DeWys Manufacturing partnered with engineering students from Grand Valley State University to design and implement an industry 4.0 data tracking software for an industrial powder coating line. The students from GVSU are required to complete a senior capstone project over the course of two semesters by collaborating with an industry partner to solve a need within their industry. DeWys Manufacturing had a need for real time data collection and performance metrics of a powder coating system.
To tackle the issue, Curtis from DeWys Manufacturing sought the help of GVSU. Working within the constraints of the project set by the DeWys team, students developed the concepts, designs, and implementation plan of the final project. The team worked closely with Curtis to develop the powder coating lines hardware and software data collection requirements. In the second semester, students worked to create a functional prototype at the school, then install the system at DeWys Manufacturing. Upon completion, GVSU students had the chance to present their projects to the public.
DeWys Manufacturing is privileged to have the opportunity to partner with Grand Valley and their students! Congratulations on graduation to the recent GVSU alumni!
Every family deserves a home. Habitat for Humanity of Kent County welcomed DeWys Manufacturing Team Members on September 21st to aid in the fulfillment of providing families with affordable, safe and healthy housing. With a goal of building a world where families have a chance for a better tomorrow, Habitat for Humanity builds, rehabs and repairs homes. In addition, Habitat provides financial home ownership training to home buyers and contributions to neighborhood revitalization.
This year, ten DeWys Team Members volunteered their time at the future residences of Habitat for Humanity Homes at Plaza Roosevelt. Build day tackled projects around the already semi constructed homes of Plaza Roosevelt. These projects included framing, constructing staircases and putting up siding. Alongside DeWys Team Members, groups from Grand Valley and residents of the new homes put in work! “It was nice to see all the people who came out to contribute to the builds. One of the volunteers had already moved into his home and was able to put in some sweat equity hours with us!” says Jake, a team member of DeWys Manufacturing. When completed, the homes worked on in the Plaza will consist of 17 new housing units to well deserving homes.
DeWys University is DeWys Manufacturing’s on-site training program developed to advance the skills of individuals and enrich career paths. Based on theory and practice, DeWys University values the versatility and skillet of its trainers to effectively incorporate hands on experience. Recently, two students from the Coopersville High School joined DeWys Manufacturing’s weld trainer, Sean, for a two-day weld camp to advance their welding skills for a school project. Uniquely, each individual came into DeWys with a different skill set and knowledge base.
Before the manufacturing process begins, variations of sheet metal arrive into the receiving area of DeWys Manufacturing. This includes aluminum, steel and stainless steel that comes in a variety of gauges and thicknesses. On Day 1 of the weld camp, Sean went over the types of material that is available for different parts and the welding procedure specifications (WPS). These specifications are formal procedures to provide the welder proper information to make quality production welds. The WPS settings, parameters and travel speeds created for each material, thickness and validated by extensive destruct testing. “After testing out a couple different weld settings and materials, it was awesome to see the students engaged and able to produce two MIG welded pieces that passed the weld test on the first day!” says Sean.
As day two rolled around, the students had the opportunity to weld aluminum. Different from other alloy metals, aluminum requires welds to be applied via tungsten inert gas also known as TIG welding. Due to different filler metal, amplification adjusting and application procedure, TIG welding can be more difficult to learn. Sean elaborated, “While working on the fitting of tubing for their project, the students picked up the change in application quickly. They we’re so enthusiastic, it was such a fun opportunity to work with each individual!”
DeWys Manufacturing thanks Coopersville area schools for the opportunity to come out to our company and enrich the curriculum of hands-on learning!
At DeWys Manufacturing, the company strategic plan is referred to as The Road to Success. Yet, success in not a destination, we believe success is continually improving our practices and celebrating our positive contributions. As Simon Sinek (Organizational Consultant and Motivational Speaker) says, “No one knows everything. But together, we know a whole lot.” Together as stakeholders we are The DeWys Difference, a key piece labeled on the Road to Success. The DeWys Difference includes standards we are proud of, including an optimized facility, precision-based processes, a leadership team with 200+ years of manufacturing experience, a flexible and agile mindset as well as the ability to solve customers challenges.
In 2019, The DeWys Difference has led to a 30,000 sq. foot expansion optimizing the DeWys Manufacturing facility. When completed, the addition will extend space for customer product and improve process flow. The flow of each individual process from receiving in steel to packaging the finished product plays a significant role in the success of how DeWys Manufacturing operates. In an everchanging industry, it is important that DeWys Manufacturing optimizes the current facility and remains flexible and agile to support customers. Recently, DeWys Manufacturing reevaluated mechanized welding operations to increase throughput by decreasing the number of operations required to produce welded tanks. In addition to an optimized location and access to resources, the leadership team uses their combined 200+ years of manufacturing experience by working alongside empowered team members to develop their talent through DeWys University and increase added value to customers. Through the employee recognition A.C.C.T. program and innovation team, each advancement a DeWys Mfg. team member achieves personally or professionally supports our people, process and product. With a strategic plan guiding operations, DeWys Manufacturing can focus on technology, talent development and innovation integration to bring the most value to our customers and truly be The DeWys Difference.
The forces at work in a company or organization can often be defined through the people, process, and product it chooses to serve and maneuver through. When team members can feel the character of who a company is to the core when they walk through the doors, that is culture. DeWys Manufacturing is proud of the team members that walk through the doors every day who come and apply their strong skillsets. When team members walk through the doors of DeWys Manufacturing they are walking into a family who is committed to a dynamic work environment driven by purposeful actions. Recently, DeWys Mfg. has brought on a career coach from West Michigan Works! to aid in the personal, professional and financial success of our team members.
A Retention Solutions Network Career Coach has recently joined DeWys Manufacturing to provide free and confidential services and resources to assist with life’s challenges. The Success Coach’s areas of expertise include aid in family support, mounting debt, legal issues, health care navigation, substance abuse, housing, transportation and childcare. Life can be unpredictable and challenging at times however having a resource to assist during times of struggle can feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders.
One team member sought out the guidance of the solutions network to look for assistance in supporting her household. The team member was caring for as well as financially supporting an extended family member who has one child and another on the way. With unreliable transportation and pressure to fulfill the needs of the of the additional members of the household, the team member was able to work with the Success Coach to pay a portion of her mortgage through Community Ventures funding. The Success Coach also was able to work with the team member to find financing and childcare for the family member. This provided the team member with extra funds to fix her family member’s car to allow her easy access for transportation as well as pay for expenses for her grandchildren.
Another team member was referred to the RSN by the Human Resources Department. The team member was experiencing recurring debt for medical expenses for his spouse and child. The Success Coach recommended an application for DHHS Services to cover medical expenses for his child. The Success Coach assisted the team member with the application and verification process, which led to his child qualifying for medical services from the State. The Success Coach worked with the employee on a budget plan to pay off outstanding medical bills. Community Ventures funding paid for employee’s overdue auto insurance, thus allowing the employee to completely pay off the medical debt. The employee remains employed and states,” he is happy that Mr. DeWys cares enough about us to bring a Success Coach in.”
Working alongside West Michigan Works!, DeWys Manufacturing is eager for team members to utilize the solutions network for any need. The services provided through the on-site career coach have assisted a multitude of team members and continue to do so. With this added resource, DeWys Manufacturing will continue striving to care to help each other achieve personal, professional and financial goals.
On June 1st, 2019, DeWys Manufacturing kicked off the summer with the first family party of the year at John Ball Zoo. The team members at DeWys Manufacturing are some of the coolest, talented and hardworking people (humble brag) and we were thrilled to throw such an event for all those who were able to come! Located near downtown Grand Rapids, John Ball Zoo provided a lush picnic area for us to grill out and indulge with some ice cream, courtesy of Bumblebee Ice Cream located in Marne.
The weekend welcomed us with delightful rain showers all day… yet over eighty DeWys team members and over two hundred family members stuck out the rain! Luckily, the weather gave way to cloudy skies throughout the day and the rain stopped long enough for the tigers to show off their stripes, the goats to come out of their barn and bears to take a dip in their pond. Chris, a team member at DeWys Manufacturing, and his family said, “We had a great time at the zoo even with the rain thanks so much DeWys.”
DeWys Manufacturing is excited to share that on May 7th, 2019, over one hundred companies gathered at the J.W. Marriot in downtown Grand Rapids to celebrate West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work for. A small group of DeWys Manufacturing team members headed to the Best and Brightest event along with over a hundred others, all proudly representing their organization. Everyone poured in through the doors of the conference center and the space quickly filled with music and chattering voices. Team members from DeWys Manufacturing and others found their seats while the lights dimmed for the ceremony to begin and honor the recipients. Jake, a team lead at DeWys Manufacturing, says, “I was definitely appreciative that I was asked to attend. It was an awesome experience that made me proud of the company I work for and justify that the things we are doing are improving our culture. It was cool that we were one of the few manufacturing companies there as well, I think that speaks well to the environment we are creating for our employees. Being a part of the achievement validated a lot of the things we are striving for as a company.”
Out of over 1,500 applications, 150 companies were recognized for their efforts in health and wellness, communication and shared vision, community initiatives, compensation, benefits and employee solutions, diversity and inclusion, employee achievement and recognition, as well as employee education and development. Awards are also given in employee enrichment, engagement and retention, recruitment, selection and orientation, strategic company performance and work-life balance. As each company was recognized, feelings of appreciation for the great work the organizations are doing to better the lives of their employees refreshed the atmosphere. Semir, a point person at DeWys Manufacturing, added, “What I also enjoyed about the event was seeing the different initiatives companies are doing to get more involvement from team members. Knowing that as a team we already have a similar structure established to recognize and reward with our A.C.C.T. program was comforting. Going forward, I take even more pride in the work that I do every day.”
After the event, Bridgette, marketing supervisor, shared, “The Best & Brightest ceremony was such an exciting & positive experience. It was energizing to see so many companies in the West Michigan area striving for the same common goal… to be the best that they can be! I left feeling inspired and motivated to continue the work we are doing to make DeWys Manufacturing one of the best places to work!” Again, DeWys Manufacturing congratulates all the companies who are building their team one day at a time to be the best they can be!
To be our customers complete metal solutions company, DeWys Manufacturing starts from the core which we believe is our team members. Through our in-house training program, DeWys University, we value the enrichment and empowerment of individuals in which education can provide. Team members are able to utilize trainings DeWys University offers to push themselves to the next level.
Recently, one of our DeWys Team members Jon, has excelled his skills into a new position! Jon has been contributing at DeWys Mfg. on one of the Bystronic press brakes since he was hired on less than a year ago. His main responsibility as a press brake operator included the insertion of a flat metal sheet into the machine where it is bent or crowned when pressed into a v-shaped tool. Jon says, “I like my new position where I am able to interact with multiple areas and always be moving.” While Jon excelled in his position, he wanted to expand his skills.
In less than a year, Jon has been promoted to fulfill the responsibilities of the Automation Operator. In his new role, Jon is responsible for monitoring automation equipment to ensure they are meeting or exceeding production goals and quality standards. Many skills Jon has learned from operating the brake press have carried over into his new position. These skills include understanding gauging points, how to physically handle the part and manipulate blank sizes. Kris, who is a trainer at DeWys Mfg., has been working closely with Jon and says “Jon is a very intelligent young man and has done very well with our training processes. He still has some things to learn but his drive and willingness is what makes him a success here at DeWys. Mfg.”
As the new automation operator, Jon is enjoying his new role and responsibilities. His new position allows him to work with a variety of team members from different areas and continually be moving. He is eager to continue to expand his skills such as programming the collaborative robot and Cincinnati press. Although Jon still has some more to train on, his intelligence and willingness to succeed here at DeWys Mfg. is what makes him shine in the spotlight!
The manufacturing industry embodies a diverse set of processes and way of thinking. No matter the product or sector, this industry is in constant evolution. Just like humans, large machines are also interviewed and hired on with the purpose to fulfill responsibilities in certain steps of those processes. This may include, and is not limited to, lasers, haegers, welders, press brakes, and robots.
Speaking of robots… in case you were wondering, no they will not take over the world. However, they are changing a large portion of the progress of the manufacturing industry day in and day out. The fascinating perspective of automation is that we do not know where exactly the technology will take us or what additional jobs may be created. Technology today has exceeded expectations we did not dream about even but ten years prior. Can you look ten years ahead and see the possibilities?
According to IndustryWeek.com; California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, South Carolina and New York are ranked the top manufactures in the United States based on their manufacturing job output. These manufactures address the need for plastics, rubber, digital design innovations, metal fabrication, automotive, food production and more. With the increase of automation, manufacturers can build on major portions of their processes where there is high competition for people as well as resources. In return, assisting cost reduction, productivity, availability, and performance efforts. With that being said, the technology we have created is able to provide more high paying jobs that work alongside what is to come.
For us Michiganders, we entered the polar vortex this past week. With temperatures surpassing the South Pole.
Although DeWys Manufacturing did not close, we were open(ish) to those who felt safe enough to come in for their shift. We value being customer centric having the ability to be a complete metal solutions provider. This week DeWys team members worked to operate as a cohesive team to fill in for those who could not make it in due to inclement weather.
We are so incredibly grateful for our team members willingness to “go with the F.L.O.W.” during crucial times of optimizing our flexibility. The Human Resource and Marketing team were able to complete jobs in assembly while our Operations Manager assisted in welding jobs. At the same time, DeWys’ CEO was shaking out parts, the Maintenance team kept the paint line running, and our Engineering Manager was on a press brake. The day was topped off enjoying pizza for lunch from the leadership team.
Thank you, DeWys Team Members for your hard work and dedication to the company and our customers. Your commitment to bettering our stakeholders experience has not gone unnoticed.