By: Christina M. Fuges 18. July 2014

A "High C" Personality Makes the Perfect EDM Operator

Danielle O’Connor is a 2013 Windham Technical High School, Manufacturing Technologies graduate working as an EDM operator/trainee for Westminster Tool for the past 9 months.  In 5 years, she sees herself operating and training on the EDM while taking plastics technology courses.

When hired at Westminster Danielle took a DISC test, which assigns a “personality” category based on how you process work, and with her a "high C" rating (detail-oriented)) she was placed on an EDM for training since it requires specific attention to detail ... and Danielle loves it!

She shared that the summer before she went to high school, she took a two-week manufacturing course that taught basic operations performed on machines used in a machine shop. She went on tours to local machine shops to see how machine shops looked and worked. The purpose of the course was to show that manufacturing has changed and is no longer “dark and dirty.” Instead it is technologically advancing every day. Danielle believes strongly that this manufacturing "misrepresentation" still exists today and perpetuates the industry's top challenge: finding skilled labor.  Hear more from Danielle here.


Now let's take a look at another recent high school graduate working at Westminster: Kyle Gagne.

Kyle has been working at Westminster Tool for 3 years in maintenance. In 5 years he hopes to be working on manufacturing projects. Kyle is still in the process of obtaining manufacturing certificates this upcoming fall and spring. He believes the greatest aspect of working at Westminster is the staff. "We’re all so close. It’s a really great environment." His favorite part of the job is learning something new every day, and the most important thing he's learned so are are hands-on skills and the value of hard work.

By: Christina M. Fuges 17. July 2014

Financial Advisor to Master Molder

This financial advisor turned master molder, sees herself working at Westminster Tool as the VP of Operations, Plastics in the next five years and expects to be working toward her Masters in Plastics Engineering as well.  She has been a Project Manager, Plastics for Westminster for more than 2 years now and prior to that she was a financial advisor and trust administrator for both national insurance companies and local banks for almost 20 years. Meet Debbie Freligh

By: Matthew Danford 16. July 2014

A Remedy for Low Coolant Concentration

Maintaining coolant is critical for any user of metalcutting machine tools. As such, its no surprise to hear that machine tool builder Haas Automation gets a lot of questions about this topic from customers. In response, the company developed a series of videos addressing the most common problems and concerns. The one above, which details how to bring low-concentration coolant back up to the proper range, is just one example. Other videos detail how to bring high coolant concentrations back down, how to clean coolant tanks, how to make a new batch of coolant, and an overview of tools used to prepare and maintain machine tool coolant tanks. Check out the rest of the series here.

By: Christina M. Fuges 15. July 2014

The People Behind the Shop

With such youth, passion and enthusiasm at Westminster Tool--something the entire industry craves--I decided I'd better get to know this crew better. I wanted to find out how they ended up in manufacturing/moldmaking, at Westminster Tool and where they see themselves in the future.

First up is Kylee Carbone, Westminster's Marketing/Human Resources Coordinator. She was responsible for entering the company into the Leadtime Leader Award Program in the first place. Kudos to Kylee!

Kylee is 24 years old. Prior to working at Westmintser she managed a paint department while going to school full time earning a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. She has been with Westminster for 17 months.

I dug a little deeper with some Q&A.


By: Matthew Danford 14. July 2014

Machine Capability, Service Go Hand-in-Hand

These parts were produced on various offerings from Yasda, a precision machine builder focused heavily on the mold and die industry. 

When I asked about the most relevant technology for moldmakers at the opening of Methods Machine Tools’ new Southern California technology center, personnel immediately pointed me to the Yasda YMC 430 Micro Center shown below. Notably, the machine’s Japanese manufacturer doesn’t refer to this and other models as VMCs, but rather as a “jig borers.” The company says this moniker better reflects the machines’ capability for superior accuracy and surface finish, which can significantly reduce benchwork. In fact, many of Yasda’s offerings are targeted specifically toward the mold and die industry (the builder even refers to machines in its V Series line as “mold and die millers.”)

Precision notwithstanding, the fact that this machine was highlighted at a Methods event is also notable. Although Yasda has been offering machines in North America for some time, its partnership with Methods dates only to late last year. With a network of technology centers providing localized service throughout the country, Methods is well-placed to ensure users have timely access to spare parts, service and application support--all of which are arguably just as important as machine capability.

Additionally, Methods customers benefit from the ability to receive the same level of support for a broad range of options. That is, depending on their needs, they might choose a machine like the YMC 430 Micro Center, or a more economical, entry-level model from one of Methods’ other partners. Finally, Methods often works with partners to tailor offerings specifically to the U.S. market. The first Yasda offering to receive this added engineering collaboration is set for release at this year’s IMTS.

The YMC 430 Micro Center features linear motors on all axes; a symmetrical frame structure and spindle head; a thermal distortion stabilizing system; and a variety of other features designed for high precision.

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