Chase Brass and Copper Company LLC, a subsidiary of Global Brass and Copper, Inc., was founded in 1837 and is recognized today as one of the most efficient brass rod mills in North America. Chase Brass serves several markets including building and construction, industrial, transportation, electrical and electronics, consumer products and exports.
“We’ve experienced changes in legislation that affect the alloy content, in particular the lead content, of our products,” says Tom Christie, V.P., sales and marketing at Chase Brass. “We’ve had to develop low-lead and lead-free products to support that marketplace, which is primarily focused around plumbing products.”
Mr. Christie describes Eco Brass*, patented by Mitsubishi Shindoh, as Chase Brass’ flagship green profile products. Chase Brass licenses this alloy from Mitsubishi Shindoh and supplies it to plumbing customers throughout North America. Eco Brass, alloy C693, is not only lead free, it is also highly machinable, has excellent strength, resists corrosion and is registered as an anti-microbial alloy under the CuVerro** trade name.
Chase Brass has changed with the industry and legislative changes; however, the company has not changed its longtime membership with PMPA.
“Chase Brass has been a PMPA member for almost 40 years,” Mr. Christie says. “We find value in PMPA because they have a great culture, focused on promoting the common interests of the North American machining industry.”
Mr. Christie explains that U.S. manufacturing growth is one of the most critical requirements for a sustained economic recovery, and PMPA is well suited to support these types of efforts moving forward. Chase Brass takes advantage of its PMPA membership at many levels including the national conferences such as the recent Management Update Conference as well as the Precision Machining Technology Show and National Technology Conference.
“I like that the Management Update Conference has a variety of speakers that help companies like ours gain an understanding of big-picture issues. Everything from macroeconomics to the geopolitical environment that helps us to understand national and worldwide dynamics that affect our business,” Mr. Christie says. “From a more strategic perspective, they select speakers who challenge how you manage your business, how you select personnel and how you grow and evolve your company to support changing markets.
One of the biggest challenges managers face is getting caught up in the day-to-day aspects of your business, and the national meetings provide an excellent opportunity to step back and really focus on the bigger strategy of what we’re doing to improve ourselves and our companies.”
According to Mr. Christie, Chase Brass tries to participate in PMPA as often as possible by sending representatives to attend and present at conferences, answering listserve questions in its area of expertise, being involved on a local level and supporting local technical school programs.
“From my point of view, the biggest challenge in our industry is the availability of trained, skilled and willing machinists, and the loss of intellectual capital in the industry due to retirement is a concern,” Mr. Christie says. “We would be eager to support more technical school programs if there were more available to generate an increase in student enrollment and skilled graduates. Changing the next generation’s perception of the industry is critical. Today, many young people don’t consider a career in the machining industry as an opportunity to utilize advanced technology to design and create critical parts that are needed to support manufacturing into the future. We need to change their perception.”