Category Archives: Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing Needs Skilled Workers

A rather common ‘theme’ for U.S. manufacturers in today’s workplace is the difficulty in finding trained, qualified talent to fill a variety of skilled labor positions.

Whether it is painting a part or turning a wrench, or now, operating intricate machinery, specific skill sets need to be acquired through training or schooling for high quality demanding manufacturing. With the increased  level of automation and sophisticated controls has arisen the need for trained and qualified workers more than ever before.  So what has been the recent trend?

  • Specialized Skills – One of the reasons the skills gap has occurred is that new technology and improved processes require higher, more specialized skill sets. At best, the manufacturing of 25-35 years ago would have been considered semi-skilled. Now, the majority of unskilled or semi-skilled jobs and processes have been outsourced, meaning that the jobs that have been retained require advanced skill sets.
  • Lagging Education – Over the last 25 to 30 years, the manufacturing education system has been reduced or eliminated, so it has become harder for potential manufacturing employees to get training. Manufacturing has also reduced apprenticeships programs. Both of these need to be revitalized to improve the number of skilled and qualified workers.
  • A Rebounding Industry – The layoffs and cutbacks that date back to before the recent recession are now being looked at as likely having been too drastic, forcing manufacturing workers into new careers. Many of these ex-manufacturing workers will be hesitant to return to former careers.
  • Different Mindsets – Both manufacturers and potential employees need to change their mindsets. Manufacturing is no longer the dirty plants of years past, needing mid-level skill sets to earn mid-level wages. Many members of the boomer generation still look at manufacturing this way, and pass on that idea to their children, when manufacturing has actually raised working conditions as well as skills. However, not all manufacturers have been willing to produce wages and incentives that should coincide with the increased need in skills. Both sides need to work on this issue.

Here at Hi-Tek Manufacturing, we are always searching for more skilled and qualified CNC machine operators, along with engineers, programmers, and many other positions. As a leading manufacturer in the high-growth field of both aerospace and power generation turbine engine components, we are constantly growing and developing as the demand continues to increase. We are committed to growing the manufacturing workforce, training new workers when needed, and offering wages and packages fitting the skill sets required. Check out our careers page for more information!

Growth in the Aerospace Industry

After a few rollercoaster years, in 2016, the aerospace industry across the United States and the world looks to be showing strong growth, and return to the power it was in previous decades. This is great news for companies, including us at Hi-Tek Manufacturing, involved in the manufacture of hot gas path aviation turbine engine components.

Faster, Farther, More Fuel-Efficient

With the global economy fairly stabilized after a few years of ups and downs, the aerospace industry continues to work towards developing and producing next-generation aircraft. With many fleets across the globe aging, or using older designs, there is a need for newer airframes that can go faster, carry more over a long distance, but that also get better fuel efficiency than current models.

Factors Driving Growth

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has forecasted that 2016 will be the year that the aerospace industry returns to positive growth, after a slight decline in 2015. In the coming year there are a number of factors that are expected to spur this growth on, including:

  • Relatively stable growth in gross domestic product throughout the world, meaning there is more spending capability.
  • Lower crude oil and other commodity prices, reducing cost of manufacture and operation.
  • Continued increase in passenger travel demands, which necessitate development and construction of next-generation commercial aircraft.
  • Global security threats have driven an increase in defense budgets worldwide, with an expected increase in aerospace demands.

Next Generation Jobs

The next-generation planes will need workers with next-generation skills for research and development – these are not the low-paying, low-skill jobs that so many people think of when they hear the word “manufacturing.” In fact, these are jobs that pay well above the national average, and rely more on math and science skills than one’s ability to turn a wrench. The jobs that are being created by the growth in the aerospace industry are jobs that will power the economy into the future. Some of these jobs are in new, emerging occupations that have not even been part of manufacturing before

Here at Hi-Tek, we have been providing manufacturing solutions and comprehensive support of hot gas path component production for gas turbine engine manufacturers, so growth in the aerospace industry means there is great potential for our company to grow. We look forward to expanding capabilities and tackling the growth head-on, to continue to provide the highest standard in aircraft turbine engine components.

The Name in Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is Hi-Tek!

EDM, an extraordinary technology, alternatively referred to as “spark machining” or “wire burning”, is a manufacturing process in which innumerable kinds of shapes are obtained utilizing electrical discharges or, what laypeople might call, sparks. In this seemingly magical process, material is removed from the piece being worked by a series of rapidly repeating current discharges between two electrodes that are separated by a dielectric liquid,  which is basically an electrical insulator in liquid form that can be polarized when an electric field is applied.

Electric Discharge Machining is surprisingly quite simple to explain when broken down:  An electrical spark is initiated between an electrode and the piece that is being shaped. The spark that is visibly emitted produces extreme heat that melts almost anything it contacts. This electrical spark is highly controlled and localized so that only the surface of the material being worked is affected. The liquid medium serves to cool and flush away any eroded metal particles eventually leaving behind a finished product.

Hi-Tek Manufacturing’s state-of-the-art electrical discharge machining services offer over 100 EDM machines that perform a wide variety of processes from the most staggeringly complex to simple, one-off operations. Hi-Tek’s equipment list consists of in-house designed and built fast hole machines, multi-axis CNC sinker machines, 3-axis sinker machines, a variety of EDM plunge equipment, and wire EDM machines. Holes can be produced as small as 0.001” and hold the true position to +/- 0.0005” and diameter tolerance to +/- 0.0002”.

The electrode manufacturing capabilities at Hi-Tek can produce stamped copper, brass tubes and rods, graphite, and tungsten rod electrodes and process holes in various forms such as cooling, round, shaped, pin seal, tip and non-line of sight, as well as non-hole features like slots, grooves, pockets, and notches. In other words, Hi-Tek is a one-stop shop!

To learn more about Hi-Tek’s cutting-edge electrical discharge machining (EDM) services, call today and discover why Hi-Tek lives up to its name.

5 Myths About Manufacturing Jobs

There are plenty of myths regarding manufacturing, the jobs available, and the future of the sector. Some of these myths are no big deal – the myth that the U.S. can’t compete with China, for instance, doesn’t drive people away from a manufacturing career path. In truth, we do compete with China, but while we can’t beat them when it comes to sheer quantity, we can beat them in quality. What hurts the most are myths that drive people away from manufacturing careers; careers that could be great for them to get into. If you are considering launching into a manufacturing career and you hear these myths, you need to ignore them.

Manufacturing Jobs are Low-Skill Jobs

In the past, many manufacturing jobs have been simple, hands-on, singular tasks. Turning wrenches, hammering, and manual assembly jobs were representative of the activities a worker would be required to do every day. In the modern manufacturing climate, workers are just as likely to be programming machines as welding pieces together. They will shift from one task to another, sometimes over the course of a single day. These are skilled jobs and require flexibility and highly developed skills.

Manufacturing Jobs are Dead-End Jobs

Most manufacturers are not interested in hiring workers who do not see themselves growing within the company. Innovation, the evolution of talent, and ideas are leading the sector into the future, and companies get it. Many companies hire with the idea that the new employees will learn and advance within the company as well as offer various educational opportunities for continued growth.

Manufacturing Jobs Don’t Pay Well

A century ago, manufacturing jobs were low-paying jobs with few benefits, and that has been a characterization that has been difficult to shake. Today the average manufacturing job is worth a combined $17,000 per year more in pay and benefits (including health benefits, retirement funds, pension plans, and more) than the average non-manufacturing or service industry position.

Women Aren’t Welcome in Manufacturing Jobs

Manufacturing is a male-dominated sector, and has been historically – that can’t be argued. However, manufacturing companies have been working to change that, and are not only open to more women joining the workforce, but have been actively pursuing it. This falls in line with the pursuit of innovation and evolution – manufacturers want the brightest minds, regardless of their gender.

The Manufacturing Job Means Working in a Dirty Environment

In the early days of manufacturing, many times the conditions were deplorable.  Lighting and air quality was poor at best, and unsafe working conditions were the norm.  No longer.  Today the manufacturing work environment is clean, safe, with temperature and humidity controlled environments.  Modern machine tools are computer controlled and ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue.  Companies realize that in order to produce the highest quality products, the work environment and operating conditions have to be of the highest standard possible.

What debunking all these myths demonstrates is that a career in manufacturing has a lot to offer. Whether at Hi-Tek  or any of the thousands of other manufacturers across the country, manufacturing workers are incredibly satisfied with their jobs, and continue to demonstrate that a career in a manufacturing job was their best choice. Manufacturing offers great jobs, and manufacturers are looking for more workers to fill them.

HI-TEK OFFERS CUTTING EDGE MULTI-AXIS LASER MACHINING FOR PRECISE AND CONTROLLED APPLICATIONS

Boasting compounded efficiency and pinpoint precision, multi-axis laser units work extremely well with Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines to create 2D and 3D custom welded and cut parts. From producing stamped components to metal spinnings and unique part designs, flexible and easy to manipulate, multi-axis lasers have expansive XYZ travels and are put to a large number of uses in the aircraft, military and small and large land-based turbine engine industries.

HI-TEK MANUFACTURING AND ITS CAPABILITIES:

Hi-Tek Manufacturing was founded in the 1980s and since then has stood for unparalleled customer service excellence and the adroit use of technological advancements to create custom goods that adhere strictly to the specifications set forth by clients.

Where laser processing is concerned, Hi-Tek possess years of experience in dealing with single axis Nd:YAG and CO2 units. Of late however it has started specializing in multi-axis prototypes that can bring to life the movements specified by the G-code of CAD programs and render them with exceptional accuracy to produce trepan and percussion cooling holes, among other features.

Hi-Tek multi-axis lasers bring power outputs that vary between 400W and 4000W to the table and allow engineers and specialists a vast range of heat intensities to utilize. This flexibility results in etchings that vary from barely conspicuous product codes and company stamps to intricately carved spirals that retain their form yet do not break free from the larger surface of the super alloys, cobalt and nickel based ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and non-metallic materials that are deemed robust enough to serve as the blank canvas for the lasers.

An additional capability pioneered by Hi-Tek is laser ablation, the removal of thermal barrier coatings or TBC’s from hot gas path turbine engine components.  The precision and control of the laser beam allows the operator to “scrub” away the TBC while leaving the conductive bond coat in place for subsequent drilling operations.  Diffuser shapes are easily scrubbed into coatings of various thicknesses to meet the most demanding airflow requirements.

INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS MET:

Hi-Tek Manufacturing Laser Processing end products are at par with ISO 9001:2008, AS 9100 and NADCAP standards. With impressive axis travel numbers of 96″ x72″ x 36″, the multi-axis lasers are ideal fits for the production of hot gas path and structural components like high pressure and low-pressure turbines and combustors.

If you would like a custom quote please contact us here and allow us to serve you as per our industry best practices.

US Manufacturing and how it affects companies like Hi-Tek

Sustainable U.S. Growth
U.S. manufacturing ended last year with its best performance since 2010 following the end of the Great Recession. Now manufacturing has leveled out to what many economists consider a more sustainable pace of growth. Most factories here in the U.S. have adjusted to less than robust overseas demand and have come to reap the benefits of a more steady domestic market. These manufacturers have greeted 2015 with a new sense of optimism and have generally dismissed concerns over a December slowdown in growth as just a temporary blip on the economic radar screen. Still, the Institute for Supply Management has stated that its purchasing managers’ index for 2014 averaged a very impressive 55.8, again the best level since after the 2007-09 recession.

The Rest of the World
This all comes amid concerns regarding a global economy that has slowed down and could result in less demand for U.S. goods. Paul Dales, a senior economist at Capital Economics, stated that it “makes sense that manufacturing activity should be coming off the boil when global demand has eased and the dollar has risen.” He goes on to assure however that the “strength of domestic demand will ensure that industry and the wider economy still perform particularly well in 2015.”

Positives
Indeed, for most sectors of the U.S. economy, the recently lower prices of oil and other energy related products have been a big boon since they trigger much lower input costs for companies.
One company that has exploited opportunities afforded to it as a result of these economic changes is Hi-Tek Manufacturing, a firm that is known for its superior manufacturing and support of component production for the world’s major gas turbine and airframe manufacturers. Their highly engineered, complex components and assemblies for aircraft engines, airframes and land based industrial gas turbines have continued to see increased demand here in the U.S. and around the globe as well.

Call us today to start a conversation about our products and services.

Ohio Manufacturing

Ohio supplies the world with durable goods. These six leading export industries account for the 60% or $28B of the State’s total exports of $46B. In 2011, Ohio’s leading export was Machinery and it generated revenue of $8.5 billion. In about half of Ohio’s 88 counties, 12.6% or more of all workers are employed in manufacturing.

Industry leads the way in solid waste reduction and recycling. Reduction and recycling include source reduction activities, reuse, recycling, composting and incineration. Industry is an enormous consumer of recycled materials, such as metals, glass, paper and plastics; thus manufacturers are strong advocates for improving recycling systems in Ohio and the U.S.

Manufacturers have invested billions of dollars in environmental control technologies and more efficient processes, which has significantly reduced emissions. Ohio manufacturers have made tremendous progress in reducing toxic releases to the environment, every year.

The leading Ohio industries in terms of dollars of product shipped are: iron and steel mills and ferroalloy manufacturing ($14,557 million); petroleum refineries ($12,532 million); aircraft engine and engine parts manufacturing ($8,818 million); plastics products manufacturing (nec) ($7,977 million); soap and cleaning compound manufacturing ($6,802 million); and motor vehicle metal stamping ($6,488 million).

Ohio ships more than 20% of all U.S. production in these nine product categories:
Rubber product manufacturing (nec), structural clay product manufacturing (nec), pressed and blown glass and glassware manufacturing (nec), iron and steel pipe and tube manufacturing, custom (metal) roll forming, machine tool (metal forming types) manufacturing, rolling mill machinery and equipment manufacturing, motor vehicle metal stamping, and aircraft engine and engine parts manufacturing.

Hi-Tek Manufacturing’s Process Support Services

HiTek picFrom multi-axis CNC laser to manual TIG welding, Hi-Tek Manufacturing boasts a full range of process support services. We are proud to offer these specialized skills, which also include quality assurance and testing of capabilities, to companies in the aerospace (both commercial and military), small land-based turbine (1MW-49MW), and large land-based turbine (50MW-greater than 180MW) industries.

All top industry standards are met and certified, including those for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001:2008), the Aerospace Industry Standard (AS 9100), and the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP). While our general capabilities, such as make-to-print, concurrent engineering, and product manufacturing management, are varied and of the highest quality, our specialized services are equally industry-leading. For quality assurance alone our portfolio includes airflow testing, coordinate measuring machines, non-destructive radiographic inspection (x-ray), and a metallography lab for aerospace.

We understand the complexity of the work in the industries we cater to and we are equally aware that success in this business depends on reliability and reputation. Therefore, we strive to deeply immerse ourselves in the knowledge needed to work with hot gas path and structural components. High and low pressure turbines and combustors are fundamental to the future infrastructure of the US. It is with this knowledge of their importance that we approach every complete process tool design, build, electrode manufacturing, part cleaning, tumbling, deburring, and part marking.

In addition, Hi-Tek hopes to serve as an example of the type of efficiency that has made the manufacturing industry in America a world leader. Hence, our certifications in Six Sigma: 3 black belts and 3 green belts. Hi-Tek Manufacturing is also a subscriber to the principles of the lean manufacturing philosophy.

To find out more information or request a quote visit us here: http://www.hitekmfg.com/tool-design-build-electrode-manufacturing-metallurgical-lab-welding-airflow-inspection-fpi.html

US Manufacturing Orders Increased 2.2% in February

Hitek mfgThe manufacturing sector has certainly seen its share of ups and downs, but so far this year is proving to be a strong year in sales for the industry. While there was a 1.3% drop in January, the Commerce Department announced that orders for durable goods rose a promising 2.2% this past February, the highest the industry has seen in three months.

It was reported that the increase was driven by a surge in commercial aircraft orders, and generally that particular market fluctuates on a monthly basis. In fact, demand for commercial aircraft jumped to 13.6% after seeing a drastic 22.1% drop just the month before. Meanwhile, orders for motor vehicles increased as well, jumping 3.6% in February after seeing a 1.9% drop in January. Demand also rose for primary metals, including steel.

The Institute for Supply Management’s original estimate of manufacturing activity grew faster than expected in February as the manufacturing index rose to 53.2 in February, up from 51.3 in January. Analysts predict that the growth rate in the manufacturing will continue to rebound as much as 3 percent for the remainder of the year. Economists believe that manufacturing output will strengthen this spring thanks to better weather after the US suffered through truly severe snow storms this past winter. If the manufacturing industry continues on this trajectory, it will turn out being the fastest annual economic growth since 2005.

Career Opportunities at Hi-Tek Manufacturing

Hi-tek-googlpus-profile-logoAmerica’s manufacturing industry was born out of ingenuity and innovation, principles that helped make the country what it is. Manufacturing is also the backbone of this country; when the industry does better, our entire economy responds accordingly.

Today’s manufacturing is the most exciting and innovative it has ever been. New technologies and advancements are making America more competitive than in decades, and are bringing business and jobs back from overseas. Today’s manufacturing is exciting and demanding, and offers Americans stable, rewarding careers they can count on.

As American manufacturers, we can say with pride that our dedicated employees are constantly working on exciting, challenging projects. They are a team, committed to their work, our customers, and each other.

As a constantly growing company, we are always looking for talented people to join our team and benefit from a mutually rewarding partnership in growth and success. In February, we teamed up with Prestige Technical Services, a renowned recruiting company dedicated to staffing talented people in manufacturing and engineering. Together we held two job fairs, seeking candidates for many positions, including machinists, tool makers, CNC operators, mechanical engineers, and more.

The job fairs were exciting and successful, and provided the opportunity for us to connect with some very experienced and talented people. They also provided the opportunity for qualified, hardworking people to become familiar with us and what we do.

However, these job fairs weren’t only chance for job seekers to join our team. We always welcome the opportunity to expand our team, and currently have a range of positions available for qualified candidates. Check out the list here on our website, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you believe you are a good fit. Our success story is an ever-growing one, and you could be a part of it.