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SPRING 2014

THE INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OF SPRING MANUFACTURE

A Publication of the Spring Manufacturers Institute / Vol. 53, No. 2

Springmakers Connect
with the

Electrical
Industry
Family Feud 29
Mexicos Growing
Metal Class 42
SMI 81st Annual
Meeting Recap 48

page 19

2001 Midwest Rd., Suite 106


Oak Brook, IL 60523-1335
Change Service Requested

Presorted
Standard
US Postage
PAID
Michigan City, IN
Permit #3

Presidents Message
From Hap Porter

Report from Paradise


By the time you receive this issue, winter should be over. Right now as I
write this it is snowing here in Bostonagain. For the umpteenth time in as
many days, its cold and snowy. And there are many sections of the country
that have experienced even colder and snowier weather. But there is at least
one place where there has been NO snow this winter in Hawaii.
It just so happens that SMIs Annual Convention was in Oahu this past
February. What a coincidence!
Besides enjoying some polar-vortex-free conditions, SMI members
took time to sit on the beach or by the pool; some members were even spotted swimming. There were tours of Pearl Harbor and the Kualoa Ranch, the
area used to film Jurassic Park and other Hollywood blockbusters. A whale
watch took placeand whales were even sighted! And of course, being in
Hawaii, there was a tremendously fun and entertaining luau.
Among all these enjoyable activities, members were busy connecting with
each other. Some were seeing old friends, catching up on each others lives
and businesses. Others were new to the SMI scene, and had the chance to
make fresh acquaintances. Suppliers saw customers. And everyone there had
a chance to pay tribute to Jim Wood, SMIs independent regulatory compliance
consultant, who recently announced his upcoming retirement.
The Oahu meeting was also a venue full of important educational content. We
heard from David Wheatley, an expert on leadership and team building, who spoke
about the choices we all make in our jobs and businesses. Nariman Behravesh,
a noted economist, updated members on the U.S. and global economies. And
Colonel David Hunt gave a synopsis of the current state of the war on terror.
More important than any of this, however, was the work undertaken by
the SMI operating committees. These groups consider everything from the
educational content of future meetings, to how we best attract new members, to what surveys are the most useful to our members, to how Springs
magazine can maintain its excellence in publishing the news of our industry,
and how our associate members can best serve SMI.
This convention marked the debut of our Trade Show committee, charged
with developing and producing the first-ever SMI technical symposium and exhibition. Led by Dan Sceli of Peterson Spring, the membership of this group includes
eight regular, associate and even honorary members. In addition, it is working
closely with our Technical committee (co-chaired by Gene Huber of Winamac
Coil and Simon Fleury of Liberty Spring) since a key component of the trade
show experience will be the technical symposium to be held during the event.
I would like to extend an invitation to any SMI member who would like to
help develop our trade show. There is much to accomplish, and our ultimate
success will depend on the involvement of many talented folks.
So as you can see lots happened while SMI was out in paradise. If you
were there, thanks for coming. And if you werent, I hope you will consider
joining us in April, 2015 when we gather in Orlando.
Hap Porter
President and COO, SEI MetalTek
hporter@seimetaltek.com

2 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

SMI Executive Committee


President: Hap Porter, SEI MetalTek
Vice President: Mike Betts, Betts Company
Secretary/Treasurer: Steve Kempf, Lee Spring
Immediate Past President: Steve Moreland, Automatic
Spring Products
At Large: Bert Goering, Precision Coil Spring Co.
Executive Director: Lynne Carr

SMI Board of Directors


Tim Bianco, Iowa Spring Torsten Buchwald, Kern-Liebers
USA Mark DiVenere, Gemco Manufacturing Simon
Fleury, Liberty Spring Ed Hall, Spring Team Gene Huber
Jr., Winamac Coil Spring Charly Klein, Fox Valley Spring
Bill Krauss, Vulcan Spring Don Lowe, Peterson Spring
Bill Marcum, MW Industries Melanie Orse, Sound Spring
Jennifer Porter, SEI MetalTek Dan Sceli, Peterson Spring
JR Strok, Mohawk Spring Bill Torres, Gibbs Wire and Steel
Jeff Wharin, Bohne Spring Ted White, Hardware Products
Steve Wunder, Duer/Carolina Coil

Springs Magazine Staff


Lynne Carr, Advertising Sales, lynne@smihq.org
Gary McCoy, Managing Editor,
gmccoy@fairwaycommunications.com
Dina Sanchez, Assistant Editor, dina@smihq.org
Sue Zubek, Graphic Designer,
zubekdesign@gmail.com

Springs Magazine Committee


Chair, Ted White, Hardware Products Reb Banas,
Stanley Spring & Stamping Lynne Carr, SMI Raquel
Chole, Dudek & Bock Ritchy Froehlich, Ace Wire Spring
& Form Bud Funk, Fourslide Products Bill Marcum,
MW Industries Brett Goldberg, International Spring
Tim Weber, Forming Systems Europe Liaison: Richard
Schuitema, Dutch Spring Association Technical Advisors:
Loren Godfrey, Honorary Member Dan Sebastian,
Honorary Member
Advertising sales - Japan
Ken Myohdai, Sakura International Inc.
22-11 Harimacho
1-Chome, Abeno-ku
Osaka 545-0022 Japan
Phone: +81-6-6624-3601 Fax: +81-6-6624-3602
E-mail: info@sakurain.co.jp
Advertising sales - Europe
Jennie Franks, Franks & Co.
63 St. Andrew's Road
Cambridge
United Kingdom CB41DH
Phone/Fax: +44-1223-360472
E-mail: franksco@BTopenworld.com
Advertising sales - Taiwan
Robert Yu, Worldwide Services Co. Ltd.
11F-B, No 540, Sec. 1, Wen Hsin Rd.
Taichung, Taiwan
Phone: +886-4-2325-1784 Fax: +886-4-2325-2967
E-mail: stuart@wwstaiwan.com
Springs (ISSN 0584-9667) is published quarterly by SMI Business Corp., a
subsidiary of the Spring Manufacturers Institute: 2001 Midwest Road, Suite
106, Oak Brook, IL 60523; Phone: (630) 495-8588; Fax: (630) 495-8595; Web
site www.smihq.org. Address all correspondence and editorial materials to
this address.
The editors and publishers of Springs disclaim all warranties, express or
implied, with respect to advertising and editorial content, and with respect
to all manufacturing errors, defects or omissions made in connection with
advertising or editorial material submitted for publication.
The editors and publishers of Springs disclaim all liability for special or
consequential damages resulting from errors, defects or omissions in the
manufacturing of this publication, any submission of advertising, editorial or
other material for publication in Springs shall constitute an agreement with
and acceptance of such limited liability.
The editors and publishers of Springs assume no responsibility for the opinions
or facts in signed articles, except to the extent of expressing the view, by the
fact of publication, that the subject treated is one which merits attention.
Do not reproduce without written permission.
Cover art: echo3005/Shutterstock.com

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SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 3

Contents

19

55

48
FEATURES
19 Springmakers Connect with
the Electrical Industry

42

By Gary McCoy

27 Flashback
President's Message
By George C. Underwood

29 Family Feud
How Buy-Sell Agreements Can
Save the Family Business
By Phillip M. Perry

35 International Spring
Conference Planned for
Tokyo in 2015
37 Ulbrich Marks a 90th
Year Milestone
42 Mexico's Growing
Metal Class
By Peter Buxbaum

48 SMI Celebrates 81st Annual


Meeting in Hawaii

4 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

COLUMNS
15 Be Aware Safety Tips
OSHA Record Keeping for
Power Presses
By Jim Wood

15 IST Spring Technology


Nickel Alloy Springs in
Contact with Molten Metals
By Margaret O'Malley

12 Regional Spring
Association Report
55 Springmaker Spotlight
Former Rower Helps Steer SMI
Into New Waters: A Profile of
Hap Porter, SMI's 34th President
By Gary McCoy

61 Book Corner
63 Inside SMI
65 New Products

DEPARTMENTS
2 Presidents Message
Report from Paradise

7 Global Highlights

67 Advertisers Index
68 Snapshot
Keith Porter Jr.,
Newcomb Spring

The New BM 90 Coiling and Bending Machine (max. 16 mm )


New bending concept
3 concentric bending axis
2 axial movable bending pins
All axes are numerically controlled
Movable cutting unit optionally available
Manually adjustable bend-back clearance
Machine program creation from CAD data

BM Series Working Ranges:


BM 30
max. 6.5 mm
BM 40
max. 8.0 mm
BM 50
max. 10.0 mm
 < BM 60
max. 13.0 mm
BM 90
max. 16.0 mm

BM 90 Mandrel Coiling Unit


Expanded range of parts due to
the combination of bending head
and coiling unit
Production of torsion springs
(spring bodies with / without pitch)
Production of spring bodies with
defined pitch using profiled mandrels
Examples of 10.5 mm spring steel
with 189 KSI tensile

approx. 3 parts/min

approx. 5 parts/min

bend

approx. 7.5 parts/min

wire

approx. 7 parts/min

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SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 5

iStockphoto.com/DNY59

Global
Highlights
North America
Betts Company has been named a 2014 Business
Partnership award winner by the Fresno Compact and was
formally recognized at the Fresno Compacts 18th Annual
Shareholders Luncheon on March 5, 2014.
Each year the Fresno Compact recognizes 10 local
businesses that have built exceptional partnerships with
schools, contributing time and resources to help students
reach their full potential.
Brett Camacho, the department chair for trades in
the applied technology division at Fresno City College,
nominated Betts Company for the award. Camacho
says for the last two semesters the school has worked
collaboratively with Betts Company on the construction
of 30 metal racks to hold materials for the company. Their
engineers drew up the plans, the company purchased all
of the materials and the fabrication students built them,
explained Camacho. This worked out great because it
provided our students the opportunity to build different
projects with no out-of-pocket cost.
Camacho went on to say, The partnership positively
impacts the students by giving them real world experience
they might not otherwise have the opportunity to receive.
Our business partners positively impact the community
by allowing students to receive better training, which
leads to their being better contributors to the industries
in our area.
Joe Devany, director of operations, represented Betts
Company at the March 5 luncheon and says the company
is honored by the recognition. We are thrilled to support
educational endeavors in our community through schools
like Fresno City College and Cal State University Fresno,
said Devany. We value these positive partnerships and
will continue to support their growth.
The purpose of the Fresno Compact is to focus
community-wide efforts on preparing students for the
increasing demands of society and the workplace. In doing
so, it provides a mechanism for mobilizing business and
community support of local public schools, and it acts
as a clearinghouse for the sharing of information among
school districts, businesses, and community leaders. The
Fresno Compact is the coordinating body of the Fresno
Area Strive program. For more information on The Fresno
Compact, visit www.fresnocompact.com.
For more information on Betts Company, visit www.
Betts1868.com, phone 559-498-3304, or email info@
Betts1868.com.

John Evans Sons has


announced that Frank
L . D a v e y, e x e c u t iv e
chairman, has retired
after 37 years with the
company. Davey started
w it h t he compa ny
in planning and
development, and was
vice president of nance
and marketing for many
years before becoming
chairman in 2005.
Davey graduated from
the U.S. Naval Academy,
Frank L. Davey
and Temple University
Law School. After graduation from the U.S. Naval
Academy in 1963, he served six years on active duty on
the frigate USS Preble, the destroyer USS Sarseld and
an assignment as staff engineer with DESRON 36. His sea
duty tours included three Western Pacic deployments
with Vietnam service and a Mediterranean deployment.
Davey left active duty and went to law school and
transferred his commission to the Naval Reserve as a
JAG Corps lawyer. He retired as a Navy Captain and the
commanding ofcer of the Philadelphia Reserve Legal
Unit in 1986.
In civilian life, Davey was employed by Proctor and
Gamble, then practiced law and nally worked on a federal
congressman's staff before joining John Evans Sons in
1977. He eventually owned John Evans Sons in Lansdale,
Pa. as well as Delmaco Manufacturing in Georgetown,
Del. During this time, Davey learned to y and piloted
his own A-36 Bonanza.
Davey is married to Elaine; they have three married
children and eight grandchildren.
Davey will remain on the Board of Directors as nonexecutive chairman.
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
president and CEO Jay Timmons delivered the annual
State of Manufacturing address on February 25 in
Houston, Texas, one of the manufacturing communitys
most vibrant economic centers. Speaking at the Greater
Houston Partnerships Thought Leader Series, Timmons
discussed the unique opportunities and challenges facing

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 7

Global Highlights

ISO 9001 REGISTERED

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the manufacturing economy and the solutions that will


bolster the manufacturing industrys economic strength
nationwide and throughout the world.
Timmons attributed manufacturings comeback to
its dynamic workforce, innovation and game-changing
energy resources. He noted, however, the critical need
to implement policies supporting manufacturing to
eliminate the stiing effect that overregulation, high taxes,
rising health care costs and a lack of trade agreements
have on manufacturers competitiveness. Portions of the
address are as follows:
Today, Im pleased to report to you that manufacturing
in America is making a comeback. Thats a tribute to the
hardworking men and women who produce the goods and
generate the ideas that power the U.S. economy as well as
the global economy.
The question we confront is, How do we ensure that
manufacturing in the United States is robust, dynamic
and ready to meet the needs of our economy and our
workers? Consider this nding from the Manufacturers
Alliance: Manufacturing employment can grow by more
than 300,000 jobs every year, and the economy can grow
by an additional $1.5 trillion. So what do we need to do
to achieve this goal? It all comes down to a focus on three
specic areas: products, people and policy.

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8 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

The scope of policies that impact manufacturing


and the people who work in manufacturingis incredibly
broad and incredibly impactful. While there are many
reasons to be optimistic about the future of American
manufacturing, government overreach poses the single
biggest threat. One entire industryenergyis at risk
of suffocation by regulation. It seems like all we hear from
this Administration and its allies in Congress is that they
want to put a stop to the use of oil, gas and coal, when the
focus should be on developing and maintaining secure
and affordable energy.
Its a long list. But lets be clearfor America to
maintain our mantle of economic leadership, we need
policies at the federal level that help manufacturers seize
the opportunities before us, not policies that hold us back.
The NAMs A Growth Agenda: Four Goals for a
Manufacturing Resurgence in America sets a roadmap
for economic growth and enhanced competitiveness for
manufacturers. This plan is a benchmark for policymakers
and a proven, achievable list of goals that will get the U.S.
economy moving again.
For more information, visit www.nam.org
MW Industries, a leading provider of highly engineered
springs, specialty fasteners, machined parts, and other
precision components, announced on February 19, 2014
the acquisition of Futuristics Components, a manufacturer
of precision turned components for the microwave,
electronics, defense, aerospace and related industries.
Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Waterbury,
Conn., Futuristics products include fasteners, washers,
timing devices, switches, and ttings. Its expertise is in
miniature machined products requiring precision and
extremely tight tolerances. The company will be integrated
into MWs RAF Electronic Hardware Division, located in
nearby Seymour, Conn.
Bill Marcum, CEO of MW Industries, said, Futuristics
has built a solid reputation over the past 25-plus years as
a niche manufacturer of precision machined components
serving a number of key industries. The companys products
and work force are highly complementary to our existing
facilities, and as part of the MW family of companies,
we believe that Futuristics is better positioned to
penetrate new markets, including the medical, electronics,
communications, aerospace and avionics sectors.
MW has completed a number of acquisitions to
strengthen its product offerings and customer base and
is currently evaluating a strong pipeline of transactions.
Diamond Wire Spring Company, a manufacturer of
stock and precision custom springs, has announced that
its main manufacturing plant located in Pittsburgh, Pa. has
achieved the ISO 9001-2008 certication. The Pittsburgh

Global Highlights

plant now joins the companys Taylors, S.C. plant as ISO


9001-2008 certied facilities.
The companys management system was assessed
and certified by NQA USA Registrars, a full service
certication body accredited by ANAB.
Achieving ISO 9001-2008 certication is a testament to
the hard work and dedication of all of our employees, said
Donald Fazio, president of Diamond Wire Spring Company.
Attaining this certication speaks to our continuous efforts
to increase internal process disciplines, provide rst class
customer service and make certain Diamond Wire Spring
products remain synonymous with quality.
Gibbs Wire and Steel Company, Inc. has launched an
enhanced website at either www.gibbswire.com or www.
gibbsmetals.com.
Gibbs incorporates a network of metal service centers,
strategically located throughout the U.S., Mexico and
Canada, and is ISO 9001:2008 certied. The new website
additions allow metals buyers at spring manufacturing
companies to quickly access all that Gibbs has to offer the
springmaking industry on one page that is specically
tailored to address their needs.
New website features include: Links to the spring
manufacturers associations in the U.S. and Europe; One-

click access to stainless steel news and information; A


glossary of metal terms; Links to metal industry resources,
along with descriptive comments and evaluations of these
sites; A general overview of stainless spring wire; and a
general overview of carbon spring wire.
All of the above can be accessed by logging onto
the INDUSTRIES SERVED section of the website and
clicking on SPRING MANUFACTURERS.
Interested individuals may sign up for the "Gibbs Wire"
newsletter via the link on the homepage of the website.
The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. has
appointed William (Bill) Avise as the 60th president
for a one-year term that began on January 1, 2014. Avise
will also serve as chairman of the Board of Directors for
the 84-year-old association, which is headquartered in
Guilford, Conn.
Avise has been at the forefront of an ongoing associationwide initiative to increase WAI membership, which has
resulted in hundreds of new members representing both
industry manufacturers and suppliers. Being a member
of the WAI is one of the best ways to support our industry.
With the new website and more webinars having an
operations focus, the value of being a WAI member has
improved significantly. In addition to WAI members

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SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 9

Global Highlights

having access to thousands


of tech nica l/operat ions
papers, t he network ing
opportunities with other
wire industry peers are
invaluable, said Avise.
A WAI member since
19 9 3, Av i s e h a s b e e n
actively involved in the
organizations leadership
through his participation
on the executive committee;
Bill Avise
as a member, a nd later
co-chair, of the conference programming committee; and
as executive committee liaison to both the paper awards
and member relations committees.
He has also contributed to the American Wire
Producers Association (AWPA) since 1994, serving as
the organizations operations committee chairman from
1999 to 2004.
Avise currently holds the position of president of the
Wire Group and vice president of Leggett & Platt. His
career in the wire industry started in August 1970 at Union
Wire Rope (Armco) in Kansas City, Mo. From 1970 to
1975, he worked as a wire drawer while attending college
at Central Missouri State University. After graduating
with a B.S. degree in business in 1975, he became a shift

10 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

supervisor and progressively worked up to the position


of operations manager. In 1988 he accepted the position
of plant manager with Leggett & Platt at the Merit Steel
facility in Kouts, Ind. Following a promotion to vice
president of operations, he relocated to Carthage, Mo., and
became president of the Wire Group in 2009.

International
Airedale Springs in
Hawort h, Engla nd has
appointed Steve Hart to
the board following his
promotion from technical
manager to production
director.
Hart, from Keighley,
joi ned t he compa ny
as a n operat ive in
D e c e m b e r 19 9 3, a n d
qu ic k ly demon st rated
his technical abilities,
Steve Hart
becoming an auto setter
i n t he spr i ng ma k i ng
department, and moving up rapidly through the ranks
during his 20-plus years with the rm.
Harts career virtually mirrors that of his late father John,
who also worked for Airedale Springs, who started at the
bottom and worked his way up to become technical director.
Hart played a key technical role in Airedale Springs
move in 2012 to its newly built 3.5 million factory and
ofce premises off Bridgehouse Lane, The Spring Works,
which replaced the rms former Ebor Mills factory in
Haworth when it was destroyed by re in 2010.
Airedale Springs chairman Tim Parkinson said:
Steve has been right at the forefront of the new machinery
and technology we have introduced into the business. He
is held in high regard by colleagues and customers alike for
his expertise. He is integral to the success of the business
and will continue to be a great asset as we look to develop
our manufacturing range even further in the future.
Hart is married to Claire, who he rst met at Airedale
Springs when she worked in the production planning
department. The couple have a four-year-old daughter, Emmy.
Outside work, Hart enjoys all things relating to electronics.
A i reda le Spr i ngs wa s la st yea r r u n ner-up i n
the Environmental Efficiency category of the EEF
Future Manufacturing Awards, and picked up the
environmentally friendly business of the year award at
the Keighley Business Awards. Both awards recognized
the rms commitment to design and construct an energyefcient building. Q

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 11

iStockphoto.com/Scott Hirko

Regional Spring
Association Report
NESMA Featured in Newspaper Article
The New Engla nd
Spring and Metalstamping
Association (NESMA) was
featured in an article, Its
time to spring into action
a nd t r a i n mor e sk i l led
workers, that appeared in
the March 10 edition of the
New Britain Herald/The
Bristol Press.
Under t he Focus on
Ma nufactu ring sect ion
of the paper, the article
t a l k e d a b o ut N E S M As
work in conjunction with
t he Cent ral Connecticut
Cha mbers of Com merce
to help promote the need
to t ra in more sk illed
workers for manufacturing
jobs, particularly in the
spring and metal stamping
industry that dominates
the landscape in the greater
Bristol area.
Th e a r t i c le e x pl a i n e d t h e
cooper at ive ef for t b et we en t he
groups to work with educational and
commercial industrial partners to
develop multiple curricula leading
to certication and employment in
manufacturing and the trades.
Jim Albert, president and CEO of
the Central Connecticut Chambers of

WCSMA Schedules
Spring Fling for May
in San Diego

12 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Commerce, was extensively quoted in


the article along with Cindy Scoville,
the vice president of membership and
sales for the group. Scoville also serves
as secretary/treasurer for NESMA.
Albert expects the efforts between
t he groups to develop cu r ricula
will culminate in a pilot program
beginning later this year.

To read the complete article, visit


the NESMA website at www.nesma-usa.
com and look under the Media tab.

Th e We s t C o a s t Spr i n g
Manufacturers Association (WCSMA)
will hold its annual Spring Fling at
the Crowne Plaza San Diego Mission
Valley. The event is scheduled for the
weekend of May 16-18. A golf outing

will also will be held at the adjacent


Riverwalk Golf Course.
For more details on this and other
events, visit the WCSMA Facebook
page or www.wcsma.us.

Regional Association Report

CASMI Speaker Looks at Marketing Ideas


The Chicago Association of Spring
Ma nufacturers (CASMI) held its
March meeting at Manzos Banquets
in Des Plaines, Ill., which included a
presentation by Jeff Rappaport, CEO
of Outlook Marketing Services.
Rappaport shared from his more
than 25 years of experience in the
development and implementation
of successful marketing programs.
Outlook client work includes: GE,
Koch Industries, Ryerson, Baxter,
C a r d i n a l H e a lt h , C DW, Av e r y
Dennison, Fujitsu, Transplace, and
Molex.
T h e f o c u s o f R a p p a p o r t s
presentation to CASMI members
was on how their manufacturing
companies could deliver targeted
messages that will positively impact
their business. He specically focused
on ideas for differentiating their
message from competitors.
R appapor t sa id t he key to
differentiation was having the right
message for the right audience. He
sa id ma ny t imes compa nies a re
m issing t he ma rk because t hei r
messaging is not tied to customer
value and customer connection.
Rappaport walked through an
exercise Outlook Marketing Services
uses with clients to create a new
message that connects with their
customers. He included seven donts
of messaging.
1. Not speaking to customers
values.
2. Relying too heavily on buzzwords.
3. Failing to make a message
portable.
4. Forgetting to excite.
5. Messaging by committee.
6. Failure to test/validate prior to
message use.
7. Not looking at the competitive
landscape.

A t a r ge t e d me s s a ge d r ive s
companies to differentiate themselves
in the market and build stakeholder
value, said Rappaport.
CASMI planned an April plant
tour to Tri Star Metals in Freeport, Ill.
The associations next event is its
annual golf outing and dinner, which
will be held on Wednesday, June 4 at
Indian Lakes in Bloomingdale, Ill.
For more information, visit www.
casmi-springworld.org. Q

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 13

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Be Aware Safety Tips

OSHA Record Keeping


for Power Presses
By Jim Wood

lthough there have always been OSHA standards


cover i ng t he i n spec t ion, m a i nten a nce a nd
modication of power presses (punch presses), they
have not really been claried. OSHA has now outlined
the inspection and recordkeeping requirements on these
machines. Below I have inserted the new changes which
took affect on February 18, 2014.

of the clutch/brake mechanism, antirepeat feature, and


single-stroke mechanism;

EFFECTIVE DATE NOTE: This change becomes


effective February 18, 2014.

(e)(1)(ii)(C) Maintain a certication record of each


ma i ntena nce ta sk per for med u nder t he d i rected
component of the inspection program that includes the
date of the maintenance task, the signature of the person
who performed the maintenance task, and the serial
number, or other identier, of the power press maintained.
Note to paragraph (e)(1)(ii): Inspections of clutch/
brake mechanism, antirepeat feature, and single stroke
mecha nism under t he directed component of t he
inspection program are exempt from requirements to
maintain certication records specied by paragraph (e)
(1)(i)(C) of this section, but inspections of the clutch/brake
mechanism, antirepeat, and single stroke mechanism
conducted under the general component of the inspection
program are not exempt from this requirement.

(e) Inspection, maintenance, and modification of


presses--(1) Inspection and maintenance records. The
employer shall establish and follow an inspection program
having a general component and a directed component.
(e)(1)(i) Under the general component of the inspection
program, the employer shall:
(e)(1)(i)(A) Conduct periodic and regular inspections
of each power press to ensure that all of its parts,
auxiliary equipment, and safeguards, including the clutch/
brake mechanism, antirepeat feature, and single-stroke
mechanism, are in a safe operating condition and adjustment;
(e)(1)(i)(B) Perform and complete necessary maintenance
or repair, or both, before operating the press; and
(e)(1)(i)(C) Maintain a certification record of each
inspection, and each maintenance and repair task
performed, under the general component of the inspection
program that includes the date of the inspection,
maintenance, or repair work, the signature of the person
who performed the inspection, maintenance, or repair
work, and the serial number, or other identier, of the
power press inspected, maintained, and repaired.
(e)(1)(ii) Under t he di rected component of t he
inspection program, the employer shall:
(e)(1)(ii)(A) Inspect and test each press on a regular
basis at least once a week to determine the condition

(e)(1)(i i)(B) Pe r for m a nd c omplete ne c e s s a r y


maintenance or repair, or both, on the clutch/brake
mecha nism, a nt irepeat featu re, a nd single-st roke
mechanism before operating the press; and

(e)(1)(iii) Paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section does not


apply to presses that comply with paragraphs (b)(13) and
(14) of this section.
(b)(13) Control reliability. When required by paragraph
(c)(5) of t his section, t he cont rol system shall be

Jim Wood is an independent regulations


compliance consultant to the Spring Manufacturers Institute (SMI). A certified instructor of
the OSHA Out-Reach Program, Wood conducts
seminars, plant Safety Audits and In-House
Safety Trainings. These programs help companies create safer work environments, limit
OSHA/Canadian Ministry of Labor violations
and insurance costs, and prepare for VPP or
SHARP certification. He is also available for
safety advice and information by phone at
630-495-8588 or via e-mail at regs@smihq.org.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 15

Stainless Steels, Nickel Bases,


Copper Bases, Carbon Steels,
and Aluminum

50 McDermott Rd. North Haven, CT 06473


unitedwirecompany.com 800.840.9481
constructed so that a failure within the system does not
prevent the normal stopping action from being applied to
the press when required, but does prevent initiation of a
successive stroke until the failure is corrected. The failure
shall be detectable by a simple test, or indicated by the
control system. This requirement does not apply to those
elements of the control system which have no effect on the
protection against point of operation injuries.
(b)(14) Brake system monitoring. When required by
paragraph (c)(5) of this section, the brake monitor shall
meet the following requirements:
(b)(14)(i) Be so constructed as to automatically prevent
the activation of a successive stroke if the stopping time or
braking distance deteriorates to a point where the safety
distance being utilized does not meet the requirements
set forth in paragraph (c)(3)(iii)(e) or (c)(3)(vii)(c) of this
section. The brake monitor used with the Type B gate or
movable barrier device shall be installed in a manner to
detect slide top-stop overrun beyond the normal limit
reasonably established by the employer.
(b)(14)(ii) Be installed on a press such that it indicates
when t he performa nce of t he bra k ing system has

16 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

deteriorated to the extent described in paragraph (b)(14)


(i) of this section; and
(b)(14)(iii) Be constructed and installed in a manner to
monitor brake system performance on each stroke.

Jims Regulatory Tip:


As of May 25, 2012, the Hazard Communication
standard was replaced by the Globally Harmonized System
(GHS) standard. By December 1, 2013, all employees
had to be trained in the elements of the new chemical
identication labels and the Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
format. To obtain training handouts, go to osha.gov,
search for Quick Cards, click on Hazard Communication
pictogram and safety data sheet quick card. Make hand
out copies for all employees, explaining the changes in the
Hazard Communication program. To view the new GHS
program, click on osha.gov, search for GHS. Q

IST Spring Technology

Nickel Alloy Springs in Contact


with Molten Metals
By Margaret O'Malley

t is a widely known fact that certain spring materials


come into contact with low melting point molten metals
during the course of their manufacture. Molten lead is
the medium of choice for the patenting operation of the
higher carbon music wire grades, and most pre-galvanized
wire is produced by passing the wire through a molten
zinc bath.
However, there will be instances where contact
between a spring material and a low melting point
molten metal can have dire consequences. Liquid metal
embrittlement is one such widely known phenomenon
that results in the loss of ductility in normally ductile
metals. The disastrous explosion at the Flixborough
chemical plant in the U.K. in 1975 which killed 28 people
was attributed to liquid metal embrittlement of a stainless
steel pipe in contact with molten zinc.

Molten aluminum will dissolve


any iron-chromium, nickelchromium-iron and nickelchromium alloys. It will even
dissolve the cobalt base alloys.
iStockphoto.com/tpnagasima

But liquid metal embrittlement is not the only problem


that may occur, as one IST member recently discovered.
What may be more surprising to learn is that the problem
occurred with a nickel alloy grade a material that has a
melting point in excess of 2535F (1390C), much higher
than that for the low melting point metals. The springs
in question were being given the standard heat treatment
that the springmaker had used many times before, but in
this particular instance, some traces of aluminum foil
had been left in the steel heat treatment baskets. When
the springs were removed from the heat treatment oven,
they were found to have areas where the metal appeared
to have melted, even though the nickel alloy should have
been in a solid statement throughout the heat treatment.

This happened because molten aluminum will


dissolve any iron-chromium, nickel-chromium-iron and
nickel-chromium alloys. It will even dissolve the cobalt
base alloys. As one material supplier has stated, who has
come across this problem in the past, molten aluminum
goes through these materials like hot water through snow!
Another low melting point metal that can cause
difculties with the nickel alloys is copper (and copper
alloys) this penetrates the grain boundaries, weakening
them and resulting in intergranular failure.
Good process control of the heat treatment process
should include a check to ensure that all traces of low
melting point metals are removed from assemblies/
xtures, etc. Q

Margaret OMalley is the membership


services manager at the Institute of Spring
Technology (IST) in Sheffield, England. She is
the main contact point for the Technical Advisory Helpline provided by IST to members and
customers alike, and is the IST representative
on a number of Specification Committees.
Readers are encouraged to contact IST with
comments about this cautionary tale, and
with subjects that they would like to be
addressed in future tales at ist@ist.org.uk

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 17

18 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Springmakers Connect
with the
Electrical Industry
By Gary McCoy, Managing Editor

echo3005/Shutterstock

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 19

Most of us take
electricity for
granted. You ip a
switch and suddenly
a dark room is
illuminated. You
put a piece of bread
in the toaster and,
minutes later, you
have brown toast.

ppreciation for electricity goes up exponentially


when a storm hits and power to your home or business is
unlikely to be restored for days.
Like products that are made for other niche industries
that springmakers serve, electrical components are missioncritical items that must be manufactured precisely to standard
so electrical connections work.
Describing his companys business in the electrical
industry, Reb Banas, president of Stanley Spring & Stamping
in Chicago sums it up by saying, We connect whatever youre
connecting.
Market Size
There are many industries closely aligned with the
electrical business. For the purpose and scope of this
article, we will not look at the electronics business, which
includes automotive sensors, printed circuit boards and
semiconductors.

20 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Dening the electrical business is not as simple as it might


seem. Two primary reports from IBSWorld help put the market
into perspective and describe the type of companies for which
SMI springmakers make products.
The IBISWorld report, Wiring Device Manufacturing in the
U.S., was published in April 2014. The research rm denes this
segment as the industry that manufactures current-carrying
wiring devices and non-current-carrying wiring devices for
wiring electrical circuits. These include products such as
outlet and switch electrical wiring boxes, electrical insulators,
transmission pole and line hardware, electrical metallic tubes,
switches, conductor connectors, electric sockets, plugs and
electrical cords.
IBSWorld forecasts a small increase in annual growth,
from 2.4 percent between 2009 and 2014 to 3.7 percent from
2014 to 2019. As noted in the papers executive summary,
Accelerated building activity and increased spending on
efcient, secure and safe electrical equipment are projected

Product and Services Segmentation (2014)


Electrical Equipment Manufacturing

15.2%

Transformers

29.7%

Motors and generators

27.2%

Relays and industrial controls

27.9%

Switches

Wiring Device Manufacturing

13.9%

Electric conduit and conduit ttings

22.5%

Wire connectors for electrical circuitry

14.0%

Pole line and transmission hardware

18.5%

Switches for electrical circuitry

14.7%

Current-carrying wiring devices and supplies

16.4%

Other non-current carrying wiring device and supplies


Source: IBISWorld.com

to stimulate growth in domestic demand for wiring devices


over the ve years to 2019.
A similar industry is electrical equipment manufacturing.
The March 2014 IBISWorld study Electrical Equipment
Manufacturing in the U.S. looked at the size of the market, along
with key external drivers, current performance, industry outlook
and life cycle stage.
IBISWorld denes electrical equipment manufacturing as
the sector that manufactures power, distribution and specialty
transformers; electric motors, generators and motor-generator
sets; switchgear and switchboard apparatus; relays; and
industrial controls. Electrical equipment manufacturers sell their
products to other manufacturing industries, wholesalers and the
construction sector.
IBISWorld forecasts annual growth in the electrical
equipment manufacturing sector over the next ve years
(2014-2019) at 4.4 percent.

Like most sectors of the economy, both wire device


manufacturers and electrical equipment manufacturers
were impacted by a slowdown in residential and commercial
construction during The Great Recession from 2008 to 2010. A
recent increase in demand is fueling hope that steady business
will continue in this sector.
What Do Springmakers Make?
Some 70 percent of Stanley Spring and Stamping products
go into electrical connectors and wall outlets. We essentially
make all the guts behind wall mounted electrical connectors,
said Banas. This includes commercial, residential and
industrial applications.
One of Stanley Springs largest customers is Legrand,
a world specialist in products and systems for electrical
installations and information networks.
Most of the electrical-related products that Stanley
Spring and Stamping makes, some 1,400 different parts, are

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 21

Accelerated building
activity and increased
spending on efcient,
secure and safe
electrical equipment are
projected to stimulate
growth in domestic
demand for wiring
devices over the ve
years to 2019.

completed using progressive dies utilizing up to eight different


types of brass.
Banas says production runs could be ve pieces to 10
million. Its a wide gamut.
An example of one of the products they make for Legrand
is a hospital-grade USB charger with tamper-resistant 20A
duplex receptacles.
All of Stanley Spring & Stampings electrical products are
made in Chicago, and some are nickel-plated or galvanized.
Everything has to be free and clear of oil and debris,
explained Banas.
We have a 53-foot semi that travels to Mexico once a week
loaded with 40,000 pounds of widgets, said Banas. Everything
we make here (Chicago) is assembled in Mexico.
One of the precision stampings that the company makes
for the electrical industry is a strap subassembly. It is formed
utilizing a high speed 150 ton punch press. Composed of mild
steel and brass, the nished strap features dimensions of 4.5"
in length, 1.5" in width, and 1" in height.
Strap subassemblies then have nickel plating applied
before shipment to the customer's facility in Mexico.
Richard Rubenstein, president of Plymouth Spring in
Bristol, Conn., said the electrical parts they manufacture are
primarily made out of copper and are produced using fourslide
machines. A smaller percentage of Plymouth Spring products
for electrical are wireforms and springs.
Our parts are used as components in electrical switching
equipment for a number of customers, which are large
multinational companies, explained Rubenstein.
Rubenstein says the business they have earned in the
electrical industry goes back many years and are all about

22 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

relationships that have been built. They keep us on our toes


all the time and modications are required at times, explained
Rubenstein.
Certainly quality is a key component and we have to be
competitive, said Rubenstein. He said these are the normal
things required of any customer.
He said customers have a wide variety of requirements.
Some require assembly, some require machining and there
are all types of nishing requirements on different parts,
everything from silver plating to exotic hardening and heat
treating.
Rubenstein describes Plymouth Springs electrical
customers as rst class and at the top of the business.
He adds, Although very demanding and very exacting, they
are very good to deal with.
Jim Richards, vice president of sales and marketing for
Bristol, Conn.-based Fourslide Spring and Stamping, says a
lot of the parts they make are used in electrical and electronic
applications.
We dont do anything specifically for the electrical
industry, explained Richards. We make things for virtually
all industries.
He says most segments of the economy are utilizing
contacts and connectors for powered devices, whether are
they are operated using A/C current or are battery operated.
The kinds of electrical components we make are used
in virtually every sector, said Richards. They are used in
medical, consumer goods, and power generation; you name
it, theyre out there.
Though they do a lit tle bit of this work on power
presses, Richards acknowledges that fourslide is our core

competency. Fourslide Spring and Stamping does have one


customer for whom they have an assembly operation.
Electrical components in general are usually made with
a lot of red metals; brass, phosphor bronze, beryllium copper,
and copper, said Richards. He said they try to avoid secondary
operations as much as possible.
The best bang for the buck is for the part to be complete
when it comes off the machine, explained Richards. Of the
secondary operations they perform, Richards said tapping
and minor assembly work are the most popular.

Banas says special building codes and requirements are


placed upon the OEM in terms of how they sell and market
their products.
You are always trying to remove material or increase
conductivity without sacricing the quality of the product,
said Banas. You have a lot of stuff from Asia thats made with
thinner materials for baseline safety requirements or building
code requirements, whereas the stuff we are supplying is
a little bit more substantial for construction and industrial
applications.

What is Required?
Most manufactured electrical parts made by springmakers
go into devices approved by Underwriters Lab (U.L.) Generally
speaking, springmakers do not hold the certication by U.L.
because that belongs to the OEM customer. Rather the parts
they make must conform to U.L. standards for safety.
Richards says Fourslide Spring and Stamping has one part
they make that requires assembly, so being U.L. certied for
that operation is required and the company is audited on a
quarterly basis.
Banas says most of the parts made by Stanley Spring &
Stamping are approved by U.L. for safety. He says special
zoning requirements present more of a challenge.
The city of Chicago has special nickel plated hospital
grade strap, but it only goes into hospitals in Cook County,
explained Banas. Yet if you are in Detroit or Dallas you can
use something else.

A Changing Customer Base


Electrical industry customers, like other industries that SMI
members serve, have become much more demanding.
Some customers want smaller shipments, more
frequently, explained Rubenstein, while other customers
are consolidating their shipments.
He said requirements are changing all the time and
springmakers must be ready to adjust.
Unless it is a special order item, Banas says retail,
industrial and commercial customers are guaranteed in-stock
products by the companies he makes parts for.
We are quick to respond within ve to 10 days to meet
the requirements they have, said Banas. So we build ahead
as much as possible. If you have a natural disaster, like a
ood that wipes out places, they usually gobble up whatever
inventory youve built up.

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SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 23

Overall Banas says todays customers have shortened lead


times and are always looking for lower prices. You have to
be nimble on your feet, quick to react and quick to move.
Richards has observed a signicant change with most
Fourslide Spring & Stamping customers, not just in the
electrical market, of a shortened life cycle for their products.
Whereas many years ago it might not be unusual to
make a certain number of parts for 25 to 30 years, explained
Richards, that would be more the exception than the rule
now, because product lifecycles are a good deal shorter.
As an example, Richards pointed out a customer that
use to make Zip drives. Well, how long did that last? So
the more technology based the industry is, the shorter the
lifecycles are going to be.
Richards says 30 years ago when Fourslide Spring &
Stamping compiled its list of top 50 customers, it looked
like a carbon copy year after year after year.
Today, not only are customers doing more new parts
because of this shortened lifecycle, we also see more new
customers for the very same reasons, said Richards.
He says over the past 10 years Fourslide Spring &
Stamping has seen quite a turnover in that top 50. I dont
necessarily think our experience is unusual in that respect.
We do an awful lot of new tools; and to a large extent you
have to do a lot of that replenishing of new business because of
the attrition that is caused by the shortened lifecycles. Youre
not having customers leave you, you are having parts die.

6LQFH

Rubenstein agrees that new parts are being developed.


Seven or 8 years ago everything was going to China,
said Rubenstein. Today parts are coming back.
Rubenstein says a number of Plymout h Spring
customers are reshoring parts to North America.
Although I wont say its a ood, it is certainly more
than a trickle, explained Rubenstein of the trend. More
importantly, parts are no longer automatically going to China.
Five or six years ago they were all automatically going.
Rubenstein cites two reasons why parts are being reshored.
1) Transportation costs have risen enormously.
2) In copper based parts, copper costs the same no matter
where you buy it: in China, the United States or Mexico.
With no commodity price advantage, Rubenstein
says if copper represents a fairly signicant part of
your purchase cost, and freight is a factor (and copper
is heavy) it may well pay to reduce your transportation
costs signicantly and buy domestically. In other words
you cant buy copper at 20 percent off in China. They pay
the exact same price for copper that we pay.
Banas says a steadier worldwide price for copper over the
past year and a half has helped his electrical parts business.
Prior to that, copper could uctuate 25 to 30 percent
within a year. So you were having to constantly reprice
your product and sell it whether the cost was up or down.

Those in the business of making parts for the electrical


industry cite long term relationships to their success in
the business.
With the high entry cost of entering the business,
mainly due to tooling costs, many say it would be difcult
for new springmakers to enter the business.
Its expensive for someone to retool, said Rubenstein.
In the few cases where people have moved tooling to
us, weve had to adapt that tooling at some expenseeither
to us or the customer. So its difcult to do.
While most of us take electricity for granted, springmakers
who produce products for this market segment do not.
Rubenstein says, If you have a good customer, you
work very hard to keep them. Q

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24 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Reshoring Continues

Becoming An Electrical Supplier

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Richards believes if companies are not getting new


customers and new work, they are ultimately losing ground.
More new parts and new customers are essential
today just to keep your nose above water. I dont know if
that was the case 30 years ago.

$FFXUDF\x

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SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 25

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26 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Flashback

Presidents Message
By George C. Underwood

T
(Editor's note: In this edition
of Flashback, we reprint the
President's Message from the
late George C. Underwood that
appeared in the May 1981 issue
of Springs. Underwood served as
SMI president from 1979 to 1981
and was president of Hardware
Products Company. His tie to
SMI's newest president, Hap
Porter, is very strong. In 1987
Underwood hired Porter to work
at Hardware Products.)

alking with fellow springmakers I have been


repeatedly made aware of the fact that while we are
united in common goals, we remain a diverse, highly
individualized group of competitors. And we like it that
way. All of us are concerned with ination, government
regulation, shrinking markets, worldwide competition,
unions, productivity, and quality controls. We monitor
the automotive and metals industries with keen interest.
Automation has entered our ofces. We are working to
keep pace with a constantly changing economic scene and
to remain viable in the marketplace efforts shared by all
SMI members, and, indeed, by businessmen throughout
the nation.
And yet, even with such strong mutual bonds, we
remain keen competitors. We each strive to establish a
unique identity for our rmsomething to set us apart
from the rest. We may establish a reputation in any one
of a number of ways: through the specialized use of
a particular material, through top-notch engineering
capability; or perhaps by offering an unusually broad
product line.
The success of a spring rm is often based not only
on the springs produced, but on a factor unique to that
company. Individuality is highly prized in this industry.
By being managers who are close to our people and
can bring out their best ideas for our businesses, we can
continue to compete effectively against international
competition which will continue to increase in the future.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 27

of ou r toughest foreig n
Quality circle programs*
Springmakers across the country can cite
competitors are excellent
are not really new to our
important manufacturing innovations and
imitators, but here in the
companies, but t hey a re
United States we still have
becoming more publicized
adaptations made by inventive employees
great originators. Q
and are something that we
who cared about the work and the product.
should encourage to get the
best possible suggestions and
* Editors note: The quality
Let's bring out this attitude in our workers
help improve the efciency
circle concept was popular
who are each different, unique and special.
of our firms. We will do
at the time Underwoods
well to communicate with
article was written in 1981.
our employees, to seek their
According to Wikipedia a
input, and to remain accessible in good times and bad.
quality circle is a volunteer group composed of workers
For the rst time in years our nation seems truly (or even students), who do the same or similar work,
receptive to the idea of improved productivity, the creation usually under the leadership of their own supervisor (or
of jobs, and investment in plant equipment. If we, as spring an elected team leader), who meet regularly in paid time
manufacturing managers, can encourage this attitude who are trained to identify, analyze and solve work-related
among our work force, it will help not only us but the problems and present their solutions to management and
country as a whole.
where possible implement the solutions themselves in
Springmakers across the country can cite important order to improve the performance of the organization,
manufacturing innovations and adaptations made by and motivate and enrich the work of employees. When
inventive employees who cared about the work and matured, true quality circles become self-managing, having
the product. Let's bring out this attitude in our workers gained the condence of management. Read more at http://
who are each different, unique and special. Some en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_circle

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28 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

iStockphoto.com/DrAfter123

Family Feud:
How Buy-Sell
Agreements Can
Save the Family
Business
By Phillip M. Perry

ow many ways can a family business get into trouble?


Maybe an innite number, if the stories told by
family business consultants are any guide.
In a non-family business you have rational problems and
rational solutions, says Don Schwerzler, an Atlanta-based
family business counselor. But in a family business you
have rational problems and emotional solutions. Decisions
are made not necessarily on whats best for the business but
whats best for the family. That makes things difcult.
The resulting disruptions can be costly. Schwerzler offered
three illustrative scenarios that recently crossed his desk:
When one family member got a divorce, half of his stock
went to an ex-spouse with no business experience.
To avoid a destructive addition to the management
team the business had to buy out the ex-spouseat a
signicantly higher price than the stocks value.
Shareholder siblings had such major disagreements
that the business could not move forward. As a result
the business needed to be liquidated.
Three of four shareholder siblings wanted to borrow
$500,000 to make business improvements. One
shareholder balked at signing for the loan, so his stock
had to be purchased by the other threeresulting in an
expensive restructure of the strategic plan.

Save or Spend?
Conicts often arise over nancial strategies that impact
individual pocketbooks. Very often there is a tension
between savers and spenders in a family, says Schwerzler.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 29

Statistics show that about 30 percent of


family businesses make it to the second
generation, says Schwerzler. Twelve
percent make it to the third generation, and
only three to four percent to the fourth.

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That tension often forms the basis for disagreements on


how the business should be run.
All such conicts get bigger and scarier as the family
gets larger. Once you have a sibling partnership, things
start getting complex, says Schwerzler. And a consortium
of cousins gets very complex.
Domestic battles often escalate and end up destroying
the enterprise. Little wonder the family business survival
rate could bear some improvement. Statistics show that
about 30 percent of family businesses make it to the second
generation, says Schwerzler. Twelve percent make it to
the third generation, and only three to four percent to
the fourth.

Be Prepared
How can your own family business stay out of
troubleor at least minimize the damage when a
disruptive event occurs? Consultants recommend drawing
up what is called a buy-sell agreement. Also referred
to as a buyout agreement, this document governs any
situation that results from the death or departure of one
of the organizations stockholders.
Among the questions answered by the buy-sell
agreement are these:
What events will trigger a stock buyout?
Who has the right to purchase the stock of a
departing owner?
How will the stock be valued?
What mechanism will be used to resolve disputes
between family members?
Trying to answer such questions when a disruptive
event hits is a recipe for disaster. The fraught emotions
characteristic of such times can play a destructive role. If
you are trying to hammer out a buy-sell agreement while
there is turmoil in relationships, you are working in a
context which is not ideal, says Kimberly M. Hanlon, a
Minneapolis-based attorney active in business and estate
planning matters.
The challenge is especially acute for a business
undergoing diminished protabilitythe very condition
that can often catalyze family members to cash out. When
a business starts to go downhill family relationships often
go downhill too, says Hanlon. People start blaming each
other and it all goes south.
The moral is clear: Smart family businesses plan
ahead. Think about the terms of a buy-sell agreement
while relationships are still good among family members,
says Hanlon. People who are level headed and thinking
clearly tend to come up with fair and reasonable terms.

Terms of Endearment
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30 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Maybe you already have a buy-sell agreement in place


that you want to improve, or maybe you are ready to create
one for the rst time. In either case heres some help in
the form of the most common questions such a document
should answer:

iStockphoto.com/DrAfter123

Who has the right of rst refusal on a departing


owners stock? In other words, what entity has the
right to purchase the shares of a family member who
dies, or who just wants to cash out? The answer, depending
on the advice of your accountant and attorney, might be the
other family business owners or the business itself. The idea
here is to keep those shares from falling into the hands of
outsiders who might lack operating expertise or who might
not have the best interests of your business at heart.
Your document should also address the disposition
of a family members stock when that individual gets
divorced. Commonly the business will have a call right
on those shares. A call right is a provision that empowers
remaining family members to buy out the shares. Again,
the idea is to keep the stock out of the hands of an
individual who might not help the business grow.

How will the value of stock be determined?


When it comes time to buy out shares of a departing
owner, some mutually agreeable method must be
used to set a price on the shares. Will the valuation be
done by a single CPA experienced in valuations? poses
Hanlon. Or will each person hire a different CPA for
independent valuations, with the nal value somewhere
between the high and low extremes?
Another approach is to specify a set share valuation
formulasuch as a given multiple of earningsahead of
time. This can be less than ideal, though, since business and
market conditions at the time of an owners departure may be
different from those at the time a buy-sell agreement is written.

How will the stock purchase be funded? You


must also plan for the funding of a buyoutperhaps
a line of credit that can be tapped for the money.
Absent such a plan, the payments required to purchase
the stock of a departing owner can be crippling. Your
business may need to sell off some of its assets to raise
cash, or borrow money which can have a negative impact
on your line of credit.
This is a good spot to mention the value of life
insurance as a source of funds to purchase the stock of
a family member who dies. Valuable as it is, though, life
insurance is not the nal answer. The fact is that an owner
can be incapacitated while still living. With todays
modern medicine a person can have a stroke or a heart
attack and continue to live, notes Schwerzler.
An owner who is incapacitated in that way can
no longer function in the business. Yet there is no life
insurance money to buy out the individuals stock at a
time when large medical bills must be paid. How will
the business deal with that? poses Schwerzler. How
will that exit from the business be exercised? The wise
family business will plan for alternative funding sources.

Get Some Help


Buy-sell agreements can help resolve disruptive family business events that might otherwise
erode the bottom line or even scuttle the enterprise. Because they deal with the uncomfortable
nexus of personal and business goals, buy-sell
agreements are difcult to write well. You may
want to obtain the assistance of a skilled consultant specializing in the eld.
The very best way to nd a consultant is
through referrals, says Kimberly M. Hanlon, a
Minneapolis-based attorney active in business and
estate planning matters. Ask other business owners who they use, and if their consultants have
been doing a good job.
Select a consultant who has a lot of real-world
experience creating buy-sell agreements for family
businesses. You want someone who has experiential learning, says Hanlon. Reading about
the topic is not the same as experiencing the outcomes of different scenarios.
Bear in mind, too, that you will be sharing a lot
of personal, intimate family information with your
advisor.
When creating a buy-sell agreement, the journey is often more important than the destination,
says Don Schwerzler, an Atlanta-based family
business counselor. That journey involves heartto-heart chats with family members. When you
start talking with family members you start uncovering potential problems. Its important that all of
the family relationships are understood before you
write the buy-sell agreement so you dont kill the
goose that lays the golden egg.
Successful counselors, then, are multi-talented,
with an understanding of human as well as nancial dynamics. The alternative is disjointed advice.
A family business may have a CPA who is good
at tax work but not so understanding of family relationships, says Schwerzler. So the owners end
up going to a family therapist who may be good at
the warm fuzzy stuff of human enterprise but may
not understand the prot motive of a business. As
a result the family gets conicting advice.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 31

I tell my clients not to have siblings or family


members outside the business co-own the
business with family members who run it.
It never works. You have tied them together
nancially, but they and their families have
different goals, which inevitably breeds conicts.

Resolve Disputes
Try as you might to avoid them, domestic squabbles are
bound to occur. As an adjunct to your buy-sell agreement,
write up a procedure that will be used to resolve disputes
between family business owners. For some situations,
arbitration or mediation may be the best course of action.
Alternatively, you may designate a board of nonfamily
trustees who are empowered to cast the deciding votes on
issues over which family members disagree.
Disputes often arise from the conicting interests of
siblings or other family members inside and outside the
business. I tell my clients not to have siblings or family
members outside the business co-own the business with

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family members who run it, says John J. Scroggin, partner


in Atlanta-based Scroggin & Company, a law rm active in
business and estate planning. It never works. You have tied
them together nancially, but they and their families have
different goals, which inevitably breeds conicts.
In a typical situation, says Scroggin, a family member
inside the business is working 24/7 and resents the fact that
a substantial part of the equity value he or she is building
is going to other family members. Meanwhile, the outside
siblings are upset because the family member operating the
business is getting a "signicant" salary and doesn't value
the opinions of the non-working family owners.
Solution? I suggest giving the non-business family
members other assets, says Scroggin. Or set up a
mechanism that gives them an income stream that is not
connected to the family business.
As the above comments suggest, varied skills are
required to iron out family business wrinkles. Dont try
to write a buy-sell agreement without the assistance of
experts, including your attorney and accountant. You
may also want to utilize the services of a consultant who
specializes in family business (See sidebar, Get Some
Help, on page 31).

Revisit the Document


With the passage of years personal and business goals
change. Your buy-sell agreement needs to change with
the times. Dont just create your buy-sell agreement and
stick it in a drawer, says Schwerzler. Have a CPA or tax
attorney review the document every two or three years.
Modifications will need to reflect changes in family
relationships and in tax laws.
Above all, avoid a temptation to procrastinate. At
small- and medium-sized businesses, creating a structure
for transition is often shunted aside for lack of time, says
Schwerzler. That can be fatal for the future of the enterprise.
Any family business should have a transition plan
in placeand a buy-sell agreement is an important part
of that plan. Q

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 33

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34 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

International Spring Conference


Planned for Tokyo in 2015

SMI President Steve Moreland addressed the


7th annual European Spring Federation (ESF)
Congress in Berlin on September 20, 2013.

committee of international springmakers


met in Berlin last year for the purpose
of planning the rst International
Conference on Spring Technologies (ICST).
The committee met on September 19, the
day prior to the start of 7th annual European
Spring Federation (ESF) Congress.
SMI was represented at the meeting by its
president Steve Moreland, who is president
and CEO of Automatic Spring Products
Corporation in Grand Haven, Mich. Moreland
also participated in the ESF Congress as a
guest speaker.
The committee has announced that
the inaugural ICST will be held in Tokyo on
November 17, 2015.
Under a proposal put forth by the Japan
Society of Spring Engineers (JSSE), the rst
International Committee for the International
Conference on Spring Technologies was
convened in Berlin. The meeting was held in
conjunction with the Seventh ESF International
Spring Congress.
In addition to Moreland, who represented
the United States, committee members
included: Takashi Goto (Japan), director of
Chuo Spring; Dr. Chul-Rok Lim (Korea), director
of Daewon Kang Up; and Wolfgang Hermann
(Germany), managing Director of VDFI.
Observers who attended the meeting were:
Kanji Inoue, executive director of JSMA; Dr.
Yoshihiro Watanabe, president of Toyoseiko;
and Kim KiJeon, president of Daewon Europe.
Professor Wang Decheng, vice president
of China Academy of Machinery Science and
Technology and Adrian May, president of IST,
are also the members of the committee but
were unable to attend.

iStockphoto.com/philpell

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 35

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In addition to coming up with the name, date and


location for the rst event, the committee decided that ICST
should be held every four years. The second conference is
scheduled for Europe in 2019, the third in Asia (probably
China) in 2023, and the fourth in the U.S. in 2027.
The ICST will be accepting papers to be presented at
the event. Abstracts for ICST will be due on May 16, 2015
and a rst draft will be due on June 30, 2015. The nal
draft of all papers will be due on September 30, 2015.
Organizers say that engineers, researchers or anyone
who is involved in spring or spring-related technologies
from across the world would be expected to participate
in the inaugural 2015 event.
As a member of this international committee I
encourage our SMI members to save the date on their
calendar," said Moreland. Q

36 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Those gathered for the ESF Congress included (l-to-r): Prof. Dr.
Haverkamp, Steve Moreland (SMI President), Dr. Rudolf Muhr
(Mubea and ESF/VDFI, President), Wolfgang Hermann (VDFI),
Prof. Dr. Vladimir Kobelev (Mubea), Horst-Dieter Dannert (ESF,
Secretary), Dr. Peter Janen (Mittal), and Prof. Dr. Georgios
Savaidis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki).

iStockphoto.com/Vonkara1

Ulbrich Marks a 90th Year Milestone

ounded in 1924 by Frederick Christian Ulbrich (Fred


Sr.), Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc. was
a small metal scrap processing center in Wallingford,
Conn. In 2014, Ulbrich is marking its 90th anniversary
with 700 employees, and 11 locations around the world,
including its headquarters in North Haven, Conn. Today,
the company remains family-owned, led by its chairman of
the board, Fred Ulbrich Jr., the son of its founder, Fred Sr.,
and grandson, Chris Ulbrich, chief executive ofcer (CEO).
Ulbrich serves stainless steel and special metal
markets with strip, at wire, shaped wire, foil and ultralite foil, and sheet product forms. It has evolved into a
worldwide, high quality precision metals manufacturing
and distribution network.
We have achieved this milestone as a result of the
commitment, loyalty, knowledge and hard work of each

employee through the years, said CEO Chris Ulbrich.


We also extend sincere appreciation to all customers
who have supported Ulbrich with orders and feedback.
Our dedicated customer base has always been key to the
companys success.
When Fred Ulbrich Sr. founded Ulbrich in 1924, he
could not have known that the company would endure
through the Great Depression, diversify during two world
wars, thrive during lunar exploration, and develop into
an international business. Ulbrich supplies precision
products at the international level for numerous critical
applications in the medical, power generation, energy,
automotive, aircraft, aerospace, petro chemical, oil and
gas, industrial and consumer markets.
To celebrate its 90th year anniversary, Ulbrich is planning
a series of commemorative events at all of its locations.

Ulbrich Timeline and Facts

1920s

increase inventories to generate new customers. During the


same period because of his keen interest in metals, he attended
evening classes in metallurgy at Yale University.

Early 1920s

1924
Fred Sr. founded the Fred Ulbrich company that would
eventually become Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc.

1927
The rst of many expansions by Ulbrich occurred when Fred Sr.
doubled the square footage of his building from 600 to 1,200 sq.
ft. To match his rapid building growth, Fred Sr. decided to

1929
During the Great
Depression lasting 10
years, the demand for
scrap declined, but the
young Ulbrich made the
best of it. Fred Sr. built
another addition to the
plant with the help of
transients hopping off
freight trains near the
plant. He offered them
hot meals and modest
wages. Fred Sr. was devoted to getting his scrap yard in good
shape. The little money he received was from an occasional
scrap sale to the Ludlum Corporation and the unusual rental of
his chicken coop to a local Wallingford business.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 37

iStockphoto.com/HultonArchive

The founder, a young Frederick Christian Ulbrich (Fred Sr.)


worked as a salesman for U.S. Steel in Donora, Pa. and became
aware of the steel industrys need for good quality scrap. With
just a few dollars in his pocket, he returned to his hometown of
Wallingford, Conn. and opened a scrap yard. For several years
he dismantled old cars and farm machinery, selling the scrap to
steel mills and auto parts to auto repair shops.

1930s

1940s
1941

Ludlum Corporation merged with the Allegheny Corporation and


Fred Sr. could no longer sell scrap directly to the merged company.
It became obvious that he had to pursue a new venture.

Ulbrich receives a contract to


supply stainless steel knives for
the U.S. Army mess kit.

1937

1942

The Wallingford and Meriden, Conn. area was the center of


cutlery and atware manufacturing. With his knowledge of
stainless steel, Fred Sr., decided to manufacture a quality line
of knives, forks and spoons. The items were inexpensive but the
quality was excellent.

The Ulbrich Company fullled


contracts with on-time delivery
and rapidly earned a place ahead
of its competition. In addition, Fred Sr. was able to convert
metal to the proper specications. Consequently, the company
received additional contracts becoming a major supplier of
knives during the war.

zimand/Shutterstock

1936

1939
Germany invaded Poland
signaling the start of World
War II.

1944
Fred Sr. became Warden of Wallingford, and one of his major
accomplishments was paving the town roads with real asphalt.

1945

iStockphoto.com/Ivan Cholakov

Ulbrich sponsored 50 male concentration camp victims that


were displaced in Europe, offering employment while the U.S.
government worked to have their families join them a year later.
Today Ulbrich still has workers who are related to these families
employed at the company.

1946




strip: cold rolled high carbon/pre-tempered


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copper based alloys and aluminum
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oscillate (traverse) and ribbon wound coils
ISO 9001:2008 Certified
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service excellence
tel. 847.537.2881 toolkinginc.com
Wheeling (Chicago), Illinois 60090 USA

38 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

1949
Ulbrich had grown to four times its original size with a 2,500
square foot building.

iStockphoto.com/Bart Sadowski

Your source for the


best in close tolerance
strip and edged products.

After the war, the company


expanded its tableware
business offering two
different products. One was
the continuation of the lowcost, diner-grade tableware
and the other a high-end line
of stainless steel carving
knives with Elkhorn handles
that were sold in the nest
New York City department stores. Fred Sr. decided with his
experience in military knives and cutlery, he would form a
company that he called Victory Cutlery Company.

1950s
1950
While the business thrived, Fred Sr. saw an even better
opportunity to supply stainless steel for a growing market of
stainless steel applications. He had both the knowledge and the
rolling mill to ll an important niche. The big melt shops were
supplying 10,000 minimum coils, far too much for many small
manufacturers. Fred Sr. bought the big coils and slit them into
smaller lots and supplied the needed smaller quantities, as little
as 10 pounds, to these small manufacturers.

business from Boeing, North American Aviation, Rohr and other


subcontractors. Ulbrich was selected as a supplier to the Air
Forces B70 Bomber Project. This required the company to roll to
as light as .001in thickness.

1964
Fred Sr.s third son, Daniel Ulbrich, entered the business
and Ulbrich decided to hire its own sales force instead
of depending on independent
sales representatives.

1965

1955
Rerolling and slitting was the main focus of the Ulbrich
Companys enterprise. The cutlery business was sold and a
powerful new Sendzimer rolling mill was purchased. The unique
design of this mill enabled Ulbrich to roll to thicknesses unheard
of at the time, down to .005 and at the same time they retained
the desired atness across the width of the strip.

1957
The response from customers was so favorable that Ulbrich
soon invested in two-high rolling mills to handle the demand and
the rst non-family employees were hired.

Ulbrich became an important


metal supplier to the U.S. troops
in Vietnam.
iStockphoto.com/Johncairns

1968
As customers began to respond to Ulbrichs quality and
versatility in the 1960s, it became obvious that the Biggest
Little Mill needed a national distribution network. Ulbrich of
Illinois became Ulbrichs rst stainless steel strip service center
located in Alsip, Ill. and served the Midwest market.

1959
A new Sendzimer rolling mill was added and 12 new employees
were hired. At this time Fred Sr.s oldest son, Frederick C.
Ulbrich, Jr., joins the company and sets up a sales department,
alleviating the rms dependence on the service centers that had
been selling their products. In addition Fred Sr.s second son,
Richard J. Ulbrich joined his father and brother in the business to
focus on manufacturing and mill operations.

1960s
1960
Nickel-based alloys were added to the product mix as Ulbrich
made a bid for new applications in the aircraft and aerospace
industry. Inventories included 20 stainless alloys and over
40 different special metals which combined into a constant
inventory of more than 5 million pounds.

1963
The company invested all of its prot into new laboratories
and testing facilities in order to qualify as a supplier to Pratt &
Whitney, located in Hartford. The approval opened up

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 39

1970s

1980s

1970

1980

Signicant new equipment additions were made to improve


quality and capability to roll to even thinner thicknesses. The
company was renamed as Ulbrich Stainless Steels and Special
Metals, Inc. with 60 employees working three shifts around the
clock and over 50 alloys in the product line.

With Fred Jr. as CEO and his brother Dick as COO, the company
set a target of expanding sales tenfold by 1990 and begin plans
to reach that goal. They decided to reinvest all corporate prots
into their capital expansion programs.

Neil Armstrong stepped out of the


Apollo spacecraft, which was built using
Ulbrich metal. The metal produced by
Ulbrich helped make it possible to lift the
6,262,500 pound vehicle off the launch pad.

iStockphoto.com/Michael Sick

1971

1982
A 100,000 sq. ft. building was erected at the main plant in
Wallingford. A regional service center, Ulbrich of New England,
was created. After a series of strategic meetings, The Ulbrich
Revolution was underway, and the company embarked on
an employee-wide effort emphasizing quality and customer
commitment.

1974

1986

Ulbrich celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

Ulbrich opened Ulbrich of California, its fourth service


center in Fresno, Calif., which would cover the Western and
Southwestern markets.

1977
Chris Ulbrich, Fred Jr.s son, joined the company full time after
working part time, operating most of the machines in the plant.

1989
Ulbrich now serves a broad market that includes makers of cars,
trucks, aircraft, aerospace vehicles, medical instrumentation,
implantable parts, petrochemical and power generation
equipment and many others.

The quality of your products begins


with the quality of our products

1990s
1990

Radcliff Wire Inc. is a world leader in


quality precision shaped and round wire.

We provide quick and award winning customer service


by stocking the necessary raw materials with project

Ulbrich announced a company-wide quality improvement


initiative. All employees began attending regular quality control
meetings with equipment operators, staff, and managers where
they were trained on the following four tenets: Total Customer
Responsiveness, Total Company Involvement, Total Quality
Commitment, and Continuous Professional Development.

capabilities from prototypes to production quantities.


An ISO Certied company with over 50 years of
consistent quality and service providing precision ne
wire with tight tolerance for a variety of industries.

1994
The quality improvement effort paid off as Ulbrich attained its
ISO Quality Certication at the mill with all divisions following
soon after.

1997
860-583-1305

40 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

www.RadcliffWire.com

Titanium became an important part of the Ulbrich product


offering. Also, Ulbrich expanded its distribution network with a

2007

facility called Ulbrinox in Queretaro, Mexico, and it purchased


The Diversied Stainless Company with two locations in Toronto
and Montreal, Canada.

Ulbrich Asia Metals (a service


center and trading company)
opens in Hong Kong to provide
Ulbrich products to Asia.

1998

iStockphoto.com/leungchopan

A third generation Ulbrich takes the helm with the appointment


of Fred Jr.s son, Chris Ulbrich, as president. The company
reaches record sales.

2011
Ulbrich Solar Technologies prepares to open another
manufacturing location for producing PV Ribbon in Hillsboro, Ore.

1999
Ulbrich marks its 75th anniversary with over 600 employees and
facilities in four countries. The company was now buying over
140 different alloys from various melting sources all over the
world to maintain its commitment for wide product choice and
quick deliveries.

2012
Ulbrich continues into the fourth family generation with 700
employees, and 11 locations. The company moves into a new
corporate headquarters at 153 Washington Ave, North Haven,
Conn.

2000 to present

2014
Ulbrich celebrates its 90th
anniversary with a series of
commemorative events planned
at all locations during the year. Q

2001
Ulbrich acquires a at wire division in South Carolina that they
name Ulbrich Precision Flat Wire.

2002
iStockphoto.com/zorazhuang

Ulbrich opens a sales


ofce in Shanghai,
China and also opens
Ulbrich Precision
Metals, Ltd. in Galway,
Ireland to produce and
distribute ne wire to
the medical market in
the EU.

2005
Ulbrich increases capacity to produce wire called PV Ribbon that
is used in the production of solar panels. The Ulbrich Special
Wire Group opens a PV Ribbon facility in Austria.

2006
Ulbrich expands it Wallingford, Conn. rolling mill facility by
12,000 sq. ft. and enters into the Ultra Lite Foil business
improving it thickness capability to less than .0004.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 41

Mexicos Growing
Metal Class
How Keats Manufacturing
Capitalized on Increased Auto
Production South of the Border and
Used NAFTA to its Advantage
By Peter Buxbaum
Photos by Fernie Castillo

(Editors note: The following


article on SMI member rm,
Keats Manufacturing, originally
appeared in the February 2014
edition of Global Trade Magazine
and is used by permission. Visit
http://globaltrademag.com.)

42 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

We already had
$1 million worth of
work in Mexico in
the early 1990s,
says Matt Keats,
president of Keats
Southwest. My
brother and I were
making sales south
of the border and
we saw a boom of
assembly plants
and we said,
Wow, there is a
lot of potential
down here.

Matt Keats (left) and his nephew, Brad Keats, inside


the plant at Keats Southwest in El Paso, Texas.

or Keats Manufacturing Inc., opening a facility in El


Paso, Texas, paid off in a big way. Founded in 1958
near Chicago to supply precision metal stampings,
wire forms and assemblies to the electronics, medical,
consumer goods and automotive industries, the company
moved near the Mexican border in 1994 to take advantage
of growing manufacturing activity south of the border and
increased United States-Mexico trade under the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Starting in a 5,000-square-foot rented warehouse, Keats
Southwestthe designation of the companys expansion
has since moved into a custom-built 30,000-square-foot
facility and has seen its business grow from $1 million to
$10 million per year. Just about everything Keats produces
in El Paso is sold to assembly plants in Mexico.
We already had $1 million worth of work in Mexico
in the early 1990s, says Matt Keats, president of Keats
Southwest. My brother and I were making sales south of
the border and we saw a boom of assembly plants and we
said, Wow, there is a lot of potential down here. Matts

brother, Wade Keats, heads Keats Manufacturing Inc., the


original Keats plant in Wheeling, Ill.
Keats Southwest operates a set of sophisticated
equipment used for metal stamping, wire forming and punch
pressing that enables the company to supply a diverse array
of parts for manufactured products custom designed for
specic applications. Not a lot of companies have all of
these capabilities, says Matt Keats. When we rst came to
El Paso, no one else was doing what we were doing.
Keats machines produce parts that are incorporated
into manufactured products by companies like Honeywell,
Siemens, Delphi, Molex, AO Smith, Cooper Bussmann,
White Rogers, Scientic Atlanta and Emerson. We make
25 to 30 parts for Chamberlain garage door openers alone,
says Brad Keats, an account executive at the company and
Matts nephew.
Keats Southwest has beneted from the large-scale growth
in the manufacturing sector in Mexico, some of which has
come at Chinas expense. It has become more cost effective
to move assembly operations from Asia to Mexico, says Brad

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 43

With fuel costs


rising and with
the sheer distance
between the
U.S. and Asia, it
is making a lot
more sense to
manufacture on
this continent.
Weve seen a lot
of our customers
move entire
assembly lines
from China to
Mexico.

Keats. With fuel costs rising and with the sheer distance
between the U.S. and Asia, it is making a lot more sense
to manufacture on this continent. Weve seen a lot of our
customers move entire assembly lines from China to Mexico.
In recent years, Mexico has become a manufacturing hub for
many automotive and aerospace manufacturers.
Keats Southwest has beneted from NAFTA, thanks to
the agreements provisions that U.S.- and Mexico-origin
products can move back and forth between the two
countries duty free. At the same time, because of the way
Mexican assembly plants operate, the company avoids
the hassles of shipping its products across the border.
Our customers pick up orders at our plant or we
deliver them to their docks in El Paso, says Brad Keats.
The customers handle the logistics of the border crossing.
We arent involved with any export paperwork or
duties, which is kind of nice, Matt Keats adds. We would
need a bigger staff if we had to handle all of that.
There are a few reasons why logistics are handled on
the Texas side of the border and why Keats Southwest
nds it benecial to remain in El Paso, rather than
relocating to Mexico.
Logistics is huge in El Paso, says Robert Queen,
director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center, a unit of
the U.S. Department of Commerces Commercial Service
in El Paso. There are a tremendous number of logistics
companies and customs brokers located here, and these

44 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

logistics companies support a large percentage of U.S. exports


to Mexico. We are talking about 3,000 truckloads passing
between El Paso and Juarez every day across the border.
There is also a great deal of warehousing space available
in El Paso. There are large spaces available for sale or
lease, says Queen. There are small spaces and sharing
opportunities and plenty of real estate brokers lined up to
help in this area. Warehousing in El Paso is much cheaper
than on the Mexican side. Thats why a lot of inventory is kept
in El Paso while in Mexico they concentrate on assembly.
At the same time it is advantageous for Keats to
manufacture in El Paso. There is a reason why we are on
the border, says Matt Keats. It makes for a huge reduction
in freight costs for our customers. We are shipping metal

and that gets heavy. The freight costs would add up if our
customers were buying from Connecticut or Chicago.
Matt Keats says the U.S. side of the border is also
better for recruiting the highly skilled workers required
to operate Keats more technical machinery. It would be
difcult to locate people with the right level of skill on
the Mexican side of the border, he says.
In fact, when Keats Southwest rst opened shop, the
plant was manned by technicians who had relocated from
the Illinois facility. We didnt move to El Paso for cheaper
labor, Matt Keats says. When we rst opened in 1994,
I brought six guys from Chicago because they knew the
equipment and the business, which is so rare down here.
We had to convince people to come down with us and the

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 45

way we did that was to give them incentives. If we had put


an ad in the newspaper we wouldnt have gotten anyone.
One of the keys to successfully supplying assembly
plants in Mexico is to adhere to and become certied under
international quality standards. Mexican manufacturing
pla nt s a re now dema nd i ng much h ig her qua lit y
standards, says Queen. All Mexican manufacturers need
to trace back where their materials came from and who has
handled them. ISO 9000 is the general quality standard
for manufacturing and there are other, more specic
standards for the aviation and automotive industries.
Keats Southwest follows and is accredited through two
sets of quality standards: ISO 9001:2009 and TS16149. The
ISO standard requires a detailed system of documentation
so that parts can be traced in the case of failure. TS16149 is
a more rigorous standard, according to Brad Keats, which
is applicable specically to automotive manufacturing.
The company is also working toward certication under
ISO 14001, an environmental standard.
That is all about setting goals for reducing our
environmental impact, says Brad Keats. In our case, it means
reducing the amount of lubricant-oil waste we produce.
Certication means undergoing annual audits under
both sets of standards, a process that takes ve days for
each. There hasnt been an audit where we havent been

asked to make corrective actions, Brad Keats says. But


its all about becoming a better company, making better
products, delivering on time all the time, and making
sure that there is no chance of any defective products
going out the door.
The company also has to ensure that its suppliers are
ISO certied. We cant even look at them unless they are
certied under ISO 9001 at a minimum, says Brad Keats.
Although Keats Southwest is not subject to the
documentation requirements of NAFTAsince it delivers
on the U.S. side of the borderBrad Keats believes the
trade agreement has made a positive difference in how
the company operates. The companys Mexican customers
demand frequent, small, just-in-time delivery of product,
not only for the sake of efciency but also because Mexican
law taxes inventory if it is stored too long.
Instead of releasing parts monthly, Brad Keats says,
we are doing it weekly or even daily. This is making us a
leaner company by ordering smaller quantities of materials
from our suppliers. We used to make bulk purchases of
supplies to get the price down. Now we are asking for
just-in-time deliveries, but we can negotiate a good price
by issuing a blanket purchase order.
One way Keats Southwest develops new customers is
by attending B2B get-togethers sponsored by the local U.S.

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46 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Although Keats
Southwest is not
subject to the
documentation
requirements of
NAFTA since it
delivers on the U.S.
side of the border
Brad Keats believes
the trade agreement
has made a positive
difference in how the
company operates.

Export Assistance Center. The center also offers a Gold


Key program which sets up individual U.S. companies
with several potential Mexican customers, for a fee.
We have found the B2Bs to be extremely successful,
says Matt Keats. We used to do two or three trade shows
a year but they are going by the wayside in our industry.
They dont seem to draw decision makers anymore. We
are putting more money into our website and that is
where most of our inquiries are being generated.
But Matt Keats believes that getting face time with
potential customers is still the best way to present the
unique capabilities of his company, and thats where
the B2B luncheons come in. We landed Honeywell as
brand new account after meeting them at a B2B, says
Matt Keats. It took close to a year to get an order from
them. They did their own quality assessment of our plant
even though we are ISO certied.
Honeywell is just the latest achievement in an
ongoing success saga for Keats Southwest. We went
from six employees and six production machines to 50
employees and 50 machines running on three shifts,
says Matt Keats. We went from one million to 10 million
dollars in sales. Id say coming to El Paso was a great
move. It was the best move we ever made. Q

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 47

SMI Celebrates
81st Annual
Meeting in Hawaii

48 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

he Hawa iia n isla nd of Oa hu ser ved a s t he


panoramic backdrop for SMIs 81st annual meeting
at the JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa
from February 8-11, 2014. While the business of running
the association took place, abundant optional activities
were available for SMI members to enjoy, such as whale
watching and a trip to historic Pearl Harbor.
The meeting marked a beginning for Hap Porter of SEI
MetalTek, as he was installed as SMIs 34th president at a
black tie optional closing dinner on Tuesday, February 11.
It is with a great sense of humility and honor that I
accepted the board of directors vote earlier today to be the
president of your Institute for the next two years, said
Porter in his opening remarks.
The closing dinner also served as a transition for Steve
Moreland of Automatic Spring Products, as his two-year
term as president ended. He will now serve as immediate
past president.

The rest of SMIs new executive committee are Mike


Betts, Betts Company, vice president, Steve Kempf, Lee
Spring, secretary/treasurer and Bert Goering, Precision
Coil Spring Co., at large.
SMIs annual meeting kicked off on Saturday, February
8 as the SMI board and committees met in regular session.
Much of the work focused on SMIs new strategic plan
which calls for expanded technical training and a North
American trade show.
Dan Sceli of Peterson Spring is overseeing the newly
formed Trade Show committee. Sceli reported that SMI has
hired a professional management rm to oversee the trade
show which is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2015.
Details on the location, date and subject of the technical
symposium are currently being formulated.
Jim Wood, who has served as SMIs regulatory
compliance consultant, was recognized for his 22 years of
service to SMI. Wood has announced his retirement and
will continue to work for SMI until a plan is in place to
replace his services.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 49

Leadership, Economics and Terrorism


Education is always an important component to an SMI
annual meeting and the Hawaii meeting was no exception.
A broad range of topics were covered from leadership to
the state of the economy to a glimpse inside the world of
terrorism.
David Wheatley, principal of Humanergy, addressed
the topic of leadership. Wheatley said, Leadership is about
the choices you make that have an impact on or inuence
other people.
Wheatley talked about the four choices of leadership.
He said destructive leaders are all about getting what they
want, even if it hurts others. Compliant leadership involves
doing what is easiest for you. He explained that productive
leaders help the team succeed, while transformative
leaders ensure that the team is successful. Wheatley

50 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

provided plenty of concrete examples of how current and


historical leaders t into the various categories.
Providing SMI attendees with a chart called the 50
Dos for Everyday Leadership, Wheatley challenged
the group to return to their workplace with a focus on
implementing one of the Dos for the next 90 days.
Next up was Dr. Nariman Behravesh, chief economist of
IHS and author of Spin-Free Economics: A No-Nonsense,
Nonpartisan Guide to Today's Global Economic Debates.
Dr. Behravesh focused his thoughts on the state of the
world economy, declaring that overall global growth in
2014 would be better than 2013.
He told SMI attendees that the competitive landscape
is changing, in favor of North America pointing to the U.S.
energy boom as a bright spot.
Dr. Behravesh said low energy prices are a competitive
st imulus for Nor t h A merica. He believes ot her
commodity prices, including steel, are not a serious threat.
Ination and interest rates will remain low for at least
another year, he explained. Despite recent increases
relative to emerging market currencies, the U.S. dollar
continues to provide a competitive advantage.
The nal educational session was a presentation by
Colonel David Hunt, who has over 29 years of military
experience, including extensive operational experience
in special operations, counter terrorism and intelligence
operations. Colonel Hunt is best known as a FOX News
war and terrorism expert.
Colonel Hunt shared many stories from his military
career and presented the challenges of terrorism in a
post-9/11 world.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 51

Giving Back
SMI wishes to thank the many sponsors who made the
80th annual meeting a success.
Platinum Sponsors Amstek Metal, Gibbs Wire and
Steel, Industrial Steel and Wire, JN Machinery, SWPC,
Suzuki Garphyttan, The InterWire Group, WAFIOS and
Zapp Precision Strip.
Gold Sponsor United Wire Company
Bronze Sponsors NIMSCO, and OMCG North
America
The 2015 SMI annual meeting will be held in Orlando,
April 11-15 at the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World. Q

52 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

 

 
 


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iStockphoto.com/Bjrn Meyer

Springmaker Spotlight

By Gary McCoy

Hap with his wife


Jen, daughter
Laurent, and son
Gordon.

Former Rower Helps Steer


SMI Into New Waters
A Prole of Hap Porter, SMI's 34th President

s the newest leader of SMI, Henry K. Hap Porter, III cites


several life experiences that helped shape who he is as a
person and as a leader. One of those formative events was
spending nine years involved in the sport of rowing at the high
school, college and international level.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 55

I am not a big believer that success in sports means


anything about success later in life, said Porter in his
February 11 acceptance speech at SMIs 81st Annual
Meeting in Hawaii. But for me, the lesson of crew was
more general, explained Porter, it is an endeavor where
the success of the group, in my case an eight-man boat,
requires near total-synchronization of effort, exerted at
an unspoken level, learned through intense practice,
and implemented under the most stressful competitive
conditions where there is scant room for error.
Porter had the good fortune of being a member of the
Harvard University heavyweight crew that was led by
the schools legendary coach Harry Parker. Parker, who
passed away last year, coached the team for 53 years,
putting together 22 undefeated regular seasons, claiming
16 national championships and going 44-7 in the HarvardYale Regatta.
Porter said the people he rowed with in college are
still among his best friends.
Working together under those circumstances, and
realizing what it takes to succeed, denes the concept of
teamwork in a profound way, said Porter.
Whether leading SMI as its 34th president or as
the president and chief operating ofcer (COO) of SEI
MetalTek, Porter is all about teamwork.

Hap rowing
with the
Harvard
heavyweight
crew in 1979.
Hap is fth
from the right.

Listening and Learning


Porter said the other experience that heavily inuenced
him was earning his graduate business degree at Harvard
Business School. For two years and four semesters, he was
immersed in nearly 800 case studies.
What did I learn from evaluating all those screwed up
companies? asked Porter during his acceptance speech.
He said with a laugh, I have no idea, it was a long time ago.
Porter said what he remembered was more about what
he learned about himself and the process of management.
I came to understand that I could spend several hours
reading a case, dissecting the business problem at hand,
and developing a killer solution, explained Porter. But
then Id go to class the next day and hear 89 other ways
of looking at the problem and charting a way through it
that I never considered.
He said that after a while the concept began to sink in.
When you are in a situation with a bunch of smart
and experienced people, who are willing to share their
expertise, its a great opportunity to listen and learn.
The Strategic Path Forward
As Porter sets out to lead SMI, he has the opportunity to
listen and learn from the members of the association who
have spoken loud and clear regarding the organizations
strategic plan that was adopted last fall by the SMI board.
The plan lays out two primary objectives: 1) Improve the
collection and dissemination of technical information and
2) Develop a new trade show.
The next 18 months are all about the trade show,
explained Porter, and frankly thats absolutely the way it
should be. I think its pretty clear from the strategic planning
process we went through in Tucson in the spring of 2013
and nalized and ratied at the Las Vegas business meeting
in the fall that this is what the membership wants us do.
In his acceptance speech in Hawaii, Porter challenged
members to get involved so the new trade show and
technical symposium are a success.
For Porter, getting involved in helping lead SMI
started more than 25 years ago. He started by attending
SMI conventions and later volunteering to serve on
several committees, including Finance and as chair of
the Benchmarking committee. In fact, he was known as
the king of benchmarking. Hes also served on the SMI
board and executive committee.

56 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

I am not a big believer that success


in sports means anything about
success later in life, said Porter. But
for me, the lesson of crew was more
general, explained Porter, it is an
endeavor where the success of the
group, in my case an eight-man boat,
requires near total-synchronization of
effort, exerted at an unspoken level,
learned through intense practice,
and implemented under the most
stressful competitive conditions
where there is scant room for error.

Porter was also SMIs representative to the now defunct


Metalworking Manufacturers Coalition (MMC) that was
formed in 2007 by ve trade associations to offer health
insurance to their combined membership of 1,600 member
rms representing 125,000 employees.
While the idea sounded good at the time, the program
failed miserably, covering less than 300 employees. Porter
said the plan was fatally awed. It had high deductibles,
very high premiums, and had limited physician and
hospital networks, explained Porter. It was a preview,
he says, of what would become the Affordable Care Act.
Porter told the story during his acceptance speech
not to bash the federal plan, but to promote a 401k plan
through ING and Morningstar that is being marketed to
SMI members through CPS Financial.
This product is not fatally awed, and I am going
to be relentless in promoting it to you all for one simple
reason, explained Porter, our company switched to the
program, and over the rst two years, we are saving our
plan participants 60 percent annually on the fees they
are paying.
In his typical dry sense of humor, Porter points out that
SEI MetalTeks prior plan was not some sweetheart deal
with high fees that padded the pocket of a brother-in-law
or country club golng buddy.
He went on to say, Why would you not consider
switching to a program that would save your employees

60 percent on the fees they are paying to invest


and grow their retirement savings?

From Hand Tools to Springs


Porter comes to leadership naturally out
of what he calls a family of manufacturers.
With the invention of the compound leverage
bolt cutter in 1880, Porters great-grandfather
started H.K. Porter, Incorporated that same
year. Porters grandfather and father went on
to run H.K. Porter until it was sold to Cooper
Industries in 1986.
Association and industry service were
destined for Porter given the fact that both
his grandfather and father served a term as
president of the Hand Tools Institute.
Porter thought his career path would end
at the family business, but fate had a different
plan that eventually brought him to the spring
and metal working industry.
Most of Porters life has been spent in
New England, except for a short stint in the
Midwest. After graduating from Harvard in 1979 with a
degree in government and political science, he went to
work for Inland Steel at their headquarters in downtown
Chicago.
I had an inkling that I would eventually come to work
for the family business, but I decided I would get out into
the real world rst and work for a little while outside the
connes of the family operation, said Porter.
It was a year after graduation in the summer of 1980 that
he married Jennifer Newkirk in Chicago. Porter had met Jen
during a college mixer in 1976. She was a student at Boston
University and Porter jokes with her to this day that she
came up to Harvard Square looking for a Harvard man.
We have loved and stood by each other for 33 years
of marriage, Porter said.
After two years of working for Inland Steel, Porter went to
work at H.K. Porter in 1981 as a salesman based out of Chicago.
He called on customers in northern Illinois and Wisconsin.
It was a good experience to work as a salesman,
because I got to experience the realities of the marketplace,
in a sense that the company struggled to meet deliveries
and ll demand.
Porter moved back to Boston to work at H.K. Porters
headquarters in Somerville, Mass., before he was accepted
at Harvard Business School for the schools two year MBA
program. After receiving his MBA in 1985, he went back to
the family business for a short time before the sale in 1986.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 57

Not one to be found on the golf


course, Porter describes himself as a
homebody. He says one of his primary
hobbies is serving as the muscle for
Jens beloved hobby of gardening and
yard work. Oftentimes you will see me
in the yard sweating profusely. She has
me moving rocks and piles of dirt and
gravel and things like that.
A couple of side notes on his Harvard education: Just
one week into his graduate school experience, he wanted
to quit. Fortunately for me, Jen steadfastly refused to hear
me when I told her I was going to quit business school after
one week, that it was not for me, said Porter.
As he said in his SMI acceptance speech regarding
Jen, Thank you, honey, for at least that one time, ignoring
what I was saying.
The other part about Harvard for Porter is downplaying it.
I dont talk about the Harvard thing because some
people react to it in a funny way, related Porter. After
the family business was sold, Porter found his way to
the spring industry via Hardware Products. The late
George Underwood, the owner of Hardware Products at
the time, was president of SMI from 1979 to 1981. Porters
father knew Underwood, and Underwood was a member
of the board of directors of H.K. Porter, a publicly traded
company. So he was intimately aware that H.K. Porter
was being sold, explained Porter.
So in the spring of 1987 Porter left the hand tool
industry and came to work in the spring industry as the
general manager of Hardware Products.
Over the next couple of years, George and I had
discussions to see if there was some way we could structure
a transaction, so I could buy Hardware Products, said Porter.
No deal could be struck and Porter admitted that the
biggest problem was that I had no money.

First SMI Meeting


Jen and I went to our rst SMI meeting in the spring
of 1988 in San Francisco and thats where we met Kevin
and Beth Grace and got introduced to the industry, related
Porter. I guess from my standpoint that was a real milestone
for us. We have enjoyed their friendship ever since.

58 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Due to his involvement with the


a sso c i at ion, Under wood wa s ver y
supportive of Porters participation in SMI
meetings. I will forever be grateful to
George for introducing me to this industry.
In December of 1990 it looked like
Underwood had lined up a buyer for
Ha rdwa re Products. The projected
closing was in a few months and I was
soon to be out of work.
Meanwhile, Jen was pregnant with the
couples second child, Gordon.
I realized then that, when she was
pregnant with our daughter, Laurent, in
the winter of 1986, H.K. Porter was sold
and I was about to lose my job.
With Jen seven months pregnant and the sale of
Hardware Products imminent, Porter remembers telling
Jen, No more kids, because every time were about to have
a kid I lose my job.
Ultimately the 1990 sale fell through and it wasnt
until the next year when Kevin and John Grace bought
Hardware Products with an investment group out of
Houston called The Catalyst Group. The sale made it
possible for Porter to continue as president of the company.
In 1994 The Catalyst Group sold its stake in Hardware
Products so it was one hundred percent owned by the
Graces; Porter retained a small ownership interest.
Kevin Grace asked Porter in 1998 to become president
and COO of their holding company, SEI MetalTek. So I
stepped out of the role as president of Hardware Products
and Ted White took over.
Ted and I have always had a great work relationship,
starting in 1987 when I came to work at Hardware Products,
explained Porter. Ted came to Hardware in 1974, so he was
an old-timer by the time I showed up. I think everyone
at SMI who knows Ted knows hes a really hardworking,
knowledgeable guy about springs and fun to work with.

Buy, Build and Hold


Though SEI MetalTek is based out of Dallas, Porter
maintains his ofce within the connes of Hardware
Products, something that Porter is grateful for. Ive been
very fortunate to be able to have such a nice relationship
with someone that Im with almost every day, said Porter
of his relationship with White.
Porter has also enjoyed a great relationship with the
Grace family. Kevin, his sister, Cindy, and his brother,
Bob, have been outstanding business partners for me. Their

Many of the members of the SEI MetalTek "family" traveled to Hawaii to help Hap Porter celebrate his installation as SMI's 34th president.

parents, John and Diane, were two of the most gracious


and welcoming people we have ever known.
Kevin Grace says that Porter has always been an
inclusive leader. He is condent in his own decision
making, but seeks out the input and advice of others when
formulating his responses.
Porter has responsibility for overseeing the operations
of SEI MetalTek that are scattered between the Northeast
and Texas. In addition to Hardware Products, SEI MetalTek
operates SEI MetalForms, Spring Engineers of Houston,
Colonial Spring, Hopwood Globe and John M. Dean. SEI
MetalTek has more than 160 employees and the company
has what Porter describes as a buy, build and hold strategy
when it comes to the companies they have acquired.
The core of SEI MetalTeks capabilities are stock
and custom springs, wireforms, metal stampings and
assemblies, production machinery, laser-cut metal
products, pins and pointed wire products and custom
screw machine production. They serve many different
industries, including: electrical, industrial, energy,
aerospace, automotive, textile, munitions, medical, and
sporting and hobbyist.
Though Porter did not end up being part of his own
familys business, hes enjoyed being part of the SEI

MetalTek family for over 20 years. Grace says Porter is


well respected by everyone at SEI MetalTek.
All of our employees know and admire Hap, related
Grace, they trust that he will make decisions that are in
their best interests and that of the company.
Grateful to be associated with the Grace family, Porter
says he has a lot of respect for family businesses and
for their ability to juggle all that goes into running a
successful enterprise.

Parallel Lives
Working with Porter has gone beyond just being in
business together, says Grace. Hap and I live a parallel
life. We are the same age and have children of the same age
and gender. It has been a real pleasure to see our families
grow up in the business, said Grace. It would be great
to see them work together at some point.
Porter says Grace gives him much grief about being a
Yankee. So in his acceptance speech he poked fun and
expressed thanks to the Texan for putting up with his
New England ways.
In addition to Kevin and Beth Grace, and Bob Grace,
Porter was grateful to have in Hawaii ve individuals he
works closely with at SEI MetalTek to help celebrate his

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 59

SMI has put itself on a path of some real


exciting challenges and opportunities,
said Porter. I'm honored to have the
chance to be president for the next two
years as we pursue them.

inauguration as SMI president. Each


one of the division presidents who
were present for the event dressed up
in tuxedoes, including Bill Lathrop of
Colonial Spring, Brian Duemling of
John M. Dean, Patrick Barr of Spring
Engineers of Houston, Mike Drinkwater
of SEI MetalForms and Hopwood Globe,
and Ted White of Hardware Products.
These fellas are a joy to work with, and our common
goalof making our companies successfulhas helped
us manage through the ups and downs of recent years,
said Porter, and I tip my hat to each of them.
Porter was also grateful to have his entire family with
him in Hawaii, including his wife, Jen, along with their
daughter, Laurent, and son, Gordon.
Laurent works for White at Hardware Products as the
companys accountant and bookkeeper, after previously
working in purchasing and customer service. She had worked
at Hardware Products during high school and college.
Meanwhile, Gordon works as associate account
executive for Bliss Integrated Communications, a business

to business marketing communication agency, working


out of the companys New York City ofce.
Porter is the youngest of ve children; he has three
sisters and a brother. Porter says hes the only one who
got the manufacturing bug.
Not one to be found on the golf course, Porter describes
himself as a homebody. He says one of his primary
hobbies is serving as the muscle for Jens beloved hobby
of gardening and yard work. Oftentimes you will see me
in the yard sweating profusely. She has me moving rocks
and piles of dirt and gravel and things like that.
The Porters' house is not on the coast in Massachusetts,
but the community they live in is. As a result, Porter can
often be found on weekends down at the beach around
sunrise walking his dog and joining a group of similar
people who walk their dogs there.
With his days of rowing behind him, Porter works out
on a regular basis to stay in shape.
I certainly dont row anymore, said Porter. The wear
and tear and the time requirement is something that is long in
my past, but I do try and stay healthy and as active as I can.

Into the Future


Porter is excited to take the reins of SMI.
SMI has put itself on a path of some real exciting
challenges and opportunities, said Porter. Im honored
to have the chance to be president for the next two years
as we pursue them.
And hailing back to his days on the rowing team,
Porter is quite clear that the success of SMI is going to
take everyones efforts.
The success of SMI in achieving its goals is going to
be entirely dependent upon the memberships degree of
involvement and their interest in seeing SMI succeed.
With all the challenges and excitement at this juncture
of the organizations history, Porter has a very high
expectation that SMIs strategic plan is going to succeed. Q
Gary McCoy is the managing editor of Springs magazine
and the president of Fairway Communications. Readers
may contact him by phone at 847-622-7228 or email
gmccoy@fairwaycommunications.com.

60 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Book Corner
iStockphoto.com/kertlis

Stop Talking, Start Communicating:


Counterintuitive Secrets to
Success in Business and in Life
I wrote Stop Talking, Start Communicating because
Im worried that meaningf ul communicationthe
lifeblood of civilization and the backbone of successful
work relationshipsis at risk, threatened by the avalanche
of quick, cheap, and easy communication made possible
by the digital revolution. We are communicating more,
but not better.
Those ominous words were written by Geoffrey Tumlin,
the author of Stop Talking, Start Communicating.
Tumlin, a communications consultant by trade, makes
a strong argument that our societys increasing reliance
on, and preference for, communicating via email, text
and social media, is eroding our ability to engage in
more meaningful communications. He describes some of
these more meaningful communication tasks as arguing
sensibly, resolving conict, persuading others, bargaining,
and providing emotional support.
Tu m l i n r ig ht ly obser ves some of ou r c u r rent
communications aws. The steady erosion of our higherorder communication abilities results in more error-prone
interactions and chronic misunderstandings that multiply
our communication problems, degrade our productivity,
and diminish our quality of life.
The book is full of advice with the goal of improving
conversations. The chapter titles are meant to entertain
and draw you into the counterintuitive advice Tumlin
offers. Heres a few examples:

Play Dumb

Be Boring

Don't Solve Problems

Don't Be Yourself

Stop Talking
The book is a great thought stimulator, especially for those
who work in communications. The author makes a great point
about not trying to solve every problem immediately.
Our quick, cheap and easy digital devices allow us
to have far too many unnecessary collaboration, and get
our hands (and thumbs) on too many irrelevant issues.

Thats why smart communicators, like smart doctors,


have a good triage systemits categories are Now, Delay
and Avoidto focus on the most pressing issues, while
delaying or ignoring less important matters.
If communications could improve in your business
this is a useful tool to help you get started.
The book was published by McGraw-Hill in August
2013 and sells at a suggested retail price of $20. It is
available at the authors website, www.tumlin.com or
through Amazon, IndieBound or Barnes & Noble. Q
Book reviewed by Gary McCoy, Managing Editor

Have a favorite business book you


would like to tell us about? Send your
suggestions to Springs editor Gary McCoy
at gmccoy@fairwaycommunications.com.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 61

ULBRICH STAINLESS STEELS SPECIAL METALS, INC.


WW W.ULBRICH.COM

Specialty metals
without limits.
Ulbrich has an impressive number of high-performance
metal products that provide innite solutions to
precision industries. By keeping pace with worldwide
market demand, Ulbrich has always beenand always will
continue to be your trustworthy partner.

12 LOC ATIONS
WORLDWIDE
800 243-1676

62 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

Inside SMI
iStockphoto.com/seracus

SMI Launches Metal Engineering eXpo


In response to a strategic planning
process that SMI undertook and
adopted in 2013, the association
has announced the launch of the
SMI Metal Engineering eXpo at
the Charlotte Convention Center in
Charlotte, N.C. The inaugural event
will take place October 20-22, 2015.
The SMI Metal Engineering eXpo
is open to all members of the North
American spring and wire forming
industry. It will include a technical
sy mposiu m for i nd iv idua ls a nd
companies to share their knowledge
and expertise on a variety of topics

surrounding the design, engineering


and production of springs, wire forms
and stampings. The show will also
include vendors displaying a vast array
of machinery to produce these items
along with exhibitors representing
all facets of manufacturing from
i nsu ra nce to mach i ner y to ER P
systems and more.
T h e n e x t i s s u e o f Sp r i n g s
will include more details on SMI
Met a l E n g i ne e r i n g eXpo. Vi sit
t he new show website at w w w.
metalengineeringexpo.org.

SMI Sponsors
Reception in
Conjunction with
wire 2014

Hosted by SMI president Hap


Porter, SMI sponsored a cocktail
r e cept ion du r i ng w i r e 2014 i n
Dsseldorf, Germany at the Radisson
Blu Scandinavia. The hotel served
as the headquarters hotel for SMI
members who participated in wire

2014 which was held in conjunction


with Tube 2014 from April 7-11 at the
Dsseldorf Exhibition Centre.
Porter also represented SMI at a
dinner hosted by the European Spring
Federation (ESF).

Right: SMI president Hap


Porter addresses the ESF
meeting during wire 2014.
Far Right: Michel Fauconnier,
new ESF president (with
microphone), is pictured with
the new ESF general secretary, Wolfgang Hermann.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 63

Inside SMI

SMI Mourns Loss of Member


It is with regret that Springs
reports the death of Douglas J.
Stearns, 57, of Fostoria, Ohio on
January 12, 2014. He was born April
2, 1956, in Fostoria, to Paul Gwilym
Bill and Judith Ann (Hill) Stearns.
Stearns married Beverly Jayne Freischlag on July 10, 1981, in Bowling
Green, Ohio.
In addition to his wife, Stearns is
survived by his mother, Judith Stearns, of Fostoria; a son, Major Charles
Chuck E. Stearns, of Ft. Bragg,
N.C.; brothers, Jeff Stearns, Gary
(Bev) Stearns and Thomas (Jennie)
Stearns, all of Fostoria; and several
loving nieces and nephews. He was
preceded in death by his father.

Stearns was a 1974 graduate of


Fostoria High School and received a
B.S. degree from SUNY at Cortland.
He was the vice president of sales
and marketing for The Seneca Wire
Group, Inc. for the past 30 years. He
was also a member of Valley Creek
Lodge, University Club, NRA and
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
As a lifetime farmer with his
brothers, Stearns always had a connection with the outdoors. He carried
those core values into his personal
life, as his yard was a work of art and
he took great pride in its appearance.
The Cleveland Indians were always on the radio in his garage, as
he was the eternal optimist concern-

Ready,
to Roll,

ing the Tribe, often saying wait until


next year. He was an avid deer
and elk hunter in Pennsylvania and
the west. Stearns had a wealth of
knowledge (wealth of worthless
information, in his words) in a wide
variety of subjects, with special expertise in military history. Q

For over 25 years, Rolled


Metal Products has been
providing JIT delivery service,
quality metal and processes,
expert technical support and
high value to its respected
customers. With locations in
the Midwest and Northeast,
we have all the advantages
you expect from a leader in
the metal processing industry.
Bensalem, PA 19020
800.638.3544
215.244.7789 Fax
RolledMetalProducts.com

Your Edge Is Our Roll

Reel Time.
64 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

New Products
iStockphoto.com/hseyin harmandagl, morkeman, PeskyMonkey

PIG Introduces Rapid


Response Drainblocker
Drain Cover
New Pig has introduced the PIG Rapid
Response Drainblocker Drain Cover
specically designed to provide facilities
with affordable emergency spill response
protection in spill-prone areas near drains.
Packaged in an easy-open, high-visibility storage tube so workers can nd
it quickly and respond to the spill, the
drain covers super-sealing urethane bottom layer creates a tight seal to quickly
seal both oor and storm drains during
spill emergencies, indoors or outdoors.
Affordable enough to place near all of a
facilitys spill-prone drains, the drain covers are perfect for xed facilities, eets,
hazmat and other response teams who
need to meet stringent EPA spill preparation and cleanup regulations.
In addition, the drain cover features
a UV-resistant polypropylene top layer

that will not stretch or tear when picked


up. It is offered in four sizes, for square
or round drains from 9" up to 36. Wall
brackets and signage are also available.

To learn more about this product and


how it can help your facility comply with
federal containment and spill response
regulations, call 1-800-HOT-HOGS or
visit www.newpig.com.

Brady Offers Full Suite of Lockout/Tagout Solutions


Brady, a global leader in industrial
and safety printing systems and solutions, offers complete lockout/tagout
solutions as part of its Client Services
offerings. Brady Client Services full suite
of lockout/tagout services and software
offerings includes procedure writing
services, cloud-based procedure creation
and maintenance software, lockout/tagout training and more.
Having up-to-date and accurate
lockout/tagout procedures is essential
in creating a safe workplace. Lockout/
tagout is continually on OSHAs top 10
most frequent violations, making it an
important area of improvement for many
companies, but a large undertaking.

Thats where we come in, says Tim


Bandt, global director of Client Services
for Brady. Brady helps our clients by
providing the tools and training needed
to both establish a lockout/tagout
program that goes above and beyond
compliance, and enable that program to
be sustained in-house.
Bradys lockout/tagout procedure writing services start with determining the
scope and focus of each customers program. Then a team of highly-experienced
eld engineers arrive onsite to create
visually-instructive procedures within
the company's LINK360 software and
identify the equipment energy source
locations with color-coded tags. To en-

sure the program remains compliant,


eld engineers collaborate with internal
staff throughout the process to help
them understand how to maintain their
program.
In addition, Bradys premier Link 360
software is the rst of its kind, allowing
companies to create, maintain, store and
access lockout/tagout documents inhouse through its cloud-based platform.
To learn more about Brady Client
Services, visit www.BradyID.com/
ClientServices.

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 65

New Products

New PLC + HMI Oven Control


System Offered by HSI
Huei Shang Industrial (HSI) introduces the newest PLC + HMI control
system available for the world class HCF
and HSF conveyor oven series.
The PLC+HMI based control system
may be used in place of conventional
instrumentation such as temperature
controller, digital speed meter, etc. Most
major functions of the oven are integrated into the PLC+HMI control system.
The all in one PLC+HMI based
control system includes key functions
such as precise temperature control
with SSR (solid state relays), intelligent
setting of belt speed, 2-step automatic
shutdown, one week scheduling clock,
motor monitoring, memory card recorder
with on-screen charting, heating element
failure detection, error message display
and diagnosis for complete and simpli-

ed operation. Optional features such


as OTP (over temperature protection)
and CQI9 or AMS2750E enhancements
will insure safe and quality performance
conforming to automotive or aerospace
specications.
All control parameters and related
information is entered and read through
the touchscreen interface.

Optional functions such as the SMS


messaging module are also available to
send alarm messages to mobile phones
for instant production management.
For additional information, contact
Forming Systems, Inc. at info@formingsystemsinc.com or 269-679-3557.

OMD Special Cooling Systems for Spring Grinding


Beginning in 1993, OMD Ofcina
Meccanica Domaso SPA introduced the
forced air ventilation system in grinding
machines with the goal of cooling the abrasive, while improving the cutting capacity
and the service life, and to avoid overheating of springs during machining. Over
the years, utilizing uid-dynamic analysis,
OMD has studied air motions inside the
grinding chamber and has combined it
with practical experiences gained in the
eld to implement a theoretical model
of the air ow inside the grinding chamber.
In the newest series of grinding
machines from OMD, two fundamental
aspects of air ow are addressed: the
machine geometry and the surrounding
conditions.
The companys new machine
geometry has been designed to drastically reduce both the zones with low air
speed that causes ow stagnation. Flow
stagnation can result in possible dust accumulation and vortex motions, which is
a main cause of solid particles escaping.
Once the machine geometry has
been established, the surrounding condi-

66 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

tions are examined: 1) the incoming air


(forced) and 2) the outgoing air (intake).
Incoming air is used by the OMD Special Cooling System among the wheels to
optimize the abrasive efciency; cooling
the spindles to exploit the highest nominal
power used in heavy-duty situations. It
helps provide sufcient air delivery inside
the grinding chamber (through opposite
pipe inlets) to reduce the overheating of
springs during grinding. In addition it keeps
the loading table clean of grinding dust, by
means of special nozzles to help reduce

the wear of the spring sliding area. The


OMD Cooling System also creates a barrier, through opposite slots in the machine
bed, to hinder and reduce the escape of
dust and sparks which helps minimize material accumulation inside the machine.
The optimization of the air nozzles,
the oriented deectors and the regulation of the ow (depending on the actual
springs to be ground and the focal points
to be cooled), helps achieve the greatest
efciency and drastically reduces useless dispersions.
The company says air ow optimization provides further production
advantages, most notably reducing costs
due to reduced consumption of abrasive
wheels and a reduced number of dressings. Regarding the outgoing air, OMD
has optimized the nozzle sizing depending
on grinding requirements to drastically
reducing dust dispersion and improve
working conditions for machine operators.
For additional information regarding
OMD grinders, contact FORMING SYSTEMS Inc. at info@formingsystemsinc.
com or 269-679-3557.

New Products

Lift Door Box Ovens


The lift door box ovens are the latest
addition to the complete line of HSI high
performance ovens including HCF mesh
belt conveyor ovens (over 30 sizes), HSF
link belt conveyor ovens, HB box ovens,
PCF part collector-oven combination, and
HC high temperature box ovens.
For additional information, contact
Forming Systems Inc. at info@formingsystemsinc.com or 269-679-3557. Q

HSI and FSI introduce the newest


oven design from HSI, the HB-LD Series
of Lift Door Box Ovens.
These new ovens are design for batch
stress relieving and heating for a variety
of components at a maximum temperature of 500C (930F). The doors are
pneumatically operated for ease of operation. Features include:
Stainless interior
Digital error analysis and display
Digital timer
Alarm systems for work complete
Recirculation motor monitor
Over temperature protection (OTP)
Available options include: CQI9
capable; AMS2750E capable; TUS3
capable; Trolley and SS tray systems;
Safety guard with light curtain; CF Card
performance storage; and Electrostatic
air lters.

Advertiser's Index
A & D Trading
(440) 563-5227 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Admiral Steel
(800) 323-7055 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Alex Industries
(847) 298-1860 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Alloy Wire International
(866) 482-5569 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
CASMI
(630) 369-3466 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Century Spring,
Division of MW Industries
(800) 237-5225 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Diamond Wire Spring Co.
(800) 424-0500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Elgiloy Specialty Metals
(847) 695-1900 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Forming Systems Inc.
(877) 594-4300 . . inside front cover,
back cov er
Gibbs Wire & Steel Co. Inc.
(800) 800-4422 . . inside back cover
Gibraltar Corporation
(847) 769-2099 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Grainger
www.grainger.com . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Industrial Steel & Wire


(800) 767-0408 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
InterWire Products Inc.
(914) 273-6633 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
JN Machinery
(224) 699-9161 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
John Evans' Sons
(215) 368-7700 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Kiswire
(201) 461-8895 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Larson Systems
(763) 780-2131 . . . . . . . . . . 39, 41
Link Engineering
(734) 453-0800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Mapes Piano String Co.
(423) 543-3195 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
NIMSCO
(563) 391-0400 . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
North American Spring Tool
(860) 583-1693 . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Proto Manufacturing
(800) 965-8378 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Radcliff Wire
(860) 583-1305 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

RK Trading
(847) 640-9371 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Rolled Metal Products
800) 638-3544 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Simplex Rapid
(563) 391-0400 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Suzuki Garphyttan
(574) 232-8800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
TCT Stainless Steel
(800) 334-7509 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Tool King
(800) 338-1318 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Ulbrich Stainless Steels
(203) 239-4481 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
United Wire Co.
(800) 840-9481 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Vinston
(847) 972-1098 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Vulcan Spring & Manufacturing Co.
(215) 721-1721 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
WAFIOS
(203) 481-5555 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Zapp Precision Strip
(203) 386-0038 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

SPRINGS / Spring 2014 / 67

Snapshot

Keith Porter, Jr. with


his wife, Katie, their
daughter, Caroline,
and son, Keith.

Name: Keith Porter Jr.


Company: Newcomb Spring of Carolina,
Charlotte, N.C.
Brief history of your company: Our

predecessor company began


operations in Brooklyn, N.Y. in the
1890s. In 1921 the company was
reorganized by E.L. Newcomb as
Newcomb Spring. In 1924 George
L. C. Jacobson became president
and owner of Newcomb Spring and
in 1933 he was one of the founders
of the Spring Manufacturers
Association (now known as SMI)
and Newcomb Spring was a charter
member. A branch plant was opened
in Southington, Conn. in 1953 and
Donald Jacobson, Sr. helped found the
New England Spring Manufacturers
Association (NESMA) and was elected
as its rst president. He became
president of SMI in 1960. Newcomb
Spring of Canada opened in Ontario
in 1964 and in 1978 the company
opened a California branch. In 1982
Donald Jacobson, Jr. was elected
president of NESMA and as SMI
president in 1995. In 2000 the company
moved its headquarters to Atlanta,
Ga. and expanded to nine locations
with Resortes Newcomb, a Spanishspeaking facility to serve customers in
Mexico, Central and South America.
Job title: General manager.

What I like most about being in the


industry: I thoroughly enjoy working

My most outstanding personal quality is:

Dedication.

with design teams from all types


of industries to create dependable
mechanical solutions that improve the
lives of people all over the world.

People who knew me in school thought I


was: Funny and light hearted.

Favorite food: Chateaubriand.

was born.

Favorite books/author: The Bible.

If I werent working at Newcomb Spring


I would like to: Teach life skills in

Favorite musician: The Allman Brothers.

southern Africa.

Hobbies: Church, golf, tennis, inventing,

and coaching.

The most difcult business decision I ever


had to make was: Divorcing a large

Favorite places: Ngorongoro Crater,

customer because our businesses were


headed in different directions.

Tanzania; Playa Del Carmen, Mexico;


Topsail Island, N.C.
Best times of my life: My days at

I knew I was an adult when: Our son

Role models: Jesus Christ, my dad, and

Dr. David A. Cook.

Birthplace: Atlanta, Ga.

Presbyterian College and the night


Katie and I got married.

I would like to be remembered in the


spring industry as: An advocate. I

Current home: Cramerton, N.C.

A really great evening to me is: Dinner

love to share the opportunities of our


industry with young people.

Family: Wife, Katie, son, KAP (Keith

Allen Porter III), 4, daughter, Caroline


Grace, eight months , yellow lab,
Tucker.

and a movie with my wife and kids.


The one thing I cant stand is: Dishonesty.

But people will probably remember


me for: Running around throwing

My most outstanding work quality


is: Organizational process ow and

plates over the sprinkler heads at the


convention in Dove Mountain Ariz.

efciency.
68 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014
68 / SPRINGS / Spring 2014

iStockphoto.com/Tryfonov Ievgenii, nicholas belton

Keith Porter Jr.


Newcomb Spring

:K\3DUWQHU:LWK*LEEV"+HUHV:K\
Just a small sampling of the actual
emails and calls we receive from our
customers every single day
You are awesome! There is not another
supplier that even comes close to beating
your response time!

Thank you so much for such quick response


on all 3 orders. This is world class service.

You guys are total rock stars!!! Couldnt be


better! MUCHO MUCHO thanks!

You guys are AWESOME! Tell everyone


THANK YOU!

You take such good care of me. Thank you


so much!

You have so made my weekend! TGIF!

We recognize that a key component of your buying decision


is based on customer service. Our goal is to be the best at
customer service and support in our industry. Based on our
customer comments it is clear we are providing the service
levels you need. We will not rest until every customer feels
the above statements could be written by them!

and knowledgeable employees you can count on. From our


newest hire in the warehouse to our most senior employee in
management. Men and women who truly care about the work
they do and the customers they serve. Thats why so many
leading comanies have chosen to partner with us.

Since 1956 Gibbs Wire and Steel has represented a


combination of responsiveness, innovation and leading edge
technology, the lowest total cost and a team of dedicated
The People You Can Rely On For Wire And Strip

ZZZJLEEVZLUHFRP

Connecticut

Indiana

Texas

California

North Carolina

Ontario

Mexico