PFERD’s Internship Program Brings the Classroom to Life

As we head toward Manufacturing Day–a nationwide celebration of the manufacturing industry taking place on Oct. 7th—we thought you’d like to hear about how PFERD brings the goals of manufacturing day to life. One of the aims of Manufacturing Day is to inspire young people to consider a career in manufacturing.

Through our PFERD Internship Program, current college students are given the opportunity to put their classroom learning to practice. We create an atmosphere within the company that allows interns to truly learn about the career they are studying and their prospective roles. An internship allows them to gain experience and make results happen.

PFERD Interns 2016
L-R: Andrew Oswald, Jake Pallo, Steven Snider

We spoke to our interns about their time here at PFERD. Here’s what they had to say:

Jake Pallo, Quality and Safety Intern, Mechanical Engineering Major, Junior

Role: I have been taking assignments and performing wear testing for products. The data is used to determine the lifespan of products. I have also been helping prepare for the ISO audit coming up in December by filing and restructuring all data and information so that the audit goes smoothly.

Perks for working with PFERD: The size of the company makes it easy to see all parts of the business and the wider industry. I’m happy to have the opportunity to work within a division of a larger company.

Takeaways from being an intern: The real world is completely different from the classroom. I’ve learned how to collect data properly, compile information for future interns to use when performing wear tests, and to use tools like Microsoft Excel. I’ve gained a wider understanding of what quality and safety mean for a company, especially ISO 9000, and terminology used in manufacturing.

Because PFERD has all its functions in one location I feel I like that my work here is really adding value. I have gained more of an engineering mindset by thinking about processes differently, understanding flow charts and diagrams, and sharpening my problem solving skills. The importance of interning is immeasurable.

Internship term: Jun-Dec/Jan

Steven Snider, Manufacturing Engineering Intern, Mechanical Engineering Major

Role: I’ve been working on design projects such as making molds or parts of machines. I’ve also been handling issues pertaining to designs for molds.

Favorite experience: Meeting with other companies about preparing designs for machines in the future. This gives me a better idea that what we do now will have an impact in the future. Seeing new designs and what we hope to accomplish with them.

Perks for working with PFERD: It’s an intimate work environment with the duties of a bigger company. The friendly engineering aspect allows me to interact freely and have conversations with people in different departments. I would recommend this internship to a friend.

Takeaways from being an intern: Real life experience and hands on learning gives me a much better grasp on what I get in the classroom. I now feel like I have a leg up on my career because I am starting out already knowing a lot more about design.

Internship term: Jun-Dec/Jan

Andrew Oswald, Marketing Intern, Marketing Major

Role: I have been helping with the PFERD CRM customer relationship database, which helps connect and build a more personalized relationship with their customers. This way the reach-out for marketing aspects is easier and more personal.

Favorite experience: The company culture. It’s a friendly company and it isn’t overwhelming to have a good relationship with everyone here. I also like the work ethic and the attention paid to the daily details and deadlines.

Takeaways from being an intern: The real world application and work experience is extremely valuable.  Being in an office before a full time position offers a view into the day-to-day functioning of a firm. Being an intern has helped me get a sense of what I’d like to do once I graduate. I would definitely praise to my friends that PFERD offers a terrific internship program. It’s a unique company in a niche industry so it’s a good opportunity to embrace a learning curve.

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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!

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.

The PFERD Team is Growing – And Continues to be the Best

There’s a reason PFERD has been in business for an astounding 216 years. Of course, much of it has to do with the superior products we provide our customers. Beyond that, it’s all about the people we employ.

We are proud to have the best, brightest, most experienced experts in the business, and our team just keeps growing. In fact, we’ve recently expanded our team of applications experts, adding more industry leaders to our ever-growing company. Continue reading