Paying it Forward: A Legacy of Due Diligence

Leveraging years of experience in production molding, this toolmaker strives to pass on a tradition of well-documented, investigative maintenance to trainees and customers alike.


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Hands-on experience in maintenance is critical for the next generation of toolmakers (background) to pick up on things that have become second-nature for senior toolmakers (foreground).

Every mold has a story to tell. Before long, however, there might not be anyone left to listen. 

Avoiding that scenario is a top priority for Janler Corporation, a Chicago toolmaker that thrives on helping customers boost uptime and reduce costs through well-documented, truly preventive mold maintenance. Some of the veterans performing preventive maintenance (PM) trace their experience all the way back to the company’s days as a high-production molder. These days, they’re spending a lot of time with the shop’s four apprentices to ensure their tribal knowledge jumps the generational gap before it’s too late.

Notably, Janler is willing to transfer that knowledge to more than just its own apprentices. This shop is willing to teach customers as well, even if that means forgoing the opportunity to take on a PM program itself. The leadership here understands the importance of keeping the craft alive not just at their own shop, but throughout the industry.

Of course, Janler has no magic bullet for teaching maintenance techniques. That’s why my recent article on the company focuses more on providing a broad overview of its strategy for preventive maintenance—namely, to approach every project essentially like a crime scene investigation, and to thoroughly document everything.

Nonetheless, Janler’s philosophy about the importance of spreading its knowledge infiltrated virtually every conversation I had with company vice president Chuck Klingler. Beyond providing a nice secondary theme for the article, I thought it was well worth calling out in this space. In my view, this is just the sort of attitude needed to keep the industry strong and vibrant beyond the near term.