New Tech Metals: Proud Members of the Wisconsin Family Business Forum!

In 2003 we as a family thought that bringing together our varied experiences; Engineering, Manufacturing, and Sales could be a unique opportunity to work together and continue to build upon something that would be available for generations.   Often times there is a need to reach out to others involved in family businesses to share past or present experiences.  Five years ago we found the  Wisconsin Family Business Forum, which has been a great resource and network with other family businesses in Wisconsin.

  • The mission of the Wisconsin Family Business Forum is fostering healthy family businesses through learning, sharing and creating effective solutions regarding the critical issues and problems confronting family businesses.
  • The Wisconsin Family Business Forum is a partnership. We are a community that shares values, experiences and commitment to family business. We come together, as partners: business owners, family members, non-family employees, business professionals and academics – to explore the challenges and rewards of family enterprise and to grow in our knowledge, skills and experience.

New Tech Metals Finding Value in Value Stream Mapping!

Value Stream

If you are on the journey of lean manufacturing and you have planted those seeds that will, one day, grow into that mighty tree, don’t give up on your quest.  A couple years ago we struggled with the fact that it was actually possible to implement Value Stream Mapping methods in an ever changing fabrication job shop environment.  At the time, we were having trouble with on-time deliveries and uncontrollable bottlenecks in various departments.  When taking an in-depth look at our product mix and push-type scheduling methods , we soon realized there was definite room for improvement.  We also determined that there would have to be a culture change, and that this was going to have to be a team effort and not something that was forced from the top down.   So the first initiative was to send all of our employees to Principles of Lean Manufacturing Overview and Simulation hosted by WMEP.  This proved to be instrumental in giving our employees the basic understanding of lean and allowed them a voice in the overall goal of what the company was trying to accomplish.  These are some of the key success factors in the implementation process:

  • Prepare and motivate people
  • Involve employees at all levels and functions
  • Share information and manage expectations
  • Identify and empower champions
  • Create an atmosphere of experimentation
  • Question everything
  • Install realistic performance measures, evaluation systems, and reward systems
  • Start with pilot projects – and never stop

Being that this was our first time with Value Stream Mapping, we decided to just go with the systematic approach to identifying waste.

  •  Identify the target product.
  • Draw while on the shop floor a current state value stream map, which shows the current steps, delays, and information flows required to deliver the target product or service.
  • Assess the current state value stream map in terms of creating flow by eliminating waste.
  • Draw a future state value stream map.
  • Work toward the future state condition.

After many weeks and much work from a lot dedicated people, we finally had completed the entire process on one part.  As minimal as that may seem, it was an overwhelming accomplishment for New Tech Metals.  Since then, we have incorporated over a half  dozen new parts and our current measured on-time delivery is at 98%.  We also experience productivity increases, we have reduced our work-in-process, our measured quality is at 99%, and have bettered our space utilization.  The overall work environment has changed and the morale is positive.  As a company, we will continue to incorporate the many factors of lean manufacturing with the expectations of one day world class.  So I will leave you with the old saying, ” If you always do what you always did, then you will always get what you always got.”

Hot Under the Hood!

With the record breaking heat in the past couple weeks, and for those of you that have to endure such temperatures possibly underneath that welding helmet, or running that laser, or running that press, or maybe grinding and polishing.  It is these types of temperatures that with even a constant supply of Gatorade, Popsicle’s, or Ice Cream doesn’t seem to help.  The day seems to drag on, which leaves you wondering if the day will actually ever end.  Even having your own personal fan bares very little relief, only pushing the warm air around, with little to no cooling benefit.  It is these type of extreme conditions and pride in getting the job done that never goes unnoticed, and we say thanks to all the hard-working, dedicated employees of New Tech Metals.

New Tech Metals Wins with Gains in Productivity with Dual Monitors!

Over a year ago we were looking for ways to improve productivity in the office.  Through one of our team building sessions the idea was proposed that we go to dual monitors for our designers.  After reviewing the cost and the potential gains we went ahead and equipped our design department with dual monitors.  After about a 6 month beta period we started noticing significant gains in the day to day productivity.  We then decided to expand on this idea, and equip the entire office staff with this same set up.  With a little bit of training and some acceptance of change this proved to be a win situation for New Tech Metals.  Now, if you were to ask any one of our employee’s to go back to the single monitor, the look you would get would not be one of disappointment.  In some of our latest team building sessions we have be discussing the fact of incorporating monitors out in the shop to potentially eliminate all paper in our process.

Here are five good reasons to have dual monitors:

  1. Published studies indicate that having a dual monitor in a workplace setting can increase productivity by 20 to 50 percent. For example, if you’re computer automated design, it should be obvious that having your source code on one side and your program on the other side of a dual monitor display would be very helpful.
  2. Real multi-tasking requires enough screen space to keep two or more apps in full view simultaneously. If you have ever tried to size and align windows on a single monitor, you’ll appreciate the ability to have several apps fully open at the same time. Customer service reps and cad/SolidWorks designers are additional examples of people that would benefit from dual monitors.
  3. Cutting and pasting between documents is much easier when you don’t have to alt-tab between them and scroll up or down so much. If you create newsletters or PowerPoint presentations, you’ll identify with this.
  4. Picture and video editing is a whole new experience with dual monitors. You can have all of your editing tools on one screen while you work on the project in the other. You can compare before and after views of the same work, or supersize panoramic pictures.
  5. Comparing products is easier when you have dual monitors.

 

Increased Capabilities Improves Aluminum Welding!

With the continued growth in our aluminum welding, it was time to improve our TIG welding capabilities.  After reviewing several different TIG welding machines, for us the answer was obvious,  Miller’s Dynasty® 350.  This machine not only has a compact power source capable of welding up to 5/8” aluminum, but it also has total arc control providing maximum productivity and weld quality while conserving energy compared to traditional welding machines.  This technology will give us superior arc performance and control that set new standards for productivity and weld quality, while lowering the cost of operation.

Have A Great And Safe 4th Of July!

As we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence on July 4th, 1776. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson’s most enduring monument. This is a great time to spend time with family, friends, neighbors, and those who have served and are still serving this wonderful country.   Enjoy those backyard bar-b-ques and here’s to the freedom to pursue excellence.  Have a great and safe 4th of July!

Metal Finishing

 

Polishing and buffing are finishing processes for smoothing a workpiece’s surface using an abrasive and a work wheel. Technically polishing refers to processes that use an abrasive that is glued to the work wheel, while buffing uses a loose abrasive applied to the work wheel. Polishing is a more aggressive process while buffing is less harsh, which leads to a smoother, brighter finish.   A common misconception is that a polished surface has a mirror bright finish, however most mirror bright finishes are actually buffed.  Polishing is often used to enhance the looks of an item, prevent contamination of instruments, remove oxidation, create a reflective surface, or prevent corrosion in pipes.  In metallography and metallurgy, polishing is used to create a flat, defect

Vibratory Finishingis a type of mass finishing manufacturing process used to deburr, radius, descale, burnish, clean, and brighten a large number of relatively small workpieces. Vibratory finishing systems tend to produce a smooth finish because the media essentially laps the parts.-free surface for examination of a metal’s micro-structure under a microscope. Silicon-based polishing pads or a diamond solution can be used in the polishing process.

Advantages of Self – Clinching Fasteners with our Haeger 824 Insertion Press

Our Haeger 824 press has the ability to provide you with a totally unified solution for virtually any of your insertion challenges.  We have vast inventory of  PEM® brand fasteners which can be utilized in several different applications such as  self-clinching, broaching, flaring, surface mount, or weld technology to provide strong, reusable, and permanent threads and mounting points in thin sheetmetal, P.C. board materials, and other ductile or non-ductile thin material.

Advantages of self-clinching fasteners:

  • Provide strong threads in metal as thin as .020” / .51 mm.
  • May be installed using any parallel acting squeezing force.
  • Provide high push-out and torque-out resistance.
  • Do not require special hole preparation, such as chamfering and deburring.
  • Reverse side of metal sheet remains flush.
  • No re-tapping necessary after application.
  • Low installed costs.

They also have greater reliability and more holding power than extruded/tapped or stamped threads. They are used chiefly where good pullout and torque loads are required in sheet metal that is too thin to provide secure fastening by any other method. Even if the sheet is thick enough to sustain tapping, it may actually be more economical to use self-clinching fasteners with gaugeable threads. They can be installed during fabrication to eliminate loose hardware during final assembly. In fact, the use of self-clinching fasteners often will allow the use of a thinner sheet. Because of their compact design and low profile, they provide for a neat appearance, too.

New Tech Metals Supports : Brown County Sheriff’s Department Benevolent Association

Police Car Lights

The focus of the effort this year is on the drug and alcohol usage amongst our teens and is also a crackdown on youth violence.  The proceeds raised this year will help to assist with many local programs.  The Brown County Sheriff’s Benevolent Association is a fraternal organization made up of 148 officers serving the Brown County Sheriff’s Department.  This organization was founded to provide financial help to it’s members and the organizations they belong to within Brown County. Over the past several years, events like this one have helped our organization donate over $200,000 to local charities!

Every dollar you donate will directly benefit programs right here in our community.

For our fifteenth straight year we are proud to announce our annual benefit concert to be held on Saturday October 27th 2012 at the Weidner Center.  Coming in again to help out with the effort this year is Terry Lee Goffee the ULTIMATE tribute to Johnny Cash!  That evening as well we will be distributing our 2012 Crime Prevention Safety Journal & Business Directory.  The Weidner Center will open the doors for seating at 6:30 P.M. and the show will start at 7:30 P.M. and it should run for approximately 90 minutes.

If you would like tickets please call  920-497-0555.

http://sheriffassociation.org/