The Precision Machined Products Association is pleased to present its 46th annual National Technical Conference, April 22-24, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The conference theme, “Implementing World Class Techniques & Technology,” focuses on the best processes and practices in the machining industry. This is the place to learn the world-class experiences of a range of industry experts.
The National Tech Conference is “the single-best source for keeping up-to-date with technological advancements within our industry,” according to Ed Brooks, president of Huron Automatic Screw Company in Port Huron, Michigan. PMPA’s Technical Program Committee has identified the latest advancements in world class technology and processes to keep you competitive in 2007 and beyond.
This year’s programming has been targeted to reach different “tracks” of personnel. More than 30 sessions were developed to appeal to different job functions, including technical, quality and management. Your people can hit the session track that is most applicable to their responsibilities, since this year’s program schedule has technical sessions running concurrently with interactive sessions.
Management Track. Management sessions will focus on the powerful human relations tool called, “Predictive Index.” This topic will be covered in two sessions: a broad overview describing how the tool is used and a sharing of how the tool is used within progressive shops. Jim Fetcko, vice president of engineering at Ohio Screw Products, Inc., Elyria, Ohio, has identified the management-focused sessions as “resources that have saved us significant amounts of money and assisted us in keeping – as well as adding – very reliable customers."
A program entitled, “World Class Organization” will feature the experiences of a Silver Medal recipient of the Northeast Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence. Another session will take a revolutionary approach to manufacturing teamwork with a presentation called “Manufacturing Strategies – Blended Technologies.” Representatives from Milan Screw Products, Inc., Milan, Michigan, and Montague Tool & Manufacturing Company, Clio, Michigan, will share their visions and experiences with a unique approach to North American manufacturing teamwork.
Other management-focused sessions include a tutorial on gauging the effectiveness of your business initiatives called, “How to Evaluate the Payback of Implementing New Technology” and a world class approach to “Lights-Out Manufacturing” that includes the unique perspectives of three different companies.
Quality Track. The quality track programming includes “Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing,” and a “Root Cause Analysis” session that your quality-control personnel won’t want to miss. Representatives from three companies will explain how to involve multiple employees in the quoting process with a session called “Total Quoting Process.” Another session, “Applied Process Intelligence Systems,” will focus on how one company uses its knowledge-based system to reduce manufacturing costs through defect prevention, process diagnostics and tool control.
Bob Zimmer, a CNC setup operator from Micron Manufacturing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, has this to say about the payback he received from quality improvements he implemented after past PMPA Technical Conferences: “A conversation concerning hard materials suggesting higher speeds and lower feeds came up during one of the sessions. From that conversation, I was able to adjust the program and run a titanium part without having to babysit it all the time. I’m even able to run a few hours of ‘lights out’ now without worrying too much about tools breaking or chipping out.”
Technical Track. These technical sessions include “Tooling Packages on Swiss Machines,” “How to Read Your Chips in Ferrous Materials” and a focus on what can be done with robotics called, “Robotics – Flexibility, Applications & Cost Savings.” In a session entitled, “Optimizing Processes Through Parametric Programming,” Mike Lynch from CNC Concepts, Inc. will convey his thoughts and expertise on parametric programming. You’ll be able to benchmark your manufacturing processes while reaffirming your company’s direction and identifying additional improve-ment potential.
As Jeff Wiltsie, president of manufacturing at Vanamatic Company, Delphos, Ohio, says, “Based on conversations with peers and listening to other leading-edge companies present, we confirmed that we are on the right track, but we also identified plenty of opportunities for improvement."
Don’t forget that immediately following the National Technical Conference is the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS), which runs through April 26. This show provides additional opportunities to share, inform and learn how others are successfully meeting today’s business challenges. A Swiss machining demonstration will be part of the show.
The key to a successful conference is taking the lessons you learn from these world-class sessions and putting them into action in your shops. A session called, “The Conference Challenge” will give you a guide on how to do just that. The session will provide direction on how best to implement all of the great ideas you heard throughout the program.
As Ed Brooks says, “It only takes one great idea to justify the cost of many years of conferences. The question should not be how can you afford to attend the Tech Conference, but how can you afford not to attend?”