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From Father Inspiration to Career Transformation

Meet Ryan at DeWys Manufacturing! Ryan is a part of our innovation team and focuses on robotics and the utilization of automation. His inspiration began at a young age directly from his father.  He found taking things apart to see what the insides looked like and how those components interacted with each other quite intriguing. Years later he continued expanding his interests and competing with his talented father’s welding skills to the welding process, including gas metal arc welding, resistance welding and gas tungsten arc welding. Ryan expressed, “As I learned more through hands on production work when I was younger, I knew this was what I wanted to do for a living. I sought out higher education and learned the science and theory behind these joining processes.” There are new technologies being developed right now that are truly changing the way parts are welded and manufactured. Opportunities to learn and advance careers in this industry are almost limitless. Ryan says, “My father’s visible career growth using my favorite skilled trade, welding, was the reason I sought it out as a career.”

Ryan followed the inspiration of his father’s work ethic in his career path leading him to his position at DeWys Manufacturing as a welding engineer. “I think robotics and utilizing automation is particularly interesting and having the ability to be involved with this changing portion of the manufacturing industry keeps it interesting day in and day out!”


News on the New

If you hear the industry buzz, manufacturing struggles to find skilled workers to fill millions of vacant jobs. This labor shortage that continues to grow stems from more young adults choosing a four-year degree path rather than vocational school. According to a report from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, “U.S. manufacturers are facing an even greater skills gap crisis than previously imagined: some 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025.”  Jon DeWys (CEO) and CT Martin (President) sat down to discuss some exciting new actions taking place here at DeWys Manufacturing in effort to approach this situation. The implementation of a new program called Operational Excellence has been set in motion. This program strives to give team members a voice to collaborate alongside team leaders.

DeWys Manufacturing is a complete metal solutions company. To be able to fulfill that promise to our customers we mustn’t stop believing everything and everyone can improve, so we don’t! These walls that structure our manufacturing company hold talented people that inspire innovations. The next generations in this industry will be a part of the solution. As said by CT Martin (President), “We hire people for their minds not just their hands.” The Operational Excellence program utilizes training’s and discussion boards to give team members more visual and communication opportunities within their teams. These ideas serve to highlight points of achievement in work areas. Achievements which have included organization measures to increase safety and improve throughput. These ideas also assisting team members in reaching their goals.

#wearemfg #dewysmfg #yourcompletemetalsolutionscompany


A Day in the Life (Part 2)

…. and we are back with part two! In last month’s blog we explored the beginning stages of part operations here at DeWys Manufacturing. We brought you over to the laser where a sheet of aluminum started out being cut in a laser. Once the sheet was cut and excess metal was removed, the part was moved to the next value stream where Gabe, a DeWys Manufacturing team member, utilized the Haeger machine to insert pems into a part. The part has since moved down the value stream to be bent and formed by our Bystronic press brake. After the sides were bent at designated angles, the part moved to be welded.

Adam, who is a part of the DeWys Mfg. welding team, utilizes the TIG welding technique. This step in the process is important for any part to correctly structure the pieces. DeWys Mfg. exploits these lean processes in each step of the manufacturing process to continually eliminate waste, manage workloads without sacrificing productivity to create these parts that play important roles in everyday life.

Once Adam finished applying the TIG technique to the whole order, the parts were transported to the paint line for final stages of completion. The paint line process is broken down into a few operations. Parts are brought via hi-lo to the conveyer system. From there, team members work together to hang parts on the line. Depending on the length, width and depth, parts may be hung individually or hung underneath each other to maximize space.

As you can see, parts go through many value streams. Therefore, they contract dust and residue. It is vital for these parts to go through a wash and dryer to be properly cleaned and dried before powder is applied. You can see our hard-working DeWy team member, Patrick, using the powder coating technique to spray the powder directly onto the part. If you look in front of Patrick, all the extra black powder is sucked into the ventilation system on the wall to be cycled through. After the parts go through the paint booth, the line goes through the oven to cure the powder onto the part (toasty!). Before the part is shipped to a valued customer, the parts are taken off the line to be packaged and assembled if necessary.

Thank you for joining us on a day in the life here, at DeWys Manufacturing! We are honored to be able to serve customers’ needs one process at a time to be their one stop metal solutions company, right here in Marne Michigan!


A Day in the Life (Part 1)

Transforming raw materials into a final product begins with a solid manufacturing process. At DeWys Manufacturing each step in the process adds more value and features to a product, transforming a sheet of metal into a final part. Ready to see how one part maneuvers through our company? Join in on one of our part’s lean journey through DeWys Manufacturing!

The light on the outside of the loading dock turns green signaling to the driver to move forward. In the early mornings at DeWys Manufacturing large freights of steel or aluminum pull into the unloading dock where a large overhead crane is strategically positioned over the back of the trailer. Utilizing the crane, these large sheets of metal weighing thousands of pounds, are lifted into our facility. These sheets of metal are then placed on large racks, organized by width and gauge dynamics. Now here is where it gets interesting.

For this part, a large sheet of aluminum is placed into one of our programmed lasers. Each sheet can produce multiple parts depending on the engineered dimensions. This automated operation in the cutting process adds value while saving time.

Today, DeWys Mfg. Team member Ted, has removed the aluminum sheet from the laser onto his work station. We collectively call the value stream he is in “shakeout” because the excess metal must be removed from the cut part. It is common for parts to be ground using a high grit sander, necessary for removing and smoothing the raw edges.

 

To correctly fabricate a piece, each part that is produced at DeWys Manufacturing requires different operations. Once Ted completed his operation in cutting, each piece is stacked and transferred to the next necessary value stream.

Another awesome DeWys Mfg. Team member Gabe utilizes the Haeger machine to work diligently in the next value stream.  Pems are loaded into the machine to fasten directly onto the part. This step is not required for every part that goes through DeWys Mfg. Specifications determine what part requires each value stream. Continuing deeper into the manufacturing process, the part is bent to the specifications of the drawing.

Ready to find out what the part does next on its lean journey? Get ready for part two, coming soon!


MiCareerQuest 2018

Thousands of students, a variety of hands-on activities, and numerous employers … OH MY! Picture this: The lobby of DeVos Performance Hall in downtown Grand Rapids is full of over 10,000 students talking, laughing, and excited for what they are about to experience. When they walk into the exhibit hall they will be greeted by numerous employers within four major industries: advanced manufacturing, health sciences, construction, and information technology. What is this crazy, fun, knowledge packed event called you may ask? It’s MiCareerQuest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MiCareer Quest is not your normal career fair. This is a hands-on experience that allows middle and high school students to create curiosity and excitement for their potential future in one of these awesome and successful industries. Lead by volunteers, the students are allowed 25 minutes in each section visiting the different booths and engaging with employers.

DeWys Manufacturing partnered with the Kent Intermediate School District this year. Students and educators that stopped by our booth experienced numerous aspects of the manufacturing field. The students assembled brush bots by gluing a toothbrush to the bottom of a battery, then taking the motor and placing the positive and negative (one on each side) to the battery, then use a rubber band over it to hold the motor in place. Once everything was assembled correctly the battery caused a vibration. The students could then race their brush bot against their peer’s, tracking to see who’s was the fastest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there the students could sit at a computer and learn about CAD designing and even got to use the software. If that wasn’t enough, they could then go on to program a robotic arm and as a take away they got to keep a glow in the dark 3D printed item from KCTC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was DeWys’ fourth year participating with MiCareerQuest, and it is made evident every year how important this event is to the W Michigan area. As an employer in the skilled trades industry, we know how big the demand is and will continue to be for manufacturing positions. If at the end of the day we helped change one students perception of manufacturing and they will be considering it for a future career, then we have done our job! Contact us if you are interested in more information on the MiCareerQuest Event!


How Are You Helping Change the Perception of Manufacturing?

Today’s students view manufacturing as dark, dingy, and dead end. Here at DeWys, we have purposely worked with our local schools, colleges, and community partners to improve this perception. This is our way of helping to change the perception of manufacturing.

I sat down with three team members at DeWys ranging from ages 19 – 23 to discuss their opinions of manufacturing:

What was your perception of manufacturing growing up/before starting at DeWys?

Cody: “I didn’t really know much about manufacturing, but it sounded interesting and hands on. This may scare away most but I found it intriguing and wanted to learn more.”

Hannah: “I did not think that I would end up with a job in manufacturing. Growing up, I didn’t have a complete understanding of what all it entails because of that it was not as appealing to me as other opportunities.”

Logan: “Our country was built on manufacturing and local manufacturing is also good for our economy. Everything you use on a day to day basis was manufactured and this industry is not going anywhere, so I knew since high school that I wanted a career in a manufacturing environment.

What do you think your peers perceptions of manufacturing is?

Hannah: “I feel like most think of your typical 80’s factory job. Long hours, dirty shop, no windows, and little flexibility.

Logan: “My high school did an excellent job of promoting manufacturing, so my peers growing up had a positive impression. I feel like other schools only promote four year college degrees and those schools should be more open to the skilled trades industry opportunities as well.”

Cody: “I think most feel like it’s a challenge career with dead end jobs”

Now that you are working in manufacturing, has your perception changed at all? If so how?

Logan: “My perception has always been positive, so no it hasn’t changed. I have known that I didn’t necessarily want a four-year degree, but once I learned that DeWys offered tuition reimbursement I figured I could now learn about manufacturing inside and outside of the shop.

Cody: “Now that I have worked in manufacturing for a few years, I have learned ALOT. DeWys has a great training program and gives you the opportunity to cross train if interested.

Hannah: “Now that I am working in manufacturing, it is an eye opener and really cool to be working with parts that will eventually go towards items I use on a day to day basis.

From what I heard when talking to Logan, Hannah, and Cody is that the younger generation is open minded and excited to learn more about manufacturing! More manufacturers and educators should be partnering together to promote the skilled trades industry to change the dark, dirty, dead end perception in the next generation. So again, my question to you is how are you changing the perception of manufacturing?


When Was the Last Time You Were Caught In the ACCT? (Part 2)

As DeWys Manufacturing continues to grow and move further down our Road to Success, it is important to the owners that the team members are invested in our culture. To do this, our management team put in place the Cultural Road to Success. These three core principles are what the entire company is now responsible for.

  • Values: This is how we A.C.C.T. With this we recognize and reward team members for positively affecting DeWys
    • Advancement: Everything and everyone can be improved
    • Character: Do what is right
    • Customer Astonishment: Customers drive our success
    • Talent: Be the best that you can be
  • Attitude: When team members, management, and owners are all working towards the same goal, that is when DeWys will continue the journey on our Road to Success.
    • Accountable: We will be accountable to each other
    • Empowered: We will feel empowered to make a difference
    • Problem Solve: We will be driven to problem solve
  • Beliefs: This is based off the old saying “treat others the way you want to be treated”
    • Recognizing: We believe in recognizing team members
    • Rewarding: We believe in rewarding team member initiative
    • Communicating: We believe in communicating a clear consistent message

So what does the Cultural Road to Success mean for the future of DeWys Manufacturing? First, this will open communication up to ALL team members sharing our cultural vision for years to come. Second, it allows our human resources department to find and hire the right fit during the interview process. “Understanding what we value and where we want to go in the future ensures that we are committed to making the right hire each and every time” – Laura Elsner, Workforce Development Manager. Finally, DeWys is adamant about making this Cultural Road to Success public information. When current and future team members, the management, and the community know our vision for the future we will all be on the same page towards achieving our goals

Nothing is perfect, but when you strategize, implement, and work together as a team then that is when you can see growth. DeWys has been in business for over forty prosperous years, and with the culture addition to our Road to Success, we see the next forty being even better!


When Was the Last Time You Were Caught in the ACCT? (PART 1)

Two years ago, DeWys Manufacturing implemented four main principles that were set in place to be our companies values, also known as A.C.C.T. This acronym stands for Advancement, Character, Customer Astonishment, and Talent. DeWys takes pride in knowing our team members portray these qualities on a daily basis.

As part of A.C.C.T., a team member is either nominated by a peer for a variety of positive achievements or submits their own innovative ideas to improve a process within the company. During 2017 team members were caught in the A.C.C.T. for a variety of reasons.

  • Advancement
    • Russ, Kevin, Alex, and Ryan each submitted innovative ideas that are currently being implemented into the shop. These ideas will increase throughput in the cutting department, cut costs and increase safety in the machining area by modifying a saw and adding drawers to the workstations. Also, purchasing a turret tool that will reduce the tool hits on a customer’s product by 65%, and purchasing a vacuum system for the powder booth that eliminate how often maintenance is needed.
  • Character
    • Phil, Eric, Nate, and Lee showed compassion towards team members and the community. Whether it was offering a hand when in need, taking a new team member under his wing to make them feel welcome, hosting students to his family farm to learn new opportunities, or cheering up a coworker’s daughter who was injured, these four went out of their way to help out and make a difference.
  • Customer Astonishment
    • Lisa, Ryan, Juan, and Bob went above and beyond their job descriptions to ensure the customers needs were taken care of. Paying attention to detail to notice misleading part information, working overtime and weekends to wow a customer with a new program, catching quality issues saving us from a huge return, or explaining in detail what DeWys does for continuous improvement are why these four were recognized in 2017.
  • Talent
    • Jim, Semir, Nate, and Chris won for their expertise in the areas they work. Whether it was having the willingness and ambition to learn more, committing to spreading their talent and knowledge onto their team, being a skilled welder, or being a problem solver and having great utilization, their talent and commitment to the industry shined through.

As DeWys Mfg. continues to grow and move further down our road to success, it is important to the owners that the team members are invested in our culture. In the next issue I will be talking about the expansion of the ACCT into our new Cultural Road to success and what that means for the future of DeWys.


Finished the First Forty Years … Onto Forty Fabulous More

From an 800-square foot pole barn, DeWy Mfg. has transformed into a thriving 98,000 square foot building within the past forty years. Over that time period, the company has developed into a precision sheet metal powerhouse featuring a talented group of team members and a wide range of precision sheet metal capabilities.

But what propelled DeWys to where it is today, are the same values and tenets that created the culture in that little red pole barn forty years ago.  Four key guides the company continues to use today, (1) Advancement – Everything and everyone can be improved, (2) Character – Do what is right, (3) Customer Astonishment – They drive our success, and (4) Talent – Be the best you can be.  All four are important to DeWys.

2017 developed and set the foundation for the company to be in business for the next forty years.  With record sales, hiring over 50 new team members, the companies first business acquisition, first collaborative robot, and a redefined focus on culture, exciting things are happening and will continue to roll into 2018.

Looking back, we could have NOT accomplished any of this without the hard working, talented, and dedicated team members.  Summer was a bit of a toil for all, with a substantial spike in our business resulting in an increase of overtime.  BUT we made it through, learned from our rapid growth and mistakes, and we are now set up for the next wave of business.

So, what is in store for 2018, that will have an impact on the next forty years to come?  First, and foremost, the management team has wrapped up it’s annual, one-page strategic planning document, labeled the 2018 Road to Success.  The plan consists of targets for the next 1, 5, and 15-years.  Key areas of focus are culture development, investments in infrastructure and technology, getting to know our customers more, and improving our quality and delivery metrics just to name a few.

The company has been blessed in so many ways in the last forty years.  There is always uncertainty in any future, and we will only endure the ups and downs by keeping the faith and working together as one.  Thank you! – Jon DeWys, CEO of DeWys Manufacturing


Giving Thanks by Giving Back

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill

Tis the season to reflect on life and count your blessings, and to take the time to help change the lives of those that are not as fortunate as others. It is extremely important to the team members of DeWys Mfg. that we take time throughout the year to volunteer with a variety of organizations in the West Michigan area.

“I love that DeWys offers us many opportunities to volunteer. I enjoy being able to spend time with coworkers I might not otherwise get to work with, and I love trying to show people in our community that, as a company and as individuals, we care about them!” – Don W., team member

Kicking off this year, a group of volunteers spent time at Kids Food Basket making premade nutritious sacked suppers for children. This organization serves over 7,000 children in the community that may not have a meal at home each night. Later in the year, DeWys held a companywide competition for team members to raise funds while cheering on their favorite NCAA team, MSU or UofM.  Within two weeks, team members raised $200, which was donated to Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids. Gilda’s Club works with cancer patients and their families throughout the stages of their diagnosis to make life easier and offer programs to cope and receive support.

Habitat for Humanity is an organization we volunteer with annually. A group of 20 team members spent a Saturday this fall completing demo work on a house that will eventually be a home for a single mother and her three daughters. This year’s team motto was ‘building our community one home at a time’. We believe that a home should be a place your family goes to be safe, warm, and happy.

For the first time, DeWys Manufacturing will be adopting a family with four girls ages seven through eleven this December through Love Inc of Allendale. Through this program, we will be providing holiday cheer in the form of presents, clothes, and other items on their wish list. When the gifts are picked up by the family, Love Inc. provides a dinner and a few other surprise gifts.

Life is full of blessings but unfortunately some are more fortunate than others. As you start your holiday season celebrations, remember those families in your community that are in need and make it a point to do something generous for them. I know the DeWys Manufacturing team members sure do!