Industrial design student donates functional objects that she made for HGR’s newly renovated offices

Brenna Truax industrail design student donation

You may have read the blog written by former Walsh Jesuit High School Student and current University of Cincinnati Industrial Design Student Brenna Truax’s visit to HGR for scrap materials. Then, we did a blog about some of the desk organizers that she was in the process of creating for our newly renovated sales and administrative office. They are finished! She delivered them on August 15 before going back to school. We love them and are calling dibs on them already. Check them out next time you are in the office. In addition to desk organizers, she created a coat rack and a planter with items from HGR. Thank you, Brenna and good luck in your sophomore year! I know that we will see more of you.

Brenna Truax industrial design items donated to HGR Industrial Surplus

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Expediting Department

HGR Industrial Surplus' third-shift expediting department

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Newcomb, HGR’s third-shift expediting supervisor)

What does your department do?

On third-shift Expediting, we have many different duties. We have a short meeting each day to go over the plan for the night. Generally, we start by pulling all orders to be prepped by the Shipping Department. After that, we pull a list of items that are within the criteria for “scrap.” Once we have that done, we pull all sold items from the floor to the Sold Section. This is a relatively new process to free more space on the floor while making it easier to pull orders by having them in one, central location. Then, we work on different projects, such as consolidating items on skids, straightening aisles, and working to make everything neat and orderly. This makes it easier for customers to find and purchase items. We also go over to the Incoming Department and look at what will be inventoried first. After seeing what has been set up by the second-shift Receiving Department, we go back into the showroom and make room in the appropriate aisles. This makes it easier for first shift to clear the new inventory to the floor. Overall, we are the “behind the scene” group and do many different things to make sure that the other departments can navigate their day as smoothly as possible – all to create the best experience for the customer. After all, that’s what it’s all about!

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

We have a very small crew of three people, including myself. Don Batson is my second in command and has more than 11 years of experience here at HGR. He steps into my role when I am out. Jeff Baker has only been with us a bit over one year but has brought much experience and new insight to help with various projects. We work as a team and help each other to get our goals accomplished each day.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

First, a positive attitude and a great pride in your work. A willingness to learn while being flexible within each task. We definitely are a team! Because of the qualifications, we are able to accomplish a great deal of work in a day.

What do you like most about your department?

The best thing about this department would be the “get it done” outlook each person brings to each task. I have a great crew. There aren’t all of the other distractions. That helps people to focus. Only working Monday through Thursday nights would be another great part. We only work five days one week per month for the Saturday sale.

What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?

Our department has undergone many changes since it began in 2010. When it began, we received and unloaded trucks and set up the wall to be inventoried in the morning. We no longer do that at all. Since that time, we have expanded HGR from 11 aisles to 14 then 19. Most of the products moved were done at night to help keep the normal, day-shift routine as painless as possible. We have fluctuated to as many as five people to as few as two. We also, for a while, would go out of town and rig out jobs to be brought back to HGR. We no longer do that, either. We have had people move on to other destinations and some move to other departments to fill a need for the company, from pulling shipping orders to moving entire sections of showroom to new locations. We take on each task as it comes and consciously work toward a better flow for HGR and our customers.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

I feel that continuous improvement would be handled by a more one-on-one training session for new hires. This is something that we are working on now. The better prepared that an employee is, the more confident and efficient he or she will be. We are always doing more training even with long-term employees to keep skills sharp.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

The overall environment at HGR is ever changing. With new faces and new improvements on the building, it is a continuous effort to make HGR the best place for both customers and employees. The owners and officers have proven that they will do whatever it takes to make this happen.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

As always, these are ever changing, and we need to do a great job at rolling with the times. The shift in what we buy and sell is based on supply and demand. We do our best to provide an opportunity for our customers to get the best deal on anything that we have while we also continue to keep up with the recycling end to ensure that we don’t go backwards on an item.

HGR Industrial Surplus to host F*SHO, contemporary furniture show, Sept. 15

F*SHO contemporary credenza

Come join in the fun on Sept. 15, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave, Euclid, Ohio!

We are pleased to announce that HGR is partnering with Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel to host this year’s F*SHO, Cleveland’s premier contemporary furniture show that features work from local designers and makers.

Free parking, free admission, free food and beer! A DJ will be spinning some tunes. And, Dan Morgan of Straight Shooter will be photographing the evening.

Food will be provided by SOHO Chicken + Whiskey. Beer will be provided courtesy of 44 Steel.

Jason and Amanda Radcliffe 44 Steel

Grammar tips: Run-ons, comma splices, fused sentences

Run-on sentence meme

“Run-ons, comma, splices, and fused sentences,” according to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, “are all names given to compound sentences [two independent sentences joined together] that are not punctuated correctly.”

For instance: They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart, they paid the salesperson immediately. Two independent sentences were “spliced” incorrectly with a comma.

There are three ways to correctly punctuate this sentence.

    1. You can separate them with a period and make them independent sentences: They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart. They paid the salesperson immediately.
    2. You can make them into a compound sentence by using a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet): They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart, and they paid the salesperson immediately.
  • You can use a semicolon with a connecting word other than one of the coordinating conjunctions, or you can use a semicolon if you do not have a connecting word (notice that the previous sentence is a compound sentence punctuated correctly using a coordinating conjunction and a comma): They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart; then, they paid the salesperson immediately. OR They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart; they paid the salesperson immediately.

 

For fun and practice, you can take a little quiz here, courtesy of Capital Community College. How did you do?

SPACES’ artists shop for materials at HGR Industrial Surplus

SPACES in September 2014 by Jake Beckman, photo by Jerry Mann
SPACES in September 2014 by Jake Beckman, photo by Jerry Mann

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bruce Edwards, SPACES World Artist Program coordinator)

I am always amazed by the seemingly endless inventiveness of artists. They seem to get inspiration from so many different things. Some find excitement in the natural environment, others in a fantastic world. The expressions are equally varied and exciting. In Cleveland and in my experience with SPACES, a non-profit art organization, many find rich inspiration for their artwork in the fading industrial landscape of Cleveland. Often the artists will arrive from foreign lands and other cities and are drawn immediately to the large warehouses and manufacturing centers, and of course the steel mills with their stacks spitting fire over the downtown skyline. When the artists arrive to work at SPACES as part of the residency, HGR Industrial Surplus often comes up as a resource for material and inspiration.

I have been in Cleveland since the early 90s and have helped many artists gather material for their work in lots of places within the industrial areas. I have gone with artists through the steel mills and collected taconite balls and slag, I have gone to old warehouses with photographers looking for unique kinds of space and light. And I have gone to HGR where I have spent hours with artists going up and down the aisles looking at the various machinery and parts that are there for the taking.

I first heard about HGR many years ago when a fellow artist Dana Depew suggested that I go there for some pulleys needed for a project. He said that there were bins filled with everything that I could want. He was not wrong. Dana makes all kinds of intricate constructions from found parts and industrial debris; so, he would know. He works as a curator for the Slavic Village art initiative “Rooms To Let” that draws attention to the abandoned homes in that neighborhood by allowing artists to take over a house and fill it with installations. He also has owned his own gallery and shown many young up-and-coming artists in this region. Dana was a long-time board member of SPACES and helped a whole lot of artists make connections in Cleveland that helped them make their work.

Bruno by Dana Depew, courtesy of the artist
Bruno by Dana Depew, courtesy of the artist

When Jake Beckman came to Cleveland for a residency at SPACES, he had an Idea to illustrate the power and beauty of labor. We set him up in a warehouse space not far from The Powerhouse on the west side of downtown where Old School Salvage was located. He immediately set out to find as much material as he could that would allow him to explore the rich interaction between production and labor. He went to HGR and collected rollers and pulleys and some belting, servos. You name it; he gathered it up. For Jake, it was one-stop shopping. Although Jake lives and works in Philly, he returns to Cleveland often and goes to HGR each time to see what he can take back with him. Jake’s entire practice has revolved around the industrial landscape.

Excised by Jake Beckman, courtesy of the artist
Excised by Jake Beckman, courtesy of the artist

In the mid-90s, Laila Voss collected tons of material for a project as part of Urban Evidence, an expansive show that was on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Center for Contemporary Art, and SPACES. Voss, who now is the executive director of Art House Inc. in the near west side of Cleveland and a current board member of SPACES, has been making large-scale multi-media installations throughout her career — most recently showing at ARTNeo, a museum of Northeast Ohio. At one point, needing some material that would work for a projection screen and to build a replica of a water tower, she found what she needed at HGR, along with a slow-moving motor that would operate a part of the installation. Return trips to HGR are not uncommon for Laila.

Chaotic Symphony: The Catch-All Net by Laila Voss, courtesy of the artist
Chaotic Symphony: The Catch-All Net by Laila Voss, courtesy of the artist
Natural Forces by Laila Voss, courtesy of the artist
Natural Forces by Laila Voss, courtesy of the artist

Very often, the artists that I work with find that the people of Cleveland are helpful and friendly and willing to give their time and energy to help make a project happen. I love that I can send an artist to HGR and have them come back with big smiles having been inspired by the variety of machine and parts that are available and the openness of the staff to help them locate every odd bit of thing that an artist is looking for. Most often, the artist will return to pick up just one more thing that will help him or her outfit his or her studio or for some crazy-looking thing that will be just perfect for a project.

Artist’s work made from scuba tanks and cylinders

Patrick Andrews PSA Custom Creations

  (Courtesy of Guest Blogger Patrick Andrews, PSA Custom Creations)

Learning how to weld underwater might not be the traditional start of a fabricator or artist, but that was the route I took. As a U.S. Army engineer diver, I frequently worked in rather interesting conditions, but this only helped me to develop a greater ability to accomplish my work with the items and tools at hand.

Much of my art is made by recycling or re-purposing material. When I look at a piece of material, I try to see not what it is, but what it can become. I started out making bells and art with nothing more than an idea, a dry cut saw, and a MIG welder. To acquire more scuba tanks and cylinders, I have travelled to dive shops and scrap yards from Washington, DC, to Norfolk, Virginia, and many shops in-between. I also have received many cylinders from people that I meet at craft shows who want to re-purpose a tank rather than throw it away.

I have been able to sell quite a bit of my art online at Etsy, and a few pieces on CustomMade.com and Amazon Handmade. A little more than half of my sales so far have been at arts and craft shows and through word of mouth. These first years have allowed me to improve my techniques, develop my unique style and decide on the market niche that I am trying to fill.

During the last five years, I have poured nearly all of my profits back into my shop to acquire more tools. My tools now range from a large 1947 DoAll vertical bandsaw to a lathe, Bridgeport mill, 16-gauge stomp shear, slip roller, and two years ago, I purchased a new TIG welder. I have used online auctions, Craigslist and word of mouth to get to the point where I am close to having the set up that I want. A company like HGR helps me to target the specific tools I now want.

Time management is very important to me. When I’m not working at my full-time government job or making a piece of art, I manage my business. Like many one-person businesses, the time I spend in the shop working on a new project is only half of what I spend on this business. Managing online inventory, updating my website, creating videos, bookkeeping, attending art shows, etc, all bite into the time I have left.

See more at www.psacustomcreations.com.

Pat Andrews PSA Custom Creations lamp shelfPatrick Andrews PSA Custom Creations wall artPatrick Andrews PSA Custom Creations large bells and yard art

Enter HGR’s August 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

tool holder

Head to our Facebook page to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following three criteria: like our Facebook page, share the post, and add your guess in the comments section. Those who guess correctly and meet these criteria will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free HGR T-shirt or other cool items.

Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

Have you visited our front offices lately?

HGR's new spacious sales office

If not, you’re in for a surprise; so come by for a visit if you’re in the area. If you have stopped in recently, you may have been one of the people walking through the office who exclaimed, “Wow, this place has changed. How spacious. Cool tables.”

Turner Construction is putting the finishing touches on the front-office renovation. The entire area was gutted and rebuilt. We now have a large, welcoming reception desk, more room to move and amazing sales desks made by Jason Wein of Cleveland Art. There are new and larger restrooms, additional offices for staff, a nice conference room, and a new customer lounge and showroom entrance.

We’re still working on the art and furnishings, but you’ll notice that we went with an industrial design to stay in alignment with our business model and the history of the facility.

We want to thank you for your patience during the renovation, especially with trekking to Aisle 6 for the bathrooms. Don’t feel bad, the sales staff was in the same boat.

Some of the best times to visit include sale days on the second Saturday and fourth Thursday of every month or during our Wednesday free lunch (cookout in the summer and pizza the rest of the year).

We hope to see you soon!

HGR's new sales desks by Jason Wein of Cleveland Art

Cuyahoga Community College’s Manufacturing Center of Excellence works to fill the skills gap

Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence

In June, I met with Alicia Booker, vice president of manufacturing, and Alethea Ganaway, program manager additive manufacturing & Ideation Station, of Cuyahoga Community College’s Workforce, Community and Economic Development division at the Metro Campus. Booker says, “We take a manufacturing systems approach and not a product approach. We don’t just focus occupationally on the need to fill a gap then three months later the need arises again due to churn.”

For this team, it’s all about workforce development and creating a skilled workforce. More than 3,500 students are attending the workforce programs, including youth, adults interested in a career transitions, students who already have a degree but are returning to upgrade skills, older adults interested in a second career, employees who need additional training for their current role, and job seekers interested in starting a career.

Booker moved to Ohio two years ago from Pennsylvania to accept the position. Ganaway was moved from Tri-C’s robotics program to additive manufacturing in order to write the grant to fund the program. Now, two years later, the fruits of their labor are paying off in the Manufacturing Center of Excellence (MCoE).

Booker says, “We offer a unique brand of training – short-term through two-year degree plus transfer opportunities. Classes are offered in environments that meet the needs of the students and customers — day, evening, weekend, and bootcamp formats, full- and part-time training, and now we can offer onsite training through the Citizens Bank Mobile Training Unit. Our programs are comprehensive, offering exploration and career exposure to students as young as eight years old through our Nuts & Bolts Academy, middle and high school visits (via the mobile unit), and our college credit plus K-12 initiative.”

This is what the impressively outfitted MCoE contains:Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence scanner

  1. A shop that houses CNC equipment
  2. An integrated systems line with Fanuc robots that launched in June 2017 (Students can become a certified production technician in eight weeks, including program automation, PLCs, and visual inspection for quality control.)
  3. A 3D printing lab that houses a Faro scanner and two printers that can print biomedical-grade devices
  4. A PLC training line with both Allen-Bradley and Siemens systems that launched In August 2017 (Students can earn an international certification for Siemens Mechatronics Systems, mainly used by European companies, since there are more than 400 German companies in northeast Ohio, while Allen-Bradley is more common in The United States. Some companies, such as Ford, use both systems in different portions of the plant. The training line includes a PLC station with hydraulic and pneumatic boards and a robotic arm.)
  5. A rover for virtual-reality training and integrated gaming
  6. A Fab Lab, a maker space for community and international collaboration (it houses a classroom; a Techno CNC router; an embroidery machine; a small mill for engraving, heat presses for T-shirts, hats and mugs; a laser engraver; and a vinyl cutter.)
  7. A mobile unit that can go to businesses, events and schools for teaching and demonstration opportunities in a nine-county area that launched in February 2017 (The trailer fits 10 students and instructors; is WiFi, laptop and software equipped; has its own generator; has plugs for different amperages; and can be deployed with electrical, welding, CNC, mechanics and 3D printing equipment. The lab already has been deployed to the 2017 IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo, a workforce summit, Crestwood Local Schools, and Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland.)

According to Ganaway, “The Additive Manufacturing program includes not only 3D printing, but we teach students how to reverse engineer parts, 2D and 3D design, 3D scanning, inspection and other technologies related to additive manufacturing.  Additive manufacturing is not just related to manufacturing; it includes other disciplines, as well, such as medical.  Some of the projects include 3D printing prosthetics for veterans at the VA who are disabled.”

The college offers training by which students can earn college credits and industry certifications. In the welding training, they learn MIG, TIG, and stick welding. Right Skills Now affords students with CNC training in manual and automated machining. They train on Haas CNC mills and lathes, and on Bridgeport manual machines. The 3D/additive manufacturing training is in digital design, and students receive training in multiple 3D printing technologies, including the use of 3D printers, scanners, and other equipment available through the Ideation Station where they can work with a techno router, laser engraver, etc. In Mechatronics, students learn techniques in mechanical, electrical, computerization, and gain an understanding of how these systems work together. Finally, as a certified production technician, students are prepared to begin career opportunities in manufacturing and earn four industry certifications in areas of safety, manufacturing processes and production. This is a hybrid training program that includes training on the integrated systems training equipment to prepare them for occupations in material handling, assembly and production.

To stay connected to industry, the program has several advisory committees made up of industry professionals from the welding, machining, electrical, mechanical, 3D printing and transportation sectors. They also have specific employer-based programs, including First Energy, Swagelok and ArcelorMittal, who have advised the college on customized programs that lead to employment with their companies. Local businesses, such as Cleveland Job Corps, Cleveland Municipal School District, Towards Employment, Boys & Girls Club, Ohio Means Jobs, Ford, General Motors, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, NASA, Arconic, Charter Steel, and others, utilize the program’s services.

The program, says Booker, helps to meet the growing demand for a skilled workforce by “working to strengthen the region by supporting the existing efforts of our partners and by addressing the needs we hear from employers for a skilled workforce. We provide a quick response for new skills by developing new programs and training modalities. We also are working with schools and youth-serving organizations to enhance the talent pipeline that industry needs.” She continues by sharing that the most common challenge that she sees manufacturing facing is “the alignment of skills — commonly referred to as the skills gap. The impact of technology on the industry is also a challenge as industry works to keep up with the growth of technology, and we (as a training institution) work to keep up with the projected needs for skilled workers.”

Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence mechatronics

Golfer hits hole-in-one and wins $10,000 at Euclid Chamber of Commerce outing

On July 21, The Euclid Chamber of Commerce held its annual golf outing at Briardale Greens Golf Course, Euclid, Ohio. Golfers enjoyed a day of golfing, skill shots, skins games, giveaways, prizes, lunch, beverages, a bocce contest, a darts contest and a 19th-hole BBQ.

As a platinum sponsor of the event, HGR Industrial Surplus’ golf foursome of Steve Fischer, Bryan Korecz, Ed Kneitel and Doug Cannon represented us well by finishing in second place with a 13 under 55. They were just two shots off the lead, but it took a $10,000 hole-in-one to knock them out of the running!

HGR golf team at Euclid Chamber outing

The Hole #8 hole-in-one contest was sponsored by Nationwide Insurance’ Hoynes Insurance Agency, Beachwood, Ohio. The hole was a par 3 and 165 yards. David Bruckman made the winning shot. He played on a team with David Lynch, Atty., Tom Daniels and Gary Zehre.

Hole in One winner receiving check at Briardale and Euclid Chamber of Commerce outingEuclid Chamber of Commerce winning team at Briardale Golf Course

That wasn’t the only excitement for the day. One of the golfers, Michael Oliver, Minutemen Staffing, won $100 when he hit the windshield on Hole #1’s annual “Hit the Windshield” contest sponsored by Action CARSTAR, Euclid, Ohio.

Action CARSTAR hole at Briardale Golf Course Euclid Chamber of Commerce outing

Sheila Gibbons, executive director, Euclid Chamber of Commerce, says about the event, “Our annual chamber golf outing is one of our largest events, and we are quite fortunate to have Briardale Greens in our city and their incredible staff here to help us put on this outing.  We enjoyed a great day of golf thanks to our generous sponsors.”

Keep an eye on the chamber’s website or Facebook page for next summer’s golf outing and come join the fun.

Grammar tips: Capitalization

Leonardo DiCaprio capitalization meme

We’ve all seen it and done it in email: gone capitalization crazy. Often, people make many words proper nouns and capitalize things that shouldn’t be. Job titles, for example. WHAT, you say, shouldn’t my job title always be capitalized? Nope. If you’re curious about why, read on. If not, just keep on capitalizing whatever looks good.

When to capitalize

  1. The first word of a sentence: She can’t remember people’s names very well.
  2. Proper nouns and proper adjectives that go with them: Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge
  3. THIS IS A BIG ONE IN WORK EMAIL: Job titles, or any title, when used BEFORE a name, but not an occupation or a job title used after a name:
    1. Head Chef Barry Butterball or Barry Butterball, head chef, makes great appetizers.
    2. My Aunt Mary always brings good gifts or Mary, my aunt, buys gifts.
    3. Everyone supported Governor Smith or Everyone supports Joe Smith, governor of Ohio.
    4. Marketing Manager Angela Bowen or Angela Bowen, marketing manager
    5. Jackie works as a videographer.
    6. The governor attended the conference.
    7. The marketing manager updated the website.
  4. Relatives’ names when used in place of a person’s name: My Mom likes the beach.
  5. Nicknames that serve as a name: I took Junior to the fair.
  6. Geographical regions but not the points of the compass: We live in the Northeast, which is north of Tennessee.
  7. The first word in a quotation: Joey said, “The repairman is always late.”
  8. Course titles but not subjects:
    1. He took Drawing 101 because he is majoring in art.
    2. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
  9. Names of gods, religious figures and holy books: Buddha, Moses, the Koran
  10. Seasons if used in a title but not when used generally: He took a course Spring semester but he plans to take a break during winter.
  11. The first, last and important words in a title. Articles, short prepositions and coordinating conjunctions (an, to, and) are not important words: HGR Is Having a Sale
  12. And other things you probably have figured out: book titles (Moby Dick), places (Brazil, Cleveland, Eiffel Tower, Kent State University), nationalities (German), historical periods and events (the Renaissance, World War I), names of groups and sports teams (the Kiwanis, Cleveland Indians), companies (Nike, Apple), the word “I,” names of planets (the Moon, Earth), street names (Euclid Avenue), days/months/holidays (Friday, July, Christmas), abbreviations (FBI, HGR)

One rule of thumb is to capitalize proper nouns, which are the names of specific people, places, organizations and sometimes things.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Mike Metzger

HGR Buyer Mike Metzger with his son

When did you start with HGR and why?

In 2006, I was working three jobs, and on the side I’d buy air dryers and small compressors from one of the sales guys at HGR, and beat him up on prices regularly. Turns out, Brian Krueger (HGR’s CEO) had recently become an owner, and he needed more salesmen. He gave me a shot at an interview, and shortly after running around for three different employers, I found myself working for one.

What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?

I cover the farthest southeast corner of the U.S. — Georgia, South Carolina, most of Alabama, half of Tennessee, and western North Carolina. If anything ever happens in Florida, I tend to handle those, as well.

What do you like most about your job?

I can set my own schedule and don’t have to be at the same place every day. Exploring such a huge area can be an adventure.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The part I like most is also my biggest challenge. It is a huge, spread out area that I cover. I have a three-year-old at home. I am trying to balance the importance of seeing as much of him as I can, while also being on the road looking at deals to better provide for him. It is a constant juggling act.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

While some strange things have happened when driving around the Deep South as a buyer and some interesting people came through the door when I was a salesman, I’d have to say the most important moment was making the jump from Sales to Buy. My wife hated her job, hated the drive through Cleveland in the winter months, and we were suffering because of it. In a morning sales meeting, Ron Tiedman (HGR’s COO) mentioned that HGR was still trying to hire a Georgia resident to become a buyer for HGR. I called my wife around lunch and asked how she’d feel about me taking a stab at a huge change for us. We never spoke about moving before that call. She agreed that nothing would probably come from it, but it wouldn’t hurt anything to ask about having HGR ship me southerly. I spoke to Rick Affrica (HGR’s chief purchasing officer) that afternoon, since he was visiting the office. I had never spoken with him more than a few sentences before then. Turns out, management was into the idea. A few months later we were listing our house. My environment, job, and life all changed do to a “what the heck, we’ll see if this works” type of decision.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I mostly like playing games with family and friends. Video games, board games, whatever. Been kicking my brother’s butt in Injustice 2 fairly regularly. And of course, spending time with Jameson, my son. He is an amazing little guy. A bit of a jerk sometimes, but I am told that it is a passing thing. Until 12 or so. Then it comes back.

Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?

Wojtek the Soldier Bear. Look him up. One of the biggest badasses in history. AS to why, I have to say, “LOOK HIM UP.”

Private Wojtek the Soldier Bear

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Expediting Department

Expediting Department

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Herm Bailey, HGR’s expediting supervisor)

What does your department do?

As expeditors, we assist all departments. For the Showroom, we will do outs that customers are picking up, pull truck orders and help where needed. For Incoming/Receiving, we clear walls to make room for new items, help offload incoming trucks, set up walls and help run any scrap. For Scrap, we pull, re-itemize and scrap. We also do miscellaneous project work and storage.

How many people work in your department?

There currently are two people in our department, including myself.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

A willingness to adapt as our daily jobs may change quickly, a strong work ethic and a positive attitude

What do you like most about your department?

It’s not boring because it can change as the day goes on.

What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?

While being a small crew, we are always giving input to one another. Communication is key.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

The only changes have been in the way that we transport larger items.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

More suggestions and advice to be even safer in our operations

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

Fast-paced

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

Lower-value items need to be moved quickly since they take up valuable floor space. Sold items need to be picked up as soon as is possible by the customer to keep the items from being damaged by moving surrounding items. The longer something sits, the less value that we can get for it.

HGR partnering in two live and online auctions: July 27 and Aug. 1

auction gavel

Click here for more information, including a catalog of available items, on our two auctions that are being held on July 27 and Aug. 1. We are partnering with Heritage Global Partners for the Impax Laboratories auction and with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers for the Custom Machine Builder auction.

Industrial craftsman creates “things of beauty”

Kevin Morin Eldred Passage boating

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Kevin Morin)

What do you do for a living?

I’m mostly retired. After my divorce, I left the business that I built in the ex-wife’s hands but I’m still a co-owner. Age-wise (later 60s), I have some health-related limitations due to welding work for many years in the oil field. I do CAD work, wood and metal sculpture and some welded aluminum boat work but not 9-5 five days per week.

How did you get into art and making?

I’ve always been interested in drawing from before I went to government school in the 50s. My father introduced me to tool use, and by my teens I’d learned to build models of balsa wood of my own design. In the 70s, I apprenticed with a local welder and then bought my first power supply and began experimenting, learning other modes of welding after starting with stick. As I worked in the trades I realized I could use my trade skills to build art or furniture; so, I began to experiment in those areas- eventually I began to build welded aluminum fishing boats for the local salmon fishery.

What do you design and make?

I’ve designed houses for friends, furniture, sculptural pieces, vehicles for specific tasks, welded aluminum boats from 3-feet long to 36-feet long, and built all these items in wood or metal over the years.

How did you learn to do this?

Most often, I’ve read on a tool use subject, then purchased a modest-cost version of that set of tools from wages, then worked with the tools to increase my skills and finally invested in more sophisticated and higher-precision tools, and that progression was parallel to the quality improvement in my projects. I have worked in the welding trade in both oil and gas as well as boat building, and I did some finished carpentry/joinery in both the commercial and housing market, as well as designing and installing the interior of a few live-aboard-sized boats.

What artists, designers or makers do you most admire?

I don’t know the names of the people whose work I most admire. I may see their work once in a while online (Pinterest) or receive an email with someone’s project pictures. However, I can’t say I really know their names but often can recall their ‘hand’ when I see another piece of that artist’s work.

What inspires you?

Like most people who imagine ideas of objects to build, I have a semi-constant stream of ideas that appear as color 3D images in my mind’s eye. I believe that my ideas come to me from outside my own perception but not sure the source except that is seems to be external. Shape is the primary influence that inspires me. I like flowing streamlined shapes. They appeal to my aesthetic sense of design.

So I’m inspired by the grace of the forms of animals in motion, as well as the grace of the lines of some vehicles or furniture to design and build my take on those flowing forms.

What do you do when you aren’t working or making art?

Not much work these days. Arthritis slows me down. I spend lots of time drawing on the PC using various CAD applications. I’m learning to cook and find that enjoyable to prepare dinners for the family. I read a lot and sketch constantly, as I refine ideas and explore concepts that may be worth building.

What advice do you have for others?

Most industrial-skills-related art that I see online lacks strong design fundamentals. I think the skill of most people doing this work is much higher in the related trade or tool use than in the conception and drawing skills. I’d suggest more time and priority be given to the development of the ideas, forms and content.

What is your personal philosophy?

My philosophy about art is that the creation of physical pieces that originate in our imaginations should be for the enjoyment of the viewer, user, collector. As the builder/maker, I have my own enjoyment of the process from conception to creation; so, once a piece is complete I’d like to have made something that will be a “thing of beauty; forever.”

main pump suction header construction
main pump suction header construction

inside of boat chest and handle wooden eagle panel

When is making and selling products not enough?

waiter and waitress

In manufacturing, we all make and/or sell. That’s a given. But, what differentiates us from the competition? Yes, price, but also those value-added intangibles, including customer service. Remember the days when business was based on service? As business gets more fast-paced and we have to do more with less, often quantity triumphs over quality. We are whipping and cranking it out. “Git er done” has become a catch phrase. But, what about the little things? Often, a live person doesn’t answer the phone anymore. It’s all been automated. But when the customer does reach a human being, how is he or she treated? Are customers made to feel like a burden? Something to be processed so we can move on to the next task, or do we invest in them?

Think about the last time you went out to eat at a sit-down restaurant. You are going out so that you don’t have to cook or clean up and can relax and chat while someone else does the heavy lifting. You want to be taken care of, right? You leave a tip based on how attentive the service is from when you walk in the door. Were you greeted? Seated quickly? Brought a menu? How long did it take for someone to bring you water and take your order? How long until your order came? Was it hot? Did they get the order right if you made substitutions? Did they refill your glass? Was the restroom clean? How long did it take to get the check? Were your leftovers packed properly? Every step in the total experience matters in making a final impression upon you, the customer. We evaluate the quality of the transaction based upon criteria that we set up for each experience. We all “expect” certain things in certain situations in order to feel satisfied.

What do your customers expect of you other than selling them a thingamajig? Do you deliver? What might you do differently? What processes have you implemented that might help others? What changes have you made to improve the customer experience?

 

HGR held a sales-desk design contest, and the winner is…

This spring, HGR’s front office have been torn up with contractors coming and going. Turner Construction quickly gutted and rebuilt HGR’s sales offices to better serve customers. Now, there’s more room, a better flow, a nicer look and feel to the place but the same people you’ve come to depend on.

So, we have a new office with a slick industrial design but with the old, beat-up furniture. What to do about it? Have a contest. Three local industrial furniture designers submitted their amazing prototypes for our Sales staff’s desks: 3 Barn Doors from Avon, Hans Noble Design Co. from Cleveland, and Cleveland Art from Cleveland.

Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors says, “We wanted to try to pull in the rustic industrial vibe while still implementing a clean, smooth, finished top. It’s almost a mix of rustic/industrial with a hint of modern.”

The sales staff voted on the three designs. Cleveland Art’s submission was selected and is in the process of being built. Congrats to all three entrants. The designs were each slick, beautiful, functional and totally HGR. It was a tough choice. All three designers are winners.

Hans Noble Design Co. desk submission for HGR contest
Hans Noble Design Co.
3 Barn Doors desk submission for HGR desk contest
3 Barn Doors
Cleveland Art submission for HGR desk contest
Cleveland Art

Grammar tips: Hyphens

Spider-Man hyphen meme

Even worse than commas and apostrophes, hyphens are a punctuation mark that most people forget to use. You do need to use them in some numbers, between some adjectives and nouns, and after prefixes. Here’s the low down on when!

  • When a number modifies or describes a noun or shows a range
    1. The five-story house or The house has five stories.
    2. An eight-hour work day or He works eight hours per day.
    3. The 10-year-old boy rode his bicycle or The bicycle rider is 10 years old.
    4. Exception: Do not hyphenate percentages or money: 4 percent raise or $30 office copay
    5. You can find the information that you need on pages 5-8.
  • When two adjectives that proceed a noun form a compound adjective that modifies that noun, especially when leaving the hyphen out can cause a change in meaning
    1. He is a long-term employee or He has worked here long term.
    2. She has a much-admired work ethic.
    3. She was worried about the violent-weather alert. (It’s alerting you to violent weather. But without the hyphen, you would be saying the alert is violent. It’s a violent weather alert. It might beat you up.)
    4. Exception: When a modifying word is an adverb (happily married man, individually packaged donuts)
    5. Exception: When some words, over time, become compound (e-mail to email or coffee-house to coffeehouse)
  • With prefixes that need hyphens
    1. I want to re-read the book.
    2. Her ex-landlord returned the deposit.
    3. He had a mullet in the mid-1980s.
    4. I’m enjoying this spring-like weather.
  • And in other rules, including fractions (one-third of the runners), proper nouns (Golden Globe nominee), numbers 21 to 99 (eighty-eight)
  • When in doubt, look it up. Sometimes, it’s just a judgment call or a stylistic requirement, like with Rolls-Royce or Spider-Man

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