MoldMaking Technology

DEC 2018

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Page 14 of 50 13 FOR MORE INFORMATION Praeco Skills LLC / 616-951-2133 / me. We communicate very closely regarding any changes to the curriculum and related topics. We also use skill check sheets, one for each of the four years of the program, to track the apprentices' progress on the aforementioned shopfloor courses. On each sheet, there is a list of skills and responsibilities that must be learned, and when the time is right, the apprentice, together with the journeyman moldmaker, signs off on each skill, indicating that the appren- tice has acquired it sufficiently. We still find a great deal of value in our connection with Lansing Community College, however. Several of our apprentices are taking courses at LCC and earning an associate degree in manufacturing engineering technology design or machining while they are earning their journeyman cards. This is covered under the company's Educational Benefit Program and paid for as long as the students complete the courses and meet the minimum grade require- ments for each class. Regarding benefits, once an apprentice has achieved 90 days of employment he or she begins receiving the same full-time benefits that any employee would get, including medical insurance and a 401(k) plan. Our employee purchase program also kicks in at this time. Our employees call it the Tool Bill because it was historically used as an interest-free way for employees to purchase nec- essary tools for their jobs. We would pay for the tools and deduct a percentage of the cost out of their weekly paychecks. We have expanded that program to include other purchases, like laptop computers that they use for the online and live webinar components of the apprenticeship program. When I was hired eight years ago, Franchino Mold only had around 40 employees. We have since more than doubled that number, plus we have 18 apprentices—to give a better perspective on recent growth. Seven of the apprentices are on the moldmaker path, and 11 are on the CNC precision machinist path. Talk about Franchino Mold's two rising stars who appeared in MoldMaking Technology's first 30 Under 30 Feature. Rusthoven: Chris Cook is the son of our plant manager, Al Cook. Chris came on board in 2014 and got right into the apprenticeship program. He has progressed quickly from a skills standpoint. A couple of years ago, Franchino Mold purchased an OMV Formula CNC Machine that's a true, five-axis mill with three heads so we can do roughing and finishing work. Chris was the one who stepped up and learned to run it, plus he was helping to run other work centers. Now Chris is training someone else to run the machine while he is the team leader of the boring mill work center. It's because of his own work ethic and leadership skills that he's been able to move up so quickly. Brandon Schafer joined Franchino Mold in 2012 and hit the ground running. He was in the middle of earning his associate degree at LCC for design, and we helped him finish his degree through our education benefit. He has pro- gressed very, very quickly with all the design work that he is doing, but he also has turned into the "IT guy" in the design and engineering department. He has shown that he has leadership qualities and a good work ethic as well. That is what we are seeking. For Sales and Support contact: Call: 909.941.0600 Email: • Dramatically reduce mold-change and set-up time • Eliminate: – Special ejector rod lengths – Ejector rod threading action • Easily change KO pattern • (3) Typical configurations: – Decouple every cycle – No decoupling – 3-plate molds Save Time Reduce Cost Increase Production Time Call ALBA to Help Calculate Your ROI Your Solution for faSter Mold Change over The Original Mechanical Coupler

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