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

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR Buyer Mike Paoletto

HGR Buyer Mike Paoletto with his family

When did you start with HGR?

Nine years ago, and I love it.

What is your territory?

Northern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and 1/3 of West Virginia.

What do you like most about your job?

It might sound cliché, but I really like and appreciate all the great people that I work with at HGR and get to meet in my travels.……..And, hotel room coffee.

What’s your greatest challenge?

When I first started, Rick Affrica, HGR’s chief purchasing officer and partner, said “Kid, you’ll never make it in this industry, but if you do, I’ll buy you a steak dinner.” Those words inspired me to work hard and eventually make Rick pay up.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Getting locked in an outside, fenced-in construction yard on a 15-degree Fahrenheit winter day with wind chill.

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

My No. 1 hobby is spending time with my family. My favorite movie is “Steel Magnolias,” and I enjoy reading romance novels.

Blacksmith puts a little bit of his soul in every piece he makes

Three Rivers Forge hammer Kipling quote

Vaugh Terpack Three Rivers Forge(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Vaughn Terpack, Three Rivers Forge)

Blacksmithing is my sole source of income at the moment. I got tired of working for someone else and having to deal with all the soap opera drama; so, I decided to take a gamble and start smithing full time.

Financially, quitting a “real” job to try my hand at being an artist probably wasn’t the best of ideas. It’s been a thorough bear of a struggle, but then I look at all my customers around the world and marvel at how these people have chosen my work over that of every blacksmith on the Internet. From Singapore to Switzerland, Australia to Israel, there’s a little bit of my soul in every corner of the world.

I honestly don’t know how you put a dollar figure on that, or how you can even quantify what that means. In a hundred years, I’ll be dead and buried, but my legacy will live on in iron.

When I first started, my goal was simply to help bring the blacksmith’s craft back to the forefront of peoples’ minds. I wanted to help get people thinking about quality over quantity. I wanted folks to see what I call the “Art in the Everyday” — opting for beautiful handmade goods in lieu of cheap mass-produced products, even if that means having less “stuff” overall.

It’s hard to convince people to spend $40 on a hand-forged bottle opener when most bottles have twist-off tops and the opener they bought for a dollar at the corner store works just as well as anything I can make. But, I honestly believe that by sacrificing on the quality, surrounding ourselves with chintzy, we impact our psyches in a negative way.

My hope is to make products that the average person can own and look at every single day. When you hang your coat on a hand-forged wall hook or pop the top on a cold one with a hand-forged bottle opener, you’re in touch with something that’s rare these days. You get to experience that “art in the everyday.”

(Vaughn’s work can be found in his store, Three Rivers Forge on etsy.com.)

Vaugh Terpack Three Rivers Forge dragon toothVaugh Terpack Three Rivers Forge forged itemsVaugh Terpack Three Rivers Forge candlestick

Industrial artist and welder started out making a statue out of popsicle sticks

Mike Ensminger Iron Image Design

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Mike Ensminger, Iron Image Design)

I was always the kid in class who was doodling on a piece of paper. All my life I’ve been very artistic and was able to draw pretty well; so, later when I took an art class in college I was able to fit right in. When we started to do three-dimensional work I took it as a challenge. I created a sculpture of the Archangel Michael standing on top of the serpent with his sword pointed high. Using popsicle sticks and hot glue, the sculpture was fragile, to say the least. I ended up receiving an A in the class, and I was put into the college’s Tribune newspaper for my work, but to my dismay the piece fell apart on a hot day in the back of my car.

Right around that time I was getting a welding certificate from Lorain County Community College, and I decided to make a piece out of metal that would be permanent and never fall apart. My work started with little things and grew as I challenged myself more and more. The larger pieces excited me, the challenge and thrill of making something amazing. I’d find myself getting lost in a project. I’d work on it late into the night, as the job that I was working at grew less and less important.

The pieces that I made sold for good money, and I figured that if I could dive into my work full time I could make a living at it. The last three years have been a process of learning how to run my own business legitimately and keep the inspiration to make the pieces that I wanted to make.

Meeting the right people and getting into the corporate realm are key, and things have been moving forward. I’ve done decorative metal work within the food industry. One restaurant that comes to mind is the Foundry Kitchen and Bar where much of my work was featured on Channel 8 News. I’ve done various venues within the Cleveland I-X Center, as well as working with its owner, Ray Park. Since I, oftentimes, sell my art to private owners, the larger goal is to expose my work corporately.

I feel like art is in all walks of life, including how we choose to live our life, who we live our life with, and what choices we make in between. My work usually starts from a large jumbled pile of metal laying on the ground next to my garage. But somehow, I find a way to create symmetry out of chaos. It all starts with an idea or vision and then you apply effort to that vision and every step of the way, every move you make, you must take a step back and evaluate if it was the right move or not. Sometimes, you have to go back a couple steps to get forward in the long run. We have to keep ourselves inspired and remain diligent to complete the task. With that formula, we can all do great things.

To see more of his work, visit ironimagedesign.com.

Ensminger Iron Image Design running horseEnsminger Iron Image Design screenEnsminger Iron Image Design tableEnsminger Iron Image Design chair

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

HGR's July 2017 "guess what it is" Facebook contest

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, July 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

HGR is open on July 3 but closed on July 4, 2017

July 4 fireworks

Happy Independence Day to our U.S. customers and friends! We will be open on Monday, July 3, but are closed on Tuesday, July 4, in honor of the holiday. We will be open during our normal business hours on Wednesday, July 5. Have a safe and fun holiday full of family, picnics and fireworks. Remember to be thankful for your freedoms.

A new, full-circle media vehicle for Euclid, Ohio, launches with inaugural edition

staff of Act3
Lily (shown seated in the photo) heads off to Ohio State University in late August where she’ll enter a rigorous graphic arts program and focuses on user experience in media design. Act 3 is always looking for interns (that could lead to a paid opportunity) to work with the Act 3 team – to grow, to create, and to “look around” at all that is on our horizon. Contact info at Act3creative.com.

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jim O’Hare, managing partner, Act 3)

A new communication vehicle has launched to inform businesses, residents and those with an interest in Euclid, Ohio – and HGR Industrial Surplus is a sponsor of the Spring/Summer 2017 inaugural edition in its native city. The venture is called Euclid360, and it challenges current and prospective residents and businesses to “Look Around” at what “The Lakefront City” offers. Euclid360 is a print publication, a mobile-optimized website, and a growing collection of three types of interactive videos – aerial, time lapse and virtual reality (360 degrees).

“The goal is to provide new ways of looking at the city,” says James O’Hare, publisher of Euclid360. “In our daily lives, we can get stuck by the same perspective. We hope that the stories and images in Euclid360 provide new vantage points that inform what’s working and suggest options when opportunities for growth are presented.”

The print edition of Euclid360 hits the street twice per year with spring/summer and fall/winter issues. A bright, young contributor to the inaugural issue was Lily Li, a senior in Euclid High School’s visual communications career-tech program. Lily’s digital illustrations graced several pages of the print issue and appear online at Euclid360.com.

Act 3 LLC, the publishing company that produces multiple media products, including Euclid360, was pleased to host Lily as an intern. “Lily represents the present and future of creative talent,” says Act 3’s Managing Partner Ron Hill, who mentored Li during her internship. “Creativity is all about seeing the same objects in new ways, but creativity doesn’t get out into the world unless the details are taken care of. Lily’s attention to detail is superb.”

Industrial art student makes functional office organizers for HGR with scrap materials

Brenna Truax desk organizer

Last month, you may have read the blog about Brenna Truax’s visit to HGR to get some materials that she needed for an industrial art project. She’s currently a sophomore at University of Cincinnati and graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School. This is what she’s done so far — desk organizers and a coat rack.

Now that HGR’s sales office renovation is nearly done, you just may see these on some desks the next time that you visit! Thanks, Brenna, for sharing your talent. They are beautiful.

Brenna Truax desk organizerBrenna Truax desk organizerBrenna Truax desk organizerBrenna Truax coat rack

 

 

 

Q&A with Bob Juran, vice president, sales and marketing, Terves Inc.

Terves' S-Comp product used for creation of armor plating for the U.S. Army's humvees
Terves’ S-Comp product used for creation of armor plating for the U.S. Army’s humvees

My goal with this column is to bring to light all the small manufacturers making a small product for big applications and using big ideas with a huge does of innovation. We all use products every day in our houses, cars and at work. But, do we think about where they come from, who makes them and all of the R&D that goes into them? Manufacturing is an amazing industry that utilizes cutting-edge technology and innovative, creative, critical and analytical thinkers as well as skilled production staff who run the machines and equipment on the floor that take these products from an idea and turn them into tangible, saleable goods.

When was the company founded, by whom and why?

Powdermet was founded just over 20 years ago. We had a 20-year celebration here in August 2016. Powdermet’s focus is on the creation of new, nano-engineered materials-science-based technologies. During those 20 years nearly $50 million has been invested in materials-science research here, and Powdermet has earned dozens of patents, three R&D 100 Awards, commercialized 18 trademarked materials, been named to the Inc.5000 list twice (including last year), been named to the Weatherhead 100 multiple times, and served as the platform for 11 new company launches. Terves is one of those launches. Terves technology is based on Powdermet work done for the Department of Defense, repurposed and modified to meet specific needs in the oil and gas industry. Terves was founded in 2013.

Why did you locate in Euclid, Ohio?

This goes back in history, well prior to me, but I believe there were two issues at play here. First, Andy Sherman, our CEO, was originally from this area and relocated back here from California to make this our headquarters. Second, this amazing building and site become available. We occupy what was the TRW World R&D Headquarters. Our building alone is a historical landmark, besides being ideal for our business profile. The other key aspect of locating here was that this region has a broad range of materials suppliers that are well versed in two key areas for us: polymer and elastomeric technology and high-performance alloys, driven by the birth of the rubber industry in Akron and a strong aerospace/military development industry throughout Northeast Ohio.

What do you make?

Essentially, we “make materials do more.” We create technologies, starting at the atomic level, to meet the needs of industry and government. So, we cover the gamut from lightweight materials used for aerospace, armor plating materials used for the military, thermal insulating and radiation shielding composites, nano-coatings (microscopic coatings), reinforced composites, highly engineered and reactive alloys, and high-surface hardness composites. On a given day here you might find a prototype rocket motor on one desk, a high-performance electrical capacitor on another, and a pallet of dissolvable tubular alloy being loaded on a truck.

What types of customers buy your products or for what industries?

Essentially we operate in two different manners. On one front, we are doing funded research to create new technologies for both government agencies and industry. In this scenario, we may be working on specific technology for NASA for the Mars Mission or creating a new material for a major oil company to meet specific downhole application needs. On the other front, we actively sell magnesium and other component materials that we manufacture to companies serving the oil and gas exploration industry. These materials have unique properties that make them ideal for creating tools for downhole exploration work.

What are some of the applications of your products? In what ways are they used that readers might be familiar with? What products? How are they used in oil, gas and

TervAlloy dissolving frac ball
TervAlloy dissolving frac ball

defense?

As I noted previously, we literally created a solid-fuel rocket motor, in conjunction with Penn State University. Our most common sales are into more end-use-specific, esoteric applications. As anexample, our TervAlloy magnesium is sold in many cases to companies that build hydraulic fracking plugs. These units are designed to segment horizontal well bores to allow a section to be fracked. Typically, prior practice was that many frac plugs would be set over thousands of feet to allow fracking of multiple stages, and after this process was completed an expensive process of re-drilling the well would have to take place to clear out these frac plugs. Our TervAlloy material actual dissolves after exposure to the environment (elevated temperature and salt water) in these wells; so, the expensive drilling-out process is negated.

How many employees work for the company and in what types of roles? What types of skilled labor do you hire?

Our workforce varies with market demand (e.g., the price of oil), but I’m comfortable saying we operate with 25 or so staff. The skill sets of the organization are broad. We have some truly brilliant material scientists and engineers, along with highly skilled production staff (foundry and machining). We also have the full array of administrative and support people to make this all work.

How long have you been with the company, what is your role and what do you enjoy most about what you do?

I’m a relative newbie here, having joined around one year ago. My role is oversight of our sales and marketing efforts. Our sales efforts are essentially all Terves-focused and international in scope. On the marketing side, I work with both the Powdermet business and the Terves business. For me, the most enjoyable aspect of my role is working in an industry that is new to me – most of my prior experience was in the specialty chemicals and retail consumer markets.

What role does the company play in the manufacturing industry locally? Do you use local suppliers or have local customers?

We absolutely use local suppliers. As I noted earlier, it is one of the reasons we are located here. On the other hand, other than work that we may do for NASA that happens to have oversight at Glenn Research, the vast majority of our customers our outside of the area. This is particularly true for the Terves customers, who are basically located in key oil locations: Texas, the Western U.S., Western Canada, the Middle East, and the North Sea.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge that manufacturing currently faces?

In our business, I think there are two areas that represent our greatest challenges. On one front it is innovation – the ability to not only ideate exciting new technologies, but also to quickly move those technologies to production. The other issue is the ability to manage tremendous variability in demand – the oil industry is commodity-driven and very reactive to price movement. Anyone here can tell you on any given day what West Texas Crude is trading for per barrel. The other challenge that we face is that we operate in a true international market, and, essentially, as a raw material supplier, we need to innovate to assure that we can offer differentiation, because there is the inevitable issue of an off-shore producer creating a low-cost knockoff material.

What does the future of manufacturing look like?

From our perspective, it is about people, systems and equipment to produce very high-tolerance components as efficiently as possible.

Who is Bob? What do you enjoy outside of work?

I enjoy Cleveland and spending time with my family and friends. I was raised here, spent time in other locations, and have a great appreciation for our city, our parks, our sports teams and theaters, and the great food venues available to us. I also love the West Side Market.

Euclid Mayor Holzheimer Gail with Terves CEO and COO at ribbon cutting
Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail with Terves’ CEO and Founder Andy Sherman and COO Brian Doud at Terves’ 20th anniversary event and ribbon-cutting ceremony in August 2016 for the newly opened TervAlloy foundry

Grammar tips: Commas

Comma meme

A comma is often the most misused punctuation mark. When we don’t know where they belong, we tend to leave them out or stick them in sentences where they shouldn’t go.

Here’s the down and dirty on commas and some quick tips to help you out. With examples, of course!

Did you know the presence or absence of a comma can change the meaning of the sentence?

  • Let’s eat Grandma should be Let’s eat, Grandma. (What, or who, is for dinner?)
  • Most of the time travelers worry about their luggage should be Most of the time, travelers worry about their luggage. (Who’s worrying about the luggage?)
  • We’re going to learn to cut and paste kids should be We’re going to learn to cut and paste, kids.
  • I love my parents, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie should be I love my parents, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie. (Are celebrities my parents?)
  • We order merchandise and sell products OR We order, merchandise and sell products.

When should (and shouldn’t) we use commas?

  1. In numbers (other than years, addresses and page numbers)
    1. YES: He owns 2,800 baseball cards.
    2. YES: The machine weighs 13, 567 pounds.
  2. In direct address
    1. YES: Mary, you really helped me today.
  3. Dates with a day listed
    1. YES: On June 19, 2017, HGR had an Aisle 1 flash sale.
    2. But, NOT between the month and year with no day: In June 2017, HGR had a flash sale.
  4. When listing places
    1. YES: He is from Atlanta, Georgia, but moved to Cleveland, Ohio, when he graduated from high school.
  5. In lists containing three or more items, unless there are commas used within the list and not before the last item in the list unless it needs the comma to be understood
    1. Simple series: He likes welding, machining and woodworking.
    2. Comma needed before last item since it all belongs together: For lunch she likes to eat salad, soup, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
    3. Semicolons needed because there are commas within some items in the series: On weekends, I do my chores; sleep in; read books, the newspaper and Facebook posts; and go shopping.
  6. With multiple adjectives that modify the same noun
    1. YES: It was a hot, frustrating, dangerous trip. (All adjectives modify “trip.”)
    2. NO: He bought the boy a bright red balloon. (The balloon isn’t smart/bright. The balloon is bright red.)
  7. With adjectives where the order is interchangeable
    1. YES: He is a smart, kind child OR He is a kind, smart child.
    2. NO: We stayed at an expensive summer resort because you couldn’t say, We stayed at a summer expensive resort.
  8. Setting off nonessential information
    1. NO: Dumas’ novel The Three Musketeers was one of my favorites. (No commas since Dumas wrote more than one novel. We need the information in the sentence to tell us which one.)
    2. YES: Dumas’ first novel, Captain Paul, does not interest me. (Since he only had one first novel, the name is not essential.)
    3. YES: Gina, marketing communications specialist, writes great grammar tips. (My title doesn’t matter to understanding the sentence.
    4. YES: Your work has been, quite honestly, outstanding. (The interrupting words aren’t necessary to the meaning of the sentence.)
  9. In compound sentences joining two independent sentences together with and, but, or, nor, yet, so and for when they are used as coordinating conjunctions. (See, you need to know your parts of speech and how they function in a sentence!)
    1. YES: She came to work, but she went home sick.
    2. YES: Are you going to the party, or are you staying home?
    3. YES: The dog wanted all my attention, and the cat was jealous.
    4. NOT in simple sentence that do not combine two independent sentences:
      1. She purchased the car but did not get it rustproofed.
      2. Are you mowing the lawn or painting the window frames this weekend?
  10. In complex sentences that have an independent clause (or sentence) and a dependent clause that is not a complete sentence, if it comes before the independent clause:
    1. If you are tired, you should take a nap OR You should take a nap if you are tired.
    2. Because of the power outage, we went home early OR We went home early because of the power outage.
  11. In a compound-complex sentence: Because of the power outage, I went home early, and, because I was tired, I took a nap.
  12. To set off a quote
    1. He said, “She is an asset to the company.”
    2. “Please,” Mary asked, “could you pick up lunch for me?”

If you prefer learning by video, here’s a good one on YouTube about “How to use commas correctly.”

Q & A with furniture designer and F*SHO Founder Jason Radcliffe

Cradle cradenza by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel

What was the first piece of furniture that you created in 2005?

I built quite a few pieces for friends — things like tables and what not, but the awning I built for a friend’s house in Tremont really stands out the most. It was the first time I realized that I could create and make things useful and functional.

What got you interested in furniture?

Functionally, I needed a desk. I like functional art and things that have a use. Also, I visited my the furniture store where my friend worked, and a customer wanted stainless table with a glass top for a party but if they ordered one for her, it wouldn’t have arrived in time. My friend said, “Here’s my friend who makes furniture. He can make it for you in less than six weeks.” Four days later, she had a stainless-steel frame with a glass top which was the start of my business. My friend asked for two pieces in three sizes, and it just took off.

What did you do as a career prior to your business at 44 Steel?

Welding and fabrication, which I still do, and the furniture business is similar in that I change industrial items into shapes that work.

How and why did the F*SHO come into existence in 2009?

In 2008, I had shown my first pieces of furniture in a solo gallery exhibit then I planned to go to New York for Design Week because I wanted to see what people thought of my work but it cost $5,000 for a booth. I decided that wasn’t affordable. In January 2009, the coordinator from ICFF, part of Design Week, emailed me offering 4’ x 10’ booth for $1600, and I took it. I took the Mousedesk that’s on my website there and kept hearing, “You’re from Cleveland? There’s nothing going on in Cleveland.” When I got back form New York, I had a conversation with five of my furniture friends about what New York was saying about Cleveland. We all decided to give New York a big middle finger and put our own show together and so it came to be. I got five friends together, and we did the show at 78th Street Studios. We had 350 people show up. The next year we needed a bigger space. F*SHO is a contemporary furniture show featuring work by local designers, furniture makers and students from the Cleveland Institute of Art.

How many exhibitors and attendees do you usually have?

In 2016, we had 30 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees. Most of the visitors are from Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.

How are the locations for the moving show selected?

I drive around or someone offers. We are going to continue moving it to different locations until 2019, then we’re handing it off to someone else to pick up the torch.

How do you market the show?

We’ve had articles in Fresh Water Cleveland and The Cleveland Plain Dealer, an interview on Kickin’ It with Kenny and NPR’s Around Noon, word of mouth and social media. People like its style, the romantic feel of only one night and if you’re not there you missed it for the year. It’s a five-hour guerilla show that’s always on a Friday night in September from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. SoHo does the food. We have beer and a coffee bar. Everything is free to the public though we do suggest donations/tips to offset the costs of the food and beer. There’s only a $50 exhibitor fee because we believe in getting us all together, and some new designers don’t have the money.

How and when did you hear about HGR?

I work for my father’s business, Berrington Pumps & Systems, and they are a customer. Then, I made a chair for Ingenuity Festival and a competition called “Chair and Tell.” My dad helped to film the entire process, from walking through HGR buying materials to the fabrication and finishing.

What kinds of things have you bought at HGR?

Mostly stuff for Berrington, not 44 Steel and the furniture business — pumps, parts, filters, storage bins. Then I get to take home scrap and salvage from the business.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working or making furniture?

My wife and I enjoy riding bikes, travel (most recently to Peru), our dog, being outdoors, boating on the lake, and skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.

Which artists inspire you?

Jean Prouvé (French), Pierre Koenig (American) and Viktor Schreckengost (American). Their bodies of work are astounding and groundbreaking, especially Schreckengost!

What was a unique opportunity that you’ve had?

In 2014, two months after Amanda and I were married, I left the business in her hands to go to California to film a furniture-maker reality TV show and competition on SPIKE that was hosted by Hip Hop Artist Common. It aired in 2015. It’s been an exciting journey.

How did you learn to be a furniture designer and maker?

I’m self taught! I found styles and materials that suited what I liked and then started putting it all together. I was always thinking about how I would want to use a desk or a cabinet or a credenza, and that is where my personal fingerprint comes from. If you look at the furniture designers here in Cleveland, we all use similar materials, but we all have our own look and idea of how those materials fit together.

 

Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel in his welding gear

Machinery designer and die maker by day, mad scientist the rest of the time

 

restored high school chandelier
Restored chandelier at Cleveland Heights High School

(Courtesy of HGR Customer and Guest Blogger Christopher Palda)

Christopher Palda

How I became an HGR customer

I heard of HGR Industrial Surplus mainly from word of mouth. I used to deal with McKean Machinery where my boss sent me until it was bought by a New York firm and they got rid of the odds and end. As a result, they lost some customers. Many people that buy the little stuff at HGR see the large ticket items and send others they know who need these items. Employees left McKean to start HGR; so, it was a natural transition. You’ll see some of the things I’ve bought at HGR mentioned in the story below.

Recently, my workplace bought a MIG welder at HGR for the construction of Dan T. Moore Company’s plastic extrusion and rolling machine that is the size of a room. It’s for extruding plastic and rolling it into film. What they had at the welding supply store was not what we needed. We required a 100-percent duty cycle machine that could run all day long and found one at HGR.

What I do for work

I’m a die maker and do die repair, hydraulics, welding, machine tool wiring, basically an industrial maintenance technician who handles anything electrical, hydraulic and mechanical. I work for Mahar Spar Industries. A spar is the main strut in a sailboat, and the founder’s name is Mike Mahar. He started out making spars and sailboat masts in his garage in his spare time, and the business evolved from that point. Many ask me the origin of that unique name. I’ve been there for 20 years, and prior to that I was at NASA Glenn Research Center doing composite metallurgy research for jet engine applications and at the same time on a joint project working at Cleveland State University doing metallurgical research in the chemical engineering department where I built the metallurgy lab.

Some of the things I’ve built

One of the items that I am proud of that mostly came from HGR is a hyperbaric chamber. My doctor said that it would be helpful for my health to use one, but medical insurance wouldn’t cover treatments for this off-label use that was proposed; so, I came to HGR and built my own from used air compressor parts for pennies on the dollar. A new one for medical purposes costs $75,000. They usually are purchased by hospitals and medical facilities to treat diabetic patients with wounds that won’t heal, necrotizing fasciitis, carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning, and scuba diving accidents and are used in clinical studies and trials to increase brain function in people with autism and a few other applications. I am a diver, but luckily haven’t had an accident yet and have not had to use it for that purpose. It cost me about $4,000 to build mine. By dumb luck I found a medical air compressor at HGR normally used in a dental office for the chamber along with a $1,200 medical oxygen regulator for $15 that just needed to be rebuilt. It basically functions as an isolation chamber, and you breathe pure oxygen through a mask as the oxygen regulator increases its output by using the chamber pressure as a reference point.

compressor tank from HGR before it was converted into a hyperbaric chamber
compressor tank from HGR before it was converted into a hyperbaric chamber
hyperbaric chamber side view
outside of completed hyperbaric chamber
inside of handmade hyperbaric chamber made from surplus at HGR Industrial Surplus
inside of finished hyperbaric chamber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bike trail cutting machine
bike trail cutting machine

We do projects for the Dan T. Moore Company, who also is an HGR customer. Dan believes Cleveland doesn’t have enough bike trails; so, he dropped off a small bulldozer and wanted it converted into a bike trail cutting machine. With our custom attachment it became something that looked like a bulldozer, meat grinder, snow blower hybrid. Some of the hydraulic parts came from HGR. He also wanted to build a steel mill in Bolivia at one point in the past, and we were doing a mockup of the process. We needed a large blower. His people were going everywhere else looking for stuff. I found one at HGR that looked and roared like a jet engine that was 125hp, and it worked great!

bakery oven
bakery oven

Additionally, I do maintenance work at a bakery that has a huge electric oven made in Italy that you can’t get parts for; so, you have to manufacture the parts yourself. Its internal electric flash boiler caramelizes the bread giving it that hard crust by explosively filling the deck with wet steam at the beginning of each bake cycle. The original boiler could not keep up and self-destructed. I copied the basic design with some improvements and made one five times larger. Some of its parts came from HGR.

I also work for Whitney Stained Glass Studio doing artistic metalwork restoration and conservation along with fabricating window frames. Projects include the windows at Stan Hywet Hall and the restoration of the outside stained glass lamps for St. James Catholic Church in Lakewood after a bird built a nest in it. The owner turned it on, and it caught on fire, which melted the solder. I had to strip the patina to fix it, which is considered a no no because it was covered in plastic. I said, “Watch me age this thing 100 years in minutes.” I stuck it in bleach and salt water and put power to it like in a plating operation and totally corroded the thing in 40 minutes.

welder from HGR
TIG welder from HGR

To put the hyperbaric chamber together, I needed to purchase a large TIG stick welder. I found a Miller at HGR for a fraction of the cost of a new one. It didn’t work and needed a little TLC, but if I buy it and it doesn’t work out it’s nice to know I can return it within 30 days. I got it for the cost of the copper scrap, gave it a bath, found a simple control issue and brought it back from the dead. It pulls 105 amps at 240 when I’m welding heavy aluminum. I would turn it on and watch the neighbor’s lights dim. Is the problem 2B solved or not to be? That’s the question. A trip down HGR’s Aisle 2B for some capacitors solved the problem, and the neighbor’s lights didn’t dim anymore. The effect is like pouring a glass of beer. You want the beer but not the foam. These capacitors get rid of the electrical equivalent of the foam.

You know the big speaker in the opening scene of Back to the Future? I said to a friend, “Cool, let’s build one.” A 5-hp stereo system was born! The neighbor would call me for requests when I fired it up in the summer while he was cutting his lawn as long as I played his stuff. The neighbors didn’t like heavy metal, and that’s when the heavy metal station Z Rock was on the air and when I hit the heavy-metal stage in my development.

Building a fire-breathing dragon for the play “Reluctant Dragon” at a children’s theater in 1985 was a blast. When I adapted an old CO2 fire extinguisher and put red lights in the mouth and eyes, it worked first rate. My electronics business in my parent’s basement when I was 10 or 11 aided in paying for this lunacy.

broken chandelier
mangled chandelier prior to restoration

Cleveland Heights High Schools auditorium has huge 300-pound chandeliers. One of them dropped about 35 feet while they were trying to change the light bulbs and smashed into smithereens — a mangled, twisted mess. Redoing all the artistic metal work was a challenge while many others at Whitney Stained Glass restored the stained glass globes.

Near-death experiences

Back in the caveman days, there were only five TV stations. You had to have a movie projector to watch movies. My dad got two 35mm machines from a drive-in that went out of business and modified the optics to work in a house. We had a movie theater in our basement. I was born with mechanical ability, but I learned and worked with my dad who also was handy and was a self-taught mechanical and electrical and hydraulic engineer. He designed tooling and stamping dies along with pollution control in power plants. I could set up and operate these machines as a kid, and when my dad took off the TV back to work on it I saw that there was what looked like a small roll of film inside the that I thought had the Bugs Bunny cartoons on it. He yelled, “Don’t touch that! That is the fly back transformer and has 15,000 volts on it!’

He fixed the TV but left back off. One day, while I was watching it, the picture got odd. I realized the cat was inside. When I went to grab the cat so she would not get hurt, she jumped out and my hands landed on the flyback transformer and lit up blue. Afterward, I felt like lightning had hit me. I woke 15 minutes later across the room and had a revelation — that’s why it’s called a flyback transformer because when you grab one that is what you do!

Christopher Palda as a child working on a car
Christopher Palda as a child working on a car

Another time, as a little kid in the car at the gas station, I asked my mom why the man had a garden hose and was putting water in the car. Mom said it was gas but she wished it was water because it’s cheaper. At home, I put five gallons of water in the car to save mom money after I noticed the spout on the lawn mower gas can fit the end of the garden hose. We ended up stranded the next time we drove it.

I’ve had eight various experiments with electricity. It’s amazing that I’m still alive. I wondered how a vacuum cleaner worked. My dad explained the process of how it worked starting with electrons moving in the cord. I had to find out what an electron looked like; so, I opened up paper clips and was determined to go to the outlet and pull one out. I had two paper clips, one in each side. When they touched, there was a fiery explosion that burned my hands. I got to see a lot of electrons!

My vaporizer broke when I was sick. My dad fixed it by making a new part on his lathe. I saw how it opened up when he took it apart. When everyone was gone, I took it apart while it was plugged in and threw handfuls of salt at it with water to watch the explosions. The power main want “bang” as everything went dark in the house. A voice from downstairs yelled, “Christopher, what did you do now?”

HGR’s 2017 STEM scholarship winner visits for lunch and tour

HGR's 2017 STEM scholarship winner

On June 14, Connor Hoffman, winner of HGR’s $2,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) scholarship, took time from his day before lifeguarding to visit HGR, meet its owners and staff, take a tour and have lunch with us during our Wednesday cookout.

As a recent graduate of Euclid High School, he plans to attend the University of Cincinnati this fall as an information technology major. He chose the University of Cincinnati at the recommendation of his teacher because his college credit plus classes in Cisco networking align with the university’s program.

Connor hopes to work in networking or cyber security. When not studying or working, he enjoys gaming and watching Jeopardy in order to challenge his mind and learn new things.

Cleveland artist creates home décor products from reclaimed materials

Susie Frazier in front of welder

I know that your career in reclaimed art started when you rescued broken slate roofing tiles being torn off of buildings. Why did you do that?

I saw the tiles leaning on the side of a random building as raw material that was neglected. There was something so beautiful sitting there broken. It prompted me to buy an industrial-grade wet saw so that I could cut the fragments into small pieces that could be used for creating mosaic surfaces. I guess that I saw myself in the tile as I went through periods of neglect and wanted to be scooped up and turned into something new. It was subconscious. We learn and heal by doing. It was the beginning of my therapy. I went on to create an entire product line of picture frames, mirrors, benches, and tabletop accents that I sold through stores and galleries coast to coast. Now, 20 years later, I design products in a wide variety of reclaimed materials, including wood, steel and glass.

Did you create art prior to that time? Were you always an artist?

I have been selling my handmade creations since I was 14 years old. Eventually, I began freelancing as a graphic designer and worked in sales and marketing. In 1997, I was between jobs and bartending at night so that I could have time to make and sell my functional art during the day. Starting and growing is thematic for me. I found that I missed the process of building with my hands when using a computer all the time, but working with reclaimed construction materials was a bit of an education back then. This was before the term Going Green had been coined or the Maker Movement was a thing; so, people had to be taught about why industrial salvage was so amazing.

How did you go from being an artist to having a business and a fabrication shop that sells to top U.S. companies?

I spent many years selling my handmade art, furniture and gifts at festivals and trade shows across Ohio and beyond. Every year taught me something new about consumer buying habits, my products’ unique selling features, and how to drive more sales. In 2010, I grew out of the festival scene and set up a permanent showroom inside 78th Street Studios. Once I presented my work in a more sophisticated manner with an actual point-of-sale system, I was able to attract more serious customers who wanted me to create custom furniture, wall features, corporate gifts, and high-end home décor. Once the demand grew, I had no choice but to farm out aspects of production to various fabricators I trusted. That was the only way for me to scale.

How has your work evolved?

I went from being known as just a fine artist to being a successful product designer to now expanding into interior design services. Recently, I curated the two-bedroom model suite of a 306-unit multi-family housing development at The Edison at Gordon Square, filling it with custom art and furniture that I designed with the help of many local makers in Cleveland.

Who is your favorite artist?

Andy Goldsworthy, a prominent eco-artist of our time, works with found organic materials to create biomimic outdoor sculptures. He then takes photos as they decompose over time. It’s stunning work. Since I’ve been focusing more on accessories and small furniture these days, I have been very interested in other product designers and what they are doing. I’m a huge fan of Nottingham Spirk and all the products they’ve invented for major brands around the world. They design for function not just beauty, and that’s very important to me.

The Cleveland Bolo, jewelry by Susie FrazierWhat kinds of items are you currently making?

I just launched a new jewelry item a few months ago that I can’t keep in stock – The Cleveland Bolo. It’s made from real leather and scrap pieces of .5” square steel rod from my buddy’s metal shop. It’s very simple but modern. Other makers in town build tables out of reclaimed wood, and, sometimes I will dig through their piles of scrap for discards that I can repurpose into some small product. I call that polyclaiming, when the material is on its second or third generation of being repurposed.

Why did you locate at 78th Street, and why Cleveland?

In 2010, I went out to look for a location where people were already starting to migrate for art and design. 78th Street had the only thing going with dozens of makers in one place, as one destination. Plus they had the marketing and programming to back it up rather than simply being a sleepy live/work building.

I’m from the Southwest – born in Los Angeles but grew up in Scottsdale, Denver and Boulder. The desert and the mountains have definitely influenced my aesthetic. Right out of college in 1992, I married a man from Cleveland, and through that experience I also fell in love with the city. Before that, I had never been further east than the Mississippi. Ultimately, I became fascinated with the organic and industrial paradox of Cleveland, which has inspired my design aesthetic from the beginning. We truly are a forest city.

What made you decide to make Movers & Makers, your TV show that was piloted locally on WKYC and is being shopped to networks right now?

Having been in business for 20 years with a distinct brand around handmade, artistic products, I felt it was time to share my story with a broader audience both inside and outside of Cleveland. The purpose of Movers & Makers as a TV show is to propel the Maker Movement and my role in it through an entertaining platform. I see great value in giving more air time to the creative process and not just to the before and after. Besides, there’s a huge audience of women out there who are strong DIY champions and who are capable of things their mothers weren’t. Through woodworking, welding, and computer technology, they’re making all kinds of things and becoming entrepreneurs in the process. That’s what it’s all about. I love the instant gratification skills, like welding, and showing women how easy it is to try something new without fear. By following the furniture or art projects my team and I work on, Movers & Makers shows America that when you apply your creative mind, amazing things are possible. People don’t have to be intimidated.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working in your studio?

I really enjoy yoga, which grounds me physically and spiritually, but I’m a huge fan of horses, hiking, walks along the beach and dancing. I was also an all-state shortstop in high school; so, I love throwing the baseball around. Three years ago, I got behind an indie folk rock band as a manager and helped them produce and promote two albums. I have three kids — 15, 13 and 12; so, I guess I just wanted them to see by example how to experience the richness of life.

Have you shopped at HGR?

In 2010, I became a customer when I heard about HGR from a guy in my building. I told him that I was looking for a rolling cart. He sent me to HGR where I met Tom Tiedman, my salesman, with whom I’ve worked all these years. I’ve repurposed carts, cleaned them up, and inlaid reclaimed wood to make killer side tables. Recently, I bought a bin of washers that were welded into a sculptural award for Crain’s Cleveland Business. I’ve also purchased practical things like filing cabinets and office equipment.

What’s next?

In the coming weeks, my partners at Mont Surfaces and I are launching a webisodes series about my Reflective Design philosophies for creating a sense of calm through various home improvement decisions. I’m a big fan of designing mindful spaces, so the furnishings, the materials, and the colors support well-being. Sourcing salvage items that hold special meaning for the homeowner is a huge part of that. The series will be posted at www.susiefrazier.com, or you can come to one of 78th Street Studios art walks, called THIRD FRIDAYS, taking place on the third Friday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We will most likely run this on a monitor throughout the night.

What is your philosophy?

Making the brokenness beautiful.

coffee table from recycled wooddriftwood wall design

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

HGR's Shripping Department on a ship

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Doug Cannon, HGR’s transportation coordinator)

What does your department do?

Our department works in concert with the sales team and customers who require shipping services. We provide a shipping cost that we honor, and then proceed with the preparation and logistics of transportation when the opportunity is granted. We network with outside providers, such as a 3PL, specialized trucking brokers, LTL carriers, private long-haul carriers and local delivery services. They are, in turn, the marketing partners that complete the final leg of the sale. We select the appropriate mode of transportation as dictated by the nature of the products being shipped and the receiving capacity of the customer.

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

There are six employees in our group. Collectively, we all serve the goal of safely and economically transporting products to their ultimate destination in a timely manner. Doug Cannon and Dan Farris help to guide the sales staff on selling transportation and then executing the arrangements. Donovan Barton, Audley Wright and Dane Ferrell serve as custom carpentry designers for surplus. They build crates and pallets customized for the items being shipped by applying their creativity to condense the footprint and thus decrease the cost. Their skill sets are impressive. Jim Gubics is the LTL coordinator for shipments leaving on common carriers. He is the gatekeeper for ensuring these orders are accurate prior to leaving the building. Jim also works in several software programs where he updates in-house information, as well as emailing our customers their tracking numbers. He communicates with LTL dispatchers and drivers and loads them, as well.

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

HGR buys and sells thousands of different items. They come in a great variety of weights and dimensions. So, success in our department requires individuals to possess many qualities. “Attention to detail” tops the list as no compromise. Then, to achieve success, we need to be highly organized, flexible, communicate well, and exercise imagination and creativity to provide the best solution to each purchase. No two shipments are the same; so, cookie-cutter solutions are far and few between.

What do you like most about your department?

The mutual understanding and respect the group has for each other and the tasks at hand. We genuinely like each other and the company we work to keep.

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

One of our biggest challenges occurred several years ago when HGR totally revamped the process by which it does international trade. This has had a large impact on shipping. We now devote extensive amounts of time on export compliance issues as we work under the guidelines of the Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry and Security. The purpose is to protect The United States’ security and interests. The focal point at HGR is to identify machinery that could have “dual purpose” and to screen the international buyers to verify that they are not on our government’s “denied parties list.” Dan Farris has spearheaded this facet of shipping responsibilities and has served as both a mentor to Sales and a guardian to HGR and our community.

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

Changes have been made in the way we service our sales staff, our customers and our community. Processes have been implemented to ensure our sales staff is provided with a transportation quote for every sales transaction that is not a customer pickup. We even provide quotes for items not sold, where customers are simply shopping and trying to determine their total “all-in” costs. These services are of tremendous convenience to the customer and help them to make a more informed decision. We take care to quote accurately and honor all quotes. Changes in international export help us to make sure we make our country a safer place to live.

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

The future is today. Every employee in our group is dedicated to continuous improvement. It is one of HGR’s core values. We don’t rest on yesterday’s success, and know that we are only as good as we are today.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

The Euclid, Ohio, facility is a beehive of activity! A collection of 70 employees perform specific roles while networking with other departments to achieve our end goal. It is a setting of perpetual communication among employees, both verbally and electronically. In the forefront is a revolving carousel of industrial surplus entering the building to be inventoried, displayed on our showroom floor, sold, and loaded on a myriad of outbound vehicles, trailers and containers.

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

Primarily, I view HGR as the liaison for vendors that possess material assets and for those that seek them at an economical cost. HGR provides the service of immediate asset recovery to its vendors and spares them the distraction and expense of seeking an interested end user, as well as the logistics of the transfer. Buyers around the world can visit our showroom or browse our website and economically secure machinery, parts and unique items not found elsewhere. By virtue of its business model, HGR is a participant in the world’s interest of recycling.

Former Walsh Jesuit High School student designs industrial products

Brenna Truax

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Brenna Truax, a sophomore University of Cincinnati industrial design student)

I am a 2016 graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School, where I excelled in math and sciences, while developing my interest in the visual arts. I became interested in photography and co-founded the school’s Photograph Club. I completed several sets of senior pictures for my peers. The art teachers at Walsh Jesuit, Mrs. Doreen Webber (emeritus), Ms. Karen Forfia, and Ms. Cheryl Walker provided guidance and unique perspectives.

The University of Cincinnati’s Design, Architecture, Art and Planning Department is nationally recognized in industrial design and architecture. I originally planned to pursue a career in architecture and learned of the industrial design program while on a tour of the university. I immediately recognized my deep interest in product design.

In early May, I was contacted by Mr. Eric Dimitrov, my former physics teacher at Walsh Jesuit, regarding the opportunity to design industrial-themed office equipment and art for HGR Industrial Surplus’ newly renovated offices in Euclid, Ohio. After meeting with Gina Tabasso, HGR’s marketing communications specialist, we toured the facility and collected various items to use for my projects and for Walsh Jesuit’s Fabrication and Engineering clubs. So far, I have used the materials to design a series of desktop organizers, a coat rack, and a planter. Thanks to Mr. Dimitrov and Akron Makerspace, I am working to complete these projects by the end of July.

Stay tuned for future photos of how they turned out!

Grammar tips: Homophones

homophone meme

Homophones comes from the Greek words “homo” meaning “same” and “phone” meaning “voice or utterance.” They’re words that sound the same but mean something completely different. You know them well – aloud and allowed, compliment and complement, threw and through, paws and pause, pale and pail, ate and eight, knew and new, rode/rowed/road, scent/sent/cent, flew/flue/flu, buy/by/bye, their/there/they’re, your and you’re, it’s and its, two/to/too, and very similar words that are not quite homophones, such as loose and lose, then and than, effect and affect, ensure and insure, and definitely and defiantly. Some homophones are also homographs because they are spelled the same: rose (the flower) and rose (got up or ascended) or bear (the animal) and bear (to tolerate).

Now, we’re getting somewhere. That was fun, wasn’t it? You could keep going with that list. Some others probably came to mind right away.

I bet you might say, “Nah, I don’t have that problem. I use spell check in Word.” Guess again. There are about 25 homophones that most spell checkers won’t catch, according to grammarly.com. Nothing beats knowing the meaning of words or using a dictionary when in doubt. Sometimes, it’s about what part of speech the word is as it’s used in the sentence.

Here’s a small list of common homophones so that you can avoid sounding silly and impress your friends on Facebook and your coworkers in email:

  • Than (making a comparison) or then (sequence of events)
    • You ran faster today than you did yesterday.
    • You ran fast then you took a rest.
  • Two (the number), too (also) and to (toward)
    • I gave two dollars to Sarah, too.
  • Your (possessive) and you’re (you are)
    • You’re very protective of your new car.
  • There (place), their (possession) and they’re (they are)
    • Their home is something they’re proud of. We enjoy going there.
  • A while (noun phrase)or awhile (adverb)
    • It’s been a while since they hung out but they didn’t mind waiting awhile until the next time.
  • Everyday (adjective meaning common or routine) or every day (means each day)
    • He wore his green everyday shirt every day of the week.
  • Accept (to receive) or except (to exclude)
    • Everyone except Jim could accept that the fishing trip was cancelled.
  • Affect (to influence) or effect (something that was influenced)
    • They didn’t realize how the scary special effects would affect the kids.
  • Compliment (noun) or complement (verb)
    • The winemaker received a compliment on the red wine that seemed to complement each dish on the menu.
  • Ensure (make certain), insure (protect financially) or assure (everything’s okay)
    • I want to assure you that my priority is to ensure that my kids stay healthy; so, I insure them on my medical plan.

Local photographer has an eye for urban decay

Model at HGR for Steve Bivens Photography

Collinwood Photographer Stephen Bivens stopped by HGR’s offices on May 23 for a Q&A and to conduct a photo shoot with his model, Felissa. He chose HGR for the juxtaposition between elegant and industrial/urban. He will be using the photos on his new website and social media.

Tell us about your style of photography.

I’m interested in industrial spaces, old bridges, urban decay, condemned houses or vacant houses. I learned on film and in black and white. I still tend to shoot that way. I send my film away to be developed. I have a studio in my home but I do not have my own darkroom.

How did you hear about HGR?

I talked to Industrial Artist Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4-Letter Words when I was looking for an industrial space in which to shoot models. He’s an HGR customer and suggested the location.

When did you seriously get interested in photography?

About 12 years ago I bought a 35mm pocket camera with film and started taking pictures of people. People thought it was cool and began to pay me to take their portraits. I started reading books and buying cameras.

What brought you to Collinwood?

I worked in Tampa for Progressive in sales and marketing. I was promoted and moved to the headquarters in Cleveland. At first, I lived in Mayfield Village close to the office. My then-girlfriend, now-wife lived in Collinwood. We used to go to a coffee shop and an art gallery there. We volunteered to be sitters in the gallery to keep it open for visitors. The area is really cooperative with artists, and the artists are cooperative with sharing locations, methods and secret sources. After I left Progressive, we moved back to Florida to follow my ex-wife and kids, but when they moved out West, we moved back to Collinwood.

Who have you photographed?

I got in with a group of artists and bands then did tour photography, mostly hip hop and rock. To do so, I had to take vacations from work. About five years ago, I left Progressive to do photography full time. For three months, I had no work then slowly it picked up. To supplement my income, I shot portraits. I take photos at The Beachland Ballroom and drive to regional concerts now. I shoot the photos for the bands to use promotionally. I’ve worked with local businesses such as Six Shooters Coffee and at The Crossfit Games.

Who is the most memorable person that you have shot?

I was LeBron James’ party photographer during his rookie year. I also loved shooting Alternative/Folk/Country Artist Jessica Lea Mayfield.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t shooting photos?

I’m a former Marine. I like to shoot guns, too. I love music and concerts, especially grunge.

Model at HGR for Steve Bivens Photographyblack and white photo by Stephen Bivens Photography at HGR Industrial Surpluscolor photo of aisle at HGR Industrial Surplus by Stephen Bivens PHotographyModel in front of graffitt at HGRPhotos provided courtesy of Stephen Bivens Photography

Fabricator makes metal sculptures from gears, machined parts and scrap

steampunk gun
Steampunk gun

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Customer Merritt Geddes, Creative Designs & Customs)

My love of art started at a very young age. Before I was able to read, I also enjoyed looking at movie posters and comic books that my brother had. I loved the use of many bright colors and the way the characters were drawn. I would often draw my favorite Star Wars characters Darth Vader and Boba Fett. My mother was a great help in this in that she taught me how to draw by using simple shapes to make a complex picture.

art deco lamps
Art Deco lamps

I love doing what I do because I find it fun to make something from nothing and the challenge that it brings. I’ve worked with markers, watercolors, oil paint clay, wood, and steel. I like working with steel the most because of the unlimited possibility with it and the fact that I’ve been a welder and fabricator for more than 15 years. I started out just making stuff for myself and found that a lot of people really like my stuff and were willing to pay the prices asked for them.

So, after a while, I started my own side business of making my metal sculptures and selling them in my friend’s art studio. This took off, and I began selling in other studios in other cities and states about 10 years ago. I still work as a fabricator because it’s a steady pay check.

My current project that I’m working on is an 8-foot shark and a 12-foot robot. The shark should only take a couple of months but the robot might take a year or more because I am still in the process of getting parts. I get about a third of my parts from HGR because it’s less of a hassle than digging through the scrap yard. I get mostly gears and machined parts that I use to make my pieces of art look more interesting. I get my inspiration from watching Sci-Fi movies and Anime.

When I’m not working on one of my sculptures, I am usually riding my bike through the bike trails in Oberlin or in the parks. I guess what I could say to other makers is that you should do what you enjoy doing and learn from others as much as possible. It will make you better at what you are already doing.

metal skeleton
Skeleton warrior

Hot dogs and hamburgers return to HGR

graill cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers

On June 7, Chef George Carter, HGR employee Jesse Carter’s brother, will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for our traditional free cookout for HGR customers every Wednesday this summer from 11-1. Chef Carter worked for more than 40 years as a chef for Holiday Inn and still works nights as a chef at The Cleveland Improv. Stop in to say hello to him and grab a hot dog or hamburger while you shop.

 

Enter to win HGR’s June 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

Stitcher for sale at HGR

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, June 19, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

Q&A with Claudia Young, co-owner of Euclid pizzeria Citizen Pie

pizza oven at Citizen Pie

Who are the owners of Citizen Pie?

Vytauras Sasnauskas, Claudia Young and Paulius Nasvytis

 

What did you each do before forming Citizen Pie?

Vytauras (aka V) was the owner and chef at Americano in Bratenahl Place. Claudia was in the music business in Nashville. Paulius owns The Velvet Tango Room.

 

Why was Collinwood selected as your location?

Paulius grew up in Collinwood. Alan Glazen of GlazenUrban, a private community development corporation, brought us to the location, and we liked it. Collinwood, and Waterloo specifically seemed like a perfect spot for our first location. We could start small and grow with the community. We have grown to love and respect our neighborhood. It is filled with so many great people.

 

What made you decide to go in together and open a pizzeria?

We have been close friends of V, and he wanted out of the restaurant business since pizza was his 10-year hobby, and we just thought it sounded like a great idea to open a shop. Again, Alan Glazen was very instrumental in coming up with the idea to do the pizzeria. It just made sense. We all said “yes” and never looked back.

 

Of all the toppings that you can put on a pizza, how was the menu decided?Vyatauras Sasnauskas, chef and co-owner of Citizen Pie

That’s all V. He tends to get his best inspiration in the shower. But, really, V has a brilliant mind when it comes to food. He is an amazing talent.

 

I hear that your pizza sells out fast. When’s the best time to come by?

No slices are available. We sell 12-inch pies only. We rarely run out of dough, but it has happened about a dozen times in 18 months.

 

Do you have specials?

We always have one rotating special – about one per month.

 

How does V stay so thin eating all that pizza?

I’m not sure, but I hate him for it. Big time. (The man rarely stops moving.)

 

Why is the shop called “Citizen Pie?” I know V grew up under Soviet occupation.

The name came to me, and I just really liked it. The name Citizen Pie is really not about V’s life in Lithuania.

 

What do you do when you are not making pizza?

V is a busy man with two active kids and a big yard, but he loves to cook. It’s his true passion. He is also a big Cavs fan!

 

Any plans to franchise or open additional locations?

Yes. We are opening this summer on W. 25th St. We’re under construction right now.

 

Where do you buy most of your ingredients?

Every ingredient we use is seriously considered. You just have no idea… so, our sources are pretty spread out.

 

Where is the next place you want to travel?

Back to Italy

Pizza being made at Citizen Pie

Grammar tips: Apostrophes

Grumpy Cat apostrophe meme

Did you know that Aug. 16 is International Apostrophe Day? We’re celebrating early because we all could use a little grammar refresher to dust off the cobwebs that have accumulated since grade school.

HGR’s Marketing Department decided to create a regular grammar tip for our employees on common grammar errors that we see in written and email communications. As the resident writer/blogger, I decided, “Why not share that info with our customers and help everyone become more effective communicators?”

Let’s get to it! Apostrophes are a lot like commas and hyphens in the sense that they are a mark of punctuation that many people do not know how to use properly; so, we throw them in where they don’t belong and leave them out where they do belong. Usually, this happens when forming plural words or when showing possession, but I see it with contractions.

Here are some examples:

  • We are implementing managements new goals. (need an apostrophe in management’s to show it is possessive; whose goal is it? It’s management’s goal.)
  • We are one of the best company’s to work for. (companies not company’s since this word is plural not possessive; you would say, “We follow the company’s employee handbook.”)
  • Who’s goal is it? (wrong word; should be whose since “who’s” means who is)
  • Having perfect attendance deserves it’s own reward or Spring is on it’s way. (its not it’s since it’s is a contraction meaning “it is.”)
  • You’re valuables are safe in the locker. (wrong word; “you’re is a contraction meaning “you are” while “your” is a possessive pronoun showing who the valuables belong to)
  • Lets clock out for break. (apostrophe needed in the contraction for “let us” to form “let’s”)

You get the idea! You may think these examples are obvious, but they are actual examples that I have seen in the past. To avoid these mistakes and sound more professional in your (not you’re) writing, here are some rules of thumb when NOT to use an apostrophe:

  • In possessive pronouns (whose, ours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs)
  • In nouns that are plural but not possessive (CDs, 100s, 1960s)
  • In verbs that end in –s (marks, sees, finds)

Another tip: Make sure that you’re using the correct word in your writing because often they’re misused when you confuse their with they’re and you’re with your or it’s with its.

Additive manufacturing, 3D printing and rapid prototyping: What’s the difference?

Keyboard with 3D print key

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

If you type “additive manufacturing” into Google, thousands of results pop up, including everything from magazines to materials manufacturers to membership organizations devoted to the subject.

Many of these sites also use the terms “3D printing,” “additive manufacturing,” and “rapid prototyping” interchangeably, which brings up an important question: are these really all the same, or are crucial differences being overlooked?

Let’s start with the basics. Additive manufacturing is a methodology made up of new processes that have been developed during the last 30 years. While these vary on a technical level, all of them involve quickly building components layer-by-layer or drop-by-drop using printers and digital files. This differs from traditional manufacturing processes (such as CNC machining) because it builds up rather than takes away; thereby, constructing something from scratch instead of chipping away at existing material to form a specific shape or object.

At the root of it all, 3D printing and additive manufacturing are one and the same. While most experts prefer “additive,” “3D printing” has become a buzzword that resonates more with the average consumer, as well as the new class of makers that’s emerged in the last 10 years. Some debate this theory, but in our experience, it extends little beyond personal preference, like calling soda “pop” or vice versa.

Rapid prototyping is a different story. While additive and 3D printing describe a process, rapid prototyping is a way to use that technology, specifically in a testing environment and/or for design purposes that have little or nothing to do with service applications. The phrase “fail fast, fail cheap” often applies to this practice, as additive tech allows manufacturers to experiment with different ideas, designs, and functions without worrying too much about the cost of materials. Some options include Color Jet Printing (CJP), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), and Stereolithography (SLA), which have been used to create things as diverse as car components, toys, and surgical implants.

Regardless of its applications, 3D printing continues to revolutionize the manufacturing sector. As current tech is improved upon and new methods are developed, these innovations are impacting companies for the better by offering a faster, cheaper alternative to using traditional processes and materials.

Check out how MAGNET is helping manufacturers harness the power of additive manufacturing capabilities in their products and processes:

For more information, call MAGNET at 216.391.7766, visit manufacturingsuccess.org, or follow us on Twitter at @MAGNETOhio!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

A-Tech Machinists soar to new heights at National Robotics League competition

National Robotics League competition

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jamie Joy, daughter of Ron Maurer, A-Tech Machinist’s coach and advisor)

I well remember the day. “Fighting robots?” I guess I had envisioned a tower of blocks with arms and legs throwing punches; I was skeptical at best. However, my dad had a completely different vision in mind. He’d just come home after visiting a National Robotics League competition. He imagined leading a group of young men and women, the next generation to enter the machining industry in which he’d spent his career, to construct from scratch a robotically engineered machine to face competitors with a high-speed, hardened tool-steel weapon. Though I wanted to be supportive, I can’t say I fully understood. That is until that first day of competition. It didn’t take long for myself, as well as the rest of our family, to realize the vision in which my father had spent countless hours striving. Even my two-year-old, at the time, came home battling his graham cracker halves against each other. We’d all caught the fever. Yet, behind the sound of grinding steel and robots sent flying through the air in three minute rounds, has always been the educational component.

Most schools are not fortunate enough to use classroom time to brainstorm, build and perfect their robots. However, A-Tech students, who are training to go into the machining industry after graduation, get the full spectrum of education from conception to final build, from battle to battle. They learn to meld ideas, strategies and concepts to create a robot that will withstand their competitors’ attacks. Throughout the school-year-long process, the students are hands on, machining raw material into each specific component of the robot’s assembly — weapon, axles, wheels, frame rails, base plates, etc. In addition to the parts it takes to assemble one robot, they compile enough for three complete machines, in the event that damage caused to the robot will call for a replacement component the day of the battle. Then the robot is assembled and analyzed on weapon speed, belt tightness, weight limits, drive control, etc. with adjustments made as needed. Finally, through a timed obstacle course, the drivers are selected, final tweaks made and the robot declared battle ready. With the investment of their time comes each student’s goal: Defeat the opposition, which makes success sweeter when it comes.

This year, A-Tech did just that, coming out on top for a second consecutive year at Lakeland Community College in the AWT RoboBots competition where they took home the first-place trophy from 25 opposing teams. This time, however, with the bragging rights of going undefeated throughout the day. At the National Robotics League competition in California, Pa., through a double-elimination bracket, the A-Tech Machinists tied for 13th place out of 64 teams. It was another great year of competition for not only the fans not only in the stands, but also those watching the live broadcast from home. 

Though, if you asked my dad, his greatest achievement wasn’t another trophy. It was the opportunity to instill in the next generation lessons in both the machining industry and in life, through a hunk of metal. In fact, 10 financial sponsors have backed that mission to be a part of the change in Ashtabula County: to teach through experience and personal investment the value of hard work. The hum of the weapon, sparks flying on contact, curling metal, bots rendered useless then reconstructed are just the surface. Behind all of it, is a draw for students to realize the necessity of the machining industry as they gain the skills to succeed within it. This year I brought home two excited kiddos who took foam building blocks, constructed their own “robots” with unique names and battled them against each other in makeshift rounds. I may be a little biased, but I’m so thankful that my dad had the foresight to see this thing through and the momentum from year to year to keep pushing his students to greater heights. It isn’t just the students who are all the better for it.

 

Teacher helps industrial arts student with projects

Brenna Truax welding

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Eric Dimitrov, Walsh Jesuit High School teacher)

I am a high school teacher (I see you help Euclid and other high schools) who has a student, Brenna Truax, currently enrolled in The University of Cincinnati’s industrial design program. In the program she will be in a studio space where she will working with various media, including wood, plastic and metal. Our school is great but does not offer industrial arts; so, I have been helping her prepare. I am a self-taught welder (actually bought my stick welder from HGR), and I have been working with her to craft some industrial-art-based projects. In the photo, we’re working to make a light from a cam shaft.

I told her about some of the art and cool furniture HGR has. And so, we will be making a trip to look at it. I cannot promise that the final project(s) would look nice enough for your new office space, but it is for a student to learn on and work with. I am thinking big nuts, gears, shafts — materials we can work to weld into a sculpture or shelving or table legs.

There’s nothing better than a good cup of coffee with friends

coffee at Six Shooter Cafe

Euclid, Ohio, and the Collinwood neighborhood are both full of businesses that support one another. Six degrees of separation. Jerry Schmidt, welding artist of Waterloo 7 Studio, is a customer of HGR. After interviewing him for a blog post, he introduced me to Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust and Other Four Letter Words who also is an HGR customer. I did a blog post about Larry then commissioned him to create a two pieces of industrial art for HGR’s new offices. Larry took me over to Six Shooter Coffee Cafe to see the bars and lamps he had made for the space and introduced me to Pete Brown, Six Shooter’s owner, and to some of the best coffee I’ve had.

Pete moved to Cleveland in 2013 and started roasting coffee in the basement of the place in which he lived for his personal use. Since he was 16, he had worked as a barista in a variety of coffee shops in Columbus, including a roasting company, where he learned a lot about the process. His friends started asking for coffee, and in 2014 he formed a limited liability corporation, and the business took off. His first client was The Grocery on Lorain Ave. In 2016, he opened his first coffee bar on Waterloo Road in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood.

Six Shooter Cafe signIn case you’re wondering where the name Six Shooter came from, President Lyndon B. Johnson used to serve coffee on his ranch in Texas. His coffee was said to be so strong that it could float a revolver. Pete likes strong, smooth, flavorful coffee!

Currently, he uses importers from which he buys his beans. Each country produces beans with different flavor profiles, just like wines from different regions. Six Shooter carries beans from Papua New Guinea, Columbia, Brazil, Peru, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Sumatra. Pete roasts them in-house at the company’s roastery located in the Tenk Machine & Tool Company’s building on the West Bank of Cleveland’s Flats. Pete hopes to get to the size where he can buy directly from the producers.

Six Shooter roasts 250-300 pounds of beans per week, 52 weeks per year. He has a 5 kg roaster and can roast seven pounds of coffee in 11 to 13 minutes. These beans are used in the coffee bar and sold wholesale to grocery stores, cafes and hotels. On May 20, Six Shooter’s second coffee bar is opening at the roastery’s location in The Flats, and the location in Collinwood will be extending its hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

When asked about his life prior to coffee roasting, Pete says that he went to school for education and was substitute teaching and working in a bar, “I was exhausted and broke; so, I decided to work for myself and be exhausted but not broke.” He decided to open shop in Collinwood, where he also lives, because, “I believe in furthering a community, which is why I went into education. I also am on the board of directors for Northeast Shores Development Corporation. It’s about collaboration and being part of a community. BRICK Ceramic makes our mugs. The Beachland Ballroom is a client. Larry Fielder made our furnishings. We use each other’s products.”

Six Shooters provides a unique beverage experience, including monthly specials, such as the lavender honey latte. It serves its own bourbon barrel-roasted cold-brewed coffee, as well as a toddy brewed with hops on nitro. It’s a cold coffee that pours creamy like a Guinness ale. Both of those coffees are nonalcoholic and have higher caffeine content. The coffee bar also has kombucha on draft. He says, “I have a passion for making coffee accessible to people and giving people a good experience and good customer service.”

He works fulltime out of the roastery location, while his wife, Tara, and store manager, Sarah, run the café. Pete and Tara were married in 2016, two months before the shop opened. When they’re not working Pete and Tara of Six Shooter Coffeerunning the coffee business 60 hours per week, they enjoy camping, working out and rugby. Pete played rugby in high school, at Ohio University and on three men’s teams after college. He coaches the Shaker Heights High School rugby team. 

Close encounters of a deer kind at HGR Industrial Surplus

deer

 

If you’ve been to HGR, you know that you can find anything in our 500,000-square-feet showroom, but did you know that we’ve had deer?

Chuck Leonard, receiving supervisor, who has been with HGR for 19 years – since the beginning – told the story of a day about 17 years ago when two deer came into the showroom through the front bay door. They were running around like crazy and leaping over equipment. Employees saw one deer leave but could not locate the other one.

Three days later, Herman Bailey, receiving supervisor, went to move a plastic storage tank. When he bumped it with his tow motor, the lost deer leapt out. Herman says, “I flew backwards on my tow motor. The deer was panicking and running wild and jumping over stuff. It ran out the back by Dock Doors 9 & 10. They probably came from the woods across the street by Euclid Creek.”

Back then, there were about 15 employees. Now, we have over 100, but no deer.

In 19 years of business, our employees and customers have lots of stories to tell. Have you ever had a close encounter with wildlife in your home or office?

 

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

HGR's Receiving Department
L to R: Dwayne Maggard, Chuck Leonard and Eric Sims

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Chuck Leonard, HGR’s receiving supervisor and an original HGR employee)

What does your department do?

Our department is basically where the ball starts rolling for each item we purchase. Our job is to unload everything in a safe manner when it comes in on a van trailer or a flatbed trailer. Once unloaded, we set each item along on a wall to be photographed and given an inventory number so that the item can be advertised on our website and displayed for customers out on our showroom floor.

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

I have two employees that work in my department and, at times, a third when required, depending on the trucking schedule. Their job consists of unloading items in a safe manner. Once unloaded, they have to prep each item to be set up along the wall to be inventoried. This task can be involved depending on the item. Once pictured and priced the item is moved by forklift to our designated “new arrivals” area. This process repeats itself throughout the day. We try to inventory 400 items each day between two shifts.

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

The job requires you to be fairly skilled on a forklift, since you’re not just moving pallets around all day. Machinery can be very unbalanced, which makes it dangerous, especially when you’re dealing with machines that can weigh up to 40,000 pounds. You have to be able to work at a fairly quick, but safe, pace. There are a lot of smaller items that come in that require sorting through. I’m here to tell you, it’s not as easy as we make it look — just ask some of the salespeople and management who’ve gotten on a forklift.

What do you like most about your department?

I like the fact that my department works well together as a team; everyone knows his role. I like that we are dealing with different items, and we are not just moving pallets all day long. I also like the challenge of lifting bigger, heavier pieces that require rigging/chaining. I’ve been here for 19 years; so, there’s not much that I haven’t seen, but I like the occasional surprises.

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

I guess our challenge in our department is space — having enough wall space to set up as many items as possible. The more space, the more items, and the more we sell, the more money we bring in. We have gotten more creative with using curtains as a wall, and recently the new office space in the back has freed more space. We can never have too much space though.

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

The biggest change in our department, and for all of the company for that matter, has been safety. We can never be too safe.

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

This is just probably wishful thinking on my part but if there was a way to know and control on a daily basis what’s coming in. There are days when we are overwhelmed with what’s coming. Another continuous improvement would to be make sure every piece moved is done so without damaging it.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR’s environment is very customer and employee friendly. There’s a reason I’ve been here for 19 years. I think everyone just wants to be treated fairly, and I truly have been during my time here.

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

When I interviewed for the job at McKean about 20 years ago, I was totally clueless about everything. I remember walking through an unorganized warehouse of machinery thinking, “Is there really a market for this kind of stuff? Will I still have a job in a couple of years?” Fast forward 20 years, and the answer is a resounding YES! We seem to be economy foolproof. No matter how good or bad the economy is doing there has always been a market for HGR. I see a lot of items come in through Receiving and say to myself, “No chance in hell that’s going to sell.” Lo and behold, I’m walking through the showroom and see a sold tag on it to my astonishment. So the old saying truly is: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Euclid High School Senior awarded 2017 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. scholarship

HGR's human resources manager awarding scholarship to Euclid High School senior

Last night at Euclid High School’s Senior Awards Ceremony, Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager, presented Senior Connor Hoffman with HGR’s 2017 S.T.E.M. scholarship that will go toward his first year of college at the University of Cincinnati to pursue a degree in information technology. Connor was not able to be present due to competing in a CISCO Networking Academy National Competition in Florida. A representative from the high school accepted on his behalf.

Upon hearing of Connor’s accomplishment, his teacher Bob Torrelli, Science Department chair, says, “His potential is off the charts. He scored a perfect 36 on the science ACT! That is not easy to do.”

Connor is captain of both the robotics and soccer teams at Euclid High School and an officer of its National Honor Society chapter. In his senior year, he was in AP honors classes at Euclid High School and enrolled in college classes through Lake Erie College In his scholarship application, Connor says, ” Ever since I was young, I had a desire to learn how things work. When one of my toys would break I would open it up and try to see what made it tick. As I got older, this desire to understand the inner workings of things extended to other areas. It led me to join my school’s robotics club where I was able to learn many new things. I learned a lot about machining and assembling parts, as well as designing those parts using computer-assisted design. This desire to learn how things work also led me to enroll in my school’s Cisco Networking program which has set me on my current career path.”

Congratulations Connor, and good luck in college.

New sandwich shop opens in Euclid

Sammich ribbon cutting
l to r: Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce; Randy Carter, Sammich’s owner; Kirsten Holzheimer Gail, Euclid mayor; Camille Maxwell, executive director, Northeast Shores Development Corporation

On May 8, 2017, The City of Euclid, Euclid Chamber of Commerce and Northeast Shores Development Corporation hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Sammich, 651 E. 185th Street, Cleveland. Mayor Holzheimer Gail opened the ceremonies with a few words about the ongoing 185th-corridor improvements followed by Camille Maxwell, executive director of Northeast Shores, and Sheila Gibbons, executive director of Euclid Chamber of Commerce. Randy Carter, Sammich’s owner and owner of Jack Flaps breakfast and luncheon bistros, says, “We are proud to support the neighborhood and help the community grow to make it a better place for everyone.”

After the ribbon cutting, members of the community started ordering sandwiches. Um, I mean sammiches. And, these aren’t your average sammich. Definitely not Subway. Carter uses local, fresh ingredients and cures and smokes his own meats in-house, including house-made sausage. I tried the HOT pickled vegetables with cucumber, celery, Spanish onion and carrots, as well as the cucumber salad made with Spanish onion, red bell pepper and dill. My sandwich was Sammich’s version of Vietnamese bahn mi called Cung Le. Since I don’t eat bread, they made mine as a lettuce wrap. It was amazing — huge and full of Vietnamese sausage, roast pork, cilantro, fresh-sliced jalepenos — seeds and all — and house-made kimchi. The sandwiches are wrapped in butcher paper and usually served on fresh-baked Orlando hoagies. I was going to take a picture of my food but I was so busy wolfing it down that I forgot. So, how’s this for testimony as to how good it was?

Sammich leftovers

HGR stands out from the crowd at 2017 Ceramics Expo

HGR booth at 2017 Ceramics Expo

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer)

HGR Industrial Surplus recently had the opportunity to exhibit at the Ceramics Expo at the I-X Center in Cleveland for several days. Nestled among shiny, new, three-dimensional printers and exhibits displaying new advances in technology were a couple of old pieces of equipment, including an oven and a piece of air handling equipment. Being different and standing out from the crowd can work to a company’s advantage when it comes to marketing, and HGR’s booth was certainly a different look.

Over three days, Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer, and Mike Paoletto, one of HGR’s buyers, greeted a steady stream of traffic from current and former customers and vendors as well as from industry professionals who were drawn in by the odd juxtaposition of old equipment at an exposition featuring state-of-the-art processes and machinery. But these industry professionals almost immediately divined why a company like HGR would exhibit at their convention. HGR is in the business of helping companies at every stage grow and transform their businesses. HGR holds a special place in the business ecosystem where it interacts with large, publicly traded multinationals that are transforming their businesses, as well as with nascent startups that are capital constrained, for whom acquiring used and surplus equipment is fundamental to their early success.

The three-day exposition was a great success for HGR. Mike Paoletto reconnected with several vendors who he hadn’t seen for a while–some of whom had moved on to different roles and different companies. While the questions directed at Mike and Matt were as varied as the types of equipment inventoried in HGR’s 12-acre warehouse and showroom in Euclid, Ohio, nearly every conversation started with some observation about the stack of ginormous pens sitting on HGR’s table. Invariably, the engineers at the conference wanted to know why we had such large pens. Our response? “Well, you’re asking us about our pens, aren’t you?”

Large HGR pen giveaway at Ceramics Expo

Enter to win HGR’s May 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

HGR guess what it is contest image May 2017

Last month, we must have gone too hard on you; so, we decided to make it a tiny bit easier this month for you to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following 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.

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

An HGR customer makes art by painting metal

Bob McNulty paintings

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

On the corner of Detroit Ave. and Marlowe Ave., in historic Lakewood, Ohio, sits a unique furniture shop called Empty Nest. The owner is a long-time customer of HGR Industrial Surplus and an emerging artist. Bob McNulty studied sculpture with Gene Kangas and photography with Misumi Hayashi at Cleveland State University before traveling the world as a sailmaker and boat captain. After being in the boat industry for 25 years, he left the field in 2008 to pursue other ventures, including opening a furniture store. It was in that line of work when he was introduced to industrial furniture. Being intrigued by it, he started to network within the community. Then in 2010, he decided to pursue art full time and brand his own style of industrial chic.

McNulty was fascinated by the distressed look of the industrial movement and wanted to push it further. By applying 5 to 12 coats of paint and using various techniques to remove the layers, the colors beneath began to show Bob a picture. He started to mix geometric shapes and free-flowing designs to create paintings that are as fascinating to touch as they are to look at. You can feel the textures of the layers and see the dimensions. Pictures do not justify their beauty. Bob McNulty, the artist, was born.

I looked around at the different pieces in his art opening on April 29, 2017. Some reminded me of topographical maps of rural towns, while others had a molecular feel to them. The majority of the pieces were made from items bought at HGR, where Bob says, “It was like a candy store” the first time he walked in. He now makes art full time, which keeps him busy. Each painting takes two to three weeks from start to finish, which allows time for application of all the layers. You can see his work at Empty Nest, 14423 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, Ohio.

Bob McNulty

Euclid High School’s Robotics Team made us proud at the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition!

Euclid High School Robotics Team RoboBot battle bot

Congratulations to Euclid High Schools’s Robotics Team “The Untouchables” and their battle bot “Eliot Ness” for making it to the fourth round of the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition on Apr. 29 at Lakeland Community College. We are very proud of you and grateful for the opportunity to sponsor an amazing group of students. You all are winners to us! HGR’s employees showed up the day before the competition at work in their team shirts to show our support.

RoboBot 2017 T-shirt

Future looks bright for AWT RoboBots contestants

Euclid High School Robotics Team at 2017 AWT RoboBots

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

It was a gloomy overcast day out at Lakeland Community College for the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition, but the future looks bright for the students on “The Untouchables” robotics team at Euclid High School. They worked all year at perfecting their weapon, and with early tests it looked like it paid off. The Untouchables were in the pit making last second adjustments while awaiting their match. They looked nervous but eager to see their bot in action.

The morning’s matches began with big hits and fast finishes. The weapons were causing a lot of damage and some matches were over after the first hit. It was Euclid’s turn to step into the octagon. Their weapon looked as impressive in their first match as it did in the test runs. As the bots charged each other, The Untouchables’ weapon struck the first blow hitting the team from Perry, Ohio, hard and disabling their weapon. After a few more hits, Perry was sent scrambling around to try and recover without a weapon. Unfortunately, the drive system for Euclid started to fail, and their mobility was slowed to a plodding stumble. They could hit Perry hard enough to knock them out, but couldn’t move enough to target them. Perry took advantage of this by maneuvering around them and eventually pinning Euclid to the side a few times, earning them points from the judges. Even when Euclid used their one release, Perry was able to use their agility to once again pin The Untouchables. That proved to be too much for the team from Euclid, and they lost a judge’s decision in the first round, which sent them to the consolation bracket.

They were disappointed in the pit. Their weapon could do the job, but moving was an issue and needed remedied. They all jumped on a task and got to work immediately. Time was an issue with the next round beginning in 20 minutes. They had to recharge and make improvements on the fly. Before you knew it, the announcer was calling Euclid to the set-up and weigh-in table. They tested the movement, and it seemed to have improved some, but not to the point they had hoped. It was do-or-die time for The Untouchables.

Their next opponent was a team from Pennsylvania, and Euclid wanted to show what their bot was made of. From the start, the bot wasn’t moving how they wanted it to; so, they planned their attack around their inability to move. The other team worked hard to move around them and hit Euclid hard with their weapon, which sent Euclid’s bot up in the air. When it landed, however, Euclid’s weapon made contact with their gear and knocked their weapon offline. The Pennsylvania team tried to maintain the aggression and pin The Untouchables, which resulted in a few points from the judges. There were just seconds to go when the Pennsylvania team tried to approach one last time. It proved to be their undoing. Euclid’s weapon caught the other team’s bot hard and sent it through the air for a last-second knockout in dramatic fashion. The Untouchables would live to fight another round.

The stage turned to the JuniorBots Competition which gave Euclid over an hour to work on their bot. Coming off their exciting victory, they wanted to get the bot back into the best shape for their next match. Euclid won on a forfeit due to the power failure of the other bot. They needed to win a few more to battle back into the finals bracket, and their next match was a tough one against Kirtland.

Kirtland‘s bot was fast and compact. The weapon was similar to Euclid’s but smaller and more direct in its attack. From the start, Euclid still was moving slowly but adapting well with a defensive strategy. Kirtland was moving around Euclid as if it were testing their defenses. After a few small hits, Kirtland went in for the kill. Euclid took the first few shots like a champ, but their weapon couldn’t lay a good hit on the faster, more agile bot. The Untouchables bot was fighting, but pieces were being torn from it by the other team’s weapon, and its bot was so low to the ground, Euclid couldn’t lift it when it did make contact. As buzzer went off and its bot lay in pieces, The Untouchables day was over.

As I walked out at the end of the day and looked at the sky, it was still gloomy and overcast without a single ray of sun. As I look to the future of Euclid High School robotics, it looks very bright. They have a weapon to be reckoned with and small improvements to be made to the drive system. When it all comes together, I may be writing this same article next year, with a very different outcome.

This year’s winners were repeat champions from 2016, The A-Tech Machinists from Ashtabula. They defeated Beaumont in the final round to go undefeated for the regional bracket and are on their way to the state finals. As a reward, they received the $500 scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus, which I presented to the winning team.

A-Tech Machinists winning $500 scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus at 2017 AWT RoboBots

Top 10 questions about HGR Industrial Surplus

HGR Industrial Surplus Showroom Aisle-way

We get questions all the time about what we do, and people are curious about what we sell. So, we put together this Top 10 list of interesting tidbits, trivia and fun facts about HGR for your enjoyment.

What do you do?

HGR Industrial Surplus buys new and used machinery, equipment, furniture, supplies, fixtures, shelving and more. You name it, we’ve sold it. Yes, even rugs, leather, wine glasses, printer ink cartridges, pottery molds, sinks, tile and more.

What’s the heaviest item that you’ve ever sold?

A large press that weighed 150,000 pounds!

What’s the most expensive item that you’ve ever sold?

A press for $89,999

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever bought?

15,000 hammers

What do you sell the most of?

Electrical items

Who are your customers?

Makers, machinists, hobbyists, welders, manufacturers, engineers, maintenance employees, DIYers, woodworkers, contractors, store and business owners

Why did you locate in Euclid, Ohio?

Euclid had the building that would work for us. We were able to commit to the space we needed at the time, while also having options to grow. It was perfect for our short- and long-term plans.

Edwin Merced HGR Employee of the MonthWho was your most recent employee of the month?

Edwin Merced, showroom operator, was nominated and voted April’s Employee of the Month by his coworkers at HGR. He was nominated for “supporting everyone with openness, honesty, trust and respect while working as a team to achieve our common goals. He creates exceptional customer relationships by enhancing awareness and expectations of outstanding service with every interaction. Edwin does all of this with a smile on his face.”

Who’s the employee who’s been there the longest?

There are 11 employees who have been here since the beginning, 19 years ago: Founder Paul Betori, Buyer Jeff Crowl, Partner Rick Affrica, Buyer Jim Ray, Partner Brian Krueger, Showroom Floor Supervisor Rich Lash, Sales Rep Steve Fischer, Receiving Supervisor Chuck Leonard, Partner Ron Tiedman, Sales Admin Libby Dixon, and retired Buyer Doug Kopp.

Brian and Ron started in sales and now are part owners, while Rick started as a buyer and now is a part owner. Chuck and Rich started as forklift operators and are now supervisors. Jim, Jeff and Steve have retained and expanded our clientele with their wisdom and mentor our buy and sales staff. Libby has consistently been our dependable sales admin and customer greeter.

HGR employee Chuck Leonard
Chuck
Andrew Ciecerko HGR employee
Andrew

Who’s the employee who drives the furthest?

We have employees who drive in from all over, including Cuyahoga, Medina, Summit and Stark counties, the far eastern suburbs, as well as Pennsylvania.

Chuck Leonard, receiving supervisor, lives in Erie, Pa., and drives 93 miles to work on Monday morning and 93 miles home on Friday night. The rest of the week, he stays 40 miles away in Geneva at his mom’s house. He’s done this for 19 years! That’s dedication.

Andrew Ciecerko, inventory clerk, lives in Williamsfield, Ohio, near the Pa. line. He drives 70 miles each way every day.

HGR aerial view

Thanks for reading! Do you have other questions about HGR that you would like answered?

HGR Industrial Surplus to give $500 scholarship to winning AWT RoboBots team on Apr. 29

Come on out to Lakeland Community College and join us to cheer on the high-school and middle-school teams as they compete to be the last battle bot standing. The battles begin at 8:30 a.m. The winning high school will be presented with a $500 scholarship check from HGR Industrial Surplus at the end of the event.

AWT RoboBots 2017 flyer

Are you going to the Ceramics Expo in Cleveland?

Ceramics Expo Logo

 

If you are, we’ll be there, too. Stop by Booth 905 from April 25-27, 2017, to see three pieces of equipment that we’ll have on display and pick up some cool swag, including coasters, lanyards, dispensers and BIG @$$ HGR pens. You can chat with one of our buyers, Mike Paoletto, our Chief Marketing Officer Matt Williams and some of our salespeople. We’re there because we buy ceramics and glass equipment from companies that are selling their lines for an upgrade and looking to recover assets.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Bob Buerger

HGR buyer Bob BuergerWhen did you start with HGR and why?

2004, but I moved into the buyer role in 2014. My friends and I were at a Hell’s Angels dry poker run for Ronald McDonald House. One stop was a local bar called Stingers near HGR. Since it was the last stop, we thought we’d have a beer and ended up meeting Mike Lima, HGR’s shipping manager at the time, who said they were looking for someone in the incoming department. I applied, and they hired me. I also used to shop at McKean and HGR for years, especially on Wednesdays when we could have a free lunch and shop. I thought it was the neatest place. There’s no other place I’ve come across like HGR with its enormous size, its magnitude and what it does — even in all my travels now.

What were you doing before HGR?

I managed a metal finishing and plating company and was familiar with most of Mike Paoletto’s customers that he’s bought from. I like machinery and woodworking and have always been around it.

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

Southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, 75 percent of Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. I live about 30 minutes from Memphis.

Monday is office day to get caught up. On average, I am away from the house overnight 1.5 days per week. I travel from company to company looking at equipment and purchase what we can, which is about 15 percent of what we look at, on average. I see about three businesses per day but have seen up to six.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and new companies. At HGR, I saw all this equipment coming in but never saw it in operation, but now I go to huge manufacturing companies and get to see extrusion lines and robots in action and realize, “Oh, that’s how it’s made.” Every day is new in learning, and the job is fascinating.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The technology. I am not a computer person. When I first took this job, the only experience that I had was as an inventory clerk at HGR putting in information. And, I had a flip phone. The owners of HGR took a huge leap of faith giving me this position. Brian said, “Let’s give this guy a chance. He’s a good worker and always on time.” I was never late once and lived 30 minutes away. Even Rick had to teach me how to copy and paste.

When did you start with HGR and why?

2004, but I moved into the buyer role in 2014. My friends and I were at a Hell’s Angels dry poker run for Ronald McDonald House. One stop was a local bar called Stingers near HGR. Since it was the last stop, we thought we’d have a beer and ended up meeting Mike Lima, HGR’s shipping manager at the time, who said they were looking for someone in the incoming department. I applied, and they hired me. I also used to shop at McKean and HGR for years, especially on Wednesdays when we could have a free lunch and shop. I thought it was the neatest place. There’s no other place I’ve come across like HGR with its enormous size, its magnitude and what it does — even in all my travels now.

What were you doing before HGR?

I managed a metal finishing and plating company and was familiar with most of Mike Paoletto’s customers that he’s bought from. I like machinery and woodworking and have always been around it.

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

Southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, 75 percent of Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. I live about 30 minutes from Memphis.

Monday is office day to get caught up. On average, I am away from the house overnight 1.5 days per week. I travel from company to company looking at equipment and purchase what we can, which is about 15 percent of what we look at, on average. I see about three businesses per day but have seen up to six.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and new companies. At HGR, I saw all this equipment coming in but never saw it in operation, but now I go to huge manufacturing companies and get to see extrusion lines and robots in action and realize, “Oh, that’s how it’s made.” Every day is new in learning, and the job is fascinating.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The technology. I am not a computer person. When I first took this job, the only experience that I had was as an inventory clerk at HGR putting in information. And, I had a flip phone. The owners of HGR took a huge leap of faith giving me this position. Brian said, “Let’s give this guy a chance. He’s a good worker and always on time.” I was never late once and lived 30 minutes away. Even Rick had to teach me how to copy and paste.

What’s your favorite place to eat when you are on the road?

My favorite place to eat with the best burgers is Abe’s Grill in Mississippi. It’s 100 years old with 10-15 seats.

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

My wife and I bought a house that was owned by a single mom who thought duct tape fixed everything; so, I spend a lot of my free time working on the house and outside in the yard. My wife said that she would really like a pool; so, we put an in-ground pool in last year.

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

My mom and dad. Mom because she gave me a great sense of humor. She taught me to laugh at myself. Dad because he gave me a great work ethic. He was a foreman at Ford Brookpark Foundry for more than 25 years. He’d leave for work at 5:30 a.m. in a white shirt and come home with a grey shirt. He had a stretch of about 150 days where he worked every day with no time off. He also is a combat Marine Corp. veteran who served in Korea. He taught me that if you work hard in life you get benefits.

Anything I missed that you want the rest of the team to know?

At HGR, if you give 100 percent and work hard, ownership will recognize you when a position becomes available. They’re always open to give someone a chance.

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

My wife and I bought a house that was owned by a single mom who thought duct tape fixed everything; so, I spend a lot of my free time working on the house and outside in the yard. My wife said that she would really like a pool; so, we put an in-ground pool in last year.

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

My mom and dad. Mom because she gave me a great sense of humor. She taught me to laugh at myself. Dad because he gave me a great work ethic. He was a foreman at Ford Brookpark Foundry for more than 25 years. He’d leave for work at 5:30 a.m. in a white shirt and come home with a grey shirt. He had a stretch of about 150 days where he worked every day with no time off. He also is a combat Marine Corp. veteran who served in Korea. He taught me that if you work hard in life you get benefits.

Anything else that you want everyone to know?

At HGR, if you give 100 percent and work hard, ownership will recognize you when a position becomes available. They’re always open to give someone a chance.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Jason Arnett

HGR Buyer Jason Arnett

When did you start with HGR and why?

June 2014. I was intrigued by the opportunity to have a multi-state territory and had a background in sales but this was different being on the buyer side rather than the sales side.

What were you doing before HGR?

Medical, equipment and specialty lumber sales

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

The Midatlantic (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina)

Monday is spent in the office following up on offers and getting the schedule together, getting your appointments set for the week. The rest of the week is out on appointments and looking at equipment, taking pictures, and setting expectations with customers. The deals are sent through Dataflo and the offer goes out to the customer. Then, we follow up on offers, sometimes on Mondays and sometimes in the car driving between appointments. I spend one to two overnights per week out on the road.

What do you like most about your job?

I like being in front of the customers and interacting with them in person, basically, the whole process of the inspection.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Convincing some of the customers that they would do better selling to HGR as opposed to scrapping the equipment. It goes back to setting expectations and helping them to understand that we don’t offer retail pricing because we are an industrial reseller of used equipment.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

The HGR volleyball tournament in January with another buyer and Founder Paul Betori singing karaoke. It was memorable.

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

Cooking on the BBQ and smoking meat with a charcoal or wood fire.

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

My dad. He inspires by always giving 110% effort in everything he’s done. He runs marathons. He went back to law school in his early 40s and now works as a lobbyist. Recently, he wasn’t able to meet me for lunch because he was meeting with a congressman!

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

HGR's receiving department
Bryan and Eric

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager)

What does your department do?

The Inbound Logistics Department is in constant contact with HGR’s vendors. We do not have much contact with customers who purchase items from HGR. After a buyer has made a purchase from a vendor we are in contact with the vendors until all items have been picked up. We ensure that the buying and shipping process goes smoothly for them and that they have a good experience and sell to HGR in the future. A day in the life would be 75-100 phone calls and email with vendors, trucking companies, dispatchers, buyers and then making it all come together so that the offloading of the equipment goes smooth here at HGR

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

My department is myself and Eric Karaba. He handles seven of the buyers, while I handle six and any purchases made by two of our owners, Rick Affrica and Brian Krueger.

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

Patience. In this line of work, things will go wrong, and problems will come up. It happens all the time, and you just have to roll with it and adjust. Multitasking as well as being able to solve problems quickly.

What do you like most about your department?

I like that we play an integral role in the HGR “supply chain” process. I like that every day can be different, as well.

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

We face challenges every day. You just have to learn from previous experiences and apply that knowledge to anything that will come up in the future.

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

Two years ago, this department didn’t exist. We had an outside company do it for us, and we wanted to take control of it to better service our vendors and make the process smoother.

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

We are in the process of implementing a process to ensure that equipment gets to HGR faster (so we can sell if faster) and more efficiently.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

I think it is a pretty relaxed environment. We are able to get our work done.

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

Before I came here I didn’t know much about the manufacturing industry. My experience was solely in shipping. During the course of the last two years, I have learned what certain machines are, what they are used for and what items HGR has success with.

Learn about the history of slo-pitch softball, which started in Cleveland, at the hall of fame and museum

History of start of softball at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum

In 1985, The Greater Cleveland Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame began inducting members into the hall at its annual banquet. This continues to be the case today. But, in 1997, Founder Buddy Langdon and his partner had an idea for a hall of fame and museum in order to share the history of softball with the public. Originally, they planned to make it a mobile exhibit that could travel around the country by bus. Later, they approached the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, then located in what is now the Shore Cultural Centre in Euclid, Ohio, to pitch the idea that both museums be housed in the historic, former Euclid City Hall building that the city had planned to condemn and demolish.

In 1998, both museums set up shop at 605 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio. The softball hall of fame decided that Euclid was a central location between the furthermost east and west sides, and the city had teams that played in the biggest and best leagues. The museum is a nonprofit that is funded through ticket sales from its induction banquet, donations from visitors and an annual raffle fundraiser.

When I visited, I learned so much about the sport and the history of the area. The first slo-pitch team was formed in Cleveland in 1939 by the Jewish Recreation Commission. As Curator Rich Yonakor explains, “Since they celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday, it was something for them to do socially on Sundays. They decided to make the ball bigger and slower since everyone was not able to hit a baseball. Gambling occurred, as the community placed bets on the outcome of games. They decided to open the games up to the public.” One of the first softballs was made at a YMCA by taping up a ball of socks.

By the 1960s and early 1970s, there were 280 local teams competing in a single elimination tournament to go on to the world championship. Later, the tournaments changed to double elimination, and instead of one champion, one team comes out of every governing body and league. In 1975, Cleveland’s Pyramid Café team won the first world championship for the city. In softball’s heyday, most teams were sponsored by bars, restaurants and the unions within companies. HGR Sales Associate Andrew Pringle’s grandfather, Douglas Pringle, played softball in the 1960s and was inducted into the hall with his team.

Many people don’t know the difference between fast pitch and slo-pitch. Women’s fast pitch is played at the high school and college level where the pitcher winds up and throws the ball hard and fast in a straight line. The pitcher also is six feet closer to home plate. In slo-pitch, the ball is lobbed in an arch of 10 feet to 16 feet, depending on the governing body. Most have a rule of 10 to 12 feet. There are a multitude of governing bodies, and each has different rules regarding the type of bat used and the pitching arc.

Rich Yonakor at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and MuseumToday, the sport has experienced a decline in popularity that Yonakor attributes to the electronic age where people are not getting out to play sports as much. He says the materials have changed dramatically and that “often the equipment is doing all of the work for them, not like in the old days when it was about competition and exercise. No one got hurt, and they all went out afterwards.” Now, the ball is harder; therefore, players can hit it further and over the fence for more home runs. The leagues have actually had to limit the number of home runs in a game on this account.

If you are a sports enthusiast, which you must be if you got to this point in the blog, when you stop to visit the museum, you can talk softball, baseball, basketball AND football with Yonakor. Does that name sound familiar? Yep, he’s the son of football legend John Yonakor, a member of the 1946-1950 All-American Football Conference Cleveland Browns. His father took him to every Browns home game from when Yonakor was four until he was 17. John Yonakor was originally drafted into the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, but Paul Brown offered to pay him more, $9,500 per year as opposed to $7,500. He also played in Canada for a year, with the New York Yanks for a year and with the Washington Redskins for a couple of years. His son, Rich, was recruited six years ago to assist Langdon in running the museum. When Langdon passed away, Yonakor took over. Rich Yonakor played NBA basketball for the San Antonio Spurs and then professional basketball for overseas teams, including Italy, France and Belgium, for a few years. He also was the softball director for the City of Euclid.

 

the main room at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum part of the Hall of Fame wall at the Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum penants and shirts at the Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame and Museum

 

What do a Chicago crime boss and EHS’ competitors at the AWT RoboBots competition have in common?

Euclid High School robotics team working on its battle bot

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

They are going down!

We had a very successful meeting in March at SC Industries. The robot is totally together and all that’s left to do is shed 0.15 pounds and practice driving and using the weapon.

The Euclid High School Robotics Team has been relentless in solving the gear ratio problem between the motor and the weapon shaft. We finally got it resolved while we did work on the robot during spring break. So, without any other unforeseen problems, we will be ready to test it out this week at Fredon in the cage. We need to solder some specific connections onto the new 12-volt batteries, hook the electronics together, and attach the armor. We have about four weeks to test it and make sure it is competition ready for the 2017 RoboBots Battle on Apr. 29 at Lakeland Community College.

Our team name still is The Untouchables, and our robot’s name is Elliott Ness.

HGR Industrial Surplus is one of the team’s sponsors.

Great Scott Tavern helps build community

Great Scott Tavern

I had a sit down with Bob Edwardsen, general manager of Great Scott Tavern, 21801 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, to find out more about how the restaurant came into being and how it has evolved since its opening in June 2015.

Bob’s known the owner, Mrs. Scott, since he was a child. His parents were friends with her and her husband. They traveled and spent holidays together. Before becoming a restauranteur, Mrs. Scott worked in real estate management and lived in New York for a time. But, now, she’s a Euclid resident.

According to Edwardsen, “Her lifelong dream was to have a restaurant. She wanted to locate it in her city because she feels that Euclid needs another good restaurant. She’s in here every day. This is like her child. She eats here all the time.”

Originally, Mrs. Scott bought the gas station next to the Beach Club Bistro where she intended to open the restaurant, but there was a parking issue. So, when the current location, a former office building, came up for sale, she bought the building, spent more than two years renovating it, tore down the gas station and created a parking lot that the restaurant shares with its neighbors. The restaurant specializes in American comfort food, and the décor reflects its desire to be cozy and inviting.

The restaurant has more local connections in its management team: Edwardsen grew up in Euclid. His assistant general manager, Tom Laurienzo, who Edwardsen calls “his right and left arm,” and current head chef live in Euclid. About Laurienzo, he says, “Tom started here as a server and was promoted. He is phenomenal at what he does and is a great person, too, with children and a wife while being active in his church. I don’t know how he finds the time.” As Edwardsen says in his staff meetings, “It takes a team to win.”

He made his way to Great Scott because he and Mrs. Scott shared the same cleaning lady. The cleaning lady told him about the ongoing renovations. Then, Mrs. Scott started coming to Edwardsen’s bar and restaurant on E. 200th to ask him questions about restaurant management. In February 2016, he joined her staff. His favorite menu items are the cabbage rolls and meatloaf. During Lent, the restaurant serves a fish fry made with Bob’s recipe that he served at his former restaurant.

The name Great Scott Tavern is a pun on words. First, it’s Mrs. Scott’s last name, but she also used it because of its association with film heroes, superheroes and comic-book characters, such as Christopher Lloyd’s character in the movie “Back to the Future,” Superman and Dennis the Menace when they utter that famous exclamation of surprise, “Great Scott!”

Mrs. Scott is heavily involved in philanthropy and in the community. The restaurant is a member of The Euclid Chamber of Commerce and the Euclid Kiwanis Club. It has participated in local events sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Taste the Neighborhood in Collinwood. The restaurant hosts meetings and parties for local organizations, such as Euclid Beach Park Now. She is also one of the sponsors of the Cleveland International Film Festival, and she is involved with the Henn Mansion, Shore Cultural Centre and Euclid Pet Pals.

Edwardsen also has a love for his community. He belongs to The Nobel-Monitor Lodge of the Swedish Vasa and is active at Holden Arboretum, about which he says, “I went there for the first time and thought it was fabulous. It took my mind off of everything. Before that, I buried myself in my work.” He also loves local sports and went to the Cavs’ Championship Parade, but The Cleveland Indians are his favorite team. He encourages others to get involved and says, “You have to build the community.”

Great Scott is open Tuesday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

employees in kitchen at Great Scott Tavern

 

Enter to win HGR’s April 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

spot welder sweat valve for HGR Facebook contest

Last month, we went too easy on you; so, we decided to make it a little harder this month to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate, 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.

Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

April is National Welding Month!

welder with shield and sparks

In support of the American Welding Society, we’re celebrating all the talented, hardworking welders who make many of the objects that we use and appreciate on a daily basis, especially those that get us where we need to go. Welding was discovered in the 1800s and has continued to make strides. Consider a career in welding and talk to your local community college or trade school, or let us know if you are a welder and what you weld. Thank you, welders!

If you’re looking for welding equipment, HGR Industrial Surplus has affordable new and used items to fit out your weld shop.

Pardon our dust

construction workers on renovation site for HGR demolitionHGR is gutting and rebuilding our front entrance, restrooms and sales office to better serve our customers. The construction work is being done at night while we are closed, but you will notice some changes in the next four months. We’ll be moving our desks around to accommodate the work being done, and the front restrooms are closed; so, customers will need to use the restrooms in Aisle 6 or in our back offices if you are unable to navigate the stairs to the restrooms.

Please excuse the shuffle while we make amazing improvements. You still can count on the same great products, service and prices.

Thanks!

Sheffield Bronze’s founder: from printer to paint-powder distributor, car salesman, auto lessor, and finally paint manufacturer by 1927

Mel Hart, president of Sheffield Bronze

Mel Hart, president of Sheffield Bronze Paint Corp., 17814 S. Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, is a self-made man with captivating stories to tell about the history of Cleveland and of his family, especially his grandfather, Abe Gross, the founder of Sheffield Bronze.

In the 1920s, Hart’s grandfather worked for Star Printing as an apprentice printer and lived with his parents and siblings in a rooming house on Scovill Ave. When Star Printing’s owner died, Gross was only a teenager. But, he bought the company from the owner’s wife by making payments over time. Star Printing was a prominent printer that made laundry tickets, Hanna parking garage tickets, and labels, among other items. One of the jobs Star Printing took, on a handshake, was to print labels for bronze powder, used to make copper, gold, brass and silver paint.

When he went to collect the payment for the labels, the owner of the company admitted that he was going out of business. To pay for the labels, he turned over the labels, cans and powder to Gross. A business was born in 1927. The bronze powder sold well; so, he bought more powder from England to package and resell, while continuing to run his printing business. He decided that he wanted to sell aluminum powder (pulverized aluminum scrap that is used to make aluminum paint) and contacted Alcoa. This powder was used to make paint for the World War II effort and for many purposes, including pipes, window and door screens that were painted aluminum.

At this time, fine steel was being produced in Sheffield, England, to make Sheffield knives and other steel items. The name “Sheffield” became synonymous with fine steel then, eventually, came to encompass all fine metal. Gross took the name for his paint-manufacturing company, and Sheffield Bronze Paint Corp. was born.

The company was moved from the original location of Star Printing on E. 55th to another location at E. 55th and Woodland Ave. It moved again to Lakeview Rd. and Euclid Ave. In 1949, Gross bought the land where the company still is located in Collinwood because it was inexpensive due to being next to the railroad tracks but convenient for the company since it would receive shipments of paint cans by train.

Unfortunately, one year later, he passed away, and his two sons took over. One year later, on the same day, their sister, Hart’s mother, passed away when he was 13 years old. Hart had worked with her after school in the restaurant that she owned, Hickory House, 7804 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland. He moved in with his father (his parents had divorced when he was two) who sold cars and began to work with him. They sold the restaurant to The Lancer Steakhouse. The building was lost in a fire and torn down in 2009.

Hart’s uncle, Sanford Gross, said to him, “If you can sell cars, you can sell paint” and asked Hart to work for him. Hart took a chance and hoped for a future. When each of his uncles passed away in 1998 and 2008, he bought out their shares from his aunts. Through the years, he had worked his way up in the company from selling paint, to running the plant, to purchasing, to general manager to sales manager and, finally, to president. Hart says, “I have to know how to do everything in order to train people.”

Sheffield Bronze employs 14-20 people. It produces decorative metallic paints (gold, silver, bronze, copper) that are sold to paint manufacturers and through paint distributors to hardware stores and paint stores, including Ace, True Value, ALLPRO and Sherwin-Williams. The paints are purchased by home owners, contractors, architects, and interior designers for use in touching up porcelain and cast-iron stoves, chalkboard paint on walls for children, paint tints, on church domes, such as St. Theodosius in Tremont, roof canopies, carousels (Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel housed at the Western Reserve Historical Society), and ornate ceilings and trim, including the theaters in Playhouse Square.

A lab technician, fillers, labelers, packagers, and shipping, receiving and office staff work for Sheffield Bronze. The raw materials come in to Shipping, are taken by elevator upstairs where they are manufactured. The pigments come down through gravity feed tubes into mixers that grind the pigment to fine, uniform dust, which is then used to make the paint. Hart has purchased some of his equipment, including a heat sealer, paint tanks and filling equipment, locally, from HGR Industrial Surplus.

Hart says, “My biggest challenge is finding the right customers that are quality, like Sherwin-Williams. They are human, understanding and make a great team.” To be a successful manufacturer, he says Sheffield Bronze takes in an order today and gets it out tomorrow. It handles small volume that other manufacturers don’t want to handle. He continues to keep the company at its current size so that he has a niche market that other larger companies cannot duplicate.

Through the years, he’s had to change his business model. The company used to call on small hardware and paint stores and had reps throughout the country. He shifted to a distributor model; therefore, the company no longer sells direct to consumers. He shares other industry challenges: “It’s a problem for the little guy because there are less and less people to sell to. The big guys get bigger, and the small guys are out of business. So, I need to be a help to the big guys, not a competitor or a hindrance.” He also says that salaries are up, and he can’t hire someone to do his job at what he makes; so, he may end up having to sell the business when it’s time to retire in a few years.

Outside of work, when he was younger, Hart loved boating and motorcycling. He used to ride his motorcycle through the Cleveland Metroparks from Chagrin Falls to Valley View with only two traffic lights then take the old trail to Peninsula and have lunch. He also used to horseback ride around Shaker Lakes and groom horses at the 107th Cavalry Regiment’s stables, as well as at Sleepy Hollow Stable in the “country” on SOM Center Road and the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit.

 

Kiddie City Child Care Community hosts fundraiser

Kiddie City Child Care Community Euclid Ohio logo

HGR loves to support the Euclid community. If you live or work in the community, you might be interested in attending a comedy show and Chinese auction on Apr. 22 at Kiddie City, 280 E. 206th Street, Euclid, Ohio. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with three local comedians. Snacks, beer, wine, pop and water will be included. It’s only $27 per couple and is tax deductible since it’s a fundraiser for Kiddie City, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit in Euclid since 2006. This fundraiser occurs so that Kiddie City can continue to create a lifelong love of learning for children in its teachers’ care.

Jennifer Boger, Kiddie City’s director, says, “We’ve been doing this fundraiser for 10 years now to supplement summer programming for families in order to do enhancement and enrichment activities for the children that parents don’t need to pay for out of pocket since 80% of students are using childcare subsidy for lower-income families.”

For tickets, contact Kiddie City at 216-481-9044.

Get the flavors of Jamaica right here in Euclid, Ohio

Irie Jamaican Kitchen jerk chicken
Irie Jamaican Kitchen’s jerk chicken
Irie Jamaican Kitchen's curry chicken bowl
Irie Jamaican Kitchen’s curry chicken bowl
Irie Jamaican Kitchen's fish stew
Irie Jamaican Kitchen’s fish stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I was planning a business lunch to talk about the Waterloo Arts District, redevelopment, travel and other things with a colleague at The City of Euclid. When I asked where we should go, she suggested a new Jamaican restaurant that people are raving about on E. 185th Street: Irie Jamaican Kitchen.

This small, cafeteria-style takeout is decorated in the bright colors of Jamaica (black, red, yellow, green). There is bar-style seating with a few stools, too. We dined in and got to meet Omar, the owner, and chat with him about his inspiration. It turns out he went to Cuyahoga Community College and Kent State University for culinary arts and hospitality management. He worked at restaurants his entire life.

Three years ago, he decided to fulfill his dream of owning a restaurant and working for himself. He opened Irie Jamaican Kitchen at Richmond Mall. One month ago, he moved to Euclid, where he currently lives, because he loves the community and felt it would offer a great customer base. So far, he’s doing well.

And, we can see why! Everything was fresh, tasty and full of flavor. There was so much to choose from, including healthy options. You could get a bowl (Jamaican version of Chipotle) with either salad or rice as the base. I got a salad bowl with jerk chicken, vinegar cucumber slaw, pineapple coleslaw and heavenly, carmelized, fried plantains. I also ordered a cup of thick, rich chicken-feet soup. My colleague had a rice bowl with curry chicken, mango salsa, plantains and sour cream. I wanted to try the fish stew in brown sauce, but there will always be another time.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

a stone carving of saint patrick on the lower door to the chapel royal of dublin castle in dublin, irelandHistory. It’s what we do. Old and new. The treasure chest (or pot of gold) to be found in the aisles of HGR’s showroom. We love the history of machines and buildings. So, on this day when everyone thinks about green beer, leprechauns, shamrocks and luck, remember that St. Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland. He lived in the fifth century.

And, there’s the well-known Irish Blessing, an ancient Celtic prayer, that you may have read before:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

There’s also this one:

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Enjoy your day. We hope to see you soon.

 

 

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.”

Are you a blogger or social media junkie?

calling bloggers

 

Are you in the blogosphere? (HINT: You are if you’re here.) Are you active on social media? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Make some comments. Share it with your friends.

Also, we’d love to engage in conversations with our followers and customers on social media. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Finally,  we LOVE hosting guest bloggers and their areas of expertise! Send us a message if you’re interested.

 

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!

Share your HGR Deal of the Month for a chance to win a free HGR T-shirt

man using snowblower on sidewalk

We want to hear from our customers!!!!

Upload a photo of your January deal of the month (or any month, since we’re not checking) on our Facebook page under the Feb. 1 “Deal of the Month” post. Let us know what it is, why it was such a deal, what you paid, and what you plan to do with it. You have until Feb. 7 to share your deal of the month.

Then, our customers will have from Feb. 8 to Feb. 13 to vote on the their favorite deal through our Facebook page  poll. The winner will be announced here and on Facebook on Feb. 15 and will need to contact us within 48 hours through a private Facebook message with their mailing address or to arrange pickup in order to receive their HGR T-shirt.

Here’s a real-life example of a deal from one of our customers:

“I bought a 40-year old Gilson snowblower for $350. I spent $60 on a tune-up, and the beast has served me well for two winters. I also bought two 2008 Mac Pro computers. I took them to a repair place, and for $63 each they got both of them working. I fired the one machine up last night, and it’s blazing fast! The other one I am waiting for 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD drive, though I am thinking about putting in a 5-disc SSD array, which will be faster than anything I’ve ever used before. And, I bought them for $50 each.”

Let’s see your deals.

Cuyahoga County Executive discusses what county government is doing for business at Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Armond Budish speaks before Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon crowd

On Jan. 26 at the Irish American Club, 22770 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, The Euclid Chamber of Commerce and COSE hosted a special event with Keynote Speaker Armond Budish. Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail made the introduction. She thanked the chamber and local business for their commitment to economic growth.

About Budish, she says, “He has been an advocate for business, economic development and seniors, and is committed to regional initiatives. But, specific to Euclid, he has been responsive to the city’s needs, especially with the Lincoln Electric expansion, St. Clair expansion, lakefront development, and demolition and senior programs.”

Budish took the floor to discuss the county’s investment in small-business growth and community development, including road and bridge work, removing blight, city master planning, and public safety efforts.

He mentioned that the county is working to create a master data center for law enforcement in order to integrate separate systems when an officer is pulling over a motorist. In addition, the county is installing license-reading cameras on thoroughfares that, in real time, will alert law enforcement in the community so that they can apprehend an individual in the event of a warrant or search effort.

With regard to jobs and training, he says are two initiatives underway:

  1. The creation of a one-stop shop for public benefits that will integrate offices with a career planning coach who will stay with the applicant through his or her career path.
  2. An “Earn & Learn” program to help businesses upskill employees with the potential to advance within the company from an entry-level position by providing financial and training support, which, according to Budish, “will open up more entry-level jobs and, in turn, help people get started.”

In closing, he says, “The county is on the move. Euclid is on the move. It’s only as cities move forward that the county can move forward. The cities are us, and we are the cities.” His colleague, Ed Kraus, Cuyahoga County’s director of regional collaboration, summarizes, “It’s all about leadership.”

Interested in driving one of these?

Semi truck on the highway

Do you know someone 18 years of age or older who is looking for a career that offers him or her independence away from an office environment? There’s a gem right here in Euclid that might help – Cuyahoga Community College’s Truck Driving Academy.

On Jan. 24, The Euclid Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly Coffee Conversation, open to chamber members and the community, at the Truck Driving Academy, currently rebranding as the Transportation Center. Attendees met Director Ian Wilson, were given a short presentation about the program, and were given the opportunity to experience a commercial-driving training simulator. Two attendees braved the virtual roads and encounters with rain, fog, snow, ice, cyclists, motorists and other hazards.

truck driving simulator at Cuyahoga Community College

Wilson explained that the college is moving away from simply being a truck driving academy and starting to offer programs in supply chain and logistics, as well as a diesel tech program in order to become a full-service transportation center. Currently, students can earn a Class A or B commercial driver’s license that allows them to drive a full truck, a car hauler, a gas truck and others, as well as a school bus or forklift.

To assist with making learning accessible, the college recently bought and modified a 53-foot semi-truck and trailer into a mobile trailer for manufacturing training. Half of the trailer is a classroom. The other half is a lab. This way, the college can take the classroom to students who may be working onsite at a manufacturing facility and are not able to get away for the day. It also can go to schools to conduct outreach demos for high-school students who may be interested in a transportation or manufacturing career.

He says, “At any given time, 200,000 trucking jobs are available, nationwide, and the industry always is looking for drivers. Trucking is integral to everything this nation does. Everything in your house was on a truck at some point.”

As Wilson explains, Cuyahoga Community College located the academy in Euclid, Ohio, as part of a manufacturing region with easy access to transportation junctures as well as local manufacturers. The academy has even trucked equipment from the college’s own maintenance department own the road to HGR Industrial Surplus for consignment.

 

HGR online auction reminder

Click here for more information on our online auction or here for the full auction catalog. We are partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers for a liquidation of Global Fabrication, Inc., in Dubois, PA. Inspection is Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the live auction starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 25.

HGR Online Auction Flyer for Jan. 25, 2017

Euclid City Schools’ culinary arts program offers low-cost lunch to the community

culinary art studentsEuclid City Schools, in partnership with Lakeshore Compact, offers a two-year culinary arts program to Euclid High School juniors and seniors that teaches them nutrition, safety, sanitation, equipment use, food preparation, baking fundamentals, customer service and other skills toward certification. The students run a full-service restaurant, Euclid Culinary Bistro, that is open to the public three days per week for lunch.

Colleague Susan Porter of LEAP and I decided to support our community by visiting the bistro, located in Shore Cultural Center at 291 E. 222nd Street, Euclid, Ohio. It is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the school year, but call to check the hours since they close for school breaks and holidays when class is not in session. The bistro also offers a buffet three times per year (opening day in October, before winter break, and closing day in May).

If you want to help students with their serving skills and culinary skills and are interested in an affordable, no-frills, hot meal, you might try stopping by just to do a good deed by supporting the program.

We had fried pickles, a thin strip steak with steamed yellow squash, and a club sandwich with house-made potato chips. Some of the food was cold; some of the order was wrong; some of the food needed to be sent back and re-cooked, but we looked at it as an opportunity to help students learn real-world restaurant skills. Chef Dan Esquivel, their teacher, stopped by our table and invited us to return, which was a nice, personal touch.

It is kind of like going to a dental, massotherapy or cosmetology school; you go to let the students “practice” on you since practice makes perfect. And, it’s pretty cool to be part of their learning experience.

Jan. 14: HGR’s monthly customer appreciation Saturday sale

We’re open one Saturday per month and offer a full, hot, free breakfast to those who swing by the showroom. Check out the sales!

HGR Saturday Jan. 14, 2017 customer appreciation sale flyer

Reminder: HGR is open one Saturday per month

HGR Industrial Surplus is open the second Saturday of each month from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

2017 dates:

  • January 14
  • February 11
  • March 11
  • April 8
  • May 13
  • June 10
  • July 8
  • August 12
  • September 9
  • October 7
  • November 11
  • December 9

*Dates are subject to change; so, please check back at this blog for updates, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or call our office to confirm at 216-486-4567.

clock

HGR hosting an online auction Jan. 25

Click here for more information on our online auction or here for the full auction catalog. We are partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers for a liquidation of Global Fabrication, Inc., in Dubois, PA. Inspection is Jan. 24 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with live auction starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 25.

HGR Online Auction Flyer for Jan. 25, 2017

Local manufacturers partner with CWRU for wind energy research

 

wind turbine

According to the American Wind Energy Association, “With 60,009 megawatts of wind power capacity installed as of the end of 2012 and more than 13,131 megawatts currently under construction in the U.S., companies large and small see opportunities for expanding into the wind energy market.” To develop innovations that can be approved for use, the industry needs to test and demonstrate products on working turbines.

The Wind Energy Research and Commercialization (WERC) Center at Case Western Reserve University partners with industrial partners Cleveland Electric Laboratories, Lubrizol, Parker Hannifin, Azure Energy, Rockwell Automation, Swiger Coil Systems and William Sopko & Sons. These organizations provided $3 million in funding. Since the projects inception, Sherwin-Williams and Northern Power Systems have joined to facilitate industry growth in the wind energy product market.

The center is comprised of three wind turbines as part of the $3-million Ohio Development Services Agency Third Frontier Wright Project. Two of the three turbines are located in Euclid, Ohio, on the campus of William Sopko & Sons. The largest turbine rises 230 feet and generates 1 megawatt that provides power to adjacent Stamco Industries. The intermediate-sized turbine powers Sopko & Sons, while the third and smallest is on CWRU’s campus and powers The Veale Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center with more than 55,000 killowatts or 5 percent of what the center uses. A large turbine can produce 5 megawatts, enough to power more than 1,400 homes per year.

According to David Matthiesen, WERC faculty director, “The project combines CWRU engineering expertise with funded facilities to provide platforms for the development of wind power supply chain products and long-term educational and training opportunities. In addition to the research data being gathered, the turbines provide energy to nearby buildings.” The manufacturers involved incur no installation, maintenance or disposal costs.     

nordex-n54-and-vestas-v27-turbines Wind turbine on William Sopko & Sons property

Happy Holidays! We will be open our normal hours during the holidays.

Blue holiday ornaments

 

Happy Holidays from everyone at HGR Industrial Surplus to you and yours! May the season be bright, peaceful and full of blessings.

Because Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day fall on weekends this year, we will be open as normal Monday through Friday both weeks from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You still have time for some gift shopping — for others or for yourself!

We’re closing early on Dec. 16

holiday office party with Santa hatsOn Dec. 16, HGR Industrial Surplus will be closing promptly at 3 p.m. so that our employees can have their holiday office party! Thank you for understanding and letting us spend some time together having some holiday spirit and sharing laughter and gifts. We are collecting nonperishable food donations from our employees to help out those in need. May you enjoy your holiday preparations this weekend and remember others during this season of giving.

 

An update on HGR’s 2015 manufacturing scholarship recipient

Jon Berkel Elyria Foundry
(photo courtesy of Elyria Foundry)

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jonathan Berkel, 2015 HGR Industrial Surplus Manufacturing Scholarship recipient)

Ever since I received the manufacturing scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus in 2015 and graduated from Elyria High School and Lorain County JVS where I studied welding and fabrication, I have been furthering my education at Lorain County Community College to earn an associate of science degree. In fall 2017, I will be transferring to The Ohio State University to earn my bachelor’s degree in welding engineering.

For the past year and half at Lorain County Community College I have been taking classes in math, science, English and general education that will transfer to The Ohio State University. These courses will prepare me for future courses that I will take in order to pursue my degree.

While attending classes, I work part-time, and I work full-time when classes are not in session at Elyria Pattern Co., since I graduated high school as a welder and a pattern maker. I do a little bit of everything. I am working on some projects for Elyria Foundry. I also have been working on frames for the base of the patterns. These frames go on the base of the pattern to give the base stronger support.

I would like wish all the 2017 scholarship nominees good luck.

Jon Berkel welding
(Jonathan welding)

Stakeholders gather at Cleveland Workforce Summit to formulate a workforce-development plan

Cleveland Workforce Summit

On Monday, Dec. 12, a roomful of manufacturers, educators, political leaders, nonprofits and others gathered, according to Jason Drake of the WorkRoom Alliance Program, “to initiate a discussion about curriculum and programming in the service of workforce and to start developing a strategic plan that will help refill the talent pipeline for local companies.” He adds that “our ultimate goal is to bring as many local, state and federal assets into alignment to support an educational program for public schools that emphasizes foundational mechanical skills, career awareness and counseling, robust and diverse work-based learning experiences in career clusters with significant opportunities available in the local job market, and protocols to pave smoother pathways from classrooms to careers.”

WorkRoom Alliance Program is working to create maker spaces as neighborhood cornerstones in order to upskill and reskill youth and adults in the skills needed by manufacturers. The organization is partnering with Cleveland Job Corps, a residential training center with a capacity to house 440 students aged 16-24 where they can go for no-cost technical and academic training for two years with one year of job-placement assistance. The third partner is Dan T. Moore Companies, a portfolio of 18 R&D companies that find and solve unmet industrial needs.

Dan Moore states, “We can’t get enough qualified people with mechanical aptitude to apply for the jobs that there are. And, with manufacturing as the fastest growing component of Ohio’s economy, we need machine operators who can do advanced manufacturing, not engineers.”

The group, with a host of member companies, is seeking to put in place a plan, locally, to introduce students to the foundational skills for a mechanical mindset starting in the fifth grade and continuing through high school and beyond. Its goal is to open a training bay at Cleveland Job Corps with a manufacturing facility and curriculum that align with the local job market’s needs. Job Corps will fully fund the program if Cleveland Workforce Summit partners will supply the equipment. This program will offer pre-apprenticeship training. Students then can go to apprenticeship training programs through organizations such as WIRE-Net and/or college to earn stackable credentials.

Jack Schron of Jergens Inc. adds, “Our goal is to make Northeast Ohio the entrepreneurial maker and manufacturing capital of the country.”

If you are interested in participating as a partner in the Cleveland Workforce Summit, hosting tours for students or supplying equipment, Jason Drake can be reached at jdrake@dantmoore.com.

WorkRoom Program Alliance logo

An update on HGR’s 2016 S.T.E.M. scholarship recipient, Tiffany Moore

woman high jumper

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tiffany Moore, HGR Industrial Surplus’ 2016 S.T.E.M. scholarship recipient and Ohio Wesleyan freshman)

On Aug. 20, 2016, I said my goodbyes to my family and friends and set forth on a new chapter in my life. I was nervous but excited at the same time. So far, I have been in college for five months, and I have learned more than I could ever imagine. Some of my closest friends are from Ethiopia, West Africa, Pakistan, Tennessee, Chicago, and Boston. We have learned so much about each other and our different backgrounds and are still learning new things every day.

There is about a week left of the fall semester, and I have been doing a great job of staying on top of the college workload. The library has been my best friend. Sometimes, I stay there until 2 a.m. This semester, I took classes that would go toward my general requirements for graduation. Those include, French 110, Beginning Acting, English 105, Journalism 101, and UC 160 (required course for all freshman). I have enjoyed taking these classes and I am looking forward to my spring semester where I will be diving into computer science, French 111, Black World Studies, and Intro to Film.

My favorite class this semester is English. This class has helped me to become more confident in my writing for all of my classes. So far, I have written around 13 papers. That’s almost equivalent to the amount of papers I’ve written over my entire four years of high school. The class that has given me the most trouble is French. In high school I took three years of Spanish; so, I decided to try something different. Since, most of the students in my class has had experience with taking French, we get through the material pretty quickly. However, it takes me more time to retain all of the information. So, throughout the course of the semester I’ve gone to tutoring sessions and also linked up with a few students in my class to help get a better understanding of the material.

On top of being academically successful, I am also a member of the Ohio Wesleyan track and field team. We recently had our first meet in Cleveland at Case Western Reserve University. I participated in the women’s high jump and 200-meter dash. I love being a member of this team, and I am looking forward to seeing how our season turns out.

While being in college I had an opportunity to apply for a summer internship with Rockwell Automation. There are many other internships that I plan on applying for through Ohio Wesleyan that are geared toward computer science majors. I am happy that I chose to continue my education here at Ohio Wesleyan, and I am looking forward to spending my next three years here.

Actress Monica Potter’s heart belongs to Collinwood and manufacturing

Monica Potter

From 1993-2005, I worked for a construction trade newspaper with Monica Potter’s Aunt Sue. I heard office tales about her stunning niece who was doing catalog modeling and commercials and even got to meet her once at some company event or other. I also crossed paths with Monica’s Uncle Bill of Brokaw Inc., an advertising agency, since I had begun my career in advertising.

Fast forward to October 2016 when I heard about Monica’s newest TV venture, “Welcome Back Potter,” a reality TV show on HGTV in which Monica, her mother and her sister work to renovate their family home in the North Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland, which is right around the corner from my office at HGR Industrial Surplus. I decided to send her a message on Facebook to see about an interview. I figured, “What do I have to lose?” A few days later I got a response basically saying, “Yes.” I messaged her the questions. I got a message back with a phone number. After some phone tag and texts, we chatted for almost an hour. Who knew that she cares so much about manufacturing and a skilled workforce, and is actually doing something about it?

She is a passionate, intelligent, earthy, kind, fun, friendly, infectious person that you immediately want to hang out with for hours over a few double-dirty martinis with blue-cheese stuffed olives. In the first few minutes of our conversation, she jumped right into the nitty gritty of her philosophy, “It’s not about the business or the house but about doing something on a bigger scale, which I have wanted to do since I was 10. My projects can be a catalyst for people in Cleveland to begin a dialogue with government and politicians.” She says that when she opened her second Monica Potter Home store in The Old Arcade in Cleveland, it was timely because she wants to bring back small businesses and jobs to Cleveland but can only do so much; she need everyone’s help – the mayor, councilmen and law enforcement.

I asked her what she wanted to do when she was 10. She tells the story of calling then-Mayor George Voinovich’s office and leaving a message for him through his secretary because she had an idea. She wanted to take the old Memorial School Building in Collinwood where she went to kindergarten and have a place in that building where people could sleep, eat and learn how to do something in order to get a job, graduate, move out and get a house so that their families could be proud of them and they could feed their families.

Monica Potter with her dad and sisterHow did a 10-year-old come to have thoughts like that? It all goes back to her dad. He’s the reason she bought back the family home in Collinwood, started Monica Potter Home and is looking to do even more. He was an inventor, with 78 patents, who made all of his inventions in the basement of their house then started a fishing-lure business on St. Clair Avenue. She was included in his inventing process and tinkering. She says, “I always did small construction and renovation projects with my dad. I was the boy of the family – changing oil, changing tires, building things from nothing.” She worked at the lure business pouring molds, putting in wires and hooks, and packaging. He had an interest in chemistry, biology, medicine and alternative medicine. He experimented with essential oils and other compounds to treat her eczema. Now, she also is inventing and wants to patent her designs and currently works with a chemist to go through formulas to create the bath and beauty products available through Monica Potter Home. Her mother cleaned on the side at Euclid Square Mall and would take her kids with her. Monica says she learned to act by watching and imitating people in the mall. She started Monica Potter Home because she wanted to make great products for the home that were inspired by her father and mother who liked to keep a nice house and decorate even if they didn’t have a lot of money. You can see how much family, hers and yours, means to her.

Her family originally moved into Collinwood in June 1971. She was born two weeks later. They sold the house in 1987 to move to Alabama. She bought the house back in 2012 and had a film crew come from Los Angeles that summer to document more than 1,000 hours of footage on the work that they did on the home with the intention of creating a documentary. And, when something is meant to be, it is meant to be. Renovation was finished in June 2016 as her lease on a farmhouse in Hiram, Ohio, was up. She occupied the home on June 30, her birthday, and had her family’s priest come to bless the house. She says it was her best birthday ever. She still lives in L.A. full time and spends 10 days per month in Cleveland to work on Monica Potter Home and efforts to renovate more homes in the area.

She originally decided to film the renovation as a documentary because she wanted to tell a story; so, she banked the footage and was working with a filmmaker in L.A. Then, she was approached by a couple of

Monica Potter house after renovation on Welcome Back Potter
The exterior of the house has new white paint, fresh landscaping and a larger front staircase as seen on Welcome Back Potter.

networks about doing a home renovation show. She said she would do it as long as could produce it and not exploit her family. She went with HGTV and is really happy with result. She says that, “although they showcased the house, it was a different show for them because it showed the City of Cleveland, sisterhood, and what we are doing here and why, not just doorknobs and doors and hanging drywall.” The family worked 7 a.m to 10 p.m. each day, sometimes even sleeping in the car. Monica designed the fixtures, and everything is repurposed. She has an inventory system the documents everything down to the nails pulled from the walls, and she is recycling them to make other things.

With her roots in Collinwood and her passion for manufacturing, her ambitions include getting the useable space and machinery to make everything for Monica Potter Home from North Collinwood at a workshop with an apprenticeship program where people can learn from master craftsmen and technicians. This is a family grassroots effort, and she is working hand-in-hand with Brokaw Inc. to create a training space that currently is self-funded with no grants or partners. She said it’s not about a celebrity having a store or two but about creating jobs and making people proud of what they are doing, as well as helping people have incredible products at an affordable price in their homes that are made in the U.S., not overseas. She says that she wants to put up a sign that says, “Who wants to work? Who wants to learn to do something?” when she sees all the shutdowns and empty factories along St. Clair Avenue and as the Baby Boomers age out and are not being replaced with skilled labor.

With heart and soul, she blurts, “We’ve got to get our s!*# together. The Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers did great. I love that we’re winning, and our teams, and the resurgence in the area. It’s Believeland, but now it’s time for us to believe in ourselves. Our great sports teams are catapulting us and making us proud. Now, it’s our turn.”

 

Black Friday: We are open!

Black Friday saleNot only are we open, but today is the last day of our week-long progressive sale. Each day, savings increased until the maximum percent off today only. Monday, prices return to normal.

You can get 25% off select heat treating, pallet racking, machine tools, inspection equipment, parts washers, surface grinders, woodworking, fabrication, material handling, finishing equipment, dust collectors and lathes.

Get 35% off select air dryers, blowers, electrical, pumps, valves, cylinders, lift tables, conveyors, shop equipment, manual lifts, printing, label equipment, drill presses, air compressors, chemical processing, packaging, air handling, saws, plastic and rubber equipment, welding equipment and hoists.

Get 50% off select motors, tooling, hardware, hydraulic units, office furniture/chairs, desks, file cabinets, electronics, workbenches, inspection equipment and Aisle 1 items.

HGR’s Thanksgiving 2016 holiday hours

cornucopiaWe will be open normal hours on Wednesday and Friday, but we are closed on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the holiday with our families. Stop in this week for our progressive sale. Each day, the savings get larger, until Friday, when you can receive up to 50% off select items.

Also, we are open on the second Saturday of every month, but starting on Dec. 10, we will close at 1 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. on Saturdays; so, get your Saturday shopping done early and go enjoy the rest of your day!

Thanks for an abundance of memories and for your patronage!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Has downsizing, a norm in the past decade, affected your employees?

downsizing illustration of team being cut with scissors

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Cynthia Wilt, board of directors, Career Transition Center)

As leaders of your business, have you ever had to downsize your staff and disrupt your team? Where do you go for help? Where do you send your employees for help? Have you been through this yourself, so you really understand what happens to people and their families? And, what happens to the ones who are left behind – those who keep their jobs? How does the loss of their fellow employees affect their morale, their productivity and their loyalty to your business? Many questions to ponder, aren’t there?

There is always the typical government center to send them to when they sign up for unemployment compensation – where they try to help you, but getting one-on-one help is not usually possible. This was the problem we saw when Career Transition Center was started in 2011. We are a nonprofit organization that assists unemployed and underemployed Northeast Ohio residents who cannot get help elsewhere, and we have learned their needs from the thousands of people we have dealt with during the years.

Many of your employees have never gone through this situation before, or, even if they did, they may not know how to do a real job search. They need support and honesty given by career coaches who know what the employers in the area want in their new hires. You can hire an outplacement firm to handle each person or in groups, but, depending on your budget, you may not really get much assistance for each person. So, what is your moral and community obligation as an employer to help these people? How does your business value system fit into your next steps? These people were once your friends, your team and your fellow employees. What do you owe them? These are things you need to think about before the situation to lay off even occurs.

Some people immediately become depressed and afraid for their future. They tend to do rash things, and their spirit gets so low that they are not able to interview well for other jobs. They may feel that part of the job loss was because of them or their team. And, maybe they should have done something better or different. They become insecure, and some even lie to family and friends about their situation, which is unhealthy for them and for a good job search.

Do you give letters of recommendation? Do you offer assistance? Or do you just walk them out the door on the same day they are told? Many people live paycheck to paycheck and may lose their auto, their home, or worse. They need someone to help them become empowered during job transition and career change. They need to gain confidence and realize their actual value in the local market. And, they need the tools and encouragement to develop and implement a plan to reach their next step, something not available just from job clubs or one-stop centers.

Are they a part of the “vanishing middle class” – workers between age 45 and 70 that may not have up-to-date skills; so, employers will not consider them for a new hire? These people get shunned because they are too expensive, too old, or too (you fill in the blank). Sadly, this group remains out of work the longest and is becoming the new poor. They may need to learn current job-search skills and new technology to be considered for the jobs of today. How you plan for these uncertain times has a huge impact on what your business reputation is. It speaks to who might want to work for you, or what people in the community say about your business. It explains what type of employer you are. Now is the time to think about these things and make a plan for how downsizing is handled in your business. If the time comes, you will be better, stronger and make good decisions.

People using Career Transition Center

MAGNET’s 2016 State of Manufacturing address took place at Jergens, Inc.

MAGNET state of manufacturing symposium at Jergens

On Nov. 16, 2016, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, in conjunction with PNC Bank, presented its 2016 State of Manufacturing: Important Trends Affecting Northeast Ohio Manufacturers at Jergens Inc., 15700 S. Waterloo Road, Cleveland. There was standing room only as manufacturers and service-industry representatives arrived to hear presentations by Rich Wetzel, Youngstown Business Incubator, on the state of additive manufacturing and Dr. Ned Hill, The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and Ohio Manufacturing Institute, on manufacturing, the economy and the future.

In opening remarks, Paul Clark, regional president, PNC Bank, noted that “Thirty percent of PNC’s loan commitments in Northeast Ohio have been in manufacturing for the past 20 of 40 years.” These loans help manufacturers with new product development, new markets and acquisitions.

Wetzel, in his presentation on additive manufacturing, aka 3D printing, shared the seven main processes of additive manufacturing, with material extrusion being the most common, and says, “Northeast Ohio is becoming the capital of additive manufacturing and putting the area on the map.” He also shared that low-volume tooling is the low-hanging fruit and the easiest to implement for near-term opportunities but that the market tends to be risk averse.

Last, Dr. Hill (if I had an economics professor like this in college, I might have liked economics and learned something) talked about the current uncertainty in the market due to the election but the positive increase in interest rates. He says, “Manufacturing is looked at nostalgically by the public since it’s gone overseas, and they believe we aren’t making things.” In 2014, although China was the top nation for manufacturing, the U.S. was a close second. He shared that the largest market opportunity in the world lies in the NAFTA nations. He did a retrospective and shared that manufacturers were always in the top 10 employers in Ohio but now the reality is that part-time, low-wage jobs in healthcare, retail and food service have become the mainstay. In that reality, he says, “Midsized companies will be driving this state.”

Another trend he discussed in depth was automation. Since 1979, we lost almost 5-million factory jobs but at the same time more than doubled the value due to productivity. In addition, he shared statistics that we have lost 13 percent of factory jobs to trade and 88 percent to automation and continuous improvement, and that robotics is expected to reduce labor by another 22 percent in the U.S. He asked the audience to consider how many jobs technology has saved rather than lost. The U.S., for the first time in recent years, is a threat to China due to its quality, efficiency and improved internal supply chain. He says that when manufacturing can 3D print a die, it will save 20-30 percent and can compete with China. And, as much as we would like to believe that manufacturing powers the economy, it’s actually powered by consumers who do 70 percent of the spending. They are buying the products we manufacture!

Finally, he acknowledged the present problem of aging-out workers and the lack of a skilled workforce to replace them. He says manufacturing’s greatest enemies are parents, school counselors and OSHA, which limits workers under 20 from being on the manufacturing floor. We are losing talent to other industries. Let’s make these people our allies and work toward STEM education and a resurgence of interest in a field has evolved and shed its former stereotypical image.

 

MakerGear, manufacturer of 3D printers, discusses the amazing real-world applications and how-tos of additive manufacturing

3D printer architectural prototype

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Annie Liao, director of educational outreach, MakerGear, LLC)

What is MakerGear?

MakerGear designs and manufactures desktop 3D printers, primarily for use by businesses, schools, and makers. We originally started in a residential Ohio garage in 2009 and have continued to grow ever since. Currently, we have 25 employees at our factory in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, we received an exciting award this week! Our MakerGear M2 3D printer was ranked #1 in the world out of 513 printers. We’re excited to shine a light on technology and manufacturing here in Northeast Ohio.

What is additive manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing processes create objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material to build an object. These processes are in contrast to traditional subtractive types of manufacturing, such as those utilizing CNC machined parts, where material is removed from an object to create the finished product.

What is the benefit of a 3D printer? What problems does it solve?

3D printing is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry for a number of reasons. One significant contribution is that it saves time and money by allowing for rapid prototyping. When producing an object, the prototyping process has historically occupied a bulk of time between concept and launch. Today, with 3D printing, we can substantially shorten that gap by giving engineers and designers the ability to create their own prototypes in house – and as many iterations as they need — without dependency on an outside source or back-and-forth shipping delays.

Beyond those advancements in the industry, 3D printing is one of the most cost effective ways to produce small batch or custom items. This is great for everyone from small businesses creating unique products, all the way to doctors printing scale models of a patient’s heart before surgery. And on top of all of that, 3D printers create less waste, if any at all, compared to traditional manufacturing processes. The technology is constantly improving and changing, and we expect to see the number of problems that 3D printing solves continue to grow.

How can you use a 3D printer? What kinds of things are being made? Who are your customers/what are they making?

Our M2 3D printer requires 3D modeling software to design or import the object to be printed, and convert (or slice) that design into a language the printer can understand called G-code. We use a program called Simplify3D, but we also have recommendations on our website for freeware that works great, as well.

Seeing the range of applications our customers are creating is the most exciting part! The students at Mayfield City Schools’ Excel TECC have been creating 3D printed prosthetic hands, which are functional and only cost about $12 in printing materials. It’s an incredible achievement. One of our customers is printing tailor-fit horseshoes for horses with difficult-to-treat hoof conditions. And, we have customers printing parts for drones that transport medication to remote villages in East Africa. There is a limitless range of applications, and we’re surprised daily by the innovative products people are creating.

What materials can you use to build?

Some 3D printers on the market require the use of proprietary filament, which limits options and innovation. But, we’ve worked really hard to ensure that MakerGear printers can print in a range of materials, including a variety of plastics and metal composites. The list of possibilities is constantly growing.

These materials are packaged on spools in filament form. The filament is fed into the heart and soul of the printer called the hotend. The hotend consists of a heater, thermistor and a nozzle and is capable of heating the printing material to a certain temperature and then extruding it in successive layers onto a build platform. In the case of our M2 3D printer, the build platform also is heated to allow the object to better adhere to the bed during printing.

What does it cost?

Our MakerGear M2 printer costs $1,825. A 1-kg spool of PLA plastic, which is the material we recommend people begin printing with, costs $35, but can see you through multiple projects.

Do you see any trends with the industry or technology?

We are definitely seeing more interest in the types of materials available for 3D printing. We’re constantly testing new materials on our machines and have been excited by the results of some of them, from elastics to metal composites. It opens up a whole new world of innovation.

To avoid what happened with Cleveland Indians’ Pitcher Trevor Bauer when he bought a 3D printer from you and used it to make a drone that cut his finger, what safety tips do you have for users and consumers?

If you were following the Cleveland Indians this year in the playoffs you may have heard that Trevor Bauer owns a MakerGear M2 and 3D prints parts for his drones. He explained in a press conference that he got cut while plugging in his drone when the propeller started spinning at max throttle. We are certainly glad that he was able to recover quickly, and we can assure you that his accident didn’t have anything to do with the 3D printing process.

6 reasons why you need digital marketing to expand your business

woman touching digital screen

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

Manufacturing has always been at the forefront of change and innovation, notably in creating and implementing new measures to better serve the needs of the company and its customer base. But the rapid pace of technological growth – paired with reluctance to invest in new and/or unexplored systems – has left small- and mid-sized businesses struggling to keep up in an increasingly connected world.

However, digital marketing services can be utilized for different purposes in different industries with the ultimate goal of increasing revenue and establishing credibility. The following reasons not only address the numerous benefits of incorporating digital marketing in your overall strategy, but also how different techniques can grow your business sooner rather than later.

  • Lead delivery and conversion – Lead scoring empowers companies to better track how customers are finding them. By using a marketing automation platform in conjunction with customer relationship management (CRM) software, manufacturers easily can monitor how incoming traffic gets converted to leads, followers, subscribers, and/or closed sales.
  • Reduced marketing costs – Traditional media, such as print, radio, and television, harbor high rates and are, in some cases, ineffective at getting to your target market. Digital marketing not only touches a wider range of clients, but also bears better returns on investment. In fact, according to Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spend Report, 40 percent of surveyed small- and mid-sized companies claimed they saved money by using digital means of promotion.
  • Level playing field – Now that digital marketing services are becoming more cost-effective, they are no longer exclusive to large, multinational corporations. Smaller companies are granted access to services and capabilities that can help them better compete in growing industries. Sales and marketing strategies as a whole also are subject to expansion, which enables manufacturers to compete on similar levels.
  • Better customer interaction –In today’s world, consumers are more likely to follow or purchase from companies with a personal touch, and aspects of digital marketing allow small manufacturers to reach out to their customer base with new products and updates on the company. In particular, branching out into social media – especially Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – builds trust and credibility, which leads to substantial increases in sales and revenue.
  • Enhanced identity and brand reputation – In addition to customer interaction, active social media accounts and a comprehensive website offer brand enforcement not found in traditional media. People are more likely to trust companies that have clear messaging and a substantial digital presence, as interactive elements, such as forms, buttons and feeds, can generate excellent results.
  • IoT integration – Over the last decade, the Internet of Things has grown into a hot topic for manufacturers, and many companies are embracing the ideology of interconnected devices on the shop floor. Digital marketing can act as the first step to preparing you for this shift and, eventually, will play a larger role in how you streamline your business.

Staffing agency develops associates for skilled-trades jobs

skilled tradesman

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Karen Sating, SHRM-CP and branch/market manager at Manpower)

Tell us in 3-4 sentences what service Manpower provides and what your role is.

With offices in 80 countries, Manpower provides contingent and permanent staffing to organizations of all sizes with solutions to enhance business agility and competitiveness. Manpower helps companies manage the ever-changing talent needs in today’s world in which rapid access to the right talent is a powerful competitive advantage. With our understanding of staffing trends and our pool of highly qualified candidates, Manpower can deliver the talent, matching the right individual to the right job.

What is your experience working with manufacturers or in the trades?

For more 60 years, Manpower has developed an understanding of high-demand occupations in manufacturing. We offer proven recruitment processes to find the right candidates. Finding skilled trades workers is a major challenge for organizations in the U.S., especially workers with the knowledge and experience for a specific job. It’s also Manpower’s core competency. Manpower is staffing for project work, peak production, year-round needs, and one-person jobs with qualified workers.

What are the greatest employment challenges that manufacturers face?

We are now at a turning point in the manufacturing workforce environment in North America. There are major changes underway in the demand and supply for manufacturing workers – many driven by new technologies – that will require new strategies and tactics for both companies and employees. For the fifth consecutive year, skilled trades positions are the hardest to fill globally according to our 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey.

How is the fact of Baby Boomers aging out of the system affecting the employment landscape?

Due to the aging North American workforce and a lack of younger talent to fill the pipeline, a generational skills gap also exists in manufacturing. Because of declines in domestic manufacturing, productivity gains, and a weak economy, many companies have hired few manufacturing workers of any type during the last couple of decades. As a result, many existing employees are nearing retirement. This generational shift will lead to even greater demand for new manufacturing workers for the jobs that remain.

How do you find qualified candidates?

We use a number of methods to attract the right candidates for the right jobs. From targeted local recruiting techniques to technology-enhanced recruiting, we use a wide-ranging methodology to identify the best candidate pool. Additionally, we maintain a pool of available candidates in our proprietary database and will partner with our clients to further anticipate skills and usage patterns.

What types of manufacturing and industrial positions do you staff?

Manpower staffs all types of manufacturing positions from general laborers to skilled trades.

Is there training available to enhance their skills?

Manpower offers free training to our associates via MyPath. With the ever-changing demands, we consider training a key differentiator for our associates’ productivity, efficiency, and long term satisfaction.

  • Assessment tool – We are offering a preference evaluation that allows our candidates and associates to align their likes and natural drives to jobs that match those preferences, which gives them the guidance they need to accelerate their career.
  • powerYou – We provide our associates with the courses to fill any knowledge or skill gaps through this online classroom. Associates do not need to apply for this resource. They are able to easily sign up with an username and password that should occur outside of regular working hours and is non-compensable.
  • Full College Tuition Coverage Program – Manpower is partnering with Western International University to offer our eligible, actively-assigned associates who apply for a Pell Grant with the opportunity to pursue a first-time associate’s or bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket costs.

What advice do you have for someone seeking a job in manufacturing?

Manufacturing candidates, especially those in skilled trades are in high demand. We’ve seen a rise in the number of businesses focused on training and development to fill talent gaps. We expect to see this number grow. That’s why we support companies and individuals to nurture learnability, which is the desire and ability to learn new skills to be employable for the long term.

What advice do you have for manufacturers seeking skilled employees?

As organizations report the highest talent shortage since 2007, employers look to develop their own workforces to fill in-demand roles. More employers than ever are filling talent gaps by training and developing their own people. This number has more than doubled since 2015, from one in five to more than half.

Manpower logo

 

Veterans fill manufacturing skills gap

veteran shaking hands with employer

As we continue to experience a skills gap as Baby Boomers age out of the system and we struggle to replace them with skilled labor, have you considered hiring a veteran? By 2020, this will be a pool of four-million candidates, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who have the training, experience and dedication that lend themselves to careers in manufacturing.

PolymerOhio states that veterans are goal-minded, resilient, used to working in a fast-paced environment with little room for error, and critical-thinking, strategic leaders. On its website, PolymerOhio provides a list of local and national organizations that can help connect veterans with employers.

There’s even an informative program, “From military front lines to manufacturing front lines,” outlined in a 16-page PDF through The Manufacturing Institute’s website that helps veterans get factory ready and encourages business owners to hire them. General Electric also sponsors the Get Skills to Work coalition that connects manufacturers, educational institutions and veterans’ advocates in order to prepare future veterans for careers in manufacturing.

The benefit to veterans? Many opportunities are available for high-paying, challenging careers as they re-enter civilian life.

Today is Veterans Day! Thank you for your service.

Bond issue passage for Euclid City School District makes new construction possible

Euclid High School facade

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Audrey Holtzman, public relations & marketing coordinator, Euclid City Schools)

The Euclid City School District secured passage of Issue 111 this week. This successful effort will allow the schools to rebuild their high school, build a new middle school, construct an Early Learning Village on the site of Forest Park Middle School, improve recreational facilities at Sparky DiBiasio Stadium and Memorial Park, and convert the Central Middle School property to a MetroPark. 

Dr. Charles Smialek, Superintendent of Euclid Schools, issued the following statement:

“Thank you to our Euclid community for believing in our school district and passing Issue 111. We have secured a much brighter future for our district because of you! 

We continue to have much work to do to become the district we need to be for our community and students. We will soon begin a strategic planning process to help us collaboratively lend clarity to our immediate future. In the coming weeks, we will communicate these steps and ask many of you to participate in the process. Today, however, let us celebrate a truly significant victory for Our Euclid.

We will immediately begin to prepare to rebuild our high school, construct a new middle school, shape an Early Learning Village, and improve multiple recreational outlets in our community. We will work to ensure that our efforts will improve Euclid for generations to come.”

The 7.89 mill bond issue passed by more than 1,100 votes and will result in an increase of approximately $16 per month in property taxes for the owner of a home valued at $70,000. The overall cost of the construction will be offset by a $40-million contribution from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Tips & tricks for implementing Lean/Six Sigma tools

Lean manufacturing

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Chris Adams MBA, Lean BB and Six Sigma BB)

Lean and Six Sigma have been methodologies I have used throughout my career, whether I knew them at that time by those names or not. Educated in Industrial and Operations Engineering “at that school up north,” The University of Michigan, and subsequently obtaining an MBA at The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, I was fortunate enough to get the strict schooling behind me and then later obtained my Lean Black Belt through the corporate Lean office of Emerson Electric in St. Louis and my Six Sigma Black Belt through Lorain County Community College via Dan Sommers who is a Six Sigma Black Belt alumni from GE Lighting.

The vast majority of my experience with Lean and Six Sigma methodologies has come through the manufacturing world. So, the first tip I would propose is to start with the Lean Journey 5S (or sometimes companies choose to use 6S to call out safety separately) if you and your organization have the wherewithal and commitment. Instituting the rigors of 5S and then maintaining are definitely a place where good standard work and an audit process pay off.

But, many an organization is too impatient to allow for the “cost” of 5S and the, sometimes, soft-cost savings to be returned. So, my second tip, Value Stream Mapping is still the way to make the current state be documented and understood as well as provide for the solid basis on which future-state Value Stream Maps can drive the profitability of an organization in the right direction.

My third tip is to use, sooner rather than later, the Value Stream Mapping process to understand back to the suppliers’ supplier and forward to the customers’ customer. I have been with organizations that have been successful in implementing and working with their suppliers and customers as a win-win in the value chain.

The fourth tip is to have a solid foundation for the process used to implement project- or process-based change. In my last two roles, I have been fortunate enough to work with organizations that were committed enough to the process of leading change that Policy Deployment (or Strategy Deployment or X-matrix) were truly practiced. An organization that waterfalls its top three to five main corporate objectives to the associate on the floor really understands what teamwork is all about.

My fifth and final tip is that, although my experience (and to this point) a significant amount of the use of Lean and Six Sigma tools have come through the manufacturing world, service industries are a hotbed where these tools can be more universally applied. In my personal experience as a volunteer at one of the most respected hospital systems in the world, we’ve learned that a process is a process and can be improved.

 

HGR Frequent Shopper Jason Wein, an industrial artist with dyslexia, sells his work to celebrities, high-end retailers and five-star hotels

Blown glass bowl at HGR and bought by Steven Spielberg as party ice buckets and gifts
Glass bowl like those purchased as ice buckets and party gifts by Steven Spielberg

We talked with HGR Frequent Shopper Jason Wein of Cleveland Art about his life as an artist, his philosophy and his connection with manufacturing. If you visit HGR’s new offices located at the rear of our existing building, you will see tables, chairs, signage and decorative items that he made. Since his work is owned by famous Hollywood stars, such as Ellen DeGeneres, Gwyneth Paltrow and Steven Spielberg and is featured globally, including the Timberland store in London, we are honored to have his work in our building. If you’ve ever visited us on a Wednesday for lunch and sat at the tables with built-in stools or at the computer terminals in our customer lounge, you are sitting on and at Jason’s creations. You can see a glass bowl in our new offices that is just like the hundreds he blew for Spielberg to use as ice buckets and to give out as gifts at his parties.

When asked about how he got his start as an artist, he says, “I have dyslexia really bad. As a kid of about eight years old, I embarrassed my parents when I garbage picked bicycles and went to abandoned industrial buildings. I always had busted knuckles from working on cars, garbage picking and making furniture. My teachers told me that I wouldn’t make it in anything and were abusive, but then a high-school art teacher told me that I was talented and encouraged me to follow a career in art rather than a mechanical career. I went to Kent State University for a year but the teachers didn’t like how I was doing things; so, I went to Alaska to get inspiration from ice and water for my blown glass.”

He was born in New Jersey, lived in Cleveland since he was 10 then lived in Alaska for many years and didn’t think that he would leave, but, since his art is inspired by The Rust Belt and he wanted to raise a family, he came back to Cleveland, and here he remains. He is married with two sons: one 18 years old at Ohio University where he majors in film writing with a minor in marketing, the other 14 years old who wants to make money and may work with his uncle’s bank.

Jason shops for materials and makes everything in Cleveland then ships it to his 10,000-square-foot Los Angeles gallery to sell. He also makes pieces on commission and for architects and designers to furnish to their clients. In Cleveland, he blew an 80-foot glass chandelier and made furniture for The Metropolitan at the 9, Cleveland’s only five-star hotel.

About his inspiration, he says, “Most people don’t look at a bridge as a piece of art, but it is a perfectly balanced piece of art. It is the epitome of art. The reason I chose to do the project for HGR is because I walk in HGR the way people walk in parks to get inspired by trees. I get inspired by machines. I’ll see a machine that three people spent their lives behind. Their initials are carved into it. You can see their fingerprints and wear marks on the seat. These machines tell stories. The people who made and worked at the machines are artists and never got recognition for building our country. Those machines cost more than a house, and factories had 50 machines in one room. Now, one person can operate several CNCs and take over a whole factory of people. In a time where we have time, we don’t have time anymore with cell phones and computers. People spent their lifetimes punching holes and slicing metal; they did one thing, and that’s all they did. Machines look like beautiful prehistoric creatures. And, there’s no place in the world like HGR where you can see 10 acres that are a sign of the past when things were made quality. The drill presses there will outlive you, but a new one is disposable.”

He started out bartending from age 19 to 22 to subsidize the art. He says his background is in garbage picking and buying junk, art and antiques. He mainly makes functional objects, such as lights, tables and shelves but, lately, has been getting into some sculptural stuff like the interior and exterior lighting, outdoor sundial and globe sculpture at One University Circle, a five-star, high-rise apartment tower in Cleveland. He uses wood, metal and glass, more natural materials, not those that are synthetic or manmade, like plastic.

He learned about HGR because he used to drive around neighborhoods in Cleveland looking for old buildings to get claw-foot bathtubs. He took 40 of them with him to Alaska. That’s how he met the HGR guys — when they worked at McKean Machinery and he was a customer. HGR CEO Brian Krueger was his salesman. When they left McKean to form HGR, Jason followed him.

I asked Jason if he is considers himself a maker or upcycler. He says, “We were doing it before it was cool. When I started in the 90s, it wasn’t cool. People didn’t want “used” stuff. In 1994, I got the marble bathroom stalls and bronze gargoyles and dragonflies from Terminal Tower and some barn stalls. I used them with stone and marble to make shoe-shine stands and clock faces. People were convinced they were antique clocks. I bought camouflage, combat boots, trench coats and Levis from the U.S. Army and from thrift stores to sell to high-end stores in New York City. The full name of my company was Cleveland Art and Antiques. I started out in hiding as an antique dealer so people didn’t think I was an upcycler.”

Jason Wein of Cleveland ArtI asked him what he does when he’s not making art. He doesn’t. He says, “I live, breathe, think and dream it. I like to work.” He also shared his insights about manufacturing trends that affect his work. He says, “For my business, the technology we use is old and outdated. It’s handmade and handcrafted. I pay 20 percent of my employees’ wages to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. As a small business I struggle to stay afloat then large, chain hardware and home furnishing companies steal my designs and farm them out to India for $3-4/week in wages to make what I make for pennies on the dollar. It’s hard to be competitive; so, I’m always changing my designs and have to sell to the top 2 percent of the population because the stuff I make is expensive. I never wanted to be restricted to who I sell to but it’s hard to sell to a regular market with cheap imports.”

His advice to aspiring artists and makers? “For anyone who goes into the arts, people told me you’re so inspiring and that they wanted to go to school for glass or furniture making. I would tell them to go to school for business and minor in art. They need the education in the business end of selling their art. They need to be a good buyer, seller and smart manufacturer. There are so many hats you have to wear. A lot of people blow glass and are color blind and try to use color but don’t understand color. So, I do clear glass and can have every color of the rainbow in it. I understand what sells. It’s a very difficult way to make a living.”

Conference table made by Cleveland Art for HGR
Conference table made by Cleveland Art for HGR

Thoughts from Justin: 3D printers coming to a library near you

Maker space at library

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

If you remember, I wrote a blog about the future of 3D printing (additive manufacturing). Hopefully my goal of sparking your interest in the industry was achieved. If not, well, I’m sorry. BUT, this post should change your mind.

If you live near Cleveland and aren’t a member of the Cleveland Public Library, you may want to change that. Back in 2014, the library added 3D printers for the public’s use. Note: Libraries offering 3D printers to the public are available nationwide. Just call your local library to see if they are available. If you’ve ever wanted to give one of these printers a shot, now is your chance.

Libraries across the country are unveiling ‘MakerSpace’ stations, which are essentially places for people to gather to learn about technology and get hands-on with the machines – 3D printers being a hot topic right now.

For those who have access to the Cleveland Public Library, their MakerSpace station provides access to 3D printers, laser cutters, music production equipment and many other tools. It is located in the lower level of the Louis Stokes Wing at 325 Superior Avenue (open Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.).

If you’re looking to pick-up a new hobby, make a trip to a MakerSpace. I haven’t been to a library since high school, but that will change in the next couple weeks! Who knows, you might find your next favorite activity AND a new friend. If you have been to a MakerSpace station before, feel free to comment below with your experience of it and where it was.

HGR celebrates Halloween in style, and you can vote for your favorite costume

Scary jack o'lantern in the woods

Our offices are decked out with Halloween decorations. We have donuts. We have chocolates. And, we have costumes (not for sale). Stop by for a ghoulishly good time.

Cast your vote by Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. for your favorite costume and share photos of yours with us here.

 

 

Local bolt manufacturer had its roots in WWII war effort and supplies bolts to critical applications

excavator loading dump truck at construction site

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alex Kerr, corporate secretary, Kerr Lakeside)

Kerr Lakeside Inc., 26841 Tungsten Blvd., Euclid Ohio, was started in 1945 by Charles L. Kerr. He then organized Krafline Industries for the manufacture of a special military fastener. Once World War II ended, the company discontinued operations until 1947, when the company was renamed C.L. Kerr Industries. It regularly bought and sold products from another Cleveland company, Lakeside Machine Products Company, which led to a merger in 1958. The new company was named Kerr Lakeside Industries.

Expansion continued for Kerr Lakeside in the 1950s and 1960s as the company made additions to its facilities on St. Clair Avenue numerous times. In 1965, Kerr Lakeside moved to its present location on Tungsten Boulevard in Euclid Ohio. Kerr Lakeside continued to make expansion to this facility and invested in two buildings next door through the end of the century, as equipment was purchased and space to hold inventory was necessary. The business has remained a family-run business since the beginning, now in its third generation of ownership, under the leadership of Charles Kerr II.

Today, Kerr Lakeside Inc. manufactures hex socket screw products, precision-machined parts, and cold-headed components. The largest portion of Kerr Lakesides business is its sale of high-strength, critical application fasteners. These high-strength fasteners are produced on one of Kerr’s seven cold heading machines. This process takes a steel blank and presses it between a punch and a die to form the metal into a fastener blank. This process can reach speeds upwards of 200 parts per minute and results in no loss of material, unlike machining that removes metal to form the parts. After the fastener blank is formed, the threads are rolled between two dies that form the threads of the fastener. Both these processes allow for the part and threads to be formed with little to no material lost and provide for a higher strength part. Last, the parts are sent out locally to a vendor for heat treating to increase the strength of the fastener. All parts are then inspected at Kerr Lakeside’s in-house laboratory to ensure they meet the required specifications.

Kerr’s full line of hex socket screw products is sold through distributors across the United States and Canada. These fasteners are used in a wide range of products, including automotive, machine tools, tool and dies, heavy-duty machinery, and mining equipment. Kerr says, “The bolts can end up in critical applications, such as in vehicles and motorcycles, trucks, construction equipment, cranes, molds and dies. Bolts aren’t the most exciting thing, but they do an important job.”

One of the many challenges for Kerr Lakeside, like many other manufacturers, is the availability of skilled labor. Kerr has taken an active role in the industry’s efforts to develop its workforce going forward. Kerr is a member of a number of associations — Precision Machined Products Association, Industrial Fastener Institute, and Alliance for Working Together — that encourage manufacturing as a career path by working with students and educators of local schools. Several area community colleges, including Lakeland Community College, Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College, now offer two-year manufacturing-related programs as a result of the associations and their members.

Kerr Lakeside also supports local businesses. According to its plant manager, the company has bought a National Acme screw machine, belt sander, conveyors, shelving, motors and pumps from HGR Industrial Surplus and has sold surplus equipment to HGR, as well.

Kerr Lakeside logo

Meet some talented, nontraditional students who could be an asset to your organization

CEVEC mock interview

The Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium (CEVEC) is a consortium of 17 schools that offers career-oriented curriculum, job training and mentorship to special-needs students by focusing on their preferences, interests, needs and strengths.

On Oct. 21, CEVEC hosted its annual mock interview day at the Hilton Garden Inn, Mayfield Village. Three employees from HGR (CEO Brian Krueger, Human Resources Assistant April Quintiliano and me) attended to help 150 students with their interviewing skill.

There were two mock interview sessions with employees from 50 Northeast Ohio companies, such as McDonalds, Rockwell Automation, Arby’s, Cintas, CVS, Dave’s Supermarkets, Giant Eagle, Hilton Garden Inn, Jergens, Panera Bread, Toyota of Bedford, and others. During the lunch break, CEVEC students and staff presented on a range of topics, including the myths and facts about hiring people with disabilities.

Students showed up smartly dressed, prepared and confident. Here’s a snapshot of the 10 students that we interviewed in the morning session. We welcome you to get to know them as we did, in their own words:

Lisa from Mayfield: works at Menorah Park doing housekeeping (washing beds, trash and bathrooms) and at Pearl’s Place (wipe down tables and stocking); likes to read and play with her Bichon Frise; she cut coil and roll, scales and seal bags at CEVEC vocational program; favorite place she worked is at The Cleveland Botanical Garden during summer; least favorite was Old Navy because of complicated folding techniques; she’s good at time management and is a fast worker who completes tasks and is flexible to multitask; at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank she made lunches for people in need in an assembly line and helped kids who needed help completing their tasks

Cathy from Chagrin Falls: junior in H.S. in afternoon and CEVEC during the morning, which sends her to be a chef’s helper at Rockwell Automation; she works for her dad at Valley Marketplace weighing and pricing, stocking, and wiping the table; she’s good at drawing people and has gotten awards; she likes fashion and dress up, reading, and writing; her favorite class is English since she’s a good reader

Paul from Cleveland Heights: favorite place to work was Food Bank because he had a place to go; favorite subject was science; hobbies are watching and playing sports and his favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers; if he could do any job he would work at the Food Bank because he made sure the food was safe and liked being in the kitchen

Andrea from Richmond Heights: graduated in 2014; favorite class was math because she likes numbers; fave jobs were The Mandel Jewish Community Center where she sorted and hung clothes and Ursuline College because cleaning tables and chairs and recycling were a lot of fun; she likes music and computers and is best at cleaning up; she feels that she needs to improve her spacing and gets in the way of people; if could pick any job to do and get paid she would work at Ursuline

Anastasia from Shaker Heights: fave class is math and science and her least fave is math because it’s too easy; she likes going outside and likes basketball and watching the Cavs; favorite place to work was Shaker Theater cleaning theaters, bathrooms and games, and taking tickets; her least-favorite job was piece worker at CEVEC because it was hard but she’s gotten better; she was good at what she did at Doubletree Hotel stripping beds but needs to improve working in a team; she would like to work at Giant Eagle when she graduates

Jordan from Mayfield Heights: graduates in 2017; likes school and math is favorite subject with language arts his least favorite; he plays football as a safety and wide receiver and plays snare drum in the band; he works at Hillcrest Hospital in the surgery center transporting oxygen; he likes moving stuff around and restocking; he needs improvement on paperwork and filing; you can count on him to be there every day and be dependable; he got his wish because he wanted to see the Indians play the Cubs

Ja’Eona from Mayfield Heights: loves school and hates missing it; loves learning and it makes her happy; the other kids are her least favorite part because they get too wild; her favorite class is history, she runs to it and likes to hear what happened in America; she sings the National Anthem at school assemblies; her mom owns Martha’s Place and works with disabled men in their 50s and 60s and her dad is the pastor at Greater Fellowship Assembly, she hopes to take over both of their jobs; while she was eating at McDonalds, the owner offered her a job; prefers eating at McDonalds over Burger King but Wendy’s nuggets are better; she’s always on time and learns fast and is an asset because she can do it if she puts her mind to it; her area to improve is her attitude because she has downfalls and gets a little mad and can take it to a further extent but knows how to be professional and learned to be more calm; she would rather work by herself because she can do it better; watching her dad preach taught her skills and how to speak in front of people; she likes the medical field and would want to go into phlebotomy since blood doesn’t bother her

Nina from Mayfield Heights: graduates i2018; doesn’t like school; fave class is art and least is math and science; she practically failed physical science and has to retake it; she’s in the fuse club where they get together and do different thing, such as a Halloween party and costume contest; an animal shelter was her favorite place to work where she cleaned litter boxes and dog cages; she’s good at following directions and is nice to people; she likes to read books like The Hunger Games and fan fiction every day

Randall from Bedford: is a cashier and cleans and stocks shelves at Michaels; plans to go to Tri-C for a two years then transfer to a four-year college for a degree in nursing; science is favorite class because he likes to discover the chemicals and dissect a frog and pig and mouse; Pizza Hut favorite place to work because he likes pizza and was busy every day; there was good teamwork at McDonalds and they really liked him there because of his personality; he’s good at being a cashier, cleaning the lobby and restocking; he could improve at the register

Amari from Cleveland Heights: graduated in 2016; got job training through CEVEC in food prep at Menorah Park; fave classes were English, science and math; fave job was Food Bank because he portioned foods onto trays and enjoyed that; working in the dairy department at Dave’s was his least favorite because it was cold; if he could do any job, he would work at a restaurant in the kitchen and cook and use his skills with utensils; he enjoys TV, video games and music

Maybe one of these students is right for your organization. We found two long-term employees through CEVEC’s mock interview program. They have been an asset to our organization.

CEVEC students

I talked to HGR Partner and CEO Brian Krueger about his involvement with CEVEC. He told me that he first heard about CEVEC eight to nine years ago from family friend Sandy Seigler who said that he helps kids who, primarily, are communication-challenged but who are productive, resourceful, good workers. Krueger was asked to conduct mock interviews twice per year for two to three years and attended graduations and open houses. Then, he found himself needing to fill some positions at HGR. Our first hire from CEVEC, Jeremy, worked in the tear down area to re-itemize or scrap items. Now, he floats to different areas throughout Operations, including incoming, set up, tear down and scrap. Derrick cleans restrooms, sweeps aisles and assists in tear down. Krueger says, “I encourage business owners to look within their organizations to see if there are positions that can utilize these students’ skill sets.” Most of them have experience in food service, mailroom, restocking, carrying and moving, or tear down.

HGR employee Jeremy
Jeremy in his Employee-of-the-Month photo
Derric and metal gorilla
Derrick with the gorilla he made from HGR scrap

Looking for machine/fabrication shops willing to help Euclid H.S. with its battle robot

LEGO robot kit

On Oct. 25, we had our first organizational meeting of the school year with Bob Torrelli, Euclid High School’s Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach, to get the lay of the land before we head full tilt into preparation for the Alliance for Working Together’s (AWT) RoboBots competition on April 29, 2017.

With students about two months into the academic year, Torrelli says the robotics class, being offered for the first time, is full with 24 students working on eight LEGO robotics kits, four of which were donated by HGR. And, the class for next semester is full, as well. This course is open to juniors and seniors as a science elective. In addition to robotics, the school is offering an engineering class.

Outside of class time, there is a Robotics Club that meets weekly. Those 12 students will be designing and building the competition battle robot for AWT’s RoboBots battle. Ten students will be selected. Design should be complete by December. The school is looking for machine or fabrication shops willing to donate their time machining and assembling the bot over winter break so that students can begin assembly and testing in January when they return.

HGR employees wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Two HGR employees, Nia Ashanti in Austin and Melanie Goryance in Euclid, spearheaded an effort to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month by passing out pink rubber bracelets to employees in both offices. According to Goryance, “Everybody was very excited to wear one to show support.” Ashanti says, “Everyone put theirs on immediately.”

They distributed the bracelets and a message that encouraged employees to remind themselves, their mother, wife, sister, friend or coworker of the importance of early detection. They also included information on local facilities and insurance coverage to encourage women to have a mammogram.

HGR's Austin office showing its support of breast cancer awareness
HGR’s Austin office showing its support of breast cancer awareness month

HGR unveils new offices

Euclid mayor and two HGR partners

On Oct. 20, HGR Industrial Surplus hosted an open house and luncheon for its partners, community leaders and long-time friends to unveil a more-than-$1.2-million renovation. If you’ve never been to the back of the building, now you have two reasons to drive around: to visit the NEO Sports Plant and the new operations offices for HGR.

The open house ran from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and included a self-guided tour of the space, a luncheon catered by Chick-fil-A, and a meet and greet with HGR’s partners and long-time customer Jason Wein of Cleveland Art who made the signage, art, lamps and furniture in the area. It’s worth a stop by just to see his work!

Some visitors included: Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail and City of Euclid Building Director Joe O’Donnell; Joe Barbaree, Northeast Shores Development Corporation; John Copic, publisher, The Euclid and Collinwood Observers; Charlie Sims, Sims Buick GMC; Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce; Audrey Holtzman and Superintendent Dr. Charles Smialek, Euclid City Schools; two Euclid Police Department officers; and our banking and insurance partners.

Next on the list of upgrades? A façade/entry improvement, landscaping and parking-lot resurfacing outside this new entrance at the back of the Euclid showroom facility.

Guests eating at Cleveland Art table

Manufacturing undergoes renaissance and evolves its image

MAGNET [M]Power Manufacturing Assembly

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET), Cleveland Engineering Society and Crains Cleveland Business hosted its third-annual [M]Power Manufacturing Assembly at the John S. Knight Center, Akron, Ohio.

The event was showcased information, stories and demonstrations that spoke to the renaissance in manufacturing, globally and in Northeast Ohio. Some of the highlights included:

  • A breakfast keynote address by John E. Skory, president, The Illuminating Company
  • A lunch keynote address by Tim Timken, Chairman, CEO & President, TimkenSteel
  • Three breakout sessions that included a choice of area manufacturing speakers and panels who covered topics such as sales and marketing best practices, turnover, innovation, Lean, risk, rapid prototyping, safety, patents, STEM programs, Internet of Things and counterfeiting
  • An exhibitor hall with representatives from education, industry, construction and engineering, agencies, and technology

According to Ethan Karp, president, MAGNET, in his opening remarks, “Ohio ranks second in the nation for new manufacturing jobs created, and small manufacturing powers 40 percent of Northeast Ohio’s revenue.”

During Skory’s keynote speech, he says, “Ohio is third only to Texas and California in the amount of electricity consumed by industry. We are working to support advanced manufacturing and industry by constantly improving systems.”

Then, I attended the morning breakout entitled “Best practices in sales and marketing: identifying and capturing your customer” presented by Dave Winar, CEO, Winar; Dan Yemma, general manager, M7 Technologies; and Craig Coffey, U.S. marketing communications manager, Lincoln Electric. Winar says his company’s motto is, “Common sense, with humor, we will succeed.” That sounds like a great philosophy to live by! He also shared the “salesman ship” graphic that hangs over his desk and says, “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” Coffey focused on the fact that the way people find information now is different from how they did 10 years ago; so, manufacturers need to evolve the way they approach sales as the closer, not the opener and salespeople as deal makers instead of relationship brokers. He also spoke to the importance of a digital footprint and partnering with digital influencers.

In the lunch keynote, Timken quoted a statistic from the National Association of Manufacturers, “For every $1 spent in manufacturing, $1.81 is added to our economy” and that for every worker hired four more jobs are created. You could see his passion for manufacturing when he stated that, for him, manufacturing is “the excitement of making stuff” and the ripple effect of the interconnectedness of people who make things in the region.

In my second breakout session, “Don’t just teach – inspire students: making learning relevant,” Toni Neary, partnership architect, Edge Factor, showed a number of inspiring and, sometimes, chilling videos that illustrate the art of storytelling to connect with youth who “think the world is purchased, not made.” She says that her company partners with manufacturers to show them that “this isn’t your grandfather’s manufacturing facility. It’s not dark, dirty or dangerous.”

Firemen and puppets teach elementary children about fire safety and prevention

Firefighter Phil at Arbor Elementary
First and second graders at Arbor Elementary School

The Firefighter Phil program was founded in 1975 by Creative Safety Products to bring fire-prevention, fire-safety and respect-for-authority-figure lessons to grades K-2. On Oct. 17, 2016, I attended a session of the Firefighter Phil program at Arbor Elementary School that was presented by Firefighter Steve Fleck of The Euclid Fire Department and Ventriloquist Mike Eakins of Creative Safety Products to an auditorium full of first and second graders, their teachers and administrators. Fleck has been a member of the fire department for 25 years and says that they have been hosting the Firefighter Phil program for 18-20 years.

Uncle Vinny of Firefighter Phil at Arbor Elementary
Uncle Vinny and Mike Eakins

What does the program involve? Well, it was one of the most entertaining ways I’ve spent my morning in a long time! The program uses ventriloquists, puppets, magic tricks, humor and audience participation to make learning fun, entertaining and memorable. The puppets change each year for students who may have seen the presentation in the prior year. This year, Mac the Mouse and Uncle Vinny taught us a few things that I wanted to share with you.

If you remember nothing else, here are the main takeaways. Since we all went through this training as kids, a refresher never hurts. Plus, you can use these tips with your kids and grandkids!

To get out of the house, the rules are:

  1. Low and go (crawl under smoke, test the door with the fingernail side of your hand to see if it is hot, and, if it is and the fire is outside the door, hang a sheet or blanket out of the window to signal to firefighters that someone needs help)
  2. Have a family meeting place pre-arranged on the street or in the neighborhood in case of emergency so that everyone can be accounted for
  3. Call 911

Check your smoke detectors monthly by pressing the button to make sure they still are working. Change the batteries twice per year during daylight savings time.

Finally, if your clothes are on fire (and, here’s where there was an extra step that I never learned as a kid):

  1. Stop
  2. Drop
  3. COVER YOUR FACE WITH BOTH OF YOUR HANDS
  4. Roll

After the program, students received a grade-specific activity book to work on with parents, guardians and teachers. The Euclid Fire Department also created a child-sized room called a “smoke trailer” that is funded with donated aluminum cans. When classrooms visit the fire station, children can learn about fire safety in the room and see how smoke fills the room and where it is safe to crawl.

me-and-mac-the-mouse
Mac the Mouse and me

Thoughts from Justin: Interview with a woman business owner

Brianna Michaels

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger, Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

What’s it like being a female entrepreneur? The media tends to focus on men, whether it be sports, jobs, entertainment, you name it. But what about women? They’re equally as important and successful. That’s why I decided to interview a local entrepreneur to tell us what it’s like to be a woman business owner.

Take Brianna Michaels. She’s a 21-year-old business owner. I’m 23 and can’t imagine having the responsibility or patience to own my own company. Her company? Fairlawn Medina Landscape Supply.

Tell me about your business. What exactly do you do?

My company is a landscape supply and design store. We sell all types of bulk materials, such as top soil, mulch, gravel, and limestone. We have other products, such as grass seed, fertilizer, straw, tools, PVC pipe, low-voltage lighting, and much more. I also employ an architect who meets with my customers to help with designing their home projects.

When did you start your company?

I started the company in February 2015 in Akron, Ohio; however, just this past April I opened another location in Medina, Ohio.

How did you get into this type of business?

It started with my father. He started his own landscaping/construction company 34 years ago; so, I grew up working by his side. From the day I began working with him, I have always had an interest in exterior design. Fast forward several years and my interest for the industry grew so much that I started Fairlawn Medina Landscape Supply to work alongside my father’s company.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan on extending my business and opening a third location in the next three years. My 10-year plan consists of opening a nursery and selling plants wholesale and retail. I would also like to open a flower/homemade chocolate shop at some point but not anytime soon. I have a lot of plans for my future and slowing down is definitely not one of them.

Are there challenges to being a female business owner?

There are many challenges being a female business. I don’t receive much respect simply because I am a woman. I have had customers take one look at me and ask to speak to a man. I think women are viewed as not being as smart and responsible as men. Unfortunately, there aren’t many advantages to being a female business owner. I constantly have men making comments about my appearance or asking me out when they are much older than I am, which is very uncomfortable, at times.

What advice would you give to women who want to start their own business?

This sounds cliché, but, honestly, never give up. It’s so true. I’ve come to learn that those who are jealous of your success will do whatever they can to put you down. Being a female business owner means having patience with customers AND employees. A female tends to be looked at as bossy, whereas a male tends to just be looked at as a boss – not many people like to be told what to do by a woman. My father always told me, “You have to work hard to play hard,” and he’s right. Make your dreams into goals and don’t stop until you reach them.

Microbrewed beer and Euclid: it’s all about the chemistry!

 

Moss Point Ale at Euclid Brewing Company(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Doug Fry, co-owner, Euclid Brewing Company)

Q: What did you do before you decided to start your own business?

A: Immediately prior to opening the brewery I was principal scientist in Process Chemistry at Ricerca Biosciences in Concord.  Before Ricerca, I worked as a chemist in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for 10 years.  And prior to that I taught college chemistry in South Carolina. Kim, my wife and brewing-company partner, is director of communications at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights.

Q: Why did you and your wife decide to open a microbrewery?

Doug and Kim Fry of Euclid Brewing CompanyA: There were two main reasons I wanted to open the brewery.  The first was professional: I’ve worked for four different companies in my career, and each one of them had been sold at least once.  Every change in ownership led to layoffs and churning, which was very stressful for all employees.  I figured the only way I would have any job security in today’s economy would be if I started my own company.  The only marketable skills I had were making drugs, making chemicals, and making beer.  I figured starting a brewery would have fewer barriers than starting a pharmaceutical or chemical company. The second reason I wanted to start a brewery was more personal.  I didn’t want to be one of those people who reaches old age and regrets not having tried something risky in his or her life.  If I was going to start a brewery I couldn’t wait until retirement; I’d be too old to lift the 50-pound bags of malt!

Q: Why did you pick Euclid and your current location?

A: Kim and I have been Euclid residents since 2007.  We love the fact that we can walk to great restaurants, such as the Beach Club Bistro, Paragon, and Great Scott.  We’ve seen a lot of recent improvements in Euclid, and we wanted to be a part of that. We really wanted a location in a storefront in downtown Euclid because it would allow nearby residents to walk or ride their bikes to the tap room.  We hope customers will come from farther away, but we really wanted to focus on being a gathering place for the neighborhood. Locating the brewery in downtown Euclid also had a fringe benefit: My commute went from 19 miles one-way (when I worked in Concord) to less than a half mile!  I can walk or ride my bike to work now.

Q: How many beers do you offer? Styles?

A: Our goal is to always have six of our own beers on tap (We don’t plan to have any guest taps.).  A typical line-up would include a lighter beer style, such as a blonde or wheat beer; a pale ale and an IPA; a darker beer, such as an amber or stout; and a seasonal beer or two, for example a saison or pumpkin.

Q: Hours and do you offer food?

A: Currently our hours are Thursday 4-7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 4-8 p.m..  We might expand those hours as we learn more about our customers’ preferences.

Q: What is your brewing philosophy?

A: We prefer to brew traditional styles rather than more exotic beers.  There probably will never be a chili-containing beer on tap at EBC!  We also want to focus on sessionable beers (4-6% ABV) rather than higher-alcohol styles.  The recent elimination of the alcohol cap on beers in Ohio will not affect our beer lineup.

Q: Since I met you at HGR one year ago, how did you hear about HGR and what made you stop by?

A: I first heard of HGR from a coworker at Ricerca.  He knew I lived in Euclid and asked if I had ever been to HGR.  He was adamant that I should go and look around. The first time we went it was an epiphany.  I wanted to buy almost everything I saw, but Kim stopped me. It’s an amazing place! We’ve taken our daughter and son-in-law to HGR.  They own a design firm in California, and we had to drag our son-in-law out of there at closing time.

Q: What have you purchased here, if anything?

A: We purchased a butcher-block-top industrial table for Kim to use for her stained glass projects  a while back. When we were building the brewery, we looked for a low stand or table for our chiller in the brewery. We spoke to a sales rep who emailed us some options from time to time, but we ended up using cinder blocks!

Q: Anything else I missed that’s important and you would like to add?

A: I was a home brewer for approximately 10 years before starting EBC.  I was bitten by the brewing bug when our daughter bought me a Mr. Beer kit for my birthday.  I’ve always called Mr. Beer a gateway kit, the use of which leads to more and more spending on brewing equipment, and before you realize it you own a brewery!

Euclid Brewing Company storefront

 

With one click, you can subscribe to HGR Industrial Surplus’ product spotlight video playlist on YouTube

HGR Industrial Surplus' YouTube product spotlight video playlist

 

Every week, HGR uploads about 20 new walkaround videos on a variety of new inventory in our showroom. If you can’t make it to the showroom or want to take a better look at a piece of equipment before paying a visit, subscribe to our playlist by clicking the red “Subscribe” button in the upper right on YouTube. Then you can be notified about new videos as they are posted. We also do some fun viral videos to make our customers laugh, educational videos, sale videos and some from the leadership of our company. You can find everything HGR on our YouTube channel and on our website.

 

Meet HGR Frequent Shoppers Calvin and Harriet Haxton

stainless steel mixer pot
BEFORE: Stainless-steel mixer pot
dog food bin
AFTER: Dog food bin

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Customer Harriet Haxton)

In the word’s of Harriet about her and her husband’s most recent purchase:

“Calvin says you’re always interested in seeing what people do with the stuff they buy from you. Check out the pics of our most recent purchase. We call it the Lunar Lander Dog Food Bin. The first pic shows it in almost-original condition, with the exception of the position of the float. We like it sticking out of the top rather than hidden inside. Calvin added a Delrin stopper to the float tube so it hangs on the side of the bin while we’re scooping kibble. Pretty cool, eh?

Thanks for your patience with our many questions and keep up the good finds!”

We did a little Q&A. Here is more information about the Haxtons:

Q: How did you find out about HGR?

A: Calvin found HGR online through searching, searching, searching

Q: How long ago did you start shopping here, and why?

A: Calvin has been buying  tools from HGR for a couple of years for his job shop which uses old machine tools.  No CNC for him!  He even uses equipment of my grandfather’s from the early 20th century and late 19th.

Q: What types of items have you bought? What do you look for?

A: He wants stuff for the shop.  If he finds something weird, interesting or potentially useful for me, he shows it to me. Before the “Lunar Lander,” we got a stainless steel commercial kitchen floor cabinet.  Our house is a pre-1860s log house.  It has no built-in cabinets anywhere.  We have an old Hoosier, a six-foot steel commercial shelving unit and a very old one-piece enamel sink/drainboard for counter space and storage.  Now it’s considered “industrial chic” but we just like sturdy stuff that’s cheap and easy to clean.  Brand new commercial kitchen fixtures are horrendously expensive! Besides, finding something unexpected from you at a bargain price is great fun!

Q: I understand that you are from Maryland. Have you ever visited us in person?

A: Visiting you was on our agenda on our last visit to Ohio (in June).  Brake problems forced us to leave early.  But we still plan to some day!  We heat with wood; so, we don’t travel much in winter.

Q: What field do you work in?

A: I worked in the software industry for 23 years.  9/11 killed off most of my customers and the idea of dressing up and commuting long distances (95 miles and 2 hrs/day was typical) killed my incentive to stay in the industry.  So, I got a job at my local post office, and I’ve been a rural mail carrier ever since.  I am now part of my local community instead of just being a weekend visitor.

Q: Your email says “Haxton Ranch.” What kind of ranch do you have?

A: The name “Haxton Ranch” is a bit of a joke.  I’m from California, where folks have ranches, not farms.  The name is a permutation of Ranch Calvinian, which is a play on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.  We’re not like that, but our minds work in flexible ways.  But we do have land, and I used to have two Tennessee Walking Horses (both mares).  Finances (the postal service does NOT pay as well as the software industry), a propensity to break bones more easily in old age, and an inability to just let my horses be pasture decoration all led me to let go of my childhood dream.  I did train and compete with my young mare and rode the older horse in all weather, terrain and venues.  Lots of fun, but horses are very expensive pets. Tell

(Since the Haxton’s shop online with the help of their sales rep, we asked them for a photo and got this selfie! Now we know what some of our long-distance customers look like. Harriet added the disclaimer that Calvin had just had surgery and hates having his picture taken; so, this photo is extra special. He was willing to do it for HGR! Thanks, Calvin.)  Calvin and Harriet Haxton

 

 

Makers Space for robotics, woodworking and metalworking in the works for Lodi Family Center

Kids playing pool at The Lodi Family Center

I met Rebecca Rak and Mike Gemmer when they were shopping at HGR to find equipment for a good cause: The Lodi Family Center, housed at its current location in 6,000 square feet in the former Lodi Elementary School since 2014. Mike’s background is in IT software and teaching. Rebecca’s is in social services.

This Medina County family center offers a safe social place where peoples’ needs can be assessed and met, including adult programming for those over 55, a food pantry, Project Learn, a personal-care shop for nonfood items, parent support services such as cooking and nutrition classes, a toy shop for kids where they can “purchase” items with coins earned for doing their homework and going to counseling sessions, a study hall, a craft room, a playroom with a puppet theater, 10 laptops and one desktop computer, and an auditorium with a screen and projector.

Coming soon to enhance the robotics and tech club is a Makers Space with a science room, lab and arena for robot battle-war challenges, a wood shop and a metalworking shop. Students will earn coins, as they do for the toy store, to buy supplies, such as aluminum and mother boards, to build robots. Also in the future is an Internet café.

To date, Rebecca and Mike have bought shopping carts, Bunn coffee makers, a paper shredder, cabinets, a dolly and a wind tunnel for the science lab from HGR.

According to Executive Director Rebecca Rak, she began the Lodi Family Center to fill a need in the community after working for 12 years for Family First’s resource center. She was trained in crisis intervention, stress management and as a victim advocate for battered women. She then worked as a liaison with county police departments to help bridge people and connect them with agencies, counselors and resources that can help them. She currently works part time as a dispatcher for the Brunswick City Police Department and the rest of her time at the center.

The family center served 1,404 people in 2015 and an average of 40-60 kids per day this summer. In one week this month, 42 families used the food pantry.

Where does the funding come from? Everything is donated with the exception of small grants that supplied the pool table, filing cabinet and television. There were 121 volunteers in 2015 who rotated to serve and support the center’s needs.

For more information, visit The Lodi Family Center’s Facebook page. The center is open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for adults, Monday through Thursday 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for children up to high-school age and is available on Fridays to church, home schooling and community groups.

Reading room at The Lodi Family Center

Thoughts from Justin: Undecided about your career? Consider becoming a machinist.

machinist

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

With the retirement of the Baby Boomers approaching, many manufacturing and machinist jobs will need to be filled. How many? 2.7 million. The problem? Many millennials lack the skills and experience (myself included).

Why be a machinist?

For starters, you DO NOT need a college degree. I have several friends who opted out of attending college, have a steady job and are doing financially well (if you guessed that they’re a welder, you are correct). Second, the average salary of a machinist in the United States is $41,000 to $46,000 (depending on the state in which you live).

No college debt. Almost guaranteed a job immediately. AND starting pay somewhere in the $40,000s. Still interested? I thought so. Keep reading.

Where to get proper training

Okay. So, now I have your attention. Great. Unfortunately you aren’t going to land a machinist’s job once you finish reading this and applying for a position (I mean, you might), but with a little work you will. If you’re still in high school, there is a good chance your school has a STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). If so, enroll. Even if it doesn’t interest you, you’re hurting yourself if you don’t. Who knows, you may love it!

If you’re not in high school (probably 99% of our readers), there is no need to worry. There are PLENTY of ways to get trained and experience to prepare for your future in machining. While it is possible to land a job with no experience, it is recommended to complete an apprenticeship.

In an apprenticeship program, you’ll study anything from machinery trade, operations, CNC programming and much more. These programs can take anywhere from 2-4 years and can be taken at a technical or community college. You may ask how this differs from a college degree, and I don’t blame you. One thing – money. YOU GET PAID TO BE AN APPRENTICE. YOU PAY TO BE A STUDENT. Need I say more?! Didn’t think so.

You completed your apprenticeship. What next? Two options: You can jumpstart into your career as a machinist, OR you can obtain the NIMS Credential (National Institute for Metalworking Skills). This will help you stand out from your competition. Perks of this achievement includes receiving a nationally recognized honor, improved professional image, secured job placement over others and many more. All you have to do is pass an examination, which should come with ease since you just completed a few years of training.

Don’t want an apprenticeship? No worries. Forget about who your best friend is. Google is your new best friend. Use it to your advantage. There are HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of online training classes. Unless you have no Internet access, there is no reason for you to not be able to find online training classes.

Even with all the training you receive, you will never be perfect at the job. That’s why companies require on-the-job training (OJT) to become a highly skilled machinist. All you need to do is land the job. From there on out, your place of employment will take care of you.

Get the training. Get the experience. Get your credentials. Land your dream job. Start earning hard-earned money. Advance your career. Be a machinist.

HGR Industrial Surplus case study: Content marketing impacts organic SEO

Search engine optimization chart including link building

Ever wonder about the marketing value of a blog post for a company and how it can impact sales? Well, read on! Here’s just one example:

Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager, received a request from one of our trucking companies. They, along with Ace Doran and Bennett International Group, were hosting their Third-Annual Driver Appreciation Day on Sept. 16 at A&H’s facility, 8500 Clinton Road, Brooklyn, Ohio. They were asking for a giveaway donation with HGR’s logo on it. The request was forwarded to the Marketing Department for fulfillment.

I contacted Andrea Cegledy, logistics manager at A&H. We provided them with 50 plastic folder/clipboards with HGR’s logo to be included in a duffel bag that A&H was giving to each driver. Andrea also invited me to the event so that I could blog about it here.

But, it didn’t stop there. I shared the post via Facebook and Twitter with A&H, Ace Doran and Bennett International Group (A&H is a subsidiary of those two larger companies). They all shared the post on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. We got new views, likes and followers from getting in front of their followers, who are exactly the demographic of HGR’s customers.

Then, I contacted all three companies and asked about backlinking from their websites to the blog post (basically, hosting a link on their websites to the blog on our website). A&H and Bennett did so. And, I linked from my blog to their websites to help with their organic SEO efforts.

Bennett is a global transportation company.  Its domain authority (DA) is 36. DA is a search engine ranking tool that awards a score of 1-100 based on three factors: age of the website, popularity and size. Our goal is to increase our DA, which was, as of Oct. 3, 30 by backlinking to our site from companies with higher DA. If we increase our DA, it will improve our site’s search engine optimization (SEO) so that we are found more easily and higher up on the page in a Google search for content that resides within our site, including key words and topics in our blog.

In addition to positively impacting our organic (unpaid) SEO efforts and our ranking, we get in front of potential new customers who will see our website, become aware of us, if they weren’t already or be reminded of us if they were aware, and, potentially, create new customers. Win-win!

 

Need pallet racks? HGR has a field of them!

Here’s Ken Bridgeport, HGR’s Eye in the Sky, reporting on the football-field-sized pileup of pallet racking outside of HGR Industrial Surplus in Euclid, Ohio:

We have pallet racking we’re looking to move; so, we created a pallet rack request page on our website. If you are interested in pallet racking and have size requirements, fill out the form, and we will assist you! It’s that easy.

And, these aren’t your average videos! Check out our tour guide to Pallet Racking Paradise as a scenic getaway vacation:

One of HGR’s inside sales reps mentors youth at Notre Dame College

diverse group of college students

 

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jason Lockett, HGR inside sales rep)

Q: Notre Dame of Ohio, correct? Your alma mater?

A: Yes, NDC is my alma, and I graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in marketing.

Q: How and why did the mentoring program get started?

A: Bill Leamon started this program three years ago. He’s a professor, as well. Bill is extremely passionate about helping others and is committed to grow this program outside of NDC and in other colleges/universities.

Q: Why did you get involved?

A: The pilot program was introduced at NDC last year, and it was a huge success. Our mentees were paired with professionals with similar backgrounds, personality traits and interests. Last year, there were 23 mentees with 20 mentors. Our mentors interacted with their mentees at least once per week to assist with various challenges, including but not limited to deciding majors, picking classes, managing time, part-time job assistance, managing money and the overall transition from high school to college.

Q: What does the group do? How does each mentor help its mentee or work with him/her, how often, in what ways?

A: The main goal is to help each student with the transition from high school to college in order to reduce the dropout rate during each student’s freshman year.

Q: How does the mentee get a mentor or become part of the program?

A: We receive recommendations from Admissions and academic advisors.

Q: Any interesting/inspiring stories from last year’s experience?

A: Overall, it was a great experience for everyone, and we plan on expanding schools in the near future. Also, we are trying to get donors for scholarships for our students.

Q: In your opinion, what is the importance of education or training?

A: The program started three years ago, and I joined last year. Studies show that first-generation college students that come from low-income families have the highest possibility of dropping out of college within their first year. The largest success of this group is the scholarship due to the structure provided by the athletic program. This program was created with a few goals in mind:

  1. To provide mentorship to incoming college students
  2. To provide leadership opportunities to upperclassman that are committed to help
  3. To reduce the dropout rate of college students in their first year
  4. To break and create cycles within families where the older siblings are acquiring college degrees
  5. To create leaders within families to be not only an example, but the pioneer to promote higher education

Firefighters teach elementary-school children about fire prevention

Silhouette of two firefighters fighting blazing fire and timber

The Firefighter Phil Program brings free fire-safety lessons into elementary schools nationwide since 1975 to teach K-4 schoolchildren the functions and roles of the fire department, actions they can take to prevent fires in the home, and actions to take if a fire occurs. This is accomplished via a 30-minute, entertaining, school-assembly program using magic, games, songs, jokes and puppets to teach children about fire safety and prevention, fire drills, escape plans, 911, fire hazards, kitchen safety, smoke alarms, stop – drop –roll, get out & stay out, stay low & go, two ways out, and respect for authority figures.

One of Firefighter Phil’s animal pals stops by to teach the lessons with a member of the local fire department. To reinforce what students learned in the live presentation, each child is given a grade-specific activity book to take home. The program is made possible through advertisements in the activity book that are purchased by the local business community, including HGR Industrial Surplus. In addition to the satisfaction of helping teach children fire safety and potentially save lives, the businesses receive a certificate of appreciation signed by the fire chief.

This year, Assistant Chief Anderson of the Euclid Fire Department or one of his Euclid firefighters will visit Arbor Elementary School, Bluestone Elementary School, Chardon Hills Elementary School, Our Lady of the Lake School, Shoreview Elementary School and Saints Robert & William Catholic School in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9-15 and present to 1,700 students.

 

Euclid Fire Department shield patch

Machine-tool company retrofits equipment for Amish use

Amish farmer

HGR Frequent Shopper Steve Timothy works full time as a millwright at Charter Steel. Sullivan Machine Tooling is his “side job” that he started in 2013 to build as his future retirement job. It all started in 2009 when he bought a 1977 Lincoln Electric doghouse welder, his “newest” piece of equipment, to make repairs for himself. Since he lives in Sullivan, Ohio, a heavily Amish community, his Amish neighbors knew he could weld and asked him to fix farm implements for them. That’s when he started doing repair work. Sometimes, rather than repairing a piece of equipment, it was easier to buy it from HGR and haul it home. So, Timothy began to buy equipment, fix and resell it, as well as haul equipment for the Amish in his community.

Since Amish do not use electricity, they adapt all electrical shop equipment to run off a line shaft with a belt drive. Some of the most common pieces of equipment that Sullivan Machine Tool has adapted include lathes, drill presses that carpenters and metal workers use, and pantographs designed to engrave jewelry that they convert into finish sanders for carpentry use with a rotary orbital head fit into a column with a moveable arm. Timothy says he has used a drill press for the same thing. In an Amish shop, a diesel engine powers a line shaft that runs the length of the shop under the floor and runs on V-belts. Diesel fuel is used because it is more efficient than gasoline.

In Timothy’s shop, he has a 1926 South Bend lathe, a 1937 South Bend lathe, a 1954 Bridgeport mill, a 1954 Cincinnati Bickford drill press that he bought from HGR, a small press and a car lift, plus all the machinery he is converting and tools in a 26-feet-by-30-feet pole barn. He transports equipment he purchases in an F450 dump truck and trailer with a moveable gantry crane and engine hoist.

He says that an Amish machine shop down the road runs a 17,000-pound shear (purchased from HGR), an ironworker, a press brake, lathes and a radial arm drill press, all nonelectrical. It has a tub on the roof to collect rainwater that is gravity-fed into a faucet sink since only well water with a pump would be used. A sawmill in his town uses a $20,000, three-sided planer for flooring and molding. It can plane flat surfaces, profiles and relief cuts. The planer had separate motors but the owner built belt drives and uses a diesel engine to drive the line shaft.

Sullivan Machine Tool does not advertise in local newspapers or online. All of his business is in the Sullivan and Homerville area and done by word of mouth as one person tells another person during their Sunday socials.

When shopping HGR, Timothy watches and purchase online unless there is something he needs to come up in order to check the condition. Then he makes the trip to transport an entire truckload at once. Currently, he has his eye on two gear hobbing machines that he will either use to make his own gears or sell to his Amish customers. The units are not complete; so, he is trying to solve the problem as to how to complete them to make them functional. He purchased a tool grinder with no attachments, pulled the motor off, and mounted a shaft for a drill press. He enjoys repurposing equipment for use as something other than what it was intended.

Timothy lives on 2.5 acres with his wife. His father-in-law lives on the property next door. He has a daughter who is a vet tech and a son who is a business major at The University of Akron. This man loves to keep busy and says he probably never will retire. Do you have a side job? Are a hobbyist? How do you feel about “retirement?”

 

Manufacturing Day is happening this week

According to Zara Brunner on the Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s blog: “Manufacturing enables our everyday lives, drives our economy and can bring communities across the country together. This infographic represents how manufacturing is diverse, supports 18.5-million U.S. jobs and has a multitude of career opportunities, including engineers, designers, machinists and computer programmers. Just in time for this year’s Manufacturing Day on Oct. 7, it’s been updated to represent the amazing results of MFG Day 2015.”

How will you or your company be observing or celebrating manufacturing this Friday?

Manufacturing Day infographic

Old things not wanted by one person become another’s treasure

Inside of antique mall

It’s funny how blogs come about. Like much business that takes place, it’s often word of mouth. Someone who knows someone who knows someone. So, this story starts when I attending a Euclid Chamber of Commerce committee meeting to organize its Amazing-Race-style scavenger hunt taking place on Sept. 9 (read this blog about how to register). Sheila Gibbons, chamber president, mentions an antique mall, Antiques & Uniques, Wickliffe, Ohio, that she likes to browse through because I had mentioned an item that I was looking for and had asked if there were any resale or thrift stores in the area (I live in Medina County and drive to Euclid for work; so, I don’t know the area well.).

This mention bubbles around in my mind for a couple of weeks. Then, one day, I think how much like an antique store HGR is. Both take items that an owner no longer wants, needs or finds useful and tries to resell them so they can be recycled or upcycled and stay out of landfills. We both try to match the right product to the right customer. We have rows and rows of items. And, our customers come in to spend hours just looking. Sometimes they take something home, and sometimes they don’t. But we get new items all the time; so, people are repeat visitors.

I decided to take a trip to Antiques & Uniques and chat with Tom Berges, who co-owns the store with his wife, Barb. Berges says, “I was the part owner and managed an antique store in Painesville with other business partners. Eventually, I moved on to start my own business.” Antiques & Uniques opened April 2015 with full inventory. Berges says that he didn’t even need to advertise to find vendors. Many of his contacts and people that he had worked with in the past opened stalls in his store. He currently has 100 vendors, and about 200 people are waiting to get in. Business has been good.

But, the connection to HGR gets even weirder. Six degrees-of-separation weird. Berges happens to be an HGR customer. He walked me through the store and pointed out the carts, desks, tables, whiteboards, shelves and lockers that he has purchased to outfit the store. He also told me that many of his vendors shop at HGR. I was introduced to Rodney who has pallets in his stall. He also has a vintage metal locker that he purchased from HGR and cleaned up to resell. Then, I met Robin, the store manager, who used to own a warehouse and bought pallet racking and pallet jacks from HGR.

After all, business is cyclical. What have you purchased from HGR to reuse? How have you put it to use?

HGR Industrial Surplus - Antiques & Uniques relationship map

Ever have a filling? A local manufacturing company shapes the drills’ cutting edges.

Dentist with drill

William Sopko and Sons Co., located at 26500 Lakeland Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, was started in 1952 in the basement of current owner Bill Sopko Sr.’s parents’ home on East 267th Street. His dad, also Bill, worked in the Maintenance Department at Tapco (now TRW) after returning home from serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Prior to the war, he worked at Ohio Ball Bearing Company (now Applied Technologies) in the Spindle Repair Department.

Bill Sr., says, “Many people do not know what a spindle is. It is NOT the wood spindle on a staircase. In industry, the spindle assembly has a shaft that is mounted on bearings and turns at high speeds. The special bearings must support both radial and axial pressures. On the end of the shaft an adaptor holds either a grinding wheel or a cutting tool. The higher the speed, the more precise the spindle must be.”

Since his father had two young children at the time, one of them being Bill, Sr., Bill Sopko decided to go out on his own and start a business, William Sopko and Sons Co. His wife, Mary, did the paperwork. They picked Euclid as home because it was the perfect place to have a family and establish a business. In the early 1950s, Euclid was booming with industry.  Then they had two more kids to make a family of six.

Mary died in 1967 and Bill in 1974. The business still was located in the basement on East 267th Street. In 1971, Bill Sr. graduated from college, got married and rented a small block building on St. Clair Avenue. He purchased a milling machine, saw and surface grinder. Prior to this he had outsourced all of his manufacturing to local shops, many still in business today. In 1976, the company moved out of the basement into a building on Lakeland Boulevard in Wickliffe. In the early 1990s it needed more space and moved back to Euclid into the company’s current location on Lakeland Boulevard.

The current business has three segments, all related to precision grinding and machining. First, it is a precision spindle repair service company that rebuilds all types of ball and roller-bearing spindles. Most popular are surface grinders, cutter grinders, internal grinders, Moore Jig grinders, both foreign and domestic. The company has rebuilt more than 10,000 precision spindles during the past 64 years. Second, it manufactures grinding accessories that include wheel adapters, internal grinding quills, collet chuck quills, extensions, flanges, spacers and precision wheel screws. Finally, the company is a stocking distributor for spindle-related products. Its major lines include Dumore hand grinders, tool post grinders, parts, spindles and drill units, and Gates power transmission products including flat spindle belts, poly vee, variable speed and vee belts.

Sopko and Sons employs experienced machine technicians who can run manual lathes, CNC turning and milling machines and a complete precision grinding department to grind its products and spindle repair components, as required. Sopko does not do contact grinding for other companies. Grinding shops are its customers, and it does not compete against them. According to Bill Sr., “Some common applications of our precision spindles include forming and sharpening the cutting edges on the tiny drills the dentist uses to drill your teeth for a filling. Some spindles are used to grind hardened ball bearings, automotive engine blocks and jet aircraft components.”

Currently, the third generation is involved with the company. Bill Jr., Brian and Jillian Sopko all are on board to continue to serve valued customers all over the country.  With regard to the future, Bill Sr. says, “The future will have many technical advancements affecting the whole world. People in manufacturing will make products of tomorrow using precision machine tools. Our business will adjust to this new technology as it is discovered, and we will continue to service and supply the needs of the new century.”

William Sopko and Sons logo

Acclaimed multimedia Los Angeles artist shops for inspiration at HGR

Luddite by James Georgopoulos
Luddite in MAMA Gallery
Steel, aluminum, titanium, rubber, concrete, copper, automotive finish, brass, powder coating and electronic components with 35:00 minute single channel video
80 × 79 × 53 in
203.2 × 200.7 × 134.6 cm
James Georgopoulos 2016
Photo Courtesy of MAMA Gallery

 

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Frequent Shopper James Georgopoulos, multimedia artist)

James Georgopoulos works with painting, sculpture and video installation to address a relationship between highly skilled production techniques, pop culture and taboo iconography. He began creating visual works at age 14, and his father was an avid art collector. He relocated from the East Coast to Los Angeles in the early 90s to work in the film industry, including as an art director for commercials and music videos, including Pink Floyd’s “Take it Back.” Georgopoulous’ work can be found in collections around the world.

Currently, his solo show at MAMA Gallery in Los Angeles is buoyed by four major new video sculptures that the artist created out of found, fabricated, and handmade materials. The Earth Is Flat is an interrogation of artificially intelligent systems and the values and hazards implicit to autonomous computing. The title of the exhibition emanates from the certainty that we are at a precipice, akin to the era when a flat world was the predominant theory about the form of the Earth. Theorists and technologists—Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking among them—believe that we are presumably in a technological stone age, and that artificial intelligence will continue to develop rapidly and exponentially in spite of warnings and omens.

Luddite by James Georgopoulos in MAMA Gallery, Los Angeles

An HGR employee literally goes the extra mile to serve our customers

HGR employee Chuck Leonard

I heard through the grapevine that a couple of HGR employees commute 1.5 hours from the Erie, Pa., area to come to work! Whew, and I thought that my 34-mile, one-hour commute from Medina County was far. This just proves what a great place HGR is to work. Because of that, it attracts dedicated employees and who are willing to “go the extra mile” to keep us up and running on all cylinders.

One of those employees is Chuck Leonard. Here’s what he had to say about why he does what he does:

“I have been here since Day 1. I am one of the original employees who came from McKean Machinery. I am the receiving supervisor. We unload trucks, and I make sure everything gets set up to be inventoried. The reason I have stayed so long is I like who I work for — the owners. I’ve always been treated fair, and that’s very important to me. I’ve watched this company grow tremendously over the years and feel like I have contributed to get to where we are now. To set the record straight I don’t drive from Erie on a daily basis. I stay at my mother’s during the work week, which is still a 45-minute drive. I go home every Friday and drive in from Erie on Mondays. I’ve been doing it for so long its second nature.”

Thanks, Chuck, for 18 great years and, here’s to many more!

 

A&H Trucking hosts third-annual Driver Appreciation Day

Ice cream truck at A&H Trucking Driver Appreciation Day

Ever wonder how all the amazing items in HGR’s showroom get here? We don’t have our own big rigs, but we work with a number of riggers and trucking companies to make it all happen, from enclosed trailers and flatbeds to step decks. One of those companies is A&H Trucking, Parts & Repair, Brooklyn, Ohio. According to Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager, “Anything we need, they usually have. They do a lot of the local stuff we buy and, occasionally, ship out items that we sell.”

On Sept. 16 from 12 to 4 p.m., A&H and Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging hosted its third-annual Driver Appreciation Day as part of National Driver Appreciation Week. About 40 drivers plus more than 30 customers, vendors and industry relationships (like HGR) stop in to have lunch provided by Famous Dave’s BBQ and an ice cream truck, play some cornhole and feel the love. Many of the vendors and industry contacts donate items for raffles and giveaways. The money raised in the raffle goes into a driver relief fund.

A&H was started by Bob Abernethy (now deceased) and Bill Hoag in 1981. At that time, the company did not own any of its trucks and used all owner-operator rigs. Now, A&H has 22 company trucks, uses 20 owner-operators, has a full-service truck repair shop and is a Vanguard trailer and tractor parts distributor. Its drivers are required to attend two safety meetings each year. The company is an agent for Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging in order to leverage a larger company’s safety, billing department, and insurance claims processing resources. It’s a family-owned-and-run enterprise. And, it feels like family.

I sat at a table with one of the company’s retired drivers who had a trucking accident a little over a year ago. While he was recovering, Bill took him and his family to dinner, checked on him and continues to invite him back to this event even though he’s no longer driving. This was the kind of event where you felt like you knew everyone and made friends with people who share common interests. I own a retired Thoroughbred racehorse. This driver’s dad used to breed and train Standardbreds at Northfield Park. A sales rep at Rush Truck Centers breeds and trains Thoroughbreds and races them at Thistledown. We may go on a trail ride!

And, like a lot of businesses that I run across, A&H happens to be a customer of HGR. Many items in its facility have come from our showroom, including its shelving units. HGR started working with A&H just three years ago when the company partnered with one of our carriers. They inherited us and have continued to do a great job.

Thanks A&H for trucking our equipment, inviting us to your event and for introducing me to new friends.

Owner Bill Hoag of A&H Trucking at Driver Appreciation Day
A&H Trucking’s Owner Bill Hoag on the right in the striped shirt

HGR’s Austin Call Center places first in the Austin Fit Challenge

Austin Fit Challenge HGR team photo

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Cynthia Vassaur, HGR’s call center manager) 

The Austin Fit Challenge was held on Sept. 10, 2016. This the second year that the HGR Call Center has participated, and while they were pleased with their fifth-place status last year, they are SUPER EXCITED to have earned first place in 2016.

The Austin Fit Challenge brings companies together from all over the city to compete. First, the companies are grouped by size. HGR Industrial Surplus falls into the Micro Division (small company). There were a total of seven teams in this division. Then each group is given a list of courses and each challenge within the course. Each course must be completed within the allotted time or participants do not earn points. The event is held at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.

The team arrived at 8:30 a.m. for its 10 a.m. slot. This allowed for plenty of time to stretch, sign in, and to get mentally prepared. At 9:30 a.m., the team was called into action. The micro-division only allows for four members per course each time. The HGR employees broke into two groups of four. Cynthia’s son Mario was able to step in at the last minute and fill in for an HGR employee who was not able to make it. Cynthia’s daughter Olivia was the photographer/cheerleader. She ran back and forth between both HGR teams for photos and support.

Overall, everyone enjoyed the competition, camaraderie and the motivation of working together as team toward a common goal. Time to get ready for next year! Below is a sample of the courses.

Course 1 – 5-minute cap

Inverted Rows – 30 reps

Sandbag Slams – 80 (men 15lb/Female 10lb)

Push-ups – 80 reps

Kettlebell Swings – 80 (men 35lb/women 25lb)

Sit-ups – 80 reps

Burpees – 40 reps

Plank hold – 60 seconds

Course 2 – 6-minute cap

Agility

Power

Mystery course

Speed

Course 3 – best time

2-mile run

HGR's team doing push ups in the Austin Fit Challenge

Thoughts from Justin: Need a reason to stay in Ohio? Look no further! It’s in the Top 3 for manufacturing.

Ohio map

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, former HGR sales & marketing summer intern)

Problem

I love social media; it’s how I stay up-to-date on trends, news, and complaints. The number one complaint? Needing a new place to move to. If you can relate and want something different, you’re in luck. I’ve researched the Top 10 states for manufacturing. And, guess what? Ohio is on the list!

1. California

The Golden State. In my opinion, I wouldn’t consider California as The Golden State anymore after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, but that’s just me. Anyways, California can rely on its manufacturing industry to be successful since Steph Curry and his team fail to do so. California’s manufacturing GDP is currently at $255.63B, about 4.3 percent higher than last year and is expected to continue rising. Afraid you won’t be able to find a job? Don’t be. California accounted for more than 1.2 million manufacturing employees in 2015.

2. Texas

3. Ohio

Ohio. Do I really need to explain why you should move to Ohio? With a deep history in manufacturing, there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider Ohio as your next place to live and work. Last year, there were nearly 690,000 manufacturing jobs in Ohio and almost $100B in total manufacturing output. Added benefits of this beautiful state include Ohio State University, the Cleveland Cavaliers, HGR Industrial Surplus, and many more!

4. Pennsylvania

5. Michigan (‘M’s are struck through out of respect for The Ohio State Buckeyes)

As an Ohio native and Ohio State Buckeyes fan, please be smarter than moving to Michigan. I’m not saying you’ll regret the decision, but you’ll probably regret the decision. Nothing good comes out of Michigan, EXCEPT for great manufacturing. The state of Michigan accounted for more than $82B in manufacturing output in 2014, with almost 600,000 manufacturing jobs in 2015. The average annual compensation of the industry is almost $80,000. The sports in Michigan? Poor, average at best. The manufacturing industry in Michigan? Booming.

6. Illinois

7. Indiana

For decades, Indiana has been the Cleveland Browns of the manufacturing industry – depressing. However, over the past five years, much has changed. Since 2015, manufacturers accounted for 29.5 percent of the state’s total output, with more than 500,000 manufacturing employees.

8. Wisconsin

9. New York

Broadway and showbiz aren’t the only things helping drive the economy in New York; manufacturing sits up there, too. With almost $70B in manufactured goods and $22B in exported goods, more than 450,000 people are in the manufacturing business with an annual pay of more than $71,000.

10. North Carolina

Solution

If you’re a manufacturing employee and are unhappy with your living situation, you’ve hit gold by stumbling on this blog. These are the best places to move to where the manufacturing industry is thriving, but Ohio stays near and dear to my heart.

Local restaurant owners treat customers like family

Mama Catena and Papa Catena
Mama and Papa Catena

At HGR Industrial Surplus, family is everything. The owners and employees are a family, and our customers are part of that family. So, it’s always great to find other local businesses that feel the same. Some of the salespeople at HGR have told me about Mama Catena’s then I was at a Euclid Chamber of Commerce committee meeting where Mama Catena (yes, there really is a Mama who owns and works every day at Mama Catena’s) was mentioned again. The chamber uses Mama Catena’s for catering, most recently for the Amazing Race event. They said that she hand makes her pasta and rolls the cavatelli just like my great grandmother, real name Rose but always called Gram, used to do. In case you couldn’t tell from my name – part Italian.

Gram taught me how to make ravioli, manicotti, gnocchi, cavatelli, spaghetti, sauce, pizza and fried dough from scratch. She passed away about 30 years ago; so, when I heard about Mama Catena, I knew I had to make a trip. I wasn’t disappointed. I was warmly welcomed. Mama, Papa (married for 62 years) and their daughter Fran took time to chat with me for about 20 minutes about Italy, food and family. I asked Mama why she decided to open a restaurant. She says, “For my kids.” Fran explained that they had a big family and used to cook for everyone in the basement (just like my other, Ukrainian, grandma did when she made perogi). Then, when Fran’s father retired after many years as a masonry contractor, they decided to open a family restaurant with Fran’s sister, Rina. Her two brothers are a policeman and a pilot. Fran says they don’t work at the restaurant but they love to eat there!

In business since 1989, the family hugs and kisses its customers. Fran says, as she chokes up, “We get thank-you notes from diners and are told they feel like a table number everywhere else, not like a person. I get choked up. Our customers are like family.” To further pamper customers, the Catenas offer “blind dining” where they talk to their guests, see what they like, then cook a dish for them based on their preferences that may not be on the menu. For someone who is gluten intolerant or on a low-carb diet, they will use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles. Also on the menu are Papa’s homemade cured olives and pickled eggplant. Prepare yourself for some garlic!

This way of treating customers has allowed the business to thrive. Two years ago, it expanded its dining room into the space next door. The restaurant also placed third on the Fox 8 Hot List Best Italian. Fran states, “We are extremely proud of serving our Euclid community for the last 27 years.”

Buon appetito!

Wish you had a leather couch covered in vintage car upholstery?

Euclid Heat Treating leather couch

In a prior blog and “Hit the Ground Running” column in The Euclid Observer and The Collinwood Observer, I mentioned how John E. Vanas of Euclid Heat Treating bought some interior leather upholstery from Ford Motor Company at HGR Industrial Surplus and used it to upholster a couch.

Vanas says, “Here is the couch we had covered with the saddle-colored interior upholstery from Ford. It was made in Cleveland by the Lincoln Lounge Company some time before 1964 when the company closed. From what I can tell, they were headquartered in the Williamson Building downtown. This building sat where the Key Tower now stands.”

Euclid Heat Treating Leather Couch

HGR had two teams in Euclid’s Amazing Race and was one of the stops

amazing-raceThe Euclid Chamber of Commerce brought The Amazing Race to Euclid, Ohio, and HELP Foundation hosted team registration and the post-race celebration at its Adult Day Support Program.

I was a member of the planning committee, and HGR sent two teams to compete as well as being one of the stops on the route. Here are photos of some of HGR’s participants:

HGR Amazing Race teams
One of HGR’s teams at the front table comprised of Beth, Kim, Tina and April with Smitty on the far left
HGR's Amazing Race Team
Joe and Smitty
HGR's Amazing Race team launching marshmallows
Beth launching