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.
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:
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
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
Key facts about manufacturing in Minnesota:
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
workers took home $21.6 billion in wages from Minnesota manufacturing jobs in
2018, the second-largest total payroll among private sector industries.
exports brought $21 billion into the Minnesota economy in 2018.
in Minnesota pays an average annual wage of $67,098, which is 15 percent higher
than the state’s overall average wage.
provides 322,000 skilled, well-paying jobs, which significantly contribute to
Minnesota’s high standard of living and economic vitality.
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!
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…)
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”.