What Type of Employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Showroom Department

HGR's Showroom Department team

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Rich Lash, HGR’s Showroom supervisor)

What does your department do?

The Showroom is the last chance to make sure things are displayed properly and as nice for the customer as possible. We think that keeping things orderly helps in the sale of the piece. Our goal is to take care of the customer in the best way possible.

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

The Showroom has seven employees. Our jobs consist of many different things: clearing walls of new inventory and taking it out to the showroom floor. We also are responsible for loading customers with the pieces that they have purchased, from 20 pounds to 40,000 pounds and more. Each Showroom employee is trained to treat each piece as if it is theirs.

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

It starts with basic forklift operator skills, and by the time training is done, the forklift operator will be chaining, lifting and loading pieces with a 30,000-pound forklift with very little assistance from others.

What do you like most about your department?

We like dealing with the customer and trying to be the best at what we do and who we are.

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

HGR is remodeling different areas of the building, from repairing the roof to a new locker room and, soon, a new sales office. Each time, everyone has to help by moving things out of the way so work can be done. It is hard at times but the end result is great because the improvements are worth it. We have come a long way from the early days of HGR when there were 11 employees.

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

Well, before eBay, we had a lot more customer walk-in traffic, which sometimes made it difficult to get through the showroom with sold pieces for customers. Since eBay, it seems that sales have gone up but customer traffic has gone down, which makes it easier to get through the showroom.

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

I think training is the key to making things better in the showroom and in every department, for that matter. Knowing your product and how to treat it and display it sure makes a difference.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR has been a very pleasant and enjoyable place to work over the years. The people I work with and the people I work for are just great. I have never worked for a company that tries to make their employees feel good with company picnics, gift cards, rewards and a holiday party like HGR has. They also have a profit-sharing program for the employees that sets them apart from other companies.

Cleveland Job Corps needs help starting a manufacturing technologies training program that will feed area manufacturers with a skilled workforce

HGR lathe

The WorkRoom Program Alliance, part of the Dan T. Moore Company, is partnering with Cleveland Job Corps, Coit Road, Cleveland, Ohio, to create a manufacturing center at the Job Corps facility in order to offer manufacturing technologies training. This is about workforce development and creating a skilled workforce, folks! Something that every manufacturer I know worries about: filling those vacancies with skilled labor.

Here is their needs list so that they can align with federal standards. As you can see from the list of equipment, this is a seriously valuable program for local manufacturing.

Can you or anyone you know help? HGR is checking its showroom to see what we have that would be suitable, but I’m sure other organizations in the area might be able to make an equipment or financial donation to get this program off the ground. Contact Gina at HGR if you can help: gtabasso@hgrinc.com.

Quantity Equipment
1 Comparator
1 Drill Press
1 Drill, Electric, Portable DWT
2 Gauge, Height RUT
1 Grinder, Bench, Electric
4 Grinder, Die, Pneumatic
3 Grinder, Die, Pneumatic
1 Grinder, Metal, Floor, Electric BAL
1 Grinder, Metal, Floor, Electric FALCON
1 Grinder, Metal, Universal SHOP FOX
1 Grinder, Portable, Electric DELTA
3 Grinder, Portable, Electric DUM
1 Grinder, Surface CHEV
1 Lathe, Computer Programmable
1 Lathe, Metal, Engine, Permanent
2 Lathe, Metal, Engine, Sliding Gap KIN
1 Lathe, Metal, Engine, Solid Bed ACR
1 Lathe, Metal, Engline, Permanent ACE
2 Lathe, Metal, Engline, Permanent JET
1 Machine, Bending CHI
1 Machine, Forming PEX
1 Milling Machine, Computer Programmable EMC
1 Milling Machine, Computer Programmable INT
1 Milling Machine, Computer Programmable TEC
1 Milling Machine, Computer Programmable TEC
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical ACE (1)
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical ACE (2)
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical ACR (1)
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical ACR (2)
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical DAY
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical FALCON
3 Plate, Surface, Stone
1 Router PTR CBL
2 Sander, Portable, Orbital SKIL
1 Saw, Circular, Portable, Electric DWT
1 Saw, Metal Cutting, Band WIL
1 Saw, Metal Cutting, Circular MIL
1 Saw, Reciprocating PTR
1 Sharpener, Drill Bits OTMT
1 Vacuum, Wet/Dry
   
 
Quantity Technology
1 Combination TV/VCR/DVD
1 SMART Board technology
1 3D Printer
15 Scientific calculators, such as TI-30xa
   
Quantity Furniture
12 Student Desks
12 Student Chairs
2 Student Computer Work Station
1 Instructor Desk
1 Instructor Chair
 
Quantity Hand Tools
  QA and Measuring Tools
10 Set of 1″ Mics, 6″ dial calipers and 6″ scale
1 6″ digital calipers
10 Metric scales
1 Gage blocks, 81 pc. Set, grade B
2 Surface plate, 18 x 24, lowest grade
1 Surface plate, 24 x 36″ with stand
2 Height gages, vernier
2 Height gages, 12″ dial
3 Angle plate
1 Plug gage set from .011 to .500″
5 Holder for plug gages, to make go/no-go gages
2 Machinist square
6 Combination square
10 Tape measures
5 Drop indicators with magnetic stand and 22 pc set of points
3 Vee blocks, set of 2
3 Test indicator set
3 Radius gages, set covers 1/32 to 1/2
1 Set of 5 micrometers covering range of 1″ to 6″
2 Thread gages for 1/4-20 UNC-2B, for NIMS benchwork project
1 Optical Comparator, 14″, new, with Fagor Digital Readout and cabinet, Suburban Tool
1 Stage center for Optical comparator, MV14-CTR
1 Estimated equipment shipping costs
  Metalworking Tools
5 Scriber
5 Hammer, ballpeen, 8 oz
1 Parallels for milling vise set
1 Milling vise, TTC, swivel base, 6″ wide jaws, opens 5-1/2″, wt. 100#
1 Vise, angle, for drill press
10 Allen wrenches, set
5 Oil cans, small
12 Files, mill
12 Files, rattail
12 Files: bastard
20 File handles
1 Tap and die sets, including wrenches
2 Hammer, ballpen, 16 oz
5 Power hand grinders, (Makita)
1 Drills, complete 1 to 60, A to Z, 1/64 to 1/2″, set
5 Reamers, for specific projects
5 Dead blow hammer
3 Bench vises
4 Worktables
8 C-clamps, assorted sizes, 2 of each
10 Eye loupes
1 Tapping head for drill press w/ collets
5 Prick punch
1 Soft jaws for vise
1 Drill chuck for milling machine, for NIMS
2 Magnetic base for indicator
1 Millermatic 210 MIG welder
1 Miller Synchrowave 180, TIG welder
1 MSC 3-in-1 metalforming machine
   
Quantity Personal Protective Equipment
1 SDS “Right to Know Station” and HMIS labels
1 Red can for rags
2 Fire extinguishers, recharble for student practice
1 Eye wash station
1 First aid kit
1 Lock out/tag out kit with forms and 10 booklets
1 Spill clean up kit and additional “snakes” and oil-dry
1 Hand washing facilities
   
Quantity Consumable items
1 First aid supplies
1 Red and green labels, for good and bad parts
3 Layout dyes
1 Dye remover
20 Hacksaw blades
3 Replacement files: bastard, mill, rattail
5 Handles for files
1 Replacement files: bastard, mill, rattail
5 Deburring tools, countersinks
1 Metal for projects, should be donated but if have to purchase
2 6″ buffing/polishing wheels, for pedestal grinder
50 Discs for hand power grinder/sander, abrasive
20 Discs for hand power grinder/sander, polishing
10 Cutoff wheels for hand power grinder
1 Sandpaper, sheets: series of rough to fine
20 Scotch-brite pads, medium and fine
1 Oil, lubricating
3 Cutting fluid (tap magic)
1 Surface plate cleaner
2 Stones for surface plate
1 Sharpening or replacing reamers
3 Recharging fire extinguishers
1 Misc
1 Shipping
1 Curriculum, workbooks, and certification testing
Quantity Other Items
1 Annual Contracted Machine Maintenance, Service & Repair

HGR drill press

Call for industrial artists to deck out HGR’s offices!

metal armour with rusty gears and cogs artwork

As you may know or have read about in past blogs, HGR has invested in building out a new back office for executives, HR, payroll and other internal departments. It is designed with manufacturing and industry in mind. We also will be starting a complete renovation of our front Sales office where customers come in to make purchases and drivers come to pick up loads for delivery. That project is expected to be complete late this summer.

We need some two- and three-dimensional art for the walls, a clock, a coat rack, an A/V stand and other items that keep to the industrial theme, including machinery, our building’s history, Nickel Plate Road railway, etc. We have lots of machinery badges, blueprints and equipment schematics that we would like to display. Like any office, we need art, decorations, plant stands, and functional items.

I know that we have many artist and maker customers who shop here for material and inspiration. If you want to showcase your work and get some notice by the people who walk in our doors every day, contact Gina at gtabasso@hgrinc.com with photos, proposals or ideas, or give her a call. We have a modest budget; so, we are looking for lesser-known artists and makers who just want to be part of HGR’s future. We can trade store credit or marketing services, too!

 

Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society donation for convention luncheon

HGR donation to Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society for annual convention luncheon
Chuck Klein, NKPHTS convention chairman, with Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer

On Sept. 28 – 30, The Nickel Plate Road Historical and Technical Society (NKPHTS) is hosting its annual convention in Cleveland, one of the stops on the Nickel Plate Road railroad, which connected New York, Chicago and St. Louis. If you missed it, you can learn more about the society in this 2015 HGR blog. HGR’s current facility was one of the Cleveland stops on the line where GM’s Fisher Auto Body Plant used the railroad to transport automobile bodies to Detroit. You can read about the history of the site on this past blog.

So, why are we talking about an event that doesn’t take place until September? Well, because pulling off a convention takes planning, and Chuck Klein, NKPHTS’ convention chairman, is running the show. On March 7, he visited HGR’s showroom in Euclid to pick up his “check” for $1,000, donated by HGR. Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer, is a member of NKPHTS. And, HGR cares about preserving the heritage of its site, which was an important part of the war effort and industrialization in Cleveland.

Williams joined the society because his grandfather worked in Nickel Plate’s Canton, Ohio, railyard, and his father, an electrical engineer, was The Orville Railroad Heritage Society’s president. While Klein, a retired optician, is a model railroad enthusiast and a committee member for the National Model Railroad Association, which is how he came by the job of convention chairman.

Klein says, “We almost didn’t do the luncheon because it wasn’t financially feasible, but with the donation from HGR to cover the room rental, we were able to pull it off.” And, pull it off in style they will do. The society is shuttling convention attendees from The Holiday Inn South Cleveland — Independence to The Terminal Tower with a special stop along the way. A visit to the tower’s observation deck also is planned. The topic of the luncheon presentation will be “From Chicago World’s Fair to Cleveland’s Public Square: the Story of the Terminal Tower.”

For lovers of Cleveland history, especially of Public Square, Klein provides a wealth of information. I learned more in an hour with him about the history of the buildings on Public Square and the Van Sweringen brothers who built them than I’ve learned in my (ahem) undisclosed number of years on this planet where I’ve lived in Cleveland since birth. He recommended the book Invisible Giants: The Empires of Cleveland’s Van Sweringen Brothers by Herbert H. Harwood Jr. It’s now on my Goodreads list!

If you are interested in joining the society or attending the convention, you can get more information on the society’s website. We’ll be at the luncheon looking for you!

 

Euclid High School Robotics Team’s battle bot build update

Euclid High School robotics students working at a drill press
Euclid High School robotics students working at a drill press

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bob Torrelli, Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach, Euclid High School)

Heading into competition Apr. 29 at the Alliance for Working Together’s RoboBots competition at Lakeland Community College, Euclid High School’s team and coach are hard at work. The frame and the armor are complete. The wheels are on, and the skids are mounted in the front. The weapon and axle are being finalized this week and, hopefully, mounted. We will then mount and attach the motor for the weapon. We need to make sure we have the correct fly wheels and belts. Then we need to run the inside electronics. We are continually doing quality inspections before proceeding to the next step so that the robot holds up this year in competition. We should be complete in about two more weeks, then five to six weeks of testing and tweaking.

The students asked for one of the titanium rail holes to be enlarged, and Gary (pictured in photo) gave them a lesson on what it takes to properly enlarge the hole evenly and proportionally. They also gained experience using a band saw, a jigsaw and many other tools that they had never explored before.

Go Team Euclid! HGR Industrial Surplus is a sponsor for Euclid High School’s team and encourages youth to choose careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including manufacturing, welding, machining and other high-tech trades.

Enter to win HGR’s “Guess what it is” Facebook contest

HGR's Guess what it is Facebook contest photo

Do you know which piece of equipment in our showroom this close-up photo is of? If so, enter our March “Guess What It Is Contest!” You can find anything at HGR, including this. But what is it? Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by midnight, Monday, March 13. If your guess is correct, you’ll have a be entered into a random drawing to win a special HGR T-shirt! The winner will be announced here on our blog and on Facebook.

HGR offers $2,000 STEM scholarship to Euclid High School senior

HGR Industrial Surplus Scholarship Application

2017 HGR Industrial Surplus STEM Scholarship

HGR Industrial Surplus Inc. annually awards a scholarship to a high school senior who has been accepted by an institution of higher education for the next academic year to pursue a degree or certification in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) field. This includes, but is not limited to, the fields of engineering, engineering technology, electrical, mechanical, welding, manufacturing, or construction. This year, one student from Euclid High School will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship.

Scholarship guidelines are as follows:
1. The applicant must be active in any facet of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math).
2. The applicant must be in good academic standing at his or her high school.
3. The applicant should be a senior.
4. The applicant must be accepted into an institution of higher education or a trade or technical school for the next academic year.
5. Financial need will be considered.

Those applying for the HGR Industrial Surplus scholarship should submit the following materials when applying:
1. A completed scholarship application.
2. A 350-word autobiography.
3. A 350-word statement explaining why this scholarship is important to you, including your financial need.
4. A minimum of one letter of reference. Up to three letters of reference will be accepted. Letters of reference should be from teachers, counselors, coaches, employers, mentors, etc. rather than from family or friends.
5. Scholarship Submission Deadline: All materials should be submitted here by April 15, 2017.

Local, no-cost, residential-training program graduates skilled workers

Cleveland Job Corps graduation

    The background

Are you aware of a skilled-workforce resource in your own backyard that can help your business fill positions or help someone you know get no-cost job training? At 13421 Coit Road, in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland, there are a bunch of yellow buildings behind a fence that look like a small college campus or a military base. They house Cleveland Job Corps offices and classrooms, its 100 employees and space for 346 residents, aged 16-24.

In 1964, as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty program, which also included Head Start, Job Corps began repurposing and renovating former military installations into dormitories and classrooms.

The current Cleveland location is the third in the area and was built in 2007-2008. The first was on Ansel Road near Martin Luther King Blvd. The second was in the Tudor Arms Hotel on Carnegie Ave. There are 126 Job Corps locations in the United States with at least one in every state. In Ohio, there are three locations: Cleveland, Dayton and Cincinnati.

Owned by The U.S. Department of Labor, the facilities are operated by private contractors. Serrato Corporation of Tucson, Arizona has operated the Cleveland facility since 2012, in addition to Blue Ridge, Virginia, and is a subcontractor at the Charleston, West Virginia, facility.

Mr. William Houston has been the Cleveland center’s director since 2012. He has been with Job Corps for 17 years and is a Dayton, Ohio, native. He says, “We have evolved from an organization that was perceived as a last-ditch effort if a student didn’t finish high school and have shifted to a residential vocational-training center for. We are seeing more students who finished high school and who want to take advantage of free technical career training. Often, students were homeless because of the current trend of couch surfing or crashing temporarily with family and friends. They usually have had jobs but want a career and don’t want to pay $10,000-20,000 for a college training program.”

How it happens

There are five phases to the program:

  1. Outreach and recruitment
  2. Career preparation orientation (60 days receiving employability skills, customer service coaching and an array of self-assessments, as well as basic certifications, including information technology skills and program-placement assessments)
  3. Career development (six months to one year of training in the facility, offsite at Cuyahoga Community College and in work-based training internships; all transportation is provided)
  4. Career transition (one to two months prior to leaving, students work with staff to develop a departure plan while obtaining employability certificates and credentials , as well as resume and portfolio preparation)
  5. Student placement services for up to 1.5 years from graduation (centers are held by the government to a 92-percent placement goal for graduating students, which includes employment, the military, a college or advanced training)

During their time in the program, students receive free housing, basic medical care, meals, education, training, entertainment and recreation, and a biweekly living-allowance stipend that some save in order to become independent. They also are exposed to a positive normative culture with a zero-tolerance policy (no drugs or alcohol, bullying, violence, weapons or arrests). Students can go home on the weekends and during the holidays. They are drug tested upon admission.

The program is self-paced; so, students can start any day of the year and graduate all year long, not in a set semester-style like other schools. Last year, Cleveland had an 89-percent placement rate. But, to keep that percentage high, they need the help of local companies.

What’s in it for employers

The Job Corps screens graduates and works with employers as a pipeline for graduate placement. The organization produces future workers and feeds the workforce with well-trained, motivated, entry-level employees. Employers can provide students with the training that they need while, at the same time, giving the student a “trial run” in a paid or unpaid internship. When students graduate, many companies end up hiring them because the students already have basic safety skills, life skills, industry certifications and on-the-job training, unlike hiring someone from a temporary or job-placement agency.

Some of the local companies that have benefited by hiring graduates include Donley’s Construction, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, John Carroll University, Swagelok and Pipefitters.

The Cleveland facility trains students in four industries: advanced manufacturing (facilities maintenance, machine technology and welding), construction (heavy equipment operator, bricklaying and carpentry), health care (child care development, clinical medical assistant, medical administrative assistant, nurse assistant/home health aide, emergency medical technician), and security and protective services. Job Corps currently is partnering with Dan T. Moore Company and Workroom Program Alliance to equip a welding and machine shop on campus so that students do not need to travel to Tri-C.

In closing, Houston says, “We want to increase awareness that there’s a training facility preparing young adults for the workforce right here in Cleveland at no cost to the student. Our mission is to get young adults ready, and they are willing and able. These are the youth who stood up and decided to be proactive. They’re here, not on the streets. They have the skills, training, education and drive to become your next great employee.”

If you’re interested in partnering with Cleveland Job Corps, you can contact Harriet Hadley, business community liaison, at 216-541-2526 or Hadley.Harriet@jobcorps.org.

Cleveland Job Corps facility maintenance studentCleveland Job Corps carpentry studentCleveland Job Corps bricklaying studentsCleveland Job Corps brick student1

Cornell University alumni and MAGNET partner to host manufacturing seminar

Cornell Club of Northeastern Ohio logo

On Feb. 21, The Cornell Club of Northeastern Ohio sponsored a gathering at MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network) to learn about “Manufacturing and the Future of Work in Northeast Ohio.” The event was attended by Cornell alumni, as well as interested parties from area educators and businesses.

MAGNET’s Linda Barita, director of strategic alliances, led the discussion and was joined by Mike O’Donnell, VP of operations, and Dave Pierson, lead engineer and head of additive and 3D printing. 

Highlights of the discussion revolved around data from the 2017 NEO Manufacturing Survey conducted by MAGNET and its partners, The Corporate University and Kent State University at Stark.

The survey showed that manufacturers are concerned about three main issues: rising costs of healthcare, attracting and retaining qualified workers, and government policies and regulations.

The focus of the discussion revolved around attracting a skilled workforce, with a focus on students in high school. Although traditional high school internships have been for juniors or seniors, Pierson says he now is recruiting freshman so that he can offer them training for four years prior to graduation. He states that the interns are well prepared to join the workforce after four years of training and adapt easily to their new jobs.

The question remains around training for adults whose jobs vanished during the 2008 recession. In an article The Plain Dealer, Olivera Perkins reports, “Six of the 10 occupations losing the most jobs were moderate or higher-paying. They included executive secretaries and administrative assistants; business operation specialists, including brokers; and most secondary-school teaching positions.” She continues by stating that “the two fastest-growing occupations were lower-paying: food preparation and serving workers, with a median hourly pay of $8.71, and home health aides, at $9.18 an hour.” (Perkins, 1) This problem has increased the number of “working poor” in our community.

How can we, as a community, offer adults in the community who have found themselves on the sidelines of the job market with the opportunity to learn the skills needed in today’s manufacturing environment? It will take partnerships between the manufacturing industry, educators, government, and those, like myself, who work in the field of Industrial and labor relations, to create employment opportunities that will afford an employee with the opportunity to earn enough money to support him or herself.

Works Cited

Perkins, Olivera. (2012, Sept. 3). “Jobs with mid-range pay are disappearing from the Cleveland area labor market.” Retrieved
from:
http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/09/decent_paying_jobs_disappearin.html

 

Euclid’s goal: Make the city a first-choice suburban location

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Paula Maggio, PR specialist with HGR Industrial Surplus)

The goal of Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail is to make Euclid a first-choice suburban location, a goal that she shared at Tizzano’s Party Center on Feb. 22 during the State of the City Address hosted by the Euclid Chamber of Commerce.

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail gives the 2017 State of the City Address during the Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Tizzano’s Party Center on Feb. 22.

Key items required to turn that goal into a reality include: growing the business base by building strong relationships with the business community and continuing city-business partnerships, making safety a priority, and improving services to residents — all things that are in progress now, according to the mayor.

Planning with public input

To this end, Mayor Holzheimer Gail said the city began updating its community master plan last year and is creating a steering committee that will include public input. The city will complete the planning process in 2017 by outlining goals and objectives and identifying the resources needed to realize them.

The next meeting regarding the process is April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Central Middle School, and the public is invited.

Improving housing

“The City of Euclid is committed to improving its existing housing stock,” she said. A housing operations plan has been developed to strengthen rental compliance. In addition, the city is conducting a housing inventory.

Potential home buyers are receiving help, too. Down payment assistance is available to eligible homeowners, as well as a Heritage Home Loan Program.

All of this helped median single family home prices increase by 20 percent in 2016, the fifth year in a row they have increased, according to the mayor.

Full house

Tizzano’s was full for the mayor’s address, with guests meeting, mingling, and networking before and after her speech.

Kacie Armstrong, director of the Euclid Public Library, shared information about the library’s new acquisitions with the guests at her table during the Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Feb. 22.
Euclid Chamber of Commerce events are about networking — and Kristina Swann of Quality Ribbons and Supplies made the rounds before lunch was served.
Ann Miller and Sheila Gibbons, executive director of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce, checked in guests at the Feb. 22 luncheon.

 

We have a winner in our “What’s the coolest thing you bought at HGR” Facebook contest

Candice Uebrick submitted a photo of the coolest thing she bought at HGR and was selected in a random drawing to win an HGR T-shirt.

industrial Singer sewing machine purchased at HGR

She says, “The coolest things I have bought at HGR are two industrial singer sewing machines. I updated the cords on them, and they sew perfectly (and fast)! I bought a typewriter, also — maybe not cool by modern standards, but it’s very cool to me, and I use it often.”

Thanks to all of our participants!

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

HGR eBay Auction Department

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Fred Holmes, HGR’s eBay Auctions Department supervisor)

What does your department do?

eBay Auctions Department lists and sells small, high-value items with strong market demand, Our department is expected to find the hidden treasures in Deals that could easily be missed.

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

Five people. We have two full-time eBay clerks who inventory; one full-time UPS shipping person; one floater/teardown person who pulls parts from machines, helps in UPS and incoming; and a supervisor who tries to find the best items, fixes problems and coordinates with the customers.

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

You need to be very detail oriented, mechanical with strong typing skills and have an eye for value. We do Internet research, and you must be willing to learn every day.

What do you like most about your department?

Constant learning of different types of tech or machines and finding new items the we have never seen before.

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

We have a lot of challenges from eBay itself. eBay always is adapting and changing its website, and we must constantly improve to keep up with them. We have challenges with product flow and types of product, and we work together to figure out what we are selling.  The team has adapted by taking on more responsibilities, when needed.

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

Very little. There have been minor adjustments to our listing styles, but, overall, it’s stayed the same.

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

You can’t improve perfection! J We always are stressing the importance of accuracy and speed — always striving to be more efficient.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

It’s a work environment that gives you the flexibility to be your best. Everyone gets part of the profits, and everyone has opportunity to better himself/herself and the company.

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

It’s a valuable business for small companies to buy from and for large companies to liquidate assets. Recycling what we can’t sell is good for the environment and our natural resources.

2017 plans for HGR’s ongoing renovation and construction

hard hat with construction blueprintsWhat can you expect to see this year as we make ongoing improvements at our showroom for our customers and employees?

1.  Parking lot improvements

2. Landscaping

3. Façade improvements to back guest entrance

4. Creation of a back patio area for employees

5. Structural and roof improvements, with a new roof over Aisles 3, 7 and 8

6. Tenant-space improvements

And, drum roll, please!!!!!!

7. A completely remodeled and reconfigured front sales office with a new entrance and modern restrooms

How do I lower manufacturing costs?

man working in manufacturing facility

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Liz Fox, senior marketing associate, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Growth Advocacy Network)

As manufacturing shifts and grows through technological innovation and higher demand, shops are continually becoming more flexible and embracing the idea of slimming down. As a result, manufacturers are looking for ways to save money without sacrificing valuable manpower, processes, or components. If your efforts aren’t producing ideal profit margins, the following are some valuable cost-reduction ideas that should be considered in your long-term plans.

Assess and enhance your processes.

Before taking the next step toward cutting costs, you need to assess your manufacturing processes by looking at them from every angle. What details do you notice? Are there unnecessary steps or equipment? When you look at the big picture, it not only tells you where things can be improved, but gives you guidance on how to innovative so that materials aren’t wasted, labor isn’t costly, and scrap is minimal.

This can involve the following:

  • Implement additive techniques to reduce development time and use less expensive materials
  • Make better use of suppliers by evaluating and prioritizing your current needs
  • Modify designs to make them more cost-effective
  • Adopt Lean manufacturing and create a culture of continuous improvement

Go green.

Companies now are more receptive to sustainability as a key pillar of their day-to-day operations, and this means cutting back on energy consumption. With the right blend of technology, real-time data, and other resources, companies can run slower without disposing of good customer service or creating longer lead times. Take initiative by installing energy-efficient lighting fixtures, rescheduling the use of high-powered equipment, and putting together a special team to ensure all energy-oriented manufacturing costs are being managed appropriately.

Consider the cost of inventory.

Inventory space utilized for a long period of time can lead to high costs for storage, maintenance, and insurance. Take measures to make your operations more fluid, responsive, and oriented toward noted actual demand, which can help you avoid overproduction, cut the amount of waste, and substantially reduce cash spent on space for additional product inventory.

For more information, contact MAGNET at 216.391.7002 or visit manufacturingsuccess.org.

Tips on getting a commercial-drone pilot’s license from a new pilot

pilot flying drone

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joseph Powell, HGR’s graphic designer)

It was time. I stood patiently waiting for the flight instructor to direct me to the testing room where Zone Aviation at the Lorain County Regional Airport administers the Computer Assisted Testing Service (CATS) test. In my head I replayed the countless hours of YouTube videos that I watched and websites that I read on FAA regulations and airport procedures, including my favorites from Who is Matt Johnson, Remote Pilot 101 and Drone Attorney Johnathan Rupprecht. I pictured the cloud types and their impact on UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) and reminded myself of the differences between stable and unstable air. METARs (weather reports) were scrolling across my mental screen until the flight instructor directed me to my seat, and I began.

It had been months in the making. I was studying to take my Remote Pilot Certificate, which would allow me to fly a drone commercially for photography and videography purposes. The task was daunting, to say the least. For anyone interested in obtaining this certificate, heed my words: study, study, study. The FAA provides you with study materials in the form of giant manuals of procedures and regulations. Don’t discount the value of the knowledge inside. You will be shocked by the amount of information you are required to know. The same supplement that they use for the test is available online. There are no questions in there, but all of the charts and figures are the same ones used on the test. It will help you a great deal to make yourself familiar with them. There are unlimited resources online, and I recommend you use as many as you can. I also was interested to learn about the applications for commercial drones beyond military use for “spying.” They are used in fire, mountain, hiker and crash search-and-rescue missions and in the inspection of towers and railroad ties for maintenance and repair.

The test has a time limit of two hours and gives you 60 random questions. The test pulls questions from the recreational pilot’s database; so, the mix of regulations and airport procedures could be higher than those aimed at remote pilot operations. I flew through the first few questions. My study habits prepared me for this until I hit questions on material I hadn’t covered. I stopped and stared at the screen. There was more material out there that I had missed. On the matter of UAS I was confident, but airport traffic and identifying the plane position if they are midfield downwind RNWY13 was new to me. I didn’t panic, used the supplemental guide and was able to finish the test in a little more than an hour.

I looked over my answers on the computer screen, and I clicked on “complete test.: Another screen popped up saying, “Are you sure?” I clicked “yes” again and waited for my result, only to be greeted by one last chance to go over my answers before completing the test. On the last click, the bar moved back and forth symbolizing the calculating of the test score. I waited anxiously for what seemed to be five minutes, but was more like 30 seconds. I only needed to read the first line to know what the result was: “Congratulations on passing your Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate.”

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Stomp on the brakes and learn which local manufacturer stamps brake components

Ford F150

Stamco Industries Inc., 26650 Lakeland Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, was started by William Sopko (see William Sopko & Son Co. and wind energy) in 1983 when he bought the assets and building from another stamping company that closed in 1982. He chose to locate in Euclid, Ohio, because, “The City of Euclid is friendly towards manufacturing. In the 34 years that we have been located in Euclid, Stamco has made three or four plant expansions, and the city was very supportive of these activities.”

The company is a heavy-gage metal stamper. That means that it takes flat sheets of metal or metal that comes in a coil (picture the rolls of steel that you see being transported on trucks on the freeway), puts it in machine that feeds the steel into the stamping press that goes up and down with a huge amount of force to generate a component or finished product at the end of the machine.

These parts are used by the braking industry in cars, trucks, SUVs, semis, farm equipment, military equipment and aircraft. Depending on which brand of vehicle you drive, if it’s a major American brand, more than likely Stamco’s parts are in the brakes of your car or truck. Roy Richards, manager of commercial operations at Stamco, says, ““I find it very satisfying to see parts produced with our equipment in our building and to see vehicles every day that are comprised of those very parts.”

But, Stamco is a job shop, which means it doesn’t have a product of its own or actually make the brakes. It buys supplies from a warehouse that buys the raw material from a metal manufacturer. Then, it provides a service by making a component at the request of a supplier. That supplier makes the finished product (brake or brake component) to sell to another supplier that assembles it then sells it to the manufacturer who makes the vehicle. Did you know that many companies are involved in making a vehicle’s brake system that keeps you safe on the road?

The presses that Stamco uses to manufacture these parts are medium to heavy tonnage, which means they are large and powerful. For example, a Ford F-150 can carry 1.5 tons of cargo. These presses have a 3,000-ton capacity. The parts being manufactured are larger in size and weigh as much as 20 pounds each. Because of this, 80 percent of Stamco’s customer base is within 500 miles; although, it does export to Belgium, India, Mexico and Brazil. And, for the same reason, the main material that Stamco uses – steel – is purchased from local steel warehouses that purchase it from ArcelorMittal USA in Cleveland’s Flats. This creates a strategic advantage due to much lower transportation costs.

You may be familiar with the term “tool and die.” The unit put into the press to stamp the part is called a die. Stamco makes some dies, purchases others, and is provided with dies by the customer that is placing the order. Therefore, the company employs a full staff of tool-and-die makers, engineers, designers, machine operators, die setters and lift-truck drivers. “The company was developed with a teamwork philosophy. Employees learn to operate a certain press then are assigned to other presses in order to crosstrain on other pieces of equipment,” Sopko says.

With regard to the company’s forseeable future, he states, “Our greatest challenge is finding experienced engineers and tool-and-die makers, and in next couple of years we will have people retiring. I am conscious that the skilled workforce pool is smaller than it was before, and we will be looking for new people.” He shares that for Stamco, as well as other local manufacturers, 2015/2016 was slow but he believes business will pick up a bit in 2017. At the end of 2017 and into 2018, Stamco has new projects scheduled and will be busy. That’s great news for the local economy!

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