Ajax Hosts MFG Day 2019 Students

Ajax Hosts MFG Day 2019 Students

Ajax Metal Forming Solutions Director of Operations Curt Jasper demonstrates a metal forming process to Minneapolis area high school students during MFG Day 2019 on the Ajax plant floor.

Ajax hosted 175 Twin Cities-area high school students on October 3 & 4 for Manufacturing Day. Students were treated to a meet & greet session that included presentations from several of Ajax’s metal forming pros.  Wearing safety gear, students were taken on guided plant tours with demonstration stops at each machinery bay.

Ajax makes a huge effort each year on MFG Day to provide presentations and demonstrations to these youngsters because they and others like them represent our future manufacturing talent pool.  Several of our current Ajax colleagues were introduced to us through this process, so we’ve become believers. Another fresh batch will visit us next year!

Created by the Manufacturers Association in 2012, Manufacturing Day has enjoyed support from many organizations aligned with its mission of positively changing the public perception of modern manufacturing. Ajax has been an active participant in this event since its inception.

Breaking A Sweat To Install A New Press Brake

Breaking A Sweat To Install A New Press Brake

A brand new 230-ton Cincinnati press brake is trucked in to Ajax Building #1

Installers are puttin’ in the OT to bring our shiny new 230-ton Cincinnati press brake online this week.  This massive machine can produce super-consistent parts up to 14 feet in length. It cycles fast for max efficiency. Operators get a 3D view of the part throughout the entire bend sequence, which is very cool.  Advanced touch-screen interface operation speeds-up the setup process.

Short version: Ajax customers will get consistent, close-tolerance forming, super-high part quality, and the lowest possible cost.

October 9 Update: We added a few pics from the completed installation:

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Visits Ajax Metal Forming Solutions

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Visits Ajax Metal Forming Solutions

Ajax Metal Forming Solutions Vice President Don Wellman tours the Ajax plant with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Nancy Leppink.

Governor Tim Walz and Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry officials launched their Manufacturing Week tour Monday at Ajax Metal Forming Solutions.

 “It is not by mistake that we’re kicking off our push on manufacturing and workforce right here at Ajax,” Governor Walz said. “Your top priority is the people who work here. It’s about their growth and their opportunities,” he said. “That’s something that sets this company apart.”

Governor Walz was joined at Ajax by Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Nancy Leppink. “Ajax has been a phenomenal partner with this agency,” Commissioner Leppink said. “Employees are looking for a place where they can build their careers, where their employer invests in them.  Ajax has found that sweet spot.”

Also touring with the Governor was Director of Labor Standards and Apprenticeship John Aiken. “Ajax is a flagship for what’s going on in manufacturing in Minnesota,” Director Aiken said. “We have a tremendous, tremendous relationship.  They’ve been amazing partners to work with.”

Ajax Vice President Don Wellman said his company was honored to be the Governor’s first tour stop. “Governor Walz understands that workforce development drives quality and customer satisfaction,” Don said. “That’s why Ajax customers value these programs. They know they’ll get a better product and a better experience.”

Ajax provides factory tours, technology and machinery demonstrations, and career opportunity presentations each year to area students and their families during Manufacturing Week. This year’s tour date at Ajax is Thursday, October 3.

About Manufacturing Week in Minnesota

Manufacturing Week in Minnesota runs from October 1 to 7, 2019.  During this week, Governor Walz and his staff members will tour the state to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the state’s economy, and the critical need for continuing investment in workforce development.

Key facts about manufacturing in Minnesota[1]:

  • Manufacturing added $52.7 billion to Minnesota’s economy in 2018, representing the second largest contribution (14 percent) to the state’s gross domestic product by any industry.
  • Manufacturing workers took home $21.6 billion in wages from Minnesota manufacturing jobs in 2018, the second-largest total payroll among private sector industries.
  • Manufacturing exports brought $21 billion into the Minnesota economy in 2018.
  • Manufacturing in Minnesota pays an average annual wage of $67,098, which is 15 percent higher than the state’s overall average wage.
  • Manufacturing provides 322,000 skilled, well-paying jobs, which significantly contribute to Minnesota’s high standard of living and economic vitality.
Ajax Receives Another Safety Award

Ajax Receives Another Safety Award

Ajax goes to great lengths to make sure we provide the safest possible workplace. We’ve got the awards to show for it! This time from the Minnesota Safety Council: the Governor’s Safety Award for Meritorious Achievement.

Be safe everyone!

2018 Newsletter Issue #1 Now Online

2018 Newsletter Issue #1 Now Online

Download the most recent issue of the Ajax Innovator and get caught up on the latest Ajax Metal Forming News. This special issue leads off with a great story about the convergence of capital,
technology and know-how. Don’t miss it! (more…)

Workcells Boost Efficiency, Cut Waste

Workcells Boost Efficiency, Cut Waste

Since the publication of “The Machine That Changed the World” by James Womack, Daniel Jones, and Daniel Roos in 1991, companies have sought to improve on the workcell idea. Also known as the kaizen process, workcell benefits are undeniable: minimal waste, reduced production bottlenecks, and — best of all — lowest possible final cost of production. What’s not to like.

The first beneficiaries of workcells were automakers. Their huge production runs of similar, internally planned products yielded immediate rewards. But companies like Ajax face different challenges. Ajax produces products specified by our customers. That means Ajax’s workcell development must be responsive to customer requirements.
Using RIEs To Implement Work Cells

RIEs (Rapid Improvement Events) isolate key departmental managers and tasks them with improving a single business process in a short amount of time. The event is not considered complete until the process improvement actually takes place. RIEs require quite a bit of advance planning to be successful. Most of the prep work involves gathering decision-making data so that the process does not stall. Top management must also make sure the RIE team feels free to make important decisions. Some of these decisions may require significant changes within the organization. That can cause disruption.

“REIs aren’t necessarily easy,” said Ajax Vice President of Sales and Marketing Don Wellman. “It’s all about making our processes better for our customers.”
“We place emphasis on the rapid part of RIEs,” Don continued. “Corporate speed makes a big difference when working with world-class OEMs. We need to move as fast as they do.”
Don said Ajax plans on doing at least three RIEs this year. “Workcells are a priority with our RIEs, since they yield so many benefits that directly improve customer service and value”.