open House, located in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

The students saw the latest generation of Haas machines. Of particular interest were the vertical mills, as Precision Plus does not use this type of machine. The students were amazed at how fast the mill could change tools. Haas has worldwide reputation as a technology leader in CNC machining.

The students also enjoyed seeing Kurt Busch’s Haas NASCAR #41 up close prior to performing in the Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14 following IMTS 2014.

On August 22, 2014, the interns were given a tour of MacLean-Fogg in Whitewater, WI by Randy Race, Director of Engineering. The company was founded in 2012 by merging two successful and complementary plastic injection molding businesses: Engineered Plastics Corp. in Menomonee Falls, WI and MacLean-Fogg’s Polymer Technologies in Whitewater. Their experience in practical plastics design, tooling, processing, and engineered materials is extensive and it is well known throughout the world.

The students learned all about plastic injection molding machines and about how automation has been a key player in the running of these machines.

But the field trip that left most interns awe-struck was the Spring Grove, IL tour of the Scot Forge facility. The tour was arranged through Zach Ford who is Scot Forge’s Technical Education Liaison.  While at Precision Plus, we sometimes have to use tweezers to hold our parts to measure them, Scot Forge manufactures things that have to be crawled inside of to measure. The sheer size difference was amazing to the students, and it gave them a much wider understanding of the variables in manufacturing.

We wish all of our interns success in their studies, and look forward to keeping up with their achievements.  In college, or college bound are:

  • Michael Reader MSOE (Jr.) and 4-year summer intern
  • Carson Filko MSOE (Fr) and 3-year summer intern
  • Britt Campbell MSOE (Fr.) 1-year Youth Apprentice/summer intern
  • Hunter Parks MSOE (Fr.), 1-year Youth Apprentice/summer intern
  • Riley Bruce MSOE (Fr.) 1-year summer intern
  • Kyle Poplar MSOE (Sr.) 1-year summer intern
  • Jon Stopple, UW-Platteville (So.) 2nd year intern
  • Bob Dall, UW-Madison (So.) 2nd year intern
  • Brad Killen, UW-Madison (So.) 2nd year intern
  • Jake Ruemmele UW Platteville (Jr.) 1st year intern

Precision Plus Invites You To Celebrate the First National Manufacturing Day: October 5, 2012!

Michael Reader

October 5, 2012 is the first National Manufacturing Day to be celebrated in our country.  It is an attempt by The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and The Manufacturing Institute to educate the American public about the necessity to have a strong manufacturing industry in place in the U.S. and about all the opportunities that will derive as a result.

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), and the U.S. Commerce Department’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) have joined in to help co-sponsor this day and the events surrounding it.  Precision Plus is proud to join in to celebrate our industry’s accomplishments in manufacturing.

Here are some impressive statistics about the manufacturing industry everyone should know:

  • For every $1.00 produced by the U.S. manufacturing sector, an additional $1.43 is generated for the U.S. economy.
  • On average, manufacturing revenue from just 5 states typically adds over a half trillion dollars to the U.S. economy.
  • 2/3 of the research and development in the private sector comes from the manufacturing industries.
  • For every job created in the manufacturing sector, 2.91 jobs are created in other sectors.
  • Jobs in the Manufacturing sector (from MEPblog)
    • make more than $77,000 a year on average (about $20k more than other industries)
    • have good access to medical benefits (25% more access than other industries)
    • collectively get more contributions to their retirement from their employers than their peers in the service industry, and
    • have the highest job tenure in the private sector

Manufacturing Day hopes to inform the American public about all the positives in the manufacturing sector and debunk the old myths of the old ‘factory job’.  Recent studies have shown that ‘600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled in the United States due to a gap in the job requirements and the skills within the workforce.’

Special events to bring awareness to National Manufacturing Day are being conducted around the country today.  In our own back yard, the Waukesha County Business Alliance and the Manufacturing Alliance Committee have organized tours of area manufacturing facilities, inviting Waukesha County students, parents and educators to participate.

Precision Plus applauds these efforts at being part of the solution to the lack of skilled workers and is proud to be a part of the First National Manufacturing Day: October 5, 2012.