PMPA’s National Technical Conference

Tomorrow is Today – Conquering the Skills Challenge April 21-24 * Crowne Plaza – Chicago O’Hare * Rosemont, Illinois

This year’s conference is targeted to the cross-section of talent and machining capabilities used by precision machining shops today. Participation in the event will earn you credit toward PMPA’s Precision Machining Technology Credential. Here is what is in store for your team:


CNC Focus

The first session of the “Mastering New Processes” workshop with Bill Durow of Sandvik Coromant will review milling best practices, including selecting a concept, surface finish considerations and selecting cutting data based on setup. Understand 2D process solutions with trochoidal, hole making and pocketing processes. The second session will focus on turning. Insert shapes, prime turning, high pressure coolant and multitask machining on B-axis machines are some of the advanced concepts that will be presented.

Cam Machinery

Chris Barrett of Wickman Machine Tool Inc. will facilitate a panel discussion of experienced PMPA cam machine shop professionals, including Paul Garret of Alger Precision Machining LLC, Ken Janik of Berkley Screw Machine Products Inc., Doug Larson of Gates Albert Inc. and Randy Lusk of Lusk Quality Machine Products Inc. The first part of this workshop will be to review the basics of cam machine technology with core topics, such as cam path basics, forming, drilling, reaming and knurling. The panel will return to discuss more advanced concepts with cam machine technology in the second session. Interactivity and a sharing of lessons learned from both those on the panel and in the audience will assure that a complete review and discussion of cam machinery is achieved.

Gaging Exploration

The first session of the “Gaging Exploration” workshop will focus on basic, but critical tools and gages used in our shops. Gary Griffith of Griffith Training will use prints, model parts and photos of the inspection setup to describe exactly what needs to take place in the inspection process. Gary will discuss each process tool and explain the steps that must be made to properly make the measurement. The second portion of the workshop will expand on our gaging knowledge with an advanced level session focused on applications. An understanding of setups, surface plates, layouts and proper inspection of key geometric characteristics will be the focus.


Teambuilding for Winners – Depending on Each Other for Success

This presentation combines relationship building with no-fluff motivation that teaches attendees to create a culture of accountability without “blame distribution.” Team members will examine common points of resistance, learn to deal with difficult (and often talented) people and understand the personal benefits of adapting to a team approach. In this un-sugarcoated interactive session, our keynote speaker, Garrison Wynn, gets real about how accepting help and learning to work well together are the keys to solving problems and meeting critical deadlines.

Basic Lean              
Mike Micklewright has taught lean principles for more than 25 years. In this session, Mr. Micklewright will provide an introduction to lean principles and offer fundamentals for attendees to understand and apply back in their shop. This basic class will open the lean toolbox for shops to see what is available, providing understanding on how to use these tools in their lean shop efforts.


More than 70 Technical Members are expected to exhibit with tools, brochures, catalogs, videos of larger equipment and live software demonstrations. This is a great opportunity for you to meet with your suppliers’ technical experts one on one to discuss your unique opportunities.


Sessions are targeted to three groups of personnel: Technical, Quality and Leadership Development. Samples of these “tracks” of programming include:

Technical Track

  • Chips – How to Read, How to Break
  • Everyday Tech for Skills Enhancement
  • How to Best Utilize Rotary Transfer Technology in Your Shop
  • Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist
  • Milling and Workholding Optimization
  • Machine Hacks
  • Speeds, Feeds and Shop Math Fundamentals

Quality Track

  • Tools to Assist Risk-Based Thinking
  • Family of Parts – Lessons Learned
  • Basic Lean
  • Gaging Exploration

Leadership Track

  • The Future of Manufacturing
  • Workforce Development
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • How Shops are Training