Race to the Finish – and Looking to the Future

2017 was a year of growth and development not just for PFERD, but for the communities we serve. We took part in numerous events with a mission of sharing knowledge and building excitement around the US manufacturing sector.

Encouraging the Next Generation of Manufacturers

Throughout the year, we donated time and materials to students interested in welding and other industrial professions. In February we donated products and prizes for Sequoyah High School’s 8th Annual Welding Competition. The event was hosted by the American Welding Society’s Chattanooga Section and featured dozens of student entrants.

We also sponsored a SkillsUSA WorldTeam welding competitor, who placed 5th overall in the event. The WorldSkills Competition took place in October in Dubai, and a team of 11 US competitors from around the country participated, bringing home four Medallions of Excellence.

Manufacturing Day Tour
Students Take Part in MFG Day

Our support of youth in the manufacturing sector also meant hosting a Manufacturing Day event on October 6th. We had about 120 students attend our open house and career fair to learn about our different departments and opportunities. They also got to use some tools – with proper safety precautions!

Supporting Women in STEM

While extensive efforts are being made to recruit young people in the manufacturing sector, the skills gap remains a challenge. There’s the added challenge of showing young women that they can have rewarding careers in the industrial world.

Over the summer, we hired two female engineering interns to assist with key engineering projects including designing tooling molds and identifying methods to increase production efficiencies on the shop floor. Both interns added value to our team, making strong contributions during their time at PFERD.

Reaching Out to Fabricators

Toward the end of 2017 PFERD was busy preparing for and attending two major events – FABTECH and the PRI Trade Show.

FABTECH_2016
PFERD Demonstration at FABTECH

FABTECH 2017 is a key platform for us to highlight the solutions and value PFERD products bring to the metalworking industry and this year’s show was a great success! At this year’s show  we incorporated gamification as one of our marketing strategies with – PFERD DERBY! This was a web-based application that rewarded participants based on the number of challenges they completed. In the end, we had three top winners:

  • 1st prize – Drew Painter – Equipment & Lab Specialist, Mid-State Technical College (Wisconsin Rapids, WI)
  • 2nd prize – Hallie Madole – Student, Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno, NV)
  • 3rd prize – Aaron Wulk – Welding Instructor, Mid-State Technical College (WI)

The 30th annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show was another high point in our year. We met with fabricators and other professionals in the racing industry to highlight our offering to this market and introduce product lines that fit well for this production niche.

Planning for the Future

As we begin the next chapter in 2018, we’re already looking forward to new opportunities for growth. Keep checking back to see what we have planned for the year ahead. And if you have any ideas for how we can get involved in your projects, let us know!

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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!

PFERD Launches New Wheels!

After many months of planning, designing, and collaboration, the PFERD TOOL VAN is “wrapped”!

The talented professionals at GFXI, a design company specializing in merchandising displays and large-scale branding, have been working closely with PFERD’s Marketing Department since the summer of 2012 to bring this long-awaited project to life.

Based in Chicago, Applications Specialist Kevin Kolb will be test-marketing our TOOL VAN program in the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor initially. The TOOL VAN will be PFERD’s “Mobile Solutions” vehicle, making appointments and calls on distributors and end users to demonstrate PFERD products, develop application solutions, and provide training and expertise on our expansive product line.

The TOOL VAN is currently on its way to Monroe Truck for interior installations and fixtures, after which it will be ready to roll!

You can view many more wrap installation photos here