Saturday hours changing starting in July

clock with flowers for summer hours

Starting in July, HGR Industrial Surplus will be open only one Saturday per month instead of on every Saturday  as in the past to give employees more time to spend with their families.  Store hours will be 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

We still will be open Saturday, June  25. Our only open Saturday in July will be July 9; so, mark your calendar!

 

Tech, robotic and electronics guru shares about the transfer of ideas

 

Church with Althar Audio sound system

From chatting with him a few times, it is clear that Dennis Althar, president and CEO of Althar Audio (www.altharaudio.com), is one part Renaissance Man, one part self-professed Maker, one part technology fiend with a dash of philosopher thrown in. He is a people person and storyteller extraordinaire with a variety of interests and passions that revolve around technology and electronics.

You have been involved with FIRST Robotics for 13 years. Tell us about your work with them.

I had a friend who was a mentor to one of the schools involved. I found out that they needed someone to inspect the robots to make sure they met specifications. As an inspector, you need experience in electronics or technology. Then, in the last two years, I have worked as a judge. It’s not as technical because you are judging professionalism, interaction, how the team helps other teams, community involvement, the team’s Web page, the safety of its booth, documentation, and its video presentation.

It costs about $25,000 to do a robot. The students have to find mentors and sponsors. Each robot is built from the same basic kit and software but the students write their own code; so, there is opportunity for innovation in the traction system and performance of the robot, and the uniqueness of the idea.

“For inspiration and recognition of science and technology” is what FIRST stands for. Our country graduates about 70,000 engineers per year as compared with 350,000 in India and 600,000 in China (Cse.msu.edu). We need to close that gap.

What is your opinion of STEM versus STEAM programs? 

Art is integral to design. Some things may work and do the same job but the artistry is important and what distinguishes one product from another. For example, there is a difference between one website and another. How does it look and interact with the user? Some design elements to think about that could use improvement:

  • Elevators have the button on the wrong side. Now, there are kiosks with smart technology so that you push the floor button before you get on the elevator. The technology brings the correct elevator that is going up and to that floor.
  • If you turn on the windshield wipers, your car’s headlights should go on.
  • If you only have one printer, it should print immediately when you click “print” instead of having you click to print on the right printer.
  • When you put a CD in the CD player, it should start playing without having to hit “play.”
  • Why are the controls for a shower under the spray head where you need to reach through the freezing or scalding water instead of on the other wall or the side of the shower?

User experience is the art part.

What other student-mentoring opportunities are you involved with? 

I speak at Cuyahoga Community College, Case Western Reserve University and Youth for Christ about careers and electronics since I’ve been doing technology since Apple II’s in the late 70s and electronics since I was five.

Tell us about when your love for technology started.

At age 5, I read books on electronics and science fiction at the library to get away from my home life. I started repairing stereos at about age 6 but never just repaired them; I modified them and improved them. The tubes took time to warm up; so, I would put a solid-state diode across the power switch to make them instant on.

Record players used to have 30 watts with one channel driven and only 20 with both driven. I would take the cartridge and flip one channel’s wires so that one was positive and one negative to change the polarity then flip the wires on one speaker. That way, I was able to get 30 watts per channel with both channels driven rather than 20 basically increasing the power by flipping two wires on each end, one pushing and both pulling back. Technology is about understanding what things do.

Then, I drove a car as a teenager with a knocking rod. This usually blows up within an hour. I pulled the spark plug wire so it wasn’t firing, took off the valve cover, removed the push rods from the intake valves and took the spark plug out so it didn’t suck fuel. The car ran on seven cylinders instead of eight and missed a little on the freeway but I drove it like this for months. I had a broken tie rod end and drove the car backward to get home to get it off the road. You can’t push it forward. Again, it’s knowing how things operate. Going back to the previous question, that’s what STEAM and STEM are: understanding the basic principles of how things work. To design, a person has to have a basic understanding of servicing things and the ability to look at the product as a complete system during its whole lifetime. They have to be able to service it, whether a robot or a TV, to see how things integrate.

How did you get involved in your current line of work, and what did you do in the past? 

I left home when I was 14. A high school guidance counselor turned me onto Upward Bound where I went to college in the summer to be away from my bad home conditions. II was paid a $7 per week stipend and got to live in the dorms in the summertime. I just kept on going from there. I stayed with friends the rest of the time and was emancipated when I was 17. I slept in cars and anywhere I could, and I finished high school.

I also was in a foster home at 8 for about a year. There, I saw a different kind of life and could see possibilities. I was told I would never amount to anything or drive a nice car. I have owned Jaguars, Porsches and a limo. What doesn’t kill you motivates you; it gave me a heart for mentoring and foster programs. Although I knew electronics, I joined the Air Force so others would believe it, and I went through 2.5 years of training in eight weeks.

Out of the Air Force, I got involved with medical equipment and large-system computer equipment repair. Then I started my own business doing graphics systems for Bobbie Brooks; laser equipment for Richmond Brothers; research equipment for General Tire, BFGoodrich and all the rubber companies; and medical electronics repair and sales, Including the first ultrasound machines and heart stress testing. We then went into manufacturing.

I beefed up VCRs to work in cardiac cath labs to take in non-standard video and play it back on the monitors. After working with that ultrasound technology for years, I used it to apply to sound systems.

Tell us how that came about. How are they being used and where? 

I had a separate business selling high-end home theater and laser discs in the 1990s.  After 911, I let the medical stuff go as it went to big network PAC systems moving away from film. I went full time into sound system technology based upon medical technology. I basically retired after 911 and hung out and did fun stuff until three to four years ago.

But I would still repair the things I built and support my customer base. I never want satisfied customers. Satisfied customers go to McDonalds, pay the buck, get a hamburger and are satisfied. They also would buy from Burger King. Loyal customers go to Rally’s, not anywhere else, because they are excited and are evangelists.

Our current markets are churches, gyms, warehouses, factories, football fields and auditoriums. The systems are being used by St. Edwards, Central Catholic, Independence High School, Notre Dame, Gilmour Academy, Beachwood, Warrensville, Ursuline, St. Thomas Aquinas, Western Reserve Academy, Toledo, Riverside High School, Lear Romec Crane, AkzoNobel, Musicians Alex Bevan and Dan Bode, and on mobile billboards as the trucks drive around sporting and political events.

Communications are about getting what’s from my mind to your mind with as little destruction as possible, which you know well if you are married. You need a universal translator from Star Trek so that what goes out of someone’s mouth and into the other person’s ears is in synch. Our mission is to make intelligibility in communications, whether visual or aural. Your brain tries to make things fit to its experience. You can seldom have lossless transfer of ideas.

As an HGR customer, how did you hear about HGR? What do you come here to purchase and why? 

For the deals and because it’s a one-stop shop. If you’re building a maker’s space like Dan Moore at Team Wendy and need a drill press, lathe, vacuum, etc., you can get it all in one place, save money, and keep items from going to landfills and scrapyards. HGR is full of more than just metal; they’ve made it so people can compete who couldn’t afford to buy a $200,000 spray booth. Companies may go out of business but something is still left in the ashes.

I was a customer of HGR’s founder’s prior company. I did work with Reliance Electric. One of its locations was across from that company, and I saw sign about surplus, which is my middle name. This was before the Web, and I wouldn’t have known it existed. It was serendipity, then I found out about HGR from word of mouth. We have bought electronics, lighting, lockers, carts, power supplies boxes, containers, a wire stripper, test equipment for our engineering lab, and material handling equipment. The place is full of too many cool things. For instance, I bought three skids of hardcover foam-lined cases made for ultrasound probes and found a use for them. I bought an ultrasound machine and donated it to The Cleveland Pregnancy Center. Sometimes, I buy an item because it looks cool then find a use for it later on. I seldom buy things that don’t work but if they don’t you can return them. What you guys get is eclectic; it’s like you say, you do sell everything.

National Science Foundation encourages STEM education and careers

STEM infographic
Courtesy of edutopia.org

In the United States, education reform has been underway since the 1990s to prepare our youth to be more globally competitive in their careers by integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subject areas in the curriculum. It was felt that the U.S. has fallen behind its global counterparts in the classroom and that fewer students had been focusing on careers in these fields. As a result, the National Science Foundation coined the STEM acronym and began encouraging an implementation program in the schools, and in 2009 President Obama’s administration announced the “Educate to Innovate” campaign to inspire students to excel in STEM subjects and teachers to educate in these subjects in order to move American students from the middle of the pack to the top of the international arena. (1)

There also is an effort to attract women and minorities to STEM careers. This website has audio files of women who work in President Obama’s administration talking about their personal female heroes from STEM fields in order to encourage young women to pursue a career in the sciences.

 

(1) Horn, Elaine. “What is STEM education?” Livescience.com. Web. 19 April, 2016.

Historical marker erected to dedicate landmark zoning case

Historical marker ribbon cutting

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Allison Lukacsy, community projects manager, City of Euclid)

On a gorgeous late spring afternoon on June 9, 2016, the City of Euclid and the Euclid Landmarks Commission dedicated an Ohio Historical Marker at the Euclid Police Mini-Station on HGR Industrial Surplus’ property at 20001 Euclid Avenue, Euclid, Ohio, to formally recognize the site at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court case The Village of Euclid vs. Ambler Realty Co. (1926).  

Euclid v Ambler Realty is known nationally for establishing the constitutionality of zoning and land-use regulations throughout the country. The subject property consisted of roughly 68 acres of land located between Euclid Avenue and the Nickel Plate Rail Line. The site ultimately was developed for industrial purposes during World War II.

Today, the historic property is owned by HGR Industrial Surplus, which operates an industrial supply showroom and distribution center at the site. The Cuyahoga County Land Bank helped facilitate HGR’s purchase of the property through foreclosure, and now the site has a bright future, with HGR investing millions and attracting major new tenants. The site also is home to the NEO Sports Plant and the Euclid Police Mini-Station.

The dedication featured a keynote address by Paul Oyaski, former mayor of the City of Euclid, and remarks by Ohio House District 8 Representative Kent Smith and Ohio Senate District 25 Senator Kenny Yuko. In his address, Oyaski painted a picture of Northeast Ohio circa 1926 and made fascinating the details of both the local and Supreme Court cases.

In her welcome address, Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail commended the Euclid Planning Commission for continuing the legacy of thoughtful planning in Euclid as well as the Landmarks Commission that helped prepare the marker application.

A representative from the Ohio History Connection delivered a proclamation to kick off the ribbon cutting by city officials, council and committee members, and representatives from the American Planning Association.

The marker purchase and dedication event were made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association, the Cleveland Section of the American Planning Association, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP and a grant from the Ohio History Connection – Historical Markers Program.

The Euclid Historical Society and Museum, 21129 North Street, Euclid, Ohio, is a great place to visit and learn more about the Euclid v Ambler Realty case and the rich history of the City of Euclid.

The Village of Euclid vs. Ambler Realisty historical marker

Marker text:

By 1922, the Ambler Realty Company of Cleveland owned this site along with 68 acres of land between Euclid Avenue and the Nickel Plate rail line. Upon learning of the company’s plans for industrial development, the Euclid Village Council enacted a zoning code based on New York City’s building restrictions. Represented by Newton D. Baker, former Cleveland mayor and U.S. Secretary of War under Woodrow Wilson, Ambler sued the village claiming a loss of property value. In 1926, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Euclid and upheld the constitutionality of zoning and land-use regulations by local governments. The federal government eventually acquired the Ambler site during World War II to build a factory to make aircraft engines and landing gear. From 1948 to 1992, the site was used as a production facility by the Fisher Body Division of General Motors.

Euclid Chamber hosted luncheon and celebrated Lake County Captains’ victory

Lake County Captains at Classic Park

On June 8, 36 baseball (and Euclid Chamber of Commerce) fans attended the chamber’s luncheon at Classic Park, 35300 Vine Street, Eastlake, Ohio, to root on the Lake County Captains. A good time was had by all as we watched them bring home a victory at 14-12 against the Lancing Lugnuts. The Captains have been a minor-league Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians as part of the Midwest League since 2009.

Lake County Captains mascot
Tami Honkala, president & CEO of HELP Foundation, with Lake County Captains mascots

 

“Before” photos: HGR continues building improvements

New offices and client entrance
Administrative offices and visitor entrance
Leadership and supervisor offices
Leadership and supervisor offices with new steel truss
Kitchen at HGR Industrial Surplus
Kitchen and restrooms

On May 9, Turner Construction, Special Projects Division, broke ground on an interior fit out of 13,000 square feet in the back of HGR Industrial Surplus’ showroom for future use as executive and administrative offices, conference rooms, a kitchen, and restrooms with locker room and shower facilities. Included in the buildout is a new sprinkler system, HVAC system, interior finishes, corridor to connect with the showroom, and a back entrance for business guests. The architectural drawings were designed by Vocon; and construction is targeted for completion in August.

According to Jason Spieth, superintendent with Turner SPD, “The biggest challenge thus far was the coordination of the air handler in the mezzanine area because the lead time for it is 10-12 weeks, which is almost the same duration as the project. Also, it’s location is in the middle of the building; so, we would’ve needed a massive crane to set it through the roof, which would have cost a substantial amount. We elected to drive it into the building and lift it into place, instead. The downside here is that until it is set, we can’t complete some of the finishes in the kitchen area. Other than that, we haven’t had too much trouble.”

The area housed prior tenant, Paintball City. Due to a truss that was collapsing, a new steel beam was installed in the roof. Prior to HGR purchasing the building, the city was talking about closing the building due to a concern that the truss would crush a gas line. HGR purchased the building in 2014, shored up the truss and has replaced it, as can be seen in the photo below.

When it’s finished, we will be sure to show you the “after” photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HGR’s Austin office begins training for Austin Fit Company Challenge

Man and women in fitness training

In 2015, HGR’s Austin office entered two teams that placed fifth in the Fittest Companies Micro category, qualifying for the Wall of Champions, and came in second in the Fittest Professionals, Course 3, Level 1. There were 400 participants from 30 companies. Each team consists of three to four members who compete in a three-course fitness challenge.

Once again, the Austin office is up for the challenge and six people have begun twice-per-week group training, with a current focus on strength training, for the Sept. 10 event to take place at Zilker Park (Barton Jaycee Complex). The strength training consists of doing burpees, situps, pushups and mountain climbers each for one minute, rotating nonstop for 20 minutes. Each participant also is encouraged to walk or run on his or her own time for four to six miles per week. The number of reps and time per training will increase every four weeks. That’s dedication!

If you plan to be in Austin, please root them on! We’ll keep you posted on the results.

 

Ohio historical marker to be dedicated June 9 at HGR’s site

Zoning map with green houses

You are invited to The City of Euclid’s Ohio historical marker dedication on June 9 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio. This event commemorates the 90th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case of The Village of Euclid vs. Ambler Realty Co.

According to an article on Wikipedia, “It was the first significant case regarding the relatively new practice of zoning, and served to substantially bolster zoning ordinances in towns nationwide in The United States and in other countries.”

This tract of land remained undeveloped for 20 years until the construction of an aircraft plant during World War II and, later, a GM Fisher Body plant. This site now is the home of HGR Industrial Surplus.

A reception with light refreshments will follow. Please register at:

www.ohioplanning.org/euclidvamblerdedication

NEO Sports Plant to build four indoor sand volleyball courts

Men playing indoor sand volleyball

The 60,000-square-foot NEO Sports Plant (www.neosportsplant.com), owned by Rodger Smith, opened May 1 in the site of the former Euclid Sports Plant at 20001 Euclid Avenue in the Nickel Plate Station building behind HGR Industrial Surplus. Smith already has begun renovations, including painting and carpeting the office, cleaning the entire facility, and renovating the bathrooms and locker rooms. He will host a grand reopening in September.

In the meantime, the facility remains open during the summer for youth and adult clinics, camps, tournaments, and private or group lessons on six indoor volleyball courts and four indoor basketball courts. The courts are available for rental to organizations, for business/corporate events, and for private parties and events on a year-round basis.

Smith says that a group of friends or coworkers can form a six-person volleyball team and play for a nine-week session plus two-week playoffs for a around $200 per team plus ref fees. There will be fall, winter and spring leagues. He also plans to start a girls’ J.O. volleyball club where, he says, “Students and parents can get to meet people they never would have met and develop new friendships.” In addition, he would like to see corporate sponsorships of a youth program or individual sponsorships of an underprivileged youth.

The facility also has a weight room for athletic training and conditioning run by Mac Stephens, former NFL linebacker with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Heights head football coach. His team works out here, and college talent scouts have frequented the facility.

There are major improvements in the works. In Phase II, Smith plans to convert the existing baseball area into four indoor sand volleyball courts in time for the grand re-opening. The closest place to play indoor sand volleyball is in Columbus. NEO will be the third facility in Ohio, including Columbus and Cincinnati, but the only one to offer both indoor volleyball and sand volleyball at one facility.

Smith is seeking a grant to dress up the storefront and working to get a liquor license in order to open a bar and grill for participants.

When asked about his lifelong love of sports, he says, “My parents said I would shoot a basket in my crib, and when it would fall out I would start crying.” He played basketball in junior high and high school and football in high school. He got involved with volleyball as a senior in high school and, according to him, “It became an addiction.”

From 2003-2014 he worked in many roles with a facility in Eastlake. In the beginning it was Club Ultimate. When he started with Club Ultimate there were only four outdoor sand courts and about 60 teams. By 2009, he was able to put four indoor courts to go along with the sand courts. In 2010, One Wellness Sports and Health took over the facility. Smith started as an employee and eventually leased space from them to start his own business. From 2010-2014 indoor leagues grew from 60 to 180 teams, and they added two outdoor sand courts. In February 2014, Force Sports bought the business from One Wellness, and Smith became their employee. During the next year and a half he worked with Force to implement their programs. After building the adult volleyball program to 250 indoor teams and more than 300 sand teams, they parted ways. That’s where HGR came into play.

He knew Ron Tiedman, HGR’s chief production operations officer and co-owner, who was a member at One Wellness and whose daughter played for the J.O. volleyball club that practiced there. Smith also was a customer of HGR. Tiedman called him after HGR bought its building to see if Force wanted to expand into the area. It did not.

In April 2016, Smith decided to branch out onto his own, Tiedman put him in touch with the owner of Euclid Sports Plant. Smith bought the business, changed the name, invested in the facility and is committed to bringing volleyball and basketball to youth and adults in the region. He says, “I put people and the game before business without hurting the business.” Smith and his team plan to put in the same work ethic as he did to build the previous business and is excited and thankful for the opportunity to do it again.

Business partners make home furnishings using wood and metal

 

Stimpson table by Railside Creationsworktable bench by Railside Creations

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alan Maslar, co-owner, Railside Creations)

Railside Creations, opened in early 2016 by friends Alan Maslar and Chuck Schilling, makes unique furniture pieces and home accessories using wood and metal. Their inspiration comes from classic and modern designs, as well as the natural beauty in wood itself. Maslar had previously been a woodworker for local custom shops where he made a wide variety of furniture, cabinets, and millwork for luxury residences. Exotic woods, veneers, and radius work are some of his specialties. Schilling was employed by the City of Mentor to make exhibits and displays for fairs and Mentor CityFest, while building musical instruments as a hobby on the side. The lack of their individual creativity in their previous jobs motivated them to move and start on their own.

Their vision and approach leads the duo to brainstorming sessions and some design-on-the-fly situations. Many of their pieces are created utilizing re-purposed equipment from HGR Industrial Surplus. Newer technologies, such as AutoCAD and CNC machining also are used by Railside. For several years, their thought process has naturally been aligned with those individuals who have been a part of the Makers Movement, whether Alan and Chuck knew it or not. Using parts and processes different than their intent definitely drives both of these guys in a lot of what they do. In addition to their in-house designed pieces, they also work with customers to help bring their visions to reality.

Maslar and Schilling make sure a trip to HGR is at minimum a monthly excursion. The items they purchase are not usually what you would expect from a couple of woodworkers. “The stock is constantly changing and some pieces just jump out at you as great platforms to build ideas around. We bought an old riveting machine and components from it were the foundation for several pieces of furniture we’ve made. The vast rotating inventory and low prices keep us coming back.” HGR is a great place to outfit most any manufacturing facility; the guys at Railside see it as a place for materials and inspiration.

To view and purchase items made by Railside Creations, visit www.railsidecreations.com, or visit them on Facebook.

Riveter purchased at HGR Industrial Surplus
Riveter purchased at HGR

 

HGR open May 28

Memorial Day poppy

Although we are closed on Memorial Day to remember those who died while serving in our armed forces, we will be open on Saturday, May 28 during our normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please have a safe Memorial Day Weekend.

What type of employer is HGR? Employee vlog

To continue our series on “What type of employer is HGR,” we decided to let you hear it directly from our more-recent as well as long-standing employees from all over the country in a variety of positions throughout the organization. Here’s what they had to say about why they joined and why they stay, unscripted and off the cuff:

What’s it like where you work? What is your ideal work environment? What’s the best experience that you ever had at one of your jobs?

Contact (Name of Sales Rep)







Your Name*
Your Email Address*
Confirm Your Email Address*
Your Phone Number
Company Name
Item Number
Your Message*

Contact (Name of Sales Rep)







Your Name*
Your Email Address*
Confirm Your Email Address*
Your Phone Number
Company Name
Item Number
Your Message*