Ask PMPA members what they value about their PMPA membership and the first thing they are likely to tell you about is “Networking.” Our National Technical Conference is a prime example of the kind of networking they are talking about. It’s where craftsmen talk with other craftsmen and compare notes on the tools, techniques and processes that make a difference. It’s also where they find out what is new in the area of regulations, technology and markets.
Our members value networking. But PMPA has other deliverables that are highly rated as well. Our tagline, “Tools You Can Use” provides a hint of what the PMPA has to offer its members to make them globally competitive and sustainable as businesses in today’s volatile and complex manufacturing market.
Tools You Can Use. At 2 p.m. on Monday, April 18, I will present an hour-and-a-half session on “Materials Sense-Making in Today’s Global Environment.”
Back in the day, most jobs were run out of free machining steel barstock or free machining leaded brass. Everyone knew that 4140 was alloy steel and 12L14 was not. And, everyone knew what that meant for machining and cycle times.
But today, state and national regulations are chasing the lead out of brass for most plumbing applications. The steel jobs we are quoting are often engineered in foreign countries—countries where they don’t have any idea about ASTM specs or where DIN, EN, ISO and other designations are employed.
In my presentation, I will review the different levels of documenting and identifying a raw material’s “pedigree” (that is, national standards, specifications, grade designations and Werkstoffe numbers). That way, you can more quickly and easily understand what all that “crazy stuff” about steel means to you and your shop in terms of quoting, machining and part finishing.
The session will also demonstrate the PMPA’s Online Material Grade Translator for Steels and Stainless Steels (once you know which of those foreign designators actually has something to do with the specific material grade).
And, of course, if a grade isn’t listed, you’ll get to meet me, the guy who responds to members’ calls and e-mails for material grade identification and sense-making. Come see this session to get a great foundation for understanding the materials we are now quoting and machining thanks to our high quality and the low dollar.
More Tools You Can Use. Come see inside the PMPA’s online toolbox on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. as I provide a guided tour of the PMPA website. This session is more than just a techie tour. The PMPA website hosts information on benchmarking, human resources, business intelligence, networking, advocacy, regulatory information and, oh yeah, did I mention technology?
Every day, our members see the value of our online Listserves for problem-solving. But in this session, we will look at how this industry-wide, distributed problem-solving actually works. Once a problem or topic is discussed on the PMPA Listserves, it is archived for knowledge retention in our Listserve online database of solutions.
Networking is a key deliverable from PMPA to our members. Come to the two sessions described above to see how PMPA’s “Tools You Can Use” can help you make sense of foreign grades of material, information on business trends, business intelligence, regulatory issues facing our shops, human resource information, advocacy and more.
If you are not yet a PMPA member, do stop by and introduce yourself to me and give me your business card. You just might win a free year of PMPA membership to try out our “Tools You Can Use.”