Wednesday, November 11, 2015

See a Boeing Dreamliner Built In Under Two Minutes

With a 197 foot wingspan and a top speed of nearly 600mph, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is actually quieter and more fuel efficient than its predecessor, the 777.

Conceived in 2003, the first Dreamliner took flight for Nippon Airlines in 2007. Now, with 340 Dreamliners in service, Boeing has released this time-lapse video of the plane’s assembly, start to finish. It’s a real feat of American skill and engineering.

Click the image to see this amazing video.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nightmare Equipment Failures -- and How to Avoid Them

From fuses to circuits to human error, equipment failures – large and small - can cost a shop downtime and money.

Here are 10 costly industrial equipment failures, and tips that can help you avoid them.

See the photo gallery as it appeared in Industry Week online

Friday, October 30, 2015

Attracting Millennials to Manufacturing Careers

While this is a common theme in manufacturing, we’re always looking for fresh ideas or new twists on solving this workforce issue.

More Wisconsin manufacturers are getting involved with schools to promote available careers that don’t necessarily require 4-year college degrees. They’re giving students ‘hands-on’ opportunities and also reaching out to parents and teachers. “If you can show them “half the education, half the tuition, possibly zero debt, and a job that's averaging about $55,000 a year coming right out of school, that sounds like a pretty good deal to me,” said Steve Benzschawel, a director at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Read more about the campaign from Plant Services magazine and NPR here

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Customer Loyalty? It Still Happens. Here's How

This month, Metal Forming Magazine took a look at customer loyalty, and steps many companies are understanding to build it. And to no surprise, having the lowest price is not high on the list.

Critical, but sometimes overlooked steps, including really listening to customer expectations, having a plan that fits your own vision, and knowing how to market your expertise to each customer.

As sourcing becomes more competitive – and complex- fabricators are using new ways to stay competitive, and doing what it takes to create customer loyalty.

Read “Five Simple Strategies to Do More for Your Customers” from Metal Forming magazine here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Milwaukee, San Francisco Rank High in Manufacturing Job Growth

Here's an interesting piece of news:

In a brand new Industry Week report, Milwaukee and San Francisco saw the highest percentage growth in manufacturing jobs over last year, according to a new analysis by the statistics firm Wanted Analytics. Wanted compared hiring data, including job ads, from April to June 2015 for 350 U.S. metropolitan areas.

The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin area saw a 33.5% increase in manufacturing jobs over the same time period last year. Among the hirings: General Plastics and Milwaukee Tool recently expanded in the Milwaukee area.

Read the full article from Industry Week Magazine here

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Check Out Our Laser in Action

The latest innovation at Dalco Metals is our Amada FLCAJ 4020 fiber laser.

We can now process sheets up to 78" x 158" (2 meters x 4 meters) and, in addition to cutting carbon steel up to 7/8”, we can cut aluminum and stainless, plus highly reflective materials like brass, copper and titanium. Our goal is to help meet your growing needs and lead times.

See a video of our fiber laser in action here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Job Shops: Diving In Head First

In metal fabrication—especially at small, privately held shops—money quite often isn’t front and center, which makes sense. People can make a lot of money in this business, enough to be very comfortable, especially if they’re in the right place at the right time. But if all they care about is making a lot of money, metal fabrication isn’t the easiest way to do it.

Here’s a terrific article from Tom Heston, senior editor of The Fabricator, on what drives job shop entrepreneurs.

Check it out here

Friday, July 3, 2015

Debunking Myths about Manufacturing Jobs

The clich├ęd image of a manufacturing job is of dirty, backbreaking, low-paying labor. And women need not apply—it's an industry dominated by men. But separating fact from fiction about the actual people behind the welder's mask and on the assembly line can be tricky.

But wait a minute….a recent CNBC report looked at facts that debunked those, and other, myths about manufacturing.

You can read the brief, insightful report, here

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Innovation = Asking the Right Questions

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, here’s a short video from innovation expert Warren Berger on the process of innovation. Berger finds that nearly all innovation begins with a question….”why isn't someone doing this or what if someone tried to do that?” Translated to your business or shop floor, it’s a demonstration of unlocking change by getting people to ask “why not?”

Check it out here

Friday, May 15, 2015

Keeping the Pipeline Filled with Engineers

After years of decline, new engineering graduates are making an impact on the Midwest’s economy. And, according to Tom Still, Director of the Wisconsin Technology Council, the best is yet to come.

A recent report by Georgetown University noted that, by 2020, demand in Wisconsin’s professional, scientific and technical services sectors will increase by 14,890. Similar increases are seen in surrounding, manufacturing-based states.

Credit goes to economic growth, increasing opportunities for new engineers, and to STEM…the program that increases student interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

Read more about it here

Friday, March 13, 2015

"MANUFACTURING MATTERS" MAKES AN IMPACT

Manufacturing Matters 2015, the annual mega-conference put on by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, brought 450 manufacturing professionals together in Milwaukee to learn new ideas and exchange strategies for a bright future.

Featured speakers included Governor Scott Walker, Rockwell International’s Mike Laszkiewicz, business experts and the pros from WMEP.

Topics ranged from creating fresh perceptions of manufacturing, growing a skilled workforce, expanding into new markets, additive manufacturing, the Internet of Things and Connected Enterprises.

Read more about it in this BizTimes article.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DALCO NOW HAS FIBER LASER CUTTING

To meet your growing needs and lead times, we’ve installed a new Amada FLCAJ 4020 fiber laser.

Now we can process sheets up to 78 x 157 and, in addition to cutting carbon steel up to 7/8”, we can cut aluminum and stainless, plus highly reflective materials like brass, copper and titanium.

Call us at 262-275-6175 for a tour of our growing facilities, and to see our fiber laser in action.

Monday, March 9, 2015

THE BEST WORKERS PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS

Do you emphasize 'sweating the details' on your shop floor?

A thought-provoking editorial in the fabricator.com strongly suggests “attention to detail is separate from talent, from experience and skill, and even from work ethic. It’s a concept that can overcome a myriad of shortcomings, yet it often gets glossed over or ignored completely in a fabricator’s early learning stages.”

Agree or not, read more about it here. Check out the steps you can take in the hiring and coaching process to assure that good workers become the best workers.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

FOUNDRY-IN-A-BOX

You can’t get every student to take a manufacturing tour, but there’s always another solution.

Employees at Eck Industries, a Manitowoc, Wisconsin metal caster, helped start a program called “Foundry in a Box.” They're taking manufacturing job basics right into area middle schools so that students can learn hands-on to form moldings, melt tin, pour castings and clean up.

“We thought it important to clarify the wide range of employment opportunities available—from engineers and scientists to marketing and management professionals, molders and hourly workers,” says David Weiss, vice president of engineering, research and development.

Find out more about it in this month's Modern Metals Magazine.

Monday, March 2, 2015

DO MANUFACTURING JOBS REALLY PAY WELL?

No doubt, manufacturing jobs pay well, above average through the economy. Yet, you’ll see occasional statistics that say otherwise, that pay can be at or below national averages. So what’s the real story?

In this month’s fabricator.com, senior editor Tim Heston looks at the balance of skilled workers vs. unskilled and temporary, and how today’s plant managers strive to balance customer demand with trained, engaged workers.

It's a great read. Check it out here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Six Predictions for Manufacturing

Manufacturers have been through significant changes in the past 10 years, some positive, others not so good. So what can we expect in 2015? Good news, for the most part. Industry Week Magazine has six predictions, some based on current trends, others are the likely outcomes of political and consumer actions.

A few examples:

  • Reshoring will continue (but at a slower pace)
  • A manufacturing boom will hit the US (great for those positioned to take advantage)
  • New technologies will open new doors

Find out more about these and others in this month’s edition here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Complicated Won't Cut It in 2015

The typical response to a problem is to create a new set of rules. Over time, all these new rules complicate things and start interfering with productivity. The answer, according to senior staff at the Boston Consulting Group, is ‘smart simplicity.’

In a brand new Industry Week article, they tell the ‘Six Rules of Smart Simplicity’ to help manufacturers avoid getting bogged down. The rules include:

  • Find out what’s really happening (since performance problems are often the result of people’s actions)
  • Identify ‘Integrators’ who tend to make cooperation happen
  • Empower people to make a difference
  • Find ways to make people dependent on each other
  • Don’t punish failure, but punish failure to cooperate

These titles only scratch the surface, so take a look at the complete article from Industry Week here

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Solutions for Stamping Issues

Inconsistencies in metal stamping are a common issue and, although they're usually blamed on the material or die, there are more than 50 other elements that could be the cause.

This month’s Metal Forming Magazine takes a look at the most likely suspects: including feeders, press irregularities or buying cheap material.

Tracking down the real villain, and applying the fix, could be a whole lot easier than you'd think.

For details, check out “Metal Stamping Inconsistencies” here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

From Car Fanatic to Welder

How a Detroit-area auto buff discovered welding through a shop class, and never looked back.

“As soon as I struck my first 7018 rod, I was hooked,” says Tom Howes, a 28 year old fabricator. His ‘discovered’ trade has taken him across the country, and even overseas. Today, Howe is opening his own business in the greater Detroit area.

Although welders…and the need for good ones…is a frequent fabrication topic, this is a great read, and excellent example for novices and students.

You can read his full story here