Larry Tatiel Announced as Raymond Hopp Award for Excellence Finalist for the 2017 New Jersey Manufacturing Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: October 11, 2017

(Wharton, N.J.) – Larry Taitel at Convertech Inc, a manufacturer of chucks and shafts for the converting industry, has been announced as a finalist in the Raymond Hopp Award for Excellence category for the 2017 New Jersey Manufacturing Awards which was held on Friday, October 6th at the Bridgewater Marriott at 700 Commons Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807.

The annual celebration included a continental breakfast and lunch, networking opportunities, keynote speeches, and breakout sessions on important topics to manufacturers including Cyber Security, Employment Law, Tax Credits and Incentives, Women in

Manufacturing, Tax Laws, and more.

During the ceremony, the winners of the 2017 New Jersey Manufacturing Awards were announced in the following categories:

  • Manufacturer of the Year (Start-Up / Young Manufacturing Company)
  • Manufacturer of the Year (Small – 50 Employees or Less)
  • Manufacturer of the Year (Medium – Between 51-125 Employees)
  • Manufacturer of the Year (Large – 125+ Employees)
  • Innovator of the Year
  • Raymond Hopp Award for Excellence

“I am very pleased to be nominated for this award.  I always strive to be a vocal proponent of manufacturing, in the processes my company uses to produce our products as well as trying to improve and increase the pool of eligible people who are interested in making manufacturing a career.  Thank you for recognizing me.” Larry Taitel, Convertech Inc.

The “Made in New Jersey” event was organized by the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP). NJMEP is a not-for-profit that enhances the competitiveness of New Jersey’s manufacturers through programs and services that increase profitability, efficiency and productivity. NJBIA and New Jersey Business Magazine served as the event’s partners. To view all of the sponsors and partners for the event, click here.

For more information about the Made in New Jersey event in celebration of the sixth annual National Manufacturing Day, please click here or contact Lynore DeSantis at ldesantis@njmep.org or 973-998-9801.

 About Larry Taitel and Convertech Inc.

 Larry Taitel has grown up around manufacturing. His parents started Convertech in 1978 and prior to that owned another manufacturing company. Larry took over Convertech Inc. with his business partner once his parents retired in 1989 and Larry is still President and co-business owner today. Convertech, Inc. has provided the wide- and narrow-web industry with reliable, high-quality expanding air shafts and core chucks. Each air shaft and core chuck is designed and manufactured from the ground up to meet exact specifications delivered with the fastest lead-time in the industry.

About NJMEP

NJMEP is a private, not-for-profit organization that improves the profitability and competitiveness of New Jersey’s manufacturers. Backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NJMEP enables organizations to enhance their productivity and efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee performance. For more than 20 years, NJMEP has used its extensive network of connections and proven track record of success to help manufacturers adapt to the latest innovative technologies and best practices to realize more than $3.4 billion in value. Services are categorized into the following three areas: Operational Excellence, Innovation and Growth Strategies, and Workforce Development.

Manufacturing Day Finalist Award

 

 

Is 3D Printing Shaking Up Production?

3D PrinterIdeals that we would only see in movies are quickly becoming reality. Imagine what the shopping experience will be like in a hundred years. Will we be able to virtually try on clothes through a hologram of ourselves? Will we pick what we want to have it instantly 3D printed in the store for our purchase? With how fast technology is advancing, you never know what could be possible down the road; especially with 3D printing.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, uses stereolithography to make three dimensional, tangible objects using digital data. This method invented by Charles Hull in 1984 formed a foundation for 3D printing and made a huge impact on inventors. As explained by RedShift, “this new technology was big news to inventors, who could now theoretically prototype and test their designs without having to make a huge upfront investment in manufacturing.” Once this discovery was made, 3D printing evolved and over 30 years, advanced to the point where its uses became more mainstream in the manufacturing industry.

Today, 3D printing is being used more in manufacturing for both prototyping and mass production. Rich Smith at Forbes published an article in 2015 about how 3D printing is changing the process of manufacturing. Smith pointed out that for low volume production, 3D printing might save companies money in the long run. And the benefits of mass customization are unparalleled.

“Until recently, if you needed to have your knee replaced, a nurse would bring a box directly into the operating room and the doctor would select one of the five possible knee designs that she felt most resembled your knee. Today, your actual knee is scanned and a perfect replica is printed and ready for you prior to surgery.” -Rich Smith at Forbes

3D Printed Ball

3D printing introduces a lot of opportunities to manufacturers and consumers. It makes customer specific production easily possible, potentially at a fraction of the cost and effort. This could really shake up the manufacturing industry.

As far as 3D printed clothing, there are a lot of speed bumps to get over before it can become widespread. Fashion trio threeASFOUR has taken on this project and their 3D printed designs have been featured on the runway and in articles like “The Shattering Truth of 3D-Printed Clothing”. This article in Wired pointed out that “because 3D printers build objects by depositing layers of melted plastic one on top of the next, the layers fuse together in a manner wholly unlike the way fibers become fabric.” ThreeASFOUR, along with others, have been tackling this issue and are continuing to find a solution. Until then we will have to hang onto the tradition of buying our clothes off the rack.

Important Women Throughout Manufacturing History

Rosie the Riveter

Manufacturing evolves every day. There are new advances, business strategies, and modern techniques that continue to be adapted. But pivotal moments in history have brought manufacturing to where it is today. And three women have played an important part in the advancement of manufacturing throughout history: Madame C.J. Walker, Rosie the Riveter, and Stephanie Kwolek. These women have made an impact on history and continue to inspire women to join the manufacturing industry today.

Madame CJ Walker
Sara Breddlove, or more famously known as Madam CJ Walker, left her mark on the manufacturing industry after starting her own manufacturing company and becoming who Biography describes as one of the first American females to become a self-made millionaire. Walker opened her own factory and beauty school in 1908 and The Madame CJ Walker Manufacturing Company produced her line of cosmetics and trained sales beauticians. The advances she made through her own manufacturing business not only sparked profits but inspired women to become business owners and get involved in the manufacturing industry.

Rosie the Riveter
Rosie the Riveter embodied a strong woman showing that she can achieve anything. The famous poster was created in 1942 to recruit women to fill open positions in the industrial industry. Her fearless pose with the “We Can Do It” tagline inspired and encouraged women to join the industrial labor force during World War II. Mary Doyle Keefe was the inspiration behind the character and The Atlantic explains that she was not aware “Rosie the Riveter” was modeled after her until almost 40 years later.  Although Keefe quickly resigned from the industrial workforce, Rosie the Riveter gave women an opportunity they may not have known was available to them during that time. Rosie the Riveter still inspires women today and became a figure that many look up to.

Stephanie Kwolek
Stephanie Kwolek was a brilliant chemist and in 1965, she created Kevlar and her discovery was merely an accident. As Amazing Women in History describes, she was one of the first female chemists at DuPont and volunteered for a project to find a new lightweight fiber for tires. The solution she made was not as expected but once it
Women in Manufacturing was spun, the new fiber was discovered. Kevlar has changed the way we manufacture clothing, building materials, airplanes, and so much more. It is mostly known for being used to make bullet proof vests but has many more uses. There is no other fiber with the strength and as lightweight as Kevlar.

Women in Manufacturing Today
Earlier this year, Kate Hulley who has worked in manufacturing for most of her life, was featured in an article in Small Business Heroes. In the article, “Kate speaks with great pride about running a company that is female-led; ‘Manufacturing is a sector I feel passionately about and figures show only a quarter of the industry workforce (26%) are actually women, so of course I would like to encourage more women to seek out careers in such a fascinating and diverse industry.’” There is so much passion behind this industry and women like Hulley are representing the industry well; and she is not alone. Many women are contributing to the industry and hopefully in time, we will be closer to closing the gender gap in manufacturing.

Match Made in Manufacturing

Convertech Owners Bob Gensheimer and Larry Taitel

Convertech Owners Bob Gensheimer and Larry Taitel

As the 40th anniversary of Convertech Inc. is rapidly approaching, let’s take a moment to reflect on the adventures and pivotal moments that have brought Convertech to where it is today. Today, Convertech is owned by Bob Gensheimer and Larry Taitel but their story began in 1978.

In 1978, while working with their primary company Landice Products, a treadmill manufacturer, Charles (Chuck) and Ina Taitel established Convertech Inc. with a fresh, new and innovative design for chucks and shafts. Shortly thereafter, Bob, who was just beginning his high school co-op program as a machinist at Landice Products, was brought onto the Convertech team. Bob became Chuck’s “right hand man” in no time while Chuck and Ina’s son, Larry, was serving as the financial controller for Landice Products during his time in college and graduate school.

After Landice Products was sold in 1986, Bob was for the most part buying and assembling parts alone for the next three years with a biweekly visit from Ina to pay the bills. It wasn’t until 1989 that the Taitel’s decided to fully retire but Bob and Larry were ready to take over the company. They were the perfect match as their strengths complimented each other. Bob handled most of the engineering side while Larry used his knowledge of the machine shop to market and run the business. Larry also used trade magazines to establish the Convertech name in a growing industry.

As co-owners of the company, Bob and Larry hired their first two machinists and operated their business out of a 1,800 square foot modified two car garage in Dover, NJ but the company grew very quickly. In 1991, their growth lead them to move into a 6,500-square foot building in Denville, NJ.  But they outgrew that space after only four years of their five-year lease. Finally, in 1995, Bob and Larry with their now 10 employees, moved the company to a 10,500-square foot space in an 80,000-square foot building in Wharton, NJ, where the company currently resides.

Convertech moving to the Wharton location was an important moment for the company. This was the time when Bob and Larry decided to keep all production under their control. Keeping production inhouse allowed them to maintain the high quality standards, reduce lead times, and keep their costs down. Bob and Larry’s decision changed everything for the better, especially for their customers.

Convertech Inc has now expanded to 40,000 square feet within the building, housing around 50 employees. In about 40 years, two men have taken the company and brought it to the success it is today. There are so many doors of opportunity to open and it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for Convertech Inc.

 

Passaic County Technical Institute’s Visit to Convertech

Friday, May 19th was a great day at Convertech Inc. We had the pleasure of hosting Passaic County Technical Institute’s Manufacturing Technology Students.  Passaic County Technical Institute’s Manufacturing Technology program is one of the top manufacturing education programs in the state. Throughout their high school career, the students get hands on experience with the tools and equipment they will use once they graduate. And their program track gives them the opportunity to take their skills and knowledge to college or begin their career right after graduation. Convertech was excited to have the opportunity to educate and inspire these students to continue their manufacturing career path.

The Passaic County Technical Institute students and faculty were led on a tour of the facility by Convertech owner Larry Taitel and one of Convertech’s machinist, Angel Montiel. The students were taken behind the scenes to experience the day to day operation of Convertech’s machine shop. At the end of the tour, you could tell the students enjoyed their time and Convertech was grateful that the program was able to take time out of their day to visit the shop.

Convertech is an advocate for manufacturing education and is always willing to open their doors to manufacturing students to help. To inquire about scheduling a visit for your manufacturing program, please email admin@convertech.com.

Appealing to the iGeneration

Appealing to the iGenerationAccording to Forbes, the Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration or iGens, has an estimated attention span of 8 seconds. That means that by the time you have finished reading this sentence, they have moved onto the next thing. The iGens have been brought up in a world with a massive amount of information, and they can quickly and impressively filter through all of it. This gives them the ability to quickly shift from one topic to the next, leaving a very small window of time to appeal them.

The iGeneration includes anyone born after 1995 and according to CMO by Adobe, they are a “quarter of America’s population” and still growing. This group of people has been called the iGens because they are the first to have the internet readily available to them at such a young age. This is the next group of people many employers and educators will have to reach. They are now at the age where they are selecting career paths, going on interviews, and starting their professions. Pretty soon, it will be one of the first times where three generations and potentially four generations, will be working alongside one another; Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and iGens. This opens many opportunities for the workforce, particularly the manufacturing industry.

So how can manufacturing appeal to the iGens? Fortunately, it looks like they already have an interest.  Deep Focus wrote that iGens are “interested in building key skills at a young age… 89% say they spend part of their free time in activities they consider productive and creative”. This exemplifies the foundation of manufacturing. Being creative, productive and making things is where it begins.

Manufacturing gives the iGens an opportunity to be productive and creative and harvest their passions into a career.  Once the iGens are aware of what is available to them, the possibilities are endless. Having a balance between promoting manufacturing in a way that appeals to the iGens, and staying true to the core fundamentals of manufacturing is key. It will lead the path to bridging the skills gap in the manufacturing industry.

 

FIRESTORM Asks the Important Questions to Help Your Business

FIRESTORM Webinar“FIRESTORM is the nationally recognized leader in Crisis Management, helping clients minimize disaster exposure and plan for crisis”. On April 12th, the NJMEP and FIRESTORM hosted a webinar on the Intelligence Network. At this webinar FIRESTORM proposed several questions that allowed business owners, management officials, and supervisors to open a discussion regarding the level of readiness their businesses have to assess and resolve situations. Even for those who already have a preparedness plan in place, they also allowed those businesses to explore areas of evaluation.

FIRESTORM asked us to consider the worse possible events that could happen; would your business be ready to handle it? What if a hurricane, a public brand damaging event, or a loss of a major supplier were to occur; do you have an action plan in to help assess the situation regardless of the caliber of the event? The questions asked allowed each person attending the webinar to reflect on their own business and make adjustments they see fit, if necessary.

FIRESTORM also pointed out that major events do not only affect businesses. They can affect other communities, environments, businesses, or business constituents that could indirectly impact your business. It could cause a ripple effect and FIRESTORM opened the conversation of being prepared to ride the wave.

But businesses should not only focus on how to prepare for internal effects but prepare for the external effects as well. Knowing how to stay informed and how to inform others is key; regardless of how big or small the situation is or how big or small the business is. FIRESTORM reminded us to “stay in the know” so that situations do not escalate once the information reaches the public. Especially now that social media is at the forefront of information sources. Having a preparedness plan, or evaluating an existing plan, is something that all businesses should think about from all angles. Thank you to Firestorm for reminding us of that.

FIRESTORM has opportunities for assessments, analysis, training and communication. If you would like to know more information, please visit their website at https://www.firestorm.com/.

3rd TIP Meeting Was A Great Success!

TIP Meeting PhotoThe North Jersey Targeting Industry Partnership (TIP) was established to develop entry level workers, increase qualified employees, and build capacity in the manufacturing industry. The 3rd North Jersey TIP meeting, held on March 9th at the Sandvik Coromant Company, was a great success. The room was filled with manufacturers, employers, and educators all excited to join the efforts. Ultimately, this partnership strives to give manufacturers an opportunity for their voices to be heard which makes it great to see the number of attendees grow from meeting to meeting.

The TIP meetings open the discussion for different ways to promote the manufacturing industry and educate others about it. There can be a misconception that the manufacturing industry is a “dark, dirty, and dangerous”  career path when there have been many advances in the industry that ensures a safe and healthy working environment. And in fact, there are so many advantages and opportunities that the industry can bring today.

College is a great option for students but many people, teachers and counselors included, are not aware that students have the option to pursue an excellent career in the manufacturing industry right after high school. The members of the North Jersey TIP are continuing to look for different ways to build awareness. There are three committees within the TIP that focus on different areas to achieve the larger goals. The Evaluation/Industry Needs committee assess the needs of the industry, the Pathway Development committee evaluates the existing manufacturing education programs, and the Marketing Outreach committee brainstorms and implements different strategies to promote the manufacturing industry and education programs. Together, these committees will help to strengthen and progress the manufacturing industry in NJ.

Along the way, other opportunities for everyone to get involved are brought up during the meetings. The New Jersey Manufacturing Talent Network, who sponsors the North Jersey TIP, will be co-hosting the Manufacturing Network Webinar with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Wednesday, March 22nd at 3pm. This webinar is open to all administrators, teachers, and counselors and will “provide an overview of the manufacturing industry in New Jersey and the various career pathways that exist within students with differing levels of educational attainment and skills”. At the webinar, three manufacturers will be presenting, giving them a direct line of communication to the educators. The first step in any type of advancement is communication.

It was also announced that Friday, March 25th and Saturday, March 26th will be the 3rd year celebrated as NJ Makers Day. NJ Makers Day is celebrated “to enhance community engagement and develop connections among New Jersey residents by collaborating with multi-type libraries, museums, small businesses and others to promote and explore new opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation and hands-on learning experiences.” NJ Makers Day is a great way to get the community of all ages involved and bring excitement about manufacturing.

The North Jersey TIP is a great partnership to get involved with. For more information please visit http://careerconnections.nj.gov/careerconnections/partners/talent/targeted_industry_partnerships.shtml.

Manufacturing Apprenticeships to Benefit New Jersey

manufacturing apprenticeshipsIn any successful business, after a demand is established from the consumer, you cannot increase revenue without increasing production. It’s a simple relation of the law of supply and demand. But it can be difficult to increase production without an influx of skilled employees, which can be the case in the manufacturing industry. An effective way to resolve this matter is through manufacturing apprenticeships.

Manufacturing apprenticeships give students and future employees a learning experience inside the trade; it acts as a paid training program. Max Daetwyler Corp. was recently featured in an article on TechTarget’s website for participating with 5 other North Carolina Manufacturers in a program called Apprenticeship 2000. This program is “a four-year program of community college classes in mechatronics and advanced manufacturing coupled with paid worksite apprenticeships”. What makes this program stand out above other manufacturing apprenticeships is that they have an extended eight-month interview process where students attend an open house and an orientation to be evaluated on their skill level. After review, the accepted students will participate in the six-week summer trial period and if qualified, will be offered the apprenticeship. It is a long process but it insures that the program is a good fit for the students and that the students are a good fit for the program.

Apprenticeship 2000, as well as other manufacturing apprenticeships, bring great opportunities for companies; especially for those looking to hire more skilled employees and expand their company. Once manufacturers in New Jersey have established a registered apprenticeship program, the sponsoring companies would be able to hire skilled employees that they personally train on their equipment and machines. And students will have more incentive to not only continue with the trade post-graduation, but inspire students to enroll in manufacturing programs. New Jersey manufacturing could highly benefit from programs like these.

Evaluation / Industry Needs Committee Prepares for North Jersey TIP Meeting

Evaluation / Industry Needs Committee Prepares for North Jersey TIP MeetingOn Thursday March 2nd, the Evaluation/Industry Needs Committee, a part of the North Jersey Targeted Industry Partnership (TIP), met following up from the last committee meeting on January 28th. The committee consists of a group of manufacturers and educators that have come together to define the manufacturing industry needs and evaluate the current manufacturing programs in place. They work together with the two other committees in the North Jersey TIP to develop entry level workers, increase qualified employees, and build capacity.

At the last meeting, the committee continued to brainstorm a list of basic skills needed for entry level manufacturing positions. It is interesting to collaborate with the educators and discuss what manufacturers are looking for in their entry level positions, while comparing it to want is being taught in the education programs. The committee also continued to develop a questionnaire for manufacturers to gain insight on the needs of the industry as well a consensus for the basic skills required in the industry.

The meeting on March 2nd began with the committee finalizing the entry level basic skills list and questionnaire. The committee is looking forward to hearing from the manufacturers as there cannot be any development without the input of the other manufacturers. The group is also looking forward to establishing their next project of developing a list of the basic skills for maintenance mechanics positions. The entry level basic skills list is geared towards the high school education level but the committee felt that a separate list should be developed for the maintenance mechanics as this is an industry need geared towards the secondary education programs.

We cannot express enough how important it is to hear from manufacturers. This committee needs to hear from those in the field to be able to bring accurate data to the other committees within Evaluation / Industry Needs Committee Prepares for North Jersey TIP Meetingthe North Region TIP. We are hoping that the Pathway Development Committee will be able to take our list of entry level basic skills to help develop and inform the North Region counties of the high school manufacturing education opportunities. And also to bring the information gathered from the questionnaire to the Marketing Outreach Planning committee to assist in their marketing to parents and the state promoting the opportunities surrounding manufacturing education.

The Evaluating/ Industry Needs Committee is excited to bring what they have worked on to the North Region Targeting Industry Partnership Meeting on March 9th. Everyone is off to a great start but it is not too late to join the efforts. If you are interested in getting involved or would like to know more, please email Larry Taitel at admin@convertech.com. We need your help to make a difference in the manufacturing industry!