Eyes in the Skies – What’s Driving Aerospace Forward?

New technologies and materials have been revolutionizing just about every industrial sector. The trend toward greater efficiency without sacrificing safety has largely led these new shifts. The aerospace industry is among those facing changes.

The Role of Lightweight Material in Aerospace

In an effort to improve aircraft performance and fuel efficiency, many components are now being made with composite materials. These materials provide the same high-strength characteristics as other materials, but are a lightweight option.

Already, aircraft structures including fuselage, wing parts, nacelles, control surfaces, floor beams and even helicopter rotors are being made with composites. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) are by far the most common materials being used in this application.

Why New Materials Require New Tools

Carbide Bur

Because these are newer materials in aircraft design, new tools and processes are needed to work with them. When cutting and machining these composite parts, workers have to be careful to avoid issues like delamination, fiber tearing, or heat damage. Traditional machining is made difficult because CFRP often splinters off into an abrasive dust.

In some cases, the traditional tools of this trade need to be reimagined for this particular material. PFERD’s Aerospace Market Manager, Chad Waltemyer, has been working closely with our product engineers to develop customized abrasive media to cut, grind, and contour these various composites. One example is with carbide burs where tooth geometry and spacing are critical to the performance of the tool.  PFERD FVK/FVKS style burs provide excellent cutting coefficient on most CFRPs for contouring edges.

Finding a Custom Solution for the Aerospace Market

As the Aerospace Market Manager, Chad helps customers get what they need-even if the necessary product doesn’t exist off-the-shelf.  For the past year and a half he’s been working closely with manufacturers in the aerospace industry to understand current trends and the specific requirements for their unique applications.  Communicating those needs to our engineering team allows us to review each application and project and design the perfect product to fit.

Composite Brush
PFERD M-BRAD Composite Brush

Where Aerospace Manufacturing is Heading

As a partner to customers and leader on the shop floor, Chad sees a paradigm shift in deburring applications. Where operators have historically performed this operation via hand tools, he’s now seeing this application increasingly being performed on CNC machines.  He’s sees strong interest and demand for PFERD’s M-BRAD® composite brushes which is ideal for this application. Employing automation to this task has resulted in major cost reductions and processing time – all key objectives in the manufacturing process.

As a leading manufacturer of premium tools and abrasives, we are excited to see what new developments will come about in the aerospace industry.  To learn more about our custom capabilities, feel free to call (262) 255–3200 or email sales@pferdusa.com.

A New Sales Structure to Better Serve You

Continuous improvement is a major tenet of PFERD’s success. We not only seek to improve processes and products, but also the ways in which we operate. Overall, we strive to provide the best possible service to our customers.

We’ve recently realigned our sales structure to help us do just that. We’ve gone from two regions to three – with a West, Central and an East Region (see the map

John Hibbard, Regional Manager – West

below). By splitting up the territories this way, our sales staff will be able to build better relationships within their customer bases. Different regions have different needs, so we want to make sure all customers receive the attention and representation they need.

Along with this restructuring comes some exciting changes to our Sales Management Team!  Our Western Region, formerly headed up by Ross Bevacqua, who has retired after 16 years of dedicated service to PFERD, is now being managed by John Hibbard.   John has had a successful 23 year career in various sales and operation roles at Stellar Industrial – a longtime distribution partner of PFERD’s.  John’s strong reputation in the industry and proven track record of prolonged success enable him to lead the Region with continued success and growth.

Jeff Hamilton, Regional Manager – Central

Our Central Region is being headed up by Jeff Hamilton, who was recently promoted to the position having served as Sales Territory Manager in the Mid-Atlantic area. Jeff brings several years of sales and technical experience to his new role, which gives him a keen understanding of end user and distributor needs in the metal working industry.

Don Brewer, Regional Manager – East

Don Brewer, who has been with PFERD for three years, will continue as Regional Sales Manager for the East.  Don’s strong knowledge and experience in the industry, as well as his dedication to PFERD ensures continued growth and success in a newly realigned Eastern Region.

Jon-Michael Raymond – VP Sales

John, Jeff and Don all report to Jon-Michael Raymond, VP Sales, who’s leading our overall sales effort here in the US.  We have a lot of exciting things in store for 2018 and know we have the right sales leadership team in place to position us for continued growth with a focus on collaborating with customers to offer the most innovative, products and solutions in the industry.

PFERD Regional Sales Territories

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.

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!

Find PFERD at PRI 2017

From December 7-9, 2017, racing leaders from around the world will converge at the 30th annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show at the Indiana Convention Center  in Indianapolis. For racing professionals, this is the premier event to learn about new products and industry trends.

Grinding Wheel
CC-GRIND® SOLID grinding wheel

Unlike consumer-focused auto shows and race events, PRI brings together manufacturers, distributors, fabricators, and professional race teams and representatives. This gives everyone a chance to see what types of new products and services are available, and gives buyers a chance to update their supplier list. Because all attendees have a professional stake in the event, there are more opportunities for meaningful business connections.

PRI 2017 looks forward to hosting more than 1,100 exhibitors in over 3,400 booths. Suppliers will show off recent advancements in automotive racing products and in the motorsports industry as a whole. There will be numerous networking and educational opportunities, with conferences, seminars, and other events taking place around the Indiana Convention Center that week.

Visitors can find us in the Yellow Hall, at Booth 5443.  We’ll have our full product offering on display, highlighting some unique products especially useful for

Grinding Discs
POLIFAN CURVE radial flap discs

fabricators in the auto and racing industries.  Products such as our POLIFAN®-CURVE – the patented radial flap disc that lets you easily grind those challenging fillet welds, our CC-GRIND® SOLID,  a super-aggressive grinding wheel that’s hard to beat, our 3” cut-off wheels for fast, easy cuts and our unique High Performance carbide burs that quickly remove high amounts of stock and come in material specific designs for materials such as steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron.

To learn more about the show and to register, visit PRI 2017 online. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter before or during the event for updates! We look forward to connecting with you at the show!

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

Get “Down and Derby” with PFERD at FABTECH!

From November 6-9, 2017, PFERD will join thousands of fabricating /welding exhibitors and attendees at FABTECH 2017. The event will take place at McCormick Place in Chicago, and brings together suppliers and industry professionals looking for the latest metalworking products and technologies.  Stop by PFERD’s booth, B17025, located in the North Hall.

As a top manufacturer of metal cutting and finishing products, PFERD will have representatives on-site to introduce attendees to our innovative range of solutions.  But we also wanted to raise the stakes this year, and build more excitement around the event. To do this, we’ve launched the PFERD DERBY app for participants!

PFERD DERBY – Race to the Finish

PFERD DERBY is a web-based app where players accumulate points based on successfully completing challenges we’ve put together. To sign up, attendees can link their LinkedIn accounts through the online app, or create an account separately. To encourage participation, each person who signs up will automatically win a prize! Sign up ahead of time, or while at FABTECH by going to pferdusa.com/derby.  All you have to do is stop by our booth, show us that you’ve signed up and we’ll award you a participation prize.

Throughout FABTECH, there will be a number of opportunities to earn points for completing the PFERD DERBY challenges. Completion passcodes can be found

PFERD Demonstration at FABTECH 2016

around our booth at the show, by interacting with booth personnel and within our social media posts (so be sure to follow us online and check our posts frequently for updates!). Participants should search for the #PFERDDERBY hashtag on Twitter, and strike up conversations with our staff obtain the passcodes and compete for the highest score!

We’ll have an in-game leaderboard in our booth to track your progress against other participants in real-time. By the end of FABTECH on November 9th, we’ll award prizes to the players with the top 3 scores. If you win but are not present, we’ll follow up with you to ensure you get your well-earned prize.  For additional details including game rules, terms and conditions click here.


After the close of the show on November 9th, the top 3 highest-scoring participants will be awarded the following prizes:

1st Place: $1,500 AMEX Gift Card

2nd Place: $750 AMEX Gift Card

3rd Place: $500 AMEX Gift Card

We look forward to seeing you at the show and working with you to complete the PFERD DERBY challenges. If you have any questions before the show, details can be found at pferdusa.com/.
PFERD DERBY challenge passcode for “Post with the Most”: thenews

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!