Meeting the Next Generation of Manufacturing Leaders

Every October, the industrial sector comes together in support of Manufacturing Month. This time of year is filled with open houses and informational sessions to get people interested and excited about the role of manufacturing in the United States. On October 6th, we celebrated National Manufacturing Day by inviting local middle and high school students to PFERD’s manufacturing facility.

Manufacturing Day Tour
Students Take Part in MFG Day

This Manufacturing Day, we had about 120 students take part in our open house and career fair. All of the students involved are already enrolled in STEM PLTW (Project Lead the Way) coursework, so this gave them a further look at real-life applications for the concepts they’re learning about in school.

During our Manufacturing Day event, students were able to talk to representatives from different departments at PFERD to learn about what they do each day. They were taught about our business as a whole, the educational backgrounds of some of our workers, and the many opportunities that are available to people within the industrial sector. Getting to meet with actual employees and ask questions about their work allows young people to get a more comprehensive look at the different roles within a company.

The students also got to participate in hands-on sessions using some of our tools, including files, wire brushes, and non-woven finishing products. They even got to use some power tools – but no sparks! Safety always comes first, and we made sure to get that point across, too by handing out safety glasses and demonstrating the proper way to put in ear plugs.

We gave our visitors a plant tour and showed them how our wire brushes are manufactured using automation and other new technologies. From processing and finishing, through logistics and warehousing, we provided a well-rounded experience.

As a North American manufacturer and supplier of premium finishing tools and abrasives, PFERD is always looking for fresh talent to move our company forward. Building off a 200-year history, we understand the importance of keeping up with the times through new technology and ideas. For this reason, it’s vital to continue the tradition of attracting young people to this field. By hosting annual Manufacturing Day events, we expose the next generation to the diverse career options available to them.

MFG Day Logo
Manufacturing Day 2017
Advertisements

Do You Know the Oldest, Family-Owned File Manufacturer in the World?

Very few manufacturing companies can say that they have more than two centuries worth of experience. Even fewer can say that they’re still family-owned, and continue to offer the products that brought them success all those years ago. In fact, PFERD is currently the only manufacturing company in the world to claim this distinction!

Though our product lines have grown considerably over the course of 200-plus years, we have continued to manufacture the items that started it all – farrier files.

For those who are familiar with German, you may have noticed that our company name, PFERD, is German for “horse.” This is no accident – among our first products were files designed for farriers to maintain horses’ hooves.

Files with Handle
PFERD Handled Files

Since then, our file product line has grown considerably to include wood rasps and files, machinist files, key files, car body files, and more. Our hand files and accessories are used in a variety of industries, from aerospace manufacturing, to pipeline development, to nuclear energy, and more. But among all of these additions, horse hoof planes and horse rasps are still among our featured products.

But choosing the right file for your job isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds. For unusual or challenging applications, we’ve created a product selection guide that takes into account the general application and materials to narrow down which type of file will work best.

We’ve also developed exclusive product ranges for specific applications. For stainless steel and exotic alloys, CORINOX® files are recommended since they leave no corrosive residue on the workpiece and resist loading. They have a surface hardness of 1,200 HV (Vickers Scale), 70 HRC (Rockwell Scale), and have a long service life.

We also have an exclusive line of diamond needle files, in which diamond grit is electroplated onto precision-forged and ground file blanks. Diamond files are ideal for hardened steels and other hard metal components when it comes to cutting, punching, press/extrusion and profiling dies, as well as for filing workpieces made of glass, ceramics, and fibre-reinforced plastics.

In addition to offering these exclusive products to our customers, we also provide packaging and merchandising assistance for our distributors. We understand that a diverse product range can be confusing if you don’t know exactly which type of file you’re looking for, so we try to make things easier for retailers and customers alike.

As a leader in file design and manufacturing, we’re happy to find the right solution for your needs. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at (262) 255–3200 or email sales@pferdusa.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

How Safe is Your Workplace?

Did you know that June is National Safety Month? Although the 30 days of June are designed to raise awareness to safety while we are at work, at home, and on the roads, it is something we consider every day of the year. Controlling risk and keeping our employees and customers safe is a top-priority for us at PFERD.  

PFERD’s in-house safety plan begins with the Safety Committee. It consists of team members from QC, HR, Engineering, Customer Service, and Production staff and meets at regular times to review processes and procedures and  to address any concerns in the plant. The goal is to create the safest possible working conditions to protect our employees. A topic the committee discusses regularly is safety in human-machine interaction and plant security. But we don’t stop at making the workplace safe for just our own employees—we work to keep all employees safe from workplace hazards.

With a focus on people we stress the importance of health and safety of operators working across all industrial sectors. Manufacturing is a tough working environment but there are certain areas that can be addressed to improve safety. Through ergonomics, “the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment,” employers can make small changes that will drastically improve working conditions. In the application of power hand tools, creating an ergonomic friendly workplace means protecting workers from the influences of noise, vibrations, emissions, and physical stresses. Workplace injuries are the leading cause of missed work time.

By optimizing the tools workers use every day, workplace health and safety are drastically improved. Our goal is to work particularly hard to reduce the levels of dust, noise, and vibrations produced by abrasives used in conjunction with hand tools – we call this PFERDERGONOMICS and it is at the heart of PFERD’s product design philosophy and process, as well as of the primary ways we deliver value to our customers.

As a founding member of the Organization for the Safety of Abrasives (OSA), we have a commitment to make products that follow safety guidelines and offer outstanding protection of users. PFERD offers free live presentations of customized Safety Seminars for technical schools, private manufacturers and fabricators with a focus on ANSI, ISO and EN standards. The Live Safety Seminars review the proper procedures for mounting, guarding, safe speed ranges and operator practices using high speed consumable tools. It is our goal to help you make safe choices when it comes to the selection of your abrasive products.

Since 1897, PFERD has been a family-owned business that continues to look for long term solutions and quality (high value) products. By continuing the tradition of designing and manufacturing abrasives and cutting tools with the user in mind, we have gained the trust of customers throughout the world. Safety in the workplace is easier to achieve when you use the right tools!

PFERD Sparks the Interest of Young Minds

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) has developed a “Be the Spark” program that connects businesses with students from Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) to give them an opportunity to learn about different types of careers. For us, this gives us a chance to welcome students into our facility for a closer look at how manufacturing offers a viable career option.

Participating in the MPS Business Education Tours gives PFERD the chance to bring the world of manufacturing and engineering to the next generation. Because the skills gap is a serious issue in our industry, programs such as these are invaluable for exposing students to work that they may never know existed. It also teaches them what skills and education are required to work in the field.

We hosted a group of 30 seventh grade students, teachers, and chaperones. The event was a big success! Of course, safety is a priority so each participant was provided with the safety gear they needed to enter the plant. After breaking into three groups, the students cycled through the planned events which consisted of a plant tour, department presentations, and a hands-on demo.

During the plant tour the students saw how our brushes are made, the machinery, and the technology that is used in manufacturing today. Many people have the perception that manufacturing is dirty and dungy. Seeing the plant in action really dispels this idea and spotlights how our industry uses state of the art computerized equipment and technologically advance machinery. Presentations from the Engineering, Logistics, Marketing, and Customer Service departments highlighted key functions that are part of running a successful business. Employees presented an overview of their responsibilities and the skills and experience required to hold these positions. And, finally, the hands-on demonstration let the kids try our products and use the brushes as a customer would in a real-world application.

The full tour lasted about 90 minutes. It was a great opportunity for those of us in the plant as well as for the students. Making the connection between school and work is often hard for students to comprehend. Students who don’t think they will ever use algebra or geometry again will see that math and science are all throughout manufacturing and engineering and can lead to very successful careers. We are very happy to partner with MMAC and help to spark interest in manufacturing and engineering careers.

Cutting into the Performance Racing Industry

The automotive racing market has grown significantly over the last few decades with over 1,300 operating race facilities in the U.S. and more than 451,000 racing participants. Currently, auto racing is the largest spectator sport in the U.S.

The annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, IN. boasts over 50,000 attendees, and represents users and companies with a wide variety of machining, fabricating, and finishing applications. This past December, PFERD exhibited at PRI for the first time, hoping to bring our range of metalworking solutions to the racing world.

PFERD’s premium quality tools and abrasives can be found within a broad range of industries. After attending PRI, we were excited to find many additional applications to which we can apply our expertise and high-value solutions, such as:

  • POLIFAN®-CURVE radial flap discs, ideal for fabricators using tubing to make and repair race car chassis and for notching roll cage pipe/tube. These discs are also excellent for grinding and deburring ‘fishmouth’ (coping) cuts for tightly-fitted tube welding.
  • Cut off wheels in 3”, 4 1/2“, and 6” for general sheet metal, pipe, and tube fabrication.
  • High-performance carbide burs optimized for applications on aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, and cast iron.
  • POLISTAR®-TUBE, abrasive spiral bands, and POLICAP® abrasive caps for cylinder head porting and polishing.

Many visitors to our booth were surprised by the impressive offering of specialized cuts available on PFERD’s line of high-performance carbide burs. Internal pipe/tube finishing with POLISTAR®-TUBE, complemented by our new variable speed 120V flexible shaft motor offers versatility and portability that is ideal for use in racing pits or in trailers. This machine runs at an optimum speed range to correctly run our smaller diameter product offerings to extend product life without over speeding which is a very common problem otherwise. Other tools popular with the audience were the electric angle grinder for COMBIDISC® and our MST pneumatic marking/engraving tool.

It is exhilarating to meet a group of motorsport enthusiasts and introduce them to our wide range of grinding, cutting, and surface finishing tools.  We have found many new opportunities to match our product solutions to their applications and working environments.  We look forward to keeping in touch with the connections we’ve made and are grateful to begin supplying products for the performance racing industry and adding this exciting show to our repertoire.
To learn more, please visit our website or contact us!

Check out this video covering multiple products.

New Roll-Over Hubbing Process at PMB

Among the vast of benefits of the consolidation of distribution facilities is the new marriage of the technical staff to the hubbing equipment. Sam Birel and his team have already implemented some new equipment which makes loading the hubs into the machine easier, faster and safer.

The next improvement to the equipment has been presented to the owners, the expense approved, and will be implemented this Fall. The entire mechanism that attaches the hubs to the wheels in the assembly line is being replaced by new technology that Mr. Birel happened to come across on one of his trips.

The new heads use a different process, which eliminates flashing that can be seen on many hubs that are presently in circulation. The occasional flashing does not pose a safety issue. Torque tests are accomplished on all hubbed wheels to ensure attachment integrity, and the current hubs are perfectly safe and reliable. The new equipment puts out a roll-over that is absolutely perfect in form, with no downside.

Old hubs (left) vs. new hubs (right)

You will start to see the new roll-overs on all grinding wheels, cut-off wheels and POLIFAN® Flap Discs in November. They will be widespread circulated by January.