Manufacturing Day

This month the United States celebrated Manufacturing Day. Manufacturers across the country opened their doors to local students, curious adults and even politicians to showcase that manufacturing in the country is alive and well.

When many people think about manufacturing, they think of their grandfathers in old dimly light and dangerous factories, but that’s not the case anymore; manufacturing today is a high-tech endeavor. In order to get the tight tolerances many customers need, factories are well equipped with CAD/CAM technologies. These computer programs allow workers to not only meet deadlines and specifications, but also allows them to do it safely.

Manufacturing is also thought as a low wage, low skill job and that assumption is very far from the truth! Manufacturing workers earn over $75,000 annually including pay and benefits. And with such a great salary, one would think there aren’t enough jobs for all the applicants. Unfortunately that isn’t the case either. Since manufacturing has become more high-tech, workers need to be a little more skilled than they were even a few decades ago. For that reason, there has been a skills gap and there are jobs that are going unfilled due to that. The good news though is that many companies are more than happy to offer on the job training for those who wish to get into the manufacturing sector.

October is Manufacturing month in Canada and we think our neighbors to the north are onto something. Manufacturing deserves more than one day, it deserves the whole month because it is so important to the economy and offers such a great career that many people may not think about. To get a good look at what a modern manufacturing company looks like, check out our video here. And if you think this is a career path for you, contact us today!

June: National Safety Month

Every June, the National Safety Council recognizes National Safety Month. This month is dedicated to learning about safety in the workplace, and reminding everyone that safety should be the number one priority, whether you work in an office, on a manufacturing floor, or on external job sites. Roughly 11 workers die every day on the job, while scores more are injured. So what can we do to improve our safety?

Know Where We Stand

A key to workplace safety is knowing where you stand – what precautions and training you have in place, what emergency plans are being taught to workers, and the records that are being kept. If you are looking to set goals, you have to know what your starting point is. Utilizing electronic systems that can monitor what each employee does or does not know is a great way to go about this – the National Safety Council can provide programs and systems to put in place, especially if you’re still using pen and paper or basic spreadsheets.

Know the Risks

Certain areas of work tend to raise more safety issues than other. Knowing these issues, seeing where they are in our facility can make it easier to understand the causes of accidents. The most common areas of workplace injury and death include:

  • Slip, trips, and falls, which accounted for over 27% of workplace injuries in 2012.
  • Overexertion, including lifting, pushing, holding, and carrying, which accounted for just over 25% of injuries.
  • Being struck by objects or equipment, at almost 9%.
  • Exertions such as bending, twisting, climbing, twisting and walking, which accounted for just over 7% of injuries.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways – repetitive motion injuries have been quickly rising, while roadway incidents are a constant cause of worry for those in the transport industry.

Make Goals and Measure Performance

At Tella Tool, we have one simple goal, a goal that we hope all workplaces have – get our employees home, safe and healthy, at the end of every day. There are plenty of measurements you can use over time to check your performance in relations to goals you may have for your business.

  1. Record the amount of time lost to workplace injury, and make it a goal to reduce that time lost in increments, offering recognition or reward for successfully meeting goals.
  2. Record the number of incidences where medical treatment (beyond basic first aid) is needed, and identify area that need improvement. Set goals and track progress accordingly.
  3. Measure the reduction in sick days used, and urge workers to help reduce these sick days through incentives and programs.

The Automotive Industry Has Identified Mexico As Its New Mecca: Tella Tool Looks At This Interesting Development

When we think cars, we think Detroit! Or Japan if the international scene is involved. But over the past two years, a seemingly innocuous player has blazed its way across the automotive horizon of the world and that is Mexico. A clutch of stalwart companies including Ford, Toyota, Nissan and BMW have already pledged investments exceeding $5 billion to bump production in the country by 54% and open up an estimated 20,000 new jobs.

So what has caused this sudden exodus to the South? The developments have been gradual and this propitious boost is the result of the conjunction of a number of reasons.

WHY MEXICO?

The impetus of production has always been closely tied to labor costs. It is a recurring investment and can overshadow conveniences of logistics and sophistication of equipment. Mexico however has also grown to be a hub of well qualified white collar workers who are technically competent and can manipulate the latest machines and navigate the advancements in robotics almost as well as (or even better than) than their US counterparts. And this has fuelled the urgency to transfer a part of manufacturing to its shores.

The Center for Automotive Research has found that auto assembly plant employees are happy with an hourly rate of $5.64 compared to $27.78 charged by North American workers. The scenario is repeated where the pay of part suppliers is concerned. Mexico is content with $2.47 an hour where US natives must have $19.65.

Last but not the least; Mexico has made giant strides in the field of Free Trade Agreements. It has spent the better part of a decade pushing FTAs with more than 40 countries and thanks to its strategic location where it has easy access to both the Pacific and the Atlantic coastlines, cities like Chihuahua and Guadalajara can lay claim to the sobriquet of automotive trade hubs of the western world.

WHAT THE FUTURE SHOWS:

Mexico still has a long way to go before it can catch up with the US in terms of substantial automotive investments. The lion’s share is still grabbed by the Stars & Stripes nation that has already secured $10 billion for the coming year.

However Canada has bitten dust with a paltry $800 million. And this says a lot. Mexico’s triumph lies in the fact that the endeavors initiated on its soil do not concern re-tooling or improvements. They are hard-core factory units pumping much needed GDP into the veins of the country.

Tella Tool & Manufacturing looks forward to the future and has high hopes for the Mexican auto industry boom.

 

Tella Tool Helps to Lift the U.S. Aerospace Industry

Future growth for the U.S. aerospace industry looks extremely promising. At the end of 2014 the industry had seen an increase of 4%, with sales for larger airliners leading the way to $228.4 billion. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) reported civil aircraft made up the largest segment of airliners being produced in a field that includes aircraft for military use, missiles, space, and services and related products, such as those manufactured by Tella Tool. Civil aircraft alone had grown to roughly $75.3 billion by the end of 2014, up from $69.7 billion from the prior year and led orders for the sixth year in a row.

Numbers from 2014 show 725 aircraft in the transport category were shipped at an estimated worth of $57.5 billion, compared to the prior year which saw 648 shipped at a value of $53 billion. When the AIA released its year end review and forecast last December it reported Boeing had 1,274 net orders from the Farnborough Airshow, $40 billion in orders, and 201 commitments for aircraft.

In that same sector, backlogs from December were at an estimated $429 billion, representing 5,552 aircraft, up from $373 billion and 5,080 aircraft the year before. Boeing alone had a backlog of 5,492 aircraft, with 73% of those orders being from foreign airlines.

Exports in the aerospace industry increased to $119 billion from $8.1 billion, which means a positive balance for the U.S. when it comes to imports vs. exports. Imports were $61.2 billion in 2014, which remained on par with numbers from 2013. Civil aircraft, aeroengines, and airline parts were 88% of exports. These numbers were helped by export control reform initiated by the Obama administration, according to AIA. The initiative which began in 2014 shifted items which have dual-use from a Commerce Control List to the U.S. Munitions List. This has led to a 64% reduction of submitted licenses to the State Department for aircraft and related items that had previously been under the control of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Also getting credit from the AIA was Congress which extended the charter of the Export-Import Bank through June, providing foreign consumers with financing for purchasing U.S. manufactured aircraft. AIA has stated they are determined to do what it takes to ensure the charter stays in place for future growth of the U.S. aerospace industry.

The Auto Industry in 2015

The automotive industry in the United States has seen a great rebound after the massive hit it took during the Great Recession. 2014 saw the industry have its best year for new car sales, and 2015 looks to build even more on this success. With new models hitting the market and older models getting facelifts, there seem to be more different vehicles available now than ever before. That’s great for Tella Tool – the automotive industry is one of our biggest customers. So what will continue to drive the growth of the automotive industry in the coming year?

  • The Growth of the Tiny SUV – The car-based compact and subcompact SUVs, targeted at urbanites who might want to go out and hit the dirt, continue to see more and more takers. They will continue to be an upgrade for folks coming from the compact sedan segment.
  • Heavyweight Battle – The pickup truck segment continues to increase, and it isn’t just the Big Three U.S. automakers who are pushing the growth, as Toyota and Nissan continue to launch high-quality pickups. Both full-size and compact trucks will see growth, as their fuel economy improves and buyers continue to seek out versatile vehicles.
  • High-Wired – In-car infotainment systems are becoming almost standard now, and are moving by leaps and bounds. Companies who were leaders even three years ago are now having to redesign their systems to cope with technological advances and consumer wants – and 2015 will see more redesigned systems.
  • The Return of High Performance – As gas prices level out, we’ll see the return of the high-performance automobile. Acura is bringing back its legendary NSX this year, and the Cadillac CTS-V is expected to see a resurgence. Add a redesigned Mustang, and the return of the Buick Grand National on the horizon, and you could see a muscle car revival.
  • Forget the Pump – The race to reduce fuel usage will never slow down, even as gas prices come back down. Hybrids, fully-electric vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles continue to grow in number, with Honda, Toyota, and Chevrolet all expected to introduce new models this year.

Tella Tool will be right here, stamping parts for use in the automotive industry, and contributing jobs to the Illinois economy. Our precision metal work meets the needs of our customers on time, every time, which is why the automotive industry relies on us.

ISO Certification – Everything You Need to Know

If your company wants to get ISO certified, there are several steps that need to be followed. When followed in order, you can implement a quality ISO process for your company, regardless of what industry you’re in or how big the company is. When you have your ISO Certification, customers will know you are serious about your business and employees will better understand processes in place for quality or organization.

After determining you want to be ISO Certified, it’s important to think about what exactly you want to get out of your certification. Things to consider are quality, customer satisfaction, profitability, and more. After deciding what areas to target, it’s important to implement the proper documentation, in accordance with the standards set forth by ISO. For example, you’ll need a Quality Manual and also Quality System Procedure documents. There are generic documents you can purchase and adjust as needed or you can hire a professional to construct the right documents if you need to get more specific.

With documentation in place, train employees with the new standards. Since not all employees may be affected by all aspects of the new guidelines, train accordingly. In order for the ISO to be as successful as possible, it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page.

When you have completed these steps, it’s time to find a registrar. There are many registrars, so if you don’t know one you may want to consider using one that has worked with your type of industry before. Although this isn’t paramount, it can make things faster. After having used your new system for several months, you can set up a date and time to get a certification audit. You will want to make sure everyone is properly trained before getting certified and that you have any documentation, such as inspection or training records, readily available.

When you have done all of this, it’s time to get certified. Customers who see an ISO Certificate hanging on your wall will know your company cares enough to keep up with industry standards and that your service and/or products will meet their expectations.

Why is Customer Service Important?

While you likely have heard numerous times about the importance of customer service, it is not always clear why it is important. Here are the main reasons, why providing positive experiences for clients can encourage business growth.

Benefits of Quality Customer Service

Good customer service can go a long way towards growing your business. While you can place ads online, in print and via other venues, it is a glowing endorsement from a satisfied customer that can most effectively help your business expand.

When a client tells a friend, family member or colleague about a positive experience with your company, the endorsement means more than an ad in the paper from an unknown company. Word of mouth is an excellent way to bring you future business.

As well, you can learn from any negative customer experiences in order to improve them. Analyze which customers aren’t returning to your business and ask them why; if they are unhappy with your service, use their feedback to improve it.

Cautions about Customer Service

While customer service is important for a business of any size, a business cannot completely focus on it or try to improve it at a frantic pace. Indeed, many companies that have desperately pursued customer service as their primary goal have failed financially.

Instead, strive to put out quality products and services every time in a repeatable, continuous manner. This plan will result in long-term gains as your business attracts customers who seek high-standard products and services. When they are happy, they share their trustworthy feedback with friends, and that helps to grow your client base.

As well, a focus on customer success rather than customer service is the key. Work to maintain a quality relationship with clients to ensure their successes rather than stopping short at gaining their satisfaction. They will return to your business again and again with confidence that they will gain what was sought by using your company’s product or service in the first place.

Manufacturing capabilities

Fotosearch_k11353134TELLA TOOL & MFG. CO., is located in Lombard, and it is one of the companies that is continuously growing and progressing. Its total dedication to quality and personal interest in servicing the needs of the customers has earned a reputation of being one of the highest quality sources of precision metal products in the country.

Tella Tool is a leading custom job shop, which is equipped with the state-of the-art capabilities that include tooling. Tella Tool manufactures precision metal work for a wide variety of industries, including Aerospace, Telecommunications, Computer, and Automotive.

The following are the services offered by Tella Tool & Mfg.:

  • TOOL & DIE – They are involved in the designing and building of all the tooling and fixtures, from simple short-run dies to elaborate class AA progressive dies.
  • COMPLETE STAMPING LINE – They offer punch presses from 10 to 1000 tons.
  • MACHINING DEPT. – They are involved in CNC Machining Centers and CNC Turning Centers for both short-run and long-run orders.
  • SHEET METAL FABRICATIONS – They offer shearing, punching, (including 8 N.C. presses and one 2600 watt laser machine) drilling, forming, welding (conventional and robotics), grinding/polishing, and assembly depts.
  • MODEL SHOP – Prototypes are always welcome.

The Lombard facilities incorporate over 110,000 square feet with more than $25,000,000 in state of the art precision equipment to meet or exceed the needs of the customer and to deliver quality products which are expected by the customer. In addition, Tella has a 50,000 square foot facility in Brownsville. This facility, encompassing metal stampings utilizing presses up to 600 tons and maintains service for South and Southwest customers. This facility operates with Engineering and Management support from TELLA TOOL & MFG. CO., Lombard, IL.

Metal Stamping and Forming on the Rebound

Abstract metal backgroundBusiness conditions for metalforming companies have been on the rise for the last several months and the outlook was reasonably bright. This was according to statistics gathered by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), along with its economist Dr. Ken Mayland. The last several issues of the monthly PMA Business Conditions Report identified a 5 to 6-month upward swing based on key measurable — most notably, expectations for general economic activity during the 3 months. This trend line climbed upward without pause since November 2010.

Studying the various market segments, Dr. Mayland expected the sales of automobiles and light trucks to continue to run-up. Dr. Mayland’s thoughts were backed by several industry analysts, including those from IHS Automotive. IHS analysts projected U.S. light-vehicle sales to rebound to 13.1 million units in 2011, from 11.6 million in 2010. Moving forward, IHS predicted a steady uptick in light-vehicle sales through 2017—14.9 million units in 2012, 16 million in 2013, and 17 million units in 2015.

Among the reasons for optimism at IHS are the mending of consumer confidence and trends in the consumer price index (CPI) for new and used cars. The CPI data, according to IHS, hinted that new is cheaper than used. IHS also noted favorable demographic trends that bolstered the long-term outlook for light-vehicle sales in the United States.

All of these facts were considered to be relatively clear skies for suppliers to the automotive market. Survivors amongst the metalforming companies enjoyed a 2-year trend of bringing back the laid-off workers, quantified by the PMA Business Conditions Report. The report indicated a nearly 2-year downward trend in the percentage of companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff. While one year ago, 42 percent reported employees on short time or layoff; today, only 12 percent face that predicament.

Tella Tool Company History

We opened our doors in 1968 in Melrose Park, Illinois, where we built dies for Western Electric and International Harvester. Then two years later, when we started to fabricate components, we expanded to a larger facility in Stone Park, Illinois. Jump ahead seven years to 1977 and we have moved to Lombard, Illinois to a 25,000 sq.ft. facility and have begun manufacturing stamped components for the telecommunications industry and have expanded into the computer industry as well. By 1996, we have added 40,000 sq.ft., as the telecommunications and computer industries flourished, expanded our tool construction and machining capacity and have now entered into the automotive industry. In 2000, we expanded our operations to Brownsville, Texas to support our customers along the border.

Our Lombard, Illinois facilities are 16 miles from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. We have over 75 employees ready to tackle all of your fabrication and secondary needs. Our fabrication capabilities include shearing, punching, CNC machining, laser, press brakes and turret punch presses. Our secondary services include drilling, forming, welding, grinding, polishing, tapping, TOX, staking, assembly and deburring.

In Brownsville, Texas, our plant is located just 4 miles from Brownsville International Airport, and only 11 miles from Matamoros, Mexico border. Our location affords us the ability to be in a NAFTA Free Trade Zone. We have over 25 employees and stamping presses ranging from 45-1,000 tons. Our secondary operations include staking, tapping, welding, cleaning and assembly.

Today, Tella Tool & Manufacturing occupies 150,000 square feet in 4 plants performing contract manufacturing for various industries through Metal Stampings, Fabrication Assembly and C.N.C Machining. All of our facilities are ISO/TS 16949:2009 and ITAR Registered.

Fabricating and CNC Machining