Summer 2013 Vol. 52 No.3 - Spring Manufacturers Institute



Summer 2013 Vol. 52 No.3 - Spring Manufacturers Institute
A Publication of the Spring Manufacturers Institute / Vol. 52, No. 3
Celebrating the
page 21
Old World Values in
a High Tech Era 29
Process Optimization
Through Failure Analysis 41
SMI 80th Annual
Meeting Recap 54
2001 Midwest Rd., Suite 106
Oak Brook, IL 60523-1335
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Michigan City, IN
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President's Message
From Steve Moreland
SMI Executive Committee
President: Steve Moreland, Automatic Spring Products
Vice President: Hap Porter, SEI MetalTek
Secretary/Treasurer: Mike Betts, Betts Company
Immediate Past President: Scott Rankin, Vulcan Spring &
At Large: Steve Kempf, Lee Spring
SMI Board of Directors
Sardines and Springs
As a child I remember going on a family vacation to the Northeast U.S.
and Canada. While in New Brunswick, our family toured a sardine factory.
Under one roof we watched the process of whole caught sardines being handtrimmed, pickled, packaged and labeled.
I particularly remember three things about the sardine tour. First, it was the
smelliest place I had ever been in. I remember my sister got sick from the smell
and had to leave the tour with my mom. Second, I remember watching all the
ladies hand-trimming the heads and tails off the sardines almost faster than I could
see. It was the third memory I have from that tour that is relevant to this issue
of Springs. In the midst of this very busy, smelly factory were two old fourslide
machines in a corner, cranking out the small wire keys used to open sardine cans.
I distinctly remember my father as he stopped and studied the machines
as they manufactured wire keys at a very high speed. My father explained to
me how the machines worked, and how amazed he was at the tool design
utilized to run those parts. As a child I could not totally comprehend the significance of what my dad was showing me, but I knew it was a big deal.
A lot of years have passed since that tour, but one thing is for sure, the
fourslide machine is still a workhorse for wire and strip bending in our industry.
As they say, the “secret is in the sauce,” and for fourslides, we all know the
“sauce” is the actual tool design. Granted, you will not find a fourslide machine
in every spring company these days, but those who run them understand the
manufacturing advantages they often have over conventional presses for forming strip products, especially more complex shapes.
Tooling is often cheaper than an equivalent progressive press die, and the
adjustability of the fourslide tooling allows the manufacturer to make adjustments to compensate for the variation in the raw material yield strength.
Additionally, parts manufactured on fourslide machines can often use narrower
steel strip widths than parts made on a press. This leads to additional savings
and advantages for the fourslide machine.
It is true that the basic design of the fourslide has not changed a whole lot since
its introduction. People have added controllers, brakes, electronics and sensors
to enhance the machine’s capabilities, but the general concept of four, 90-degree
opposed slides coming together around a center post to form the geometry is still
exactly the same. I guess you can credit the original fourslide machine designer
with developing a forming technology which has truly stood the test of time.
My dad is a really cool guy, and his passionate interest in those two
fourslide machines from decades ago in a sardine factory ultimately led to my
own passion for the spring industry in general and the fourslide machine in
particular. Thanks Dad!
Steve Moreland
President, Automatic Spring Products
[email protected]
2 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Tom Armstrong, Duer/Carolina Coil • Torsten Buchwald, KernLiebers USA • Ann Davey, John Evans’ Sons • Mark DiVenere,
Gemco Manufacturing • Chris Fazio, Diamond Wire Spring •
Kurt Gillespie, Century Spring • Richard Guimont, Liberty Spring
• Gene Huber Jr, Winamac Coil Spring • Miko Kabeshita, Ark
Technologies • Charly Klein, Fox Valley Spring • Bill Krauss,
Vulcan Spring • Don Lowe, Peterson Spring • Bill Marcum,
MW Industries • Richard Rubenstein, Plymouth Spring • Dan
Sceli, Peterson Spring • JR Strok, Mohawk Spring • Bill Torres,
Gibbs Wire and Steel • Jeff Wharin, Bohne Spring
Springs Magazine Staff
Lynne Carr, Advertising Sales, [email protected]
Gary McCoy, Managing Editor,
[email protected]
Dina Sanchez, Assistant Editor, [email protected]
Sue Zubek, Graphic Designer,
[email protected]
Springs Magazine Committee
Chair, Richard Rubenstein, Plymouth Spring • 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 Nudelman, 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: [email protected]
Advertising sales - Europe
Jennie Franks, Franks & Co.
63 St. Andrew's Road
United Kingdom CB41DH
Phone/Fax: +44-1223-360472
E-mail: [email protected]
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: [email protected]
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 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 provided by Tom Malolepsy
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 3
Celebrating the
Fourslide Machine
By Gary McCoy
Gus Kollom: Old World
Values in a High Tech Era
By Tom Malolepsy
Process Optimization
Through Failure Analysis
By Jason Sicotte
Time to Reconsider
Capital Investments?
By Mark Battersby
SMI Scholarship
Program Awards:
$25,000 in Aid for 2013
By Gary McCoy
SMI Holds 80th Annual
Meeting in Tuscon
By Gary McCoy
Five Mistakes Leaders
Unknowingly Make That
Scare Employees to Death
By Christine Comaford
17 Be Aware Safety Tips
Does Your Lockout/Tagout
Program and Employee Training
Stand Up to OSHA Scrutiny?
By Jim Wood
19 IST Spring Technology
Cautionary Tale:
Stainless Steel Heat Treatment
By Mark Hayes
2 President’s Message
Sardines and Springs
7 Global Highlights
14 Regional Spring
Association Report
33 Springmaker Spotlight
Fourslide Focused: A Profile of
Northwest Fourslide
By Gary McCoy
63 Inside SMI
66 New Products
67 Advertisers’ Index
68 Snapshot
JR Strok, Mohawk Spring
4 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
B Series
Precision CNC Wire Bending Machines
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Working range
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Designed for the production of
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Optical control capability for
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Innovating the Future of Wire Bending
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 5
Tomorrow’s metals,
Ulbrich has an impressive number of
high-performance metal products that provide
infinite solutions to precision industries.
By keeping pace with worldwide market demand,
Ulbrich has always been—and always
will continue to be—your trustworthy partner.
800 243-1676
North America
Betts Company of Fresno, Calif. has adopted Betts
Spring Manufacturing as the defining brand for its spring
manufacturing business. Betts Spring Manufacturing
custom designs and manufactures wire, coil and leaf
springs for transportation and other industrial applications.
Betts Spring Manufacturing retains its legacy tagline
of “Building Well, Serving Better ® Since 1868.” It is
one of three operating divisions of Betts Company, a
six-generation, family owned and managed business,
established in 1868.
“Distinctly branding our spring manufacturing
division is part of a strategic initiative to create unique
icons and logos which position our business units to better
serve current and emerging markets,” said Bill Betts, vice
president, Betts Company. “Whether heavy duty trucks,
shoes, industrial valves, or passenger vehicles, our springs
help improve the ways things move.”
Betts Company announced earlier this year the
formation of BettsHD (, the company’s
new operating division for spray suppression and
fender products. Betts Truck Parts and Service (www. is the company’s division providing
parts and service for nearly every application under the
frame rail of a medium or heavy duty truck.
Betts Spring Manufacturing is committed to quality
in product design and business process as evidenced
by achieving ISO 9001-2008 certification. Dedicated
engineering resources provide a broad range of services,
including custom design or redesign, rapid prototyping,
finite element analysis (FEA), production part approval
process (PPAP) and first article production samples.
Joe Devany, director of operations, Betts Company,
leads Betts Spring Manufacturing in its relentless pursuit
of customer loyalty. “Superior quality and rapid delivery
are the foundation of our value. Our commitment to
continuous process improvement, supported by our
excellent supply chain partners, enables us to delight
customers across a broad spectrum of markets.”
For more information, visit,
phone 559-498-3304, or email [email protected]
Vulcan Spring and Manufacturing Co. of Telford, Pa., a
leading designer and manufacturer of flat steel springs and
related assemblies for diverse global markets, has named
Don Jarvie
Don Jarvie to the position of vice president of sales. Jarvie
is responsible for directing Vulcan’s global sales efforts in
all market segments.
In making the announcement, Scott Rankin, president
of Vulcan, stated, “Don brings an exciting amount of
experience with small and large companies that can all
be used to guide Vulcan to new heights. As vice president
of sales he will steer our sales force to better serve our
clients and to find new opportunities that will align with
Vulcan’s strengths.”
Originally from Rochester, N.Y., Jarvie earned his B.S.
in management/marketing from Rochester Institute of
Technology, and holds an A.A.S. in optical engineering
earned at Monroe Community College. As a dedicated
sales professional, with a record of significant achievement,
Jarvie brings 25 years of technical sales and sales leadership
in a variety of fields, including optics, biotechnology,
semiconductor, telecommunications, oil and gas, and
manufacturing, to his new position at Vulcan Spring.
For more information, visit,
email [email protected], or phone 215-721-1721.
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 7
Global Highlights
increasingly challenging leadership roles since his
career began in 1987. With a B.S. in electrical engineering
from Penn State University, and an MBA from Rutgers
University, Dellalana strives to apply both analytical and
financial skill sets towards enterprise improvements in
quality, cost, delivery and safety.
Starting at Allied Signal, Inc. in Teterboro, N.J.,
Dellalana advanced to positions in engineering supervision
and program management. In 1995, he transferred to Allied
Signal’s Cheshire, Conn. operation to
lead a cross-functional team charged
w it h developi ng, qua lif y i ng a nd
introducing to production an advanced
gyroscope for the MK50 torpedo.
Over the next 15 years the business
grew and Dellalana’s responsibilities
broadened with it. He assumed roles
at the Cheshire facility as engineering
manager, continuous improvement
manager and director of operations,
assisting a sales growth of 400 percent
in the period of 1995 to 2009. In 2010, he
became vice president of operations at
50+ reasons to select Elgiloy as your exotic alloy supplier.
DRS Technologies in Bridgeport. Relying
on his lean and black belt training, and on
fact problem solving methodologies and
continuous improvement principles,
Dellalana guided a hundreds of million
dollar business to near perfect on-time
delivery, 4x reduction in defects and
a 10x improvement in safety lost
Strip, Foil, Wire and Bar.
work days. In his role at DRS his
Precision rolled strip:
.001 to .100
responsibilities spanned production,
Haynes Alloys
Hastelloy B3
Wire diameters:
.001 to .825
supply chain, facilities, manufacturing
Bar diameters:
.062 to .750
Hastelloy B3
Hastelloy C22
engineering and quality.
Shaped wire
Hastelloy X
Hastelloy C276
Dellalana has lived in Monroe
10 lbs to 10 tons, delivered to meet your schedule.
Hastelloy C22
Inconel 600
since 1995 with his wife and three
Hastelloy C276
Inconel 601
children. He has a daughter studying
To find out more, contact us at [email protected]
at the University of Connecticut and
or [email protected] or call 888-843-2350.
a daughter and son attending Masuk
Inconel 601
Inconel 718
High School. Dellalana is eager to lend
Inconel 625
Inconel X750
his experience to this new challenge,
Inconel 718
Monel Alloys
Rolling to Meet Your Schedule
and is looking forward to learn from
Inconel X750
Rowley’s experienced staff to enhance
Incoloy 800
Nimonic 90
the company’s growth and future.
Alloy L 605
NiSpan C
Hickory Springs Manufacturing
Monel 400
Rene 41
president and CEO Dave
Titanium Alloys
Alloy 20
CP Grades 1,2,3,4,7,9,11
his message of “One
Elgiloy Specialty Metals
Move, Together”
Beta 21S
announcing a
Elgiloy is a trademark of Elgiloy Specialty Metals
Rene 41
300 Series
MP35N is a trademark of SPS Technologies
that includes
Haynes 25 is a trademark of Haynes International, Inc.
the consolidation of a number of brands
and divisions under one name, HSM.
Rowley Spring and Stamping Corporation has
hired John Dellalana as the company’s new president.
Dellalana most recently worked for DRS Technologies
in Bridgeport, Conn., where he was vice president of
integrated operations.
Dellalana has a diverse background in engineering,
ma nufacturing a nd operations ma nagement, wit h
an extensive understanding of lean and continuous
i mprovement i n prog ra ms, a nd ha s adva nced i n
8 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Global Highlights
Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company (HSM) executives (from left): Tim Becker, Todd Councilman, Tony Everett, Brad McNeely and David Duncan.
The name change is supported by a new logo and website
( for the global manufacturer of
integrated solutions and components to the transportation,
furniture, bedding, and a growing number of diversified
“HSM is not just a name,” explained Colburn. “It’s
a new way of thinking. HSM represents one name, one
identity, one voice and one company with a single-minded
dedication to customer needs.”
The announcement of the new name is the culmination
of a series of organizational and corporate structural changes
announced earlier this year that support the company’s
migration from a components supplier to a provider of
integrated solutions with a market-focused strategy.
As a result of the name change, some former company
names previously associated with Hickory Springs will
now become product names. In addition, some existing
product brands will remain the same.
In addition to a single, unified HSM brand, the
company is also placing greater emphasis on research
and development, increasing its engineering staff and
leveraging its Corporate Innovation and Research Center,
which opened in 2012. These initiatives provide customers
with access to the latest materials and manufacturing
techniques, helping them achieve their design visions and
respond rapidly to changing market demands.
The company’s four new business units —
Transportation Solutions, HSM Bedding Solutions, HSM
Furniture Solutions and HSM Diversified Solutions —
serve as the centerpiece of a new business model that will
leverage HSM’s core capabilities to develop and execute
a business plan for profitable growth of both components
sales and integrated solutions to customers in their
respective markets.
The four executives tapped to lead these new business
units include: Tim Becker, vice president diversified
solutions, who has more than 15 years of experience with
Hickory Springs, including various positions within wire
technology and products and his most recent assignment
as vice president of the wire products group; Todd
Councilman, vice president bedding solutions,a 25-year
veteran of the foam industry, who has held positions
in quality, marketing, sales and plant management
before his most recent assignment as general manager
of the southeast region; Tony Everett, vice president
transportation seating solutions who joined Hickory
Springs in January with the acquisition of The C.E. White
Co., where he served as president and CEO since 2006; and
Brad McNeely, vice president furniture solutions who has
been with the company more than 23 years, most recently
as vice president new product development.
In addition to these appointments, David Duncan has
been named vice president corporate sales. Duncan’s 22
years of experience with Hickory Springs includes roles
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We provide quick and award winning customer service
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An ISO Certified company with over 50 years of
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SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 9
Global Highlights
as area sales manager and national product manager –
bedding foam. He most recently served as vice president
of the company’s western foam division.
Duncan and the four business unit leaders will report
to Lee Lunsford, executive vice president and chief
operating officer. In addition to these appointments, the
company anticipates future announcements as it builds
out its new organization.
For more about HSM, visit
GR Spring & Stamping, Inc. (GRS&S), located in
Grand Rapids, Mich., and Automatic Spring Products
Corporation (ASPC), located in Grand Haven, Mich., have
formed a strategic alliance. The alliance will enable both
organizations to leverage each other’s product strengths
while allowing for continued focus on core manufacturing
GRS&S’s capabilities include both progressive and
transfer stamping with bed sizes up to 19 feet, value added
assembly, welding, gluing, riveting, testing and robotic
cell technology. ASPC capabilities include compression,
extension and torsion springs, fourslide and stampings
up to 200 ton, with vertical integration to support ASPC
core competencies.
“ASPC is an industry leader in manufacturing fourslide
and spring products,” said Jim Zawacki, CEO of GR
Spring & Stamping. “We are looking forward to the many
opportunities this alliance will offer both organizations.”
“GRSS is a recognized leader in the manufacture
of larger technically difficult stampings and value-add
assemblies,” said Steve Moreland, CEO of Automatic
Spring Products Corporation. “We are excited about the
possibilities that our combined synergies will mean for
the marketplace.”
The InterWire Group
has named Michael J.
Falso as president. He
comes to InterWire with
more than 17 years of
experience in the metal
and wire business.
In 1996, Falso started
his career in the metal
indust ry wit h Phelps
Dodge in New York, a
major copper producer,
selling copper rod to wire
and cable companies. He
Michael J. Falso
then joined Commercial
Metals Company in 2003, a Fortune 500 company, importing
and distributing copper alloy semi-finished products. Most
recently, he worked for MCP Metalspecialties, which is now
5N Plus, running their North American business based in
Fairfield, Conn., which specializes in the production and
distribution of minor metals.
Falso attended the University of Notre Dame under
an Army ROTC scholarship, graduating in 1986 from the
College of Science and then served on active duty in the
Army for four years. He also holds an MBA in general
management from New York University. Falso is married
and has three children, ages 11, 15 and 16.
The InterWire Group is the largest distributor of fine
quality wire in the United States with eight distribution
centers. InterWire was founded in 1981 by Frank Cardile
and is headquartered in Armonk, N.Y.
For more information, visit
Bazz Houston has a n nou nced t hat bot h of its
manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico are now
ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100C registered.
AS9100C is t he qua lity ma nagement sta nda rd
specifically written for the aerospace industry (aviation,
space and defense). The current version of AS9100C
aligns the standard with ISO9001:2008 and has extra
requirements regarding regulatory compliance and
aerospace-sector specific requirements. This standard is
recognized by all of the major aerospace OEMs such as
10 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Global Highlights
Eaton, General Electric, Bombardier, Rolls-Royce, Pratt &
Whitney, and Goodrich.
In obtaining this certification, Bazz Houston continues
its mission of continually improving the services it offers
to its customers. Other exciting changes have also been
taking place, including the continued expansion of its
tooling capabilities at both locations, and the addition
of new state of the art CNC multi-axis coiling and
fourslide equipment. Bazz Houston is also in the process
of expanding its overall manufacturing footprint to over
90,000 square feet. This expansion will be completed by
the second quarter 2013.
Bazz Houston is a custom metals manufacturer of
springs, stampings, wireforms, and fourslide assembly
and tooling. Visit
The American made movement continues to gain
momentum. American Made Matters® (AMM), founded
July 4, 2009, has elevated awareness among consumers
about the compelling importance of buying U.S.-made
products. The organization tripled its membership in
the past year, eclipsing 150 companies representing 37
states. Launched by America’s oldest hat manufacturer,
Bollman Hat Company, AMM is run by a board comprised
of manufacturers who share a vision to grow jobs in
the U.S. as well as strengthen communities, protect
the environment, build the economy and improve the
independence and security of America.
A video narrated by Bollman CEO Don Rongione
and filmed by AMM sponsor West Field Films has just
been released to facilitate the mission of educating
consumers on why American made matters. The video
can be viewed at the organization’s website, www.
“It is really exciting to see new companies create
bra nds dedicated to A mer ica n made a nd matu re
companies bringing back manufacturing to the U.S. We
are making a difference. It is demonstrated by the increase
in manufacturing jobs,” said Rongione.
The AMM logo now appears on tens of thousands of
products. The organization has an active and growing
following of over 20,000, in social media and subscribers
to its newsletter. Online and physical events promoting
American made products, encouraging plant tours and
an e-commerce store featuring products that contain the
AMM logo all serve to help strengthen the organization’s
mission, which is to educate consumers that buying U.S.made products strengthens the American dream.
Manufacturers interested in joining, and consumers
looking to buy American made products, should visit for further information.
Don Hennon
as vice president responsible for the Southwest region,
Mexico and Latin America. Hennon will be headquartered
in the St. Louis area.
Hennon previously held positions with Allegheny
Ludlum as marketing director of precision rolled strip
products and Eastern regional sales manager. He also
worked with Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals
Bill Torres, CEO and president of Gibbs Wire & Steel
Company, has announced the addition of Don Hennon
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 11
Global Highlights
as director of corporate sales and marketing, director of
marketing and GM Latin American Operations–Ulbrinox,
and global director sales and marketing–Ulbrich Solar
Torres said, “We are very excited to have Don join us in
this key role. We had the great pleasure of working with
Don when he was with Allegheny Ludlum. He has a proven
track record of success and has extensive knowledge of
metals and our strip products. He is a great addition to
our senior management team. ”
This addition has allowed Gibbs the ability to
realign sales management into three regions, Eastern,
Southwestern and Midwestern.
Don Gibbs, vice president of sales and regional sales
manager, will be responsible for sales management in
the Eastern and Southeastern territories that include
Gibbs’ operations in Connecticut and North Carolina. In
addition, he will remain very active with large corporate
Tom Nichols has been promoted to vice president of
sales and regional sales manager of Midwest and Canada.
Nichols will be responsible for sales management in the
territories served by operations in Indiana and Canada
For more information, visit
The Associated Industries of Massachusetts International
Business Council (AIM-IBC) recently announced winners of
its 18th annual Global Trade Awards, which recognize
Massachusetts firms, institutions and public agencies of all
sizes that have demonstrated excellence in international
trade. 2013 honorees include EMD Millipore, Kinefac, and
“Our Global Trade Award winners are exemplary
Massachusetts businesses that don’t think in terms of
boundaries or borders, but in terms of opportunity,” said
Richard Lord, president and CEO of AIM-IBC. “Taking
advantage of all that Massachusetts has to offer positions
companies like our winners for exceptional global success.”
The three winners of the 2013 Global Trade Awards
were honored at AIM’s 98th Annual Meeting on Friday,
May 10 at the Waltham Westin Hotel. The event
included a keynote address by Massachusetts Governor
Deval Patrick.
The 2013 Global Trade Award Winners are:
• EMD Millipore, Billerica, Mass. (Middlesex County)
– Chairman’s Award: EMD Millipore, the Life
Sciences division of Merck KGaA of Germany, offers
a broad range of innovative, performance products,
services and business relationships that enable
customers to succeed in research, development and
production of biotech and pharmaceutical drug
• Kinefac, Worcester, Mass. (Worcester County) Diplomat’s Award: Founded in 1952, Kinefac
Corporation is recognized as a world leader in
precision metal forming and processing technology,
with its tools serving the medical device, aerospace
and power generation industries among many others.
• LENOX®, East Longmeadow, MA (Hampden County)
- Ambassador’s Award: Originally known as the
American Saw & Manufacturing Company, LENOX
has been a leader in premium-performance tools
such as band saw blades and power tool accessories
since its founding in 1915.
For more i n for mat ion, v isit w w w.a i m net.or g/
WESTEC, the premier west coast manufacturing event,
will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center, October
15-17, 2013. Produced by the Society of Manufacturing
Engineers (SME), WESTEC was previously scheduled as
a spring 2014 event, but increased industry demand and
participant feedback convinced the organizers to shift
the date forward.
For nearly 50 years, WESTEC has built a reputation as
the west coast’s premier technological showcase for the
manufacturing industry. Generations of manufacturers
have used the event as a forum to find cutting-edge
12 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Global Highlights
equipment, explore advanced technologies, and learn
innovative new production methods to help grow their
businesses. Many of the industry’s top equipment
manufacturers have unveiled technological breakthroughs
at WESTEC—from software, cutting tools, 3D printers to
multi-tasking machines.
For more information on WESTEC 2013, visit www.
More than 400 companies will exhibit at wire Southeast
ASIA 2013, 10th International Wire & Cable Trade Fair
for Southeast Asia and Tube Southeast ASIA 2013, 9th
International Tube & Pipe Trade Fair for Southeast Asia, to
be held from September 17–19, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
As ASEAN prepares for further development with major
infrastructure projects, the wire and
tube industries remain strong through
robust support from the region and
around the world. wire and tube
Southeast ASIA 2013 are expected to
outperform the successful 2011 edition
w it h t he pa r t icipat ion of higher
profile large international companies,
approximately 15 percent of which are
first-time exhibitors. Seven country
group exhibits from Austria, China,
Germany, Italy, Singapore, Taiwan and
the U.S. have already been confirmed.
For further information on visiting
or exhibiting at wire or Tube Southeast
Asia 2013, contact Messe Düsseldorf
North America at 312 -781-5180; fax:
312-781-5188; email: [email protected] mdna.
com; visit their website at http://; subscribe to their
blog at; follow
them on Twitter at
WireTube_MDNA. Q
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 13
© Hirko
Regional Spring
Association Report
CASMI Holds Annual
Golf Outing
Light rain turned to sunshine for
CASMI's annual "Member/Exhibitor/
Supplier Golf Outing" on Thursday, June
6 at the Highlands of Elgin (Ill.) golf
course. Over 100 golfers were on hand for
the event, including SMI president Steve
Moreland of Automatic Spring Products.
CASMI’s next event is the “Arlington
Day at the Races” at the Arlington Park
Race Track in Arlington Heights, Ill. It is
open to CASMI members, suppliers and
SpringWorld exhibitors. It will be held
Thursday, September 19, 2013 beginning
at 11:30 a.m.
The SpringWorld 2014 Kickoff Dinner
will be held Thursday, October 17, 2013
at Manzo’s Banquets in Des Plaines, Ill.
For more information on CASMI
events, visit
Left: CASMI president and SMI board member, JR Strok of Mohawk Spring (left) greets SMI president
Steve Moreland of Automatic Spring Products at CASMI’s annual golf outing.
Top: The winning team with the lowest gross score at the annual CASMI golf outing, pictured (l-to-r):
Joe Pesaresi, Winamac Coil Spring; Rick Ross, Rockford Spring; Joe Szucs, InterWire; and S.J. Banas,
Rockford Spring.
Above: The second place team with the lowest gross, pictured (l-to-r): Joe Wesner, Sterling Spring;
Tony Pesaresi, Winamac Coil Spring, CASMI golf chair; Mike Malesky, Sterling Spring and JR Strok,
Mohawk Spring, CASMI president. Not pictured: Anthony Robertson, Acme Refining.
WCSMA Plans Annual Angels Game Outing
Members of the West Coast Spring
Manufacturers Association (WCSMA)
are invited to attend the annual
"A ngels Day Out i ng" sc hedu led
for August 3 at Angel Stadium of
Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif. The
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are
scheduled to take on the Toronto Blue
14 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Jays at 6:05 p.m. Tickets are $25 per
person and limited in quantity.
As part of the outing, WCSMA
members will gather at 4 p.m. for a tailgate
party under the "Big A" sign at the
stadium. Look for the WCSMA banner.
To reserve tickets, contact Mark
Tiedeman at 562-802-2041 or email
[email protected]
WCSMA has scheduled its Table
Top Convention for October 24, 2013
at the Holiday Inn in La Mirada, Calif.
More details to come.
For more information on WCSMA,
visit the WCSMA Facebook page or
© Hirko
NESMA Moves Forward with Technical Education Efforts
By Ted White, Hardware Products
In the last issue of Springs we
reported on efforts to coordinate the
work being done in Connecticut to
improve the quantity and quality of
technical education. Let me summarize
some of the good things that have taken
place on this front since I last reported.
• NESMA president George Fournier
of Acme Monaco has continued his
outreach to Southington High School.
Sout hington cur rently promotes
manufacturing as a viable career path
in lieu of college. They have a technical
education staff and a technical advisory
committee (compromised of area
manufacturers, parents and educators)
that meet monthly to monitor and
discuss the progress of the program.
The committee points out that the
average manufacturing salary in the
U.S. is currently $73,000 and $84,000
in Connecticut.
• Michael Brault of Ultimate
Wi r e Fo r m s h a s me t w it h t h e
superintendents of Bristol, Burlington,
Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott
schools a nd t he Ma i n St reet
Community Foundation. In each of
these meetings, Brault discussed the
technical education programs and
how they relate to the needs of the
manufacturer. He also facilitated a
meeting between the Southington
technical advisory committee and
superintendent of educat ion for
Bristol. And Brault is working on
another meeting with Southington
NESMA held its 2013 Trade Show on April 13,
which included a post-trade show dinner.
Pictured above are Jeanne Radcliff of
Radcliff Wire and Mark DiVenere of Gemco
High School, Tunxis Community
College, and Bristol High School.
• Dr. David C. England, the dean
of institutional effectiveness and
out reac h at Tu n x is Com mu n it y
College, has really embraced these
efforts. Dr. England has noticed a
growing number of veterans at Tunxis
that are looking into a new career.
In an effort to assist veterans and
others, he has come up with a 280
hour based manufacturing certificate.
He is now looking for the resources
to implement this. He is currently
distributing a survey throughout the
Bristol area to see if a manufacturing
training center is warranted.
• Many NESMA members will
attend the upcoming "Manufacturing
and Technology Day" sponsored by the
state of Connecticut and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association
(CBIA). The state of Connecticut
currently has three active bills pending
in the legislature: SB 619, which creates
a commission tasked with generating
a plan to restore manufacturing
over the next five years; SB 1079,
which increases the manufacturing
apprentice tax credit; and HB 5018,
which establishes a tax credit for
businesses that provide scholarships
for manufacturing programs.
• N ESMA is co-sponsoring a
Manufacturing Roundtable with our
partners, the Central Connecticut
Chamber of Commerce, the West
Ha r tford Cha mber of Com merce
a n d t h e Tr i u m p h G r o u p. T h e
purpose of the roundtable is for
t he m a nu f ac t u r i ng i ndu st r y to
partner with universities to create
manufacturing opportunities.
In addition to the NESMA board
members named above, Bud Funk,
Mark DiVenere, Bill Lathrop, Mark
Leahy, Richard Rae, Scott Kirkpatrick,
Tim Dudzinski and Lynette Nadeau
have all been involved in efforts with
these groups to put together a more
cohesive plan. We also could not do
this without the help of the Central
Connecticut Chamber of Commerce's
Mike Nicastro, president and Cindy
Scoville, vice president of sales and
marketing and NESMA's moderator.
It is NESMA's hope that all these
efforts will focus educational and
governmental programs toward this
type of manufacturing education that
is so sorely needed. Q
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 15
16 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Be Aware Safety Tips
Does Your Lockout/Tagout
Program and Employee Training
Stand Up to OSHA Scrutiny?
By Jim Wood
No written or an incomplete written program
Lack of energy control procedures
No sequence of lockout
Lacking an outside contractor portion
Lacking guidelines for multiple lock control
Lacking guidelines for removing another person’s
Lacking various lockout devices
Lacking lock and key control procedures
Lacking a hazard analysis and lockout procedures
for each machine
Lacking a lock identification procedure
Inadequate employee training
Failure to conduct periodic inspections of lockout
Failure to conduct an annual review and
There are two frequently cited and least known
portions of the lockout/tagout program. One is failure
to document the lockout procedure on every machine or
There are two frequently
cited and least known
portions of the lockout/
tagout program. One is failure
to document the lockout
procedure on every machine
or like types of machinery
in your plant. The other
frequently cited portion is
the lack of a written periodic
assessment of your program.
like types of machinery in your plant. This is part of the
hazard analysis. You must recognize all forms of energy,
including; electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, gravity,
water, thermal, chemical, pneumatic and springs under
load. Forms of energy should be documented for each
machine and either cataloged in the lockout program or,
better yet, each machine could be tagged with the various
energy sources with instructions on how to lockout that
particular machine.
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)
495-8597 or via e-mail at [email protected]
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 17
he OSHA Lockout/Tagout standard is nothing new
and we have been talking about it for years. Very
little has changed with the standard since it was
first published, but in the past couple of years there has
been a lot of renewed interest by OSHA. It is fast becoming
OSHA’s number one money maker.
At least a half dozen cases have come to my attention,
with willful initial penalties ranging from $27,000
to $70,000 each. These penalties were levied against
companies that did have written programs and employee
training. However, the programs were either not detailed
enough or employees were not adequately trained
according to OSHA inspectors, or the companies were not
enforcing the programs. You can have excellent written
programs and employee training, but if lockout procedures
are not part of the daily maintenance and setup routine,
you will be subject to heavy fines should OSHA inspect
your facility.
Thousands of dollars in penalties are assessed by
OSHA each year for lockout/tagout violations on almost
every citation issued. Some typical violations include:
alloy wire
when you need wire
Manufacturers of nickel alloys in round & shaped wire
Call Toll Free: 1-866-482-5569
fax: 401-384-6757
email: [email protected]
Alloy Wire International
205 Hallene Road, Warwick, RI 02886 USA
The other frequently cited portion is the lack of a
written periodic assessment of your program. At least
two or three times each year, a member of management
must inspect a known lockout situation in the plant and
document their findings. In a situation where proper
procedures were not followed, employees involved must
be trained on the spot. Retain this inspection assessment
as part of the written program.
All locks must be tagged with the employee’s name.
Always lockout, never tagout, unless it can be proven that
a tag can provide protection at least as effective as locks
and would ensure “full employee protection.”
Jim’s Regulatory Tip:
Don’t forget that the program covers lockout during
setup on all machinery.
I recom mend t h ree levels of lockout t raining:
Informational training for the general work force;
instructional training for those employees that are
authorized to perform lockout; and, there should be an
additional level of training for those employees performing
machine setup. This training would be machine and, in
some cases, job specific. I recommend publishing step-bystep machine setup instructions for all machinery or like
18 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
types of machinery in the plant. Post these instructions
on each machine. These instructions should advise the
employee when and how to lockout the machine they are
working on during setup. Each setup employee must be
individually trained in these procedures. As you know,
there are times during setup that the machine must be
under power and the employee must be trained in safe
procedures during these periods. There are also times
during setup that the machine must be locked out. Q
IST Spring Technology
Cautionary Tale:
Stainless Steel Heat Treatment
By Mark Hayes
ST regularly receives questions regarding property
changes which occur in spring materials during simple
stress relieving treatments. For example, a recent IST
training course attendee wanted to know why stainless
steel behaved differently than music wire. He knew that
the outside diameter of music wire springs decreased when
heat treated, while the outside diameter increased when
stainless steel springs are heat treated. He had also been
told to use the same value of the torsional modulus (G) for
music wire both before and after heat treatment, but to use
a different value of G for stainless steel after heat treatment.
To understand the mechanism causing the increase
in outside diameter for stainless steel springs on stress
relieving, the metallurgy of the wire drawing process
needs to be considered. When stainless steel spring wire
is drawn, the microstructure of the rod stock material
is austenite, but in every die a little of the austenite is
mechanically transformed to martensite as a consequence
of the cold reduction. After several reductions in area, the
wire will acquire the tensile strength required for springs,
and the microstructure will be a mixture of austenite and
martensite (it is the latter constituent in the microstructure
that makes stainless steel spring wire slightly magnetic).
The spring manufacturer then coils the wire into
springs, and thereby imparts a residual stress at the inside
surface of the coil. When the spring is heat treated, some
more of the austenite will transform to martensite, and
the transformation will occur most at the position where
the residual stress is a maximum. A volume expansion
is associated with this transformation, and the overall
outcome is that the spring diameter becomes larger.
It might be expected that this microstructural change
would be visible on optical metallography but that is not
IST’s experience. Although the percentage of austenite
and martensite could be determined by X-ray methods,
the percentages of each that would equate to satisfactory/
unsatisfactory spring performance is not known, so there
is no point in using these expensive test methods.
It is also the change in the percentage of martensite
in the microstructure that causes the moduli (E and G) of
stainless steel wire to increase after heat treatment, as the
stiffness of martensite is greater than that of austenite. This
explains why 316 stainless steel spring wire has a lower
modulus than 302, which itself is lower than 631 (17/7PH)—
the last having the greatest percentage martensite — but all
three grades have a microstructure which is referred to as
“austenitic.” It should also be noted that, if the springmaker
makes springs with a small coiling ratio (index), there
will be more residual stress and consequently more
transformation during heat treatment. The small index
spring will have a higher modulus than similar springs,
made from the same wire, with larger index.
There is very good guidance about the expected change
in the G modulus included in the appendix to the European
specification for stainless steel spring wire, EN 10270-3. The
values published in this specification are approximate, and
depend upon a number of factors. However, IST strongly
recommends use of the values in this standard as the best
available, and good enough for spring design purposes.
In another training course several delegates were
convinced that both their music wire and silicon chromium
alloy wire springs would have different microstructures
before and after heat treatment, and they wanted to know
how this change could be recognized. Their company
had the facilities to examine microstructures and one of
their automotive customers requested use of the CQI-9
quality procedure. This procedure covers stress relieving
of springs, and demands that the metallographic structure
produced be examined. However, these delegates were
surprised to hear that optical metallography would show
the microstructure of music wire, silicon chromium and
302 stainless steel to be exactly the same both before and
after heat treatment. For this simple reason, it is IST’s
opinion that the CQI-9 quality procedure should not be
applied to stress relieving. The procedure is appropriate
for spring manufacturers who carry out hardening and
tempering or austempering heat treatments, where a
significant change in microstructure occurs. Q
Mark Hayes is technical advisor to the Institute
of Spring Technology (IST) in Sheffield,
England. He is also the principal trainer for
the spring training courses that the Institute
offers globally. Readers are encouraged to
contact IST at [email protected] with comments
about this cautionary tale, and with subjects
that they would like to be addressed in future
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 19
20 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Celebrating the
By Gary McCoy
he humble fourslide machine has
been in continuous operation for well
over 100 years.
In this issue of the magazine we take
time to pay homage to this workhorse
machine that has been heavily utilized
by the spring industry. We also feature a
story on Northwest Fourslide (see page
33). The company is one of a handful of
SMI members that exclusively produce
parts using fourslide machines (see similar
article on Bud Funk and Fourslide Spring and
Stamping that was published in the Summer
2009 issue of Springs).
Our regular Flashback segment is on
Gus Kollom, the founder of Northwest
Fourslide (see page 29). It was written by
Tom Malolepsy back in 2000.
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 21
Fourslides Then and Now
While auxiliary pieces have been added to help
improve the operation of the fourslide machine over the
years, the basic function of the machine hasn’t materially
changed since it was first invented in the 1800s.
A fourslide machine continues to be used to form wire
or strip metal, primarily for small parts. Basically, four
90-degree opposed cam driven slides connected by gears
come together around a center post to form a metal part.
The shafting arrangement allows the work piece to be
formed on four sides. A hole near the center of machine is
provided to expel the completed part into a parts catcher.
Today’s fourslide machines integrate both stamping and
forming operations. Raw material, either strip or round wire,
is stamped or blanked in the progressive die section of the
fourslide machine. The strip is then fed into the forming
section of the machine, where the four tool slides form the part.
According to the article “A History of Springs,”
published in the July 2008 issue of Springs, “Many
continuing advancements, too numerous to mention, have
bounced the spring industry right into the 21st century.
“Among them were fourslide machines, a valuable tool
credited to the Baird Co. and Blake and Johnson, earliest
producers of fourslide wire forming. U.S. Tool Co. of New
Jersey introduced the Multi-Slide® in the late 1920s, and 30
years later, Torin brought out a vertical design of fourslide
called the Verti-Slide®.”
Eli Josiah Manville, who lived from 1823 to 1866, was
an American inventor from Connecticut who once worked
at Blake and Johnson as superintendent of their machinery
According to an article about Manville from the Silas
Bronson Library in Waterbury, Conn., “He (Manville)
patented numerous inventions, most of which were
improvements to machinery that made products from
metal wire. These inventions stemmed from his earlier
work as superintendent of the New England Buckle
Company in Waterbury. His first design for what is known
today as his Four-Slide machine was developed there in
1855. The Four-Slide machine, also called the Four-Way
Automatic Wire Forming machine, automatically cuts
and shapes wires into a wide variety of forms. It was the
first machine capable of producing safety pins on a large
scale. Manville made numerous improvements to it over
the course of two decades.”
Manville’s invention of an automatic fourslide
machine, was the forerunner of machines that are still
in use today.
According to literature produced by U.S. Baird,
the company began in 1846 building barrel finishing
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22 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
The fourslide machine is one
of many inventions during
the Industrial Revolution that
helped usher in changes to
the way metal parts were
equipment and special wire forming machines as The
Baird Machine Company. “Our first multi-spindle
chucking machines were produced in the 1920s, followed
rapidly by slide forming machines and Transfer ® Presses.”
Another company that helped develop fourslide
machinery is the A.H. Nilson Machine Company that
was founded in 1898. Over the years the company has
specialized in the development of metal forming machinery.
The fourslide machine is one of many inventions
during the Industrial Revolution that helped usher in
changes to the way metal parts were manufactured.
Market Shifts
One person who has had a front row seat to the changes in
the fourslide market over the past 30-plus years is Sherwood
“Woody” Griffing. Griffing, vice president of business
development for TAK Enterprises in Bristol, Conn., started his
career at Nilson in 1981. He later went to Torin, where he
worked for one year before spending 20 years at U.S. Baird.
In all those companies he was the product manager for slide
forming machines and involved in sales and marketing.
“I would have to say the biggest change is the shrinking
of the (fourslide) market,” explained Griffing. “There was
not enough business for three companies to be selling
fourslides, so U.S. Baird bought Nilson and Torin just
basically stopped building fourslide machines. So the
market has shrunk quite a bit.”
Griffing says when he first got into the industry, his
company sold about 30 machines a year of one particular
model. He says in the latter part of his career the company
was fortunate to sell five or six machines a year.
Baird Machinery Corp. in Thomaston, Conn. now is
the only company that makes new fourslide machines.
Hayden Machinery reached an agreement with the U.S.
Baird® Corporation (U.S.B.) to purchase certain assets,
intellectual property and the rights to manufacture some
of its product lines.
The company now operates as Baird Machinery
Corporation and is known by its trade name U.S. Baird®.
Product lines and associated spare parts that continue to
be fully supported by the company include: U.S. Baird
Multiple Transfer ® presses, U.S. Baird Multi-Slides® and
Four Slides, Nilson® slides, U.S. Baird Chuckers, U.S.
Baird SprinGenerator ®, U.S. Baird/Henderson tumbler,
U.S. Baird Slide Feed, and U.S. Baird Pay-off.
Charlie Book works in sales for U.S. Baird and Hayden
Machinery. He says the company is doing a brisk business
in spare parts to support older U.S. Baird and Nilson
machines, but is also starting to see more new, refurbished
and remanufactured machines sold.
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 23
“There’s a lot of older machines still in service,”
explained Book. “Our parts business is phenomenal
because people are repairing these older machines.”
Using the original castings, Book said a remanufactured
fourslide machine includes all new parts and “the machine is
brought up-to-date with all the new mechanical advantages,
along with all the new electronic and safety components.”
For rebuilding fourslide machines, the company
inspects the machine and only replaces the parts that are
worn. The company offers a limited warranty for a rebuilt
machine. For a remanufactured machine, Book says “it is
like getting a new machine warranty.”
Griffing says while many will go to Book’s company
to obtain parts for U.S. Baird and Nilson machines, “a lot
of companies have had to make their own parts.” He says
many have good records and documentation, “so if they
break a slide or something they can go to a local machine
shop and have it made.”
Griffing’s company has 13 fourslide machines in
operation for the contract manufacturing work they do.
TAK also sells some turnkey systems for the wire industry
such as servo feeds, pneumatic feeds and cut systems. The
company specializes in small, fine wire.
Still Going Strong
The amazing part about fourslide machines is the
number of older machines that are still in service.
24 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
During his time working directly for three companies
that made the machines, Griffing saw fourslides in
operation that date back to the ‘20s and ‘30s.
Displaying even more longevity, Book knows of a
fourslide machine in operation in Texas that is more than
100 years old.
“The gentleman who owns the machine just bought
gears for it recently,” said Book. “He makes a hook for the
oil field industry.”
Book said in the past, fourslide machines were heavily
used in the electronics and automotive industries. “Now
the big users for the fourslide are still in electronics, but
for higher end products and using more exotic materials,”
he explains. “The other (big user) is the medical industry.”
Book says the aerospace industry is also using a lot of
fourslide machines to produce parts.
“We’re also seeing a resurgence in automotive business
to larger shops that are able to handle the new standards
and requirements,” he said.
“The other business that was always out there for
the fourslide business was the ammunition and gun
industries,” explained Book. “We’re seeing a huge
resurgence in that, not only in fourslide but also in our
transfer press business.”
He cites Smith and Wesson as an example, a company
that saw sales increase by more than 40 percent in 2012.
In terms of the best uses for fourslides, Book says wire
strip products are ideal for things such as exotic wires for
heart probes.
“With the strip, let’s face it, the quantities are not
there anymore,” explained Book, “so if you tool something
progressively your tooling costs could be $50,000 to
$100,000. If you do it on a press inside a fourslide machine,
it’s like $10,000 to $20,000.”
Book says the drop in the quantity of parts produced is
dramatic. “Ten million parts are now one million, while
one hundred thousand parts is now 10,000.”
He says the good thing about a fourslide machine is
the ability to easily adapt to smaller quantities.
The lowering of part quantities is reflected in U.S.
manufacturers who are less willingly to make large
volume purchases due to frequent product design changes
and a commitment to just-in-time (JIT) inventory practices.
Griffing also attributes some of the drop in fourslide
production to work going offshore. “It’s a matter of the
market shifting elsewhere for cost reasons and so forth,”
he explained.
Book says “common parts” that were made on fourslide
machines have gone away. He cites Mexico and South
America as the locales where those types of parts are
now made. “People aren’t going to pay big money for pale
handles and that kind of thing.”
He says the common parts business has gone away and
there’s no reason for it to come back to the U.S.
Book says the production of some higher end products
on fourslide machines did shift overseas to places like
China and India. He believes that trend has slowed down
and sees more reshoring work coming back to the U.S.
Fourslide is not Dead
Back in the winter of 2012, a discussion started among
members of the SMI group on LinkedIn regarding fourslide
machines and whether they were now obsolete.
The answer among SMI members both then and now
was “no.”
Tim Morris, president, James Spring & Wire Company,
said he stands by the statement he made back then. “On
the contrary, they (fourslides) are very much alive and
well as far as I’m concerned. Our 12 machines are highly
utilized. I think there will always be a use for this type
of machine.”
Hale Foote, president, Scandic Springs, Inc., utilizes
both fourslides and presses in his operations.
“It’s a great advantage to be able to tool a new part for
the process it fits best,” said Foote. “Since we are spring
companies, we all know that grain direction is often very
important to the operation of the part. Plus, the material
consumption is often much less in a fourslide process.”
Foote says most of the parts that Scandic stamps on
its progressive or compound dies are of higher value than
fourslide parts. “One easy distinction is size,” explained
Foote. “The stamped parts tend to be larger, with lots more
material used. There is also more in-die work, like tapping,
that we do in the stamping department.”
He said fourslides will always be part of Scandic’s
operations, but greater profits can be made from stampings.
“The positive spin I would put on it is that being able to
offer this process helps open the door to customers we
would not otherwise engage with.”
Though he can’t name names, Book says he’s witnessed
several spring companies adding fourslide machines to
The amazing part about
fourslide machines is the
number of older machines
that are still in service.
During his time working
directly for three companies
that made the machines,
Griffing saw fourslides in
operation that date back to
the ‘20s and ‘30s.
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 25
their operations. He says the move was not necessarily
to pickup new customers, but to satisfy their current
customer base.
He said for many of these companies it was an
opportunity to expand their product range and make their
current customers happy by being more versatile.
Book explained that one of his customers used to buy
fourslide parts from another company because the customer
primarily made coil springs. He told Book, “I don’t want to
do that anymore. I want to buy it from myself.”
Former SMI president Reb Banas, president of Stanley
Spring & Stamping in Chicago, says the company’s
fourslide division has actually picked up lately, “but
nowhere near where we were 10 to 15 years ago.
“Ou r sta mping division wit h prog ressive dies
continues to flourish as we continue to add new stamping
presses at this time,” Banas explained. “Conversely, we
have plenty of slides and excess capacity.”
Banas has seen some slide forming shift to Asia and
elsewhere as a “commodity driven segment.”
Meanwhile, Matt Eggemeyer, vice president and
chief operating officer for Keats Mfg. Co., said fourslides
continue to play a strong role at Keats.
"Even though new slides are not made any more,
there are many in active use throughout North America,"
explained Eggemeyer. "We (Keats Mfg. Co.) have over 100
fourslides and multi-slides in Illinois and Texas. We are
able to produce very complicated metal stampings and
wire forms. It is important to maintain them annually
(replace bushings, etc.) and continue training employees
on the specific skills associated with these machines. If
you do that, you can expect the same tolerances as a press.
There are many applications that can't be made in any
other machine, or as economically."
Griffing says there’s still a viable use for fourslide
machines. He says while some business has shifted to CNC
wire forming machines for wire parts, he believes a strong
future still exists for making strip components on fourslide
machines where stamping and forming is needed.
He says whether a company uses a transfer press, a
CNC wire former or a fourslide machine to make parts, it
comes down to choosing the right machine based on the
complexity of the part.
A Dwindling Knowledge Base
Many in the industry recognize that the knowledge
base for working on fourslide machines has dwindled.
Griffing says if his company needs a fourslide setup
operator or technician, “we try to find someone with a
good mechanical aptitude and train them.”
26 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
“It’s hard to talk to someone
and say, ‘I’m going to sell you
a machine, but it’s exactly
the same machine you’ve
been running for the past
30 years.’ They’re not going
to take to that well. If I can
offer some advantages, then
they’re interested.”
While formal education has nearly gone away for
training on fourslide machines, Griffing says in Bristol,
where TAK Enterprises is located, “there’s a school trying
to give kids exposure.”
Book sees the same trend on all the different types of
machines they manufacture and support with parts, not
just fourslides.
“My generation told our kids to go to college and sit
in front of a computer,” lamented Book. “There’s no one
who wants to get their hands dirty anymore. So there’s a
gigantic void there.”
Tom Malolepsy of Nor t hwest Fou rslide, who’s
featured in our Springmaker Spotlight, is quite aware
of the challenge. He’s active in trying to recruit the
next generation into the fourslide business. Northwest
Fourslide participates in an internship program with a
local college, works with the state of Oregon on an on-thejob training program and hires through a summer works
program helping high school students land jobs.
Recently shipped Nilson Model 1-FB
The company just finished shipping two transfer
presses, and are currently building two more. Book also
anticipated an upcoming order for multiple new fourslide
As we celebrate the fourslide machine, one has to think
that Eli Josiah Manville, if he were still alive today, would
be happy to know that his invention is still going strong. Q
The Future Ahead
It doesn’t appear that the fourslide machine business
will be going anywhere fast, though Book says selling a
fourslide machine is often difficult.
“It’s hard to talk to someone and say, ‘I’m going to sell
you a machine, but it’s exactly the same machine you’ve
been running for the past 30 years.’ They’re not going
to take to that well. If I can offer some advantages, then
they’re interested.”
Book explained that his company has been doing some
experimental work on fourslides.
“We have a new feed system on the Nilsons and we are
playing with other feed options. What we’ve tried to do is
keep the integrity of the machine and the quality of the
machine intact, but to keep our prices in line.”
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 27
Is your
headed in
the right
For information about getting your plan on track,
contact Lynne Carr, General Manager, Spring
Manufacturers Institute, at (630) 495-8588.
Your future. Made easier.®
SMI is a separate legal entity and is not affiliated with the ING family of companies.
Insurance products, annuities and funding agreements issued by ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company (“ILIAC”) One Orange Way, Windsor, CT 06095, which is solely responsible
for meeting its obligations. Plan administrative services provided by ILIAC or ING Institutional Plan Services, LLC. All companies are members of the ING family of companies.
or offered
2013 through ING Financial Advisers, LLC (member SIPC) or other broker/dealers with which is has a selling agreement.
3019114.C.S-3 (8/11) © 2011 ING North America Insurance Corporation C#
By Tom Malolepsy, Northwest Fourslide
(Editor’s note: This article
was originally published in
the Winter 2000 issue of
Springs. August "Gus" Kollom
was the founder and CEO
of Northwest Fourslide,
Inc. Kollom passed away
on December 18, 2006. See
related article on Northwest
Fourslide on page 33).
ach morning, Gus Kollom
walks through his gleaming,
modern shop in Sherwood,
Oregon. Typically, he will
talk and exchange ideas with
any number of his 42 employees, who
are busy manufacturing precision
metal stamped parts or wire forms.
He fondly thinks back to when
he first opened for business 20 long
years ago, in a spare garage bay,
by himself, with just one fourslide
machine for company.
Actually, his story starts much
earlier than this. He was born August
Kollom in central Estonia, a small
Baltic country with a population of
just over one million. At a very early
age, Gus was introduced to tooling
and mechanics by his father, who was
the village blacksmith. His father also
instilled in him respect for authority,
to approach work with passion, have
attention to detail and always help
those less fortunate. Times were
poor. However, Estonia enjoyed its
freedom, and the fair-haired boy was
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 29
espite its size
of more than
40 employees,
the family feeling of
the early days is still
present. Gus knows that
people, not machines,
produce parts. Everyone
is equally important to
the quality and success
of the company. All
employees are salaried
and share equal
bonuses regardless of
position. The birthday
celebrations and
company outings help
bond employees and, as
a result, turnover is low
and performance is high.
30 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
This all drastically changed just prior to World War
II. Both Russia and Germany vied for Estonia's port on
the Baltic Sea, and foreign armies traipsed and battled
for position. Gus and his brother were reluctantly drafted
into opposing armies and went separate ways. At the first
opportunity, Gus risked all to escape in a fishing boat to
the neutral country of Sweden. This was just before the
Iron Curtain fell on Estonia, erasing it as an independent
country for the next 50 years.
Gus had to start over at the age of 19. Without the
support of family and money, lacking even clothes or
knowledge of the Swedish language, Gus worked hard by
day and studied at night. Over time, he eventually earned
his degree from the Stockholm Technical lnstitute and
found employment with Ericsson Electronics. He even
worked on one of the first computers in 1953 and started
his own toolmaking business.
ln the late '50s, Gus moved to Canada to reunite with his
sister. Again, with little financial resources or command of
the English language, Gus's perseverance and hard work led
to employment with a top electronics company.
In the early '60s, Gus met his present wife of 37 years,
Malle, who was involved with computer programming at
General Motors Corporation in Detroit, Mich. When the
opportunity arose, Gus and Malle moved to the Bay area of
California to participate in the setup of the new GM plant.
Together with their daughter, they made Fremont, Calif.
their home. Gus started as the tooling foreman for GM and
advanced to become the tooling process engineer.
At age 54, when most executives start to think about
retirement, Gus once more jumped at the chance to move,
this time to Oregon to start a business with a partner.
When the partnership did not materialize, Gus was left
staring at an unfamiliar beast — the fourslide machine
in that aforementioned garage of 20 years ago. He dug in
and began to work with and understand the machinery.
Soon, he was building his first tools, producing parts and
shipping orders.
At first, some financial institutions and suppliers
were reluctant to deal with such a small shop headed
by an owner with a European accent. However, Gus had
been true for all those years to the companies that gave
him a chance (he has even had the same barber). Due to
this loyalty, he was able to form strong partnerships for
his business.
In the same way, engineers for local manufacturing
companies began to spread the word about the quality and
on-time delivery of this small shop. In 1982, Northwest
Fourslide and its three employees moved into their own
2,000-square foot facility. As the customer base grew,
Northwest Fourslide kept building, outgrowing and
moving into new facilities. New construction projects
occurred in 1987, 1991 and 1994. ln 1997, it was finally
time to build the current location of 50,000 square feet
in Sherwood, Oregon.
Today, Northwest Fourslide provides services to a
wide variety of industries, such as computer, electronics,
telecommunications, security, dental, medical and
Despite its size of more than 40 employees, the family
feeling of the early days is still present. Gus knows that
people, not machines, produce parts. Everyone is equally
important to the quality and success of the company.
All employees are salaried and share equal bonuses
regardless of position. The birthday celebrations and
company outings help bond employees and, as a result,
turnover is low and performance is high.
Fresh fruit and cookies are available daily in the
clean, well-equipped lunch room. Each night, staff
clean up the shop to keep the environment safe and
tidy. Recently, Jim Wood, SMI regulations compliance
manager, visited Northwest Fourslide and pronounced
Gus's shop among the cleanest and safest he has audited
in North America.
Gus comes from a background where a handshake
is as good as a binding contract, a pat on the back is a
reward for good work, a promise is made only if it can be
met and tardiness is not tolerated. He saw what worked
and didn't work in a large corporation and used what he
learned to mold his own company. From its beginnings,
Northwest Fourslide's quality work has been its best
Clearly, Gus Kollom's company is an example of how
old world values can lead to success in an era of high
technology. Q
ISO 9001: 2008
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 31
©örn Meyer
GS / S
ummer 2013
Springmaker Spotlight
©örn Meyer
A Profile of Northwest Fourslide
By Gary McCoy
orthwest Fourslide, located in Sherwood, Oregon, a
suburb of Portland, is one of a few SMI member firms
that focus exclusively on manufacturing parts using
fourslide machines. Company president Tom Malolepsy
says being a fourslide-focused company is one of the reasons he
appreciates being part of the spring industry.
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 33
34 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
“I really like the fact that the fourslide,
which was invented by a toolmaker during
“I really like the fact that the fourslide, which was
the Industrial Revolution in the United
invented by a toolmaker during the Industrial
States, is still so applicable today for
Revolution in the United States, is still so
manufacturing high precision, low cost parts
for high tech industries,” said Malolepsy.
applicable today for manufacturing high precision,
As he points out, the fourslide machine
low cost parts for high tech industries.”
hasn’t really changed much since the
company started in 1979 by his uncle, the
late Gus Kollom (read more about Gus in
our Flashback article on page 29).
To make up for the loss, Malolepsy said they diversified
“There are some electronic feeds and safety features now,
but basically it (a fourslide) is the same machine,” explained into other industries such as medical, aerospace, and
Malolepsy. “Whereas other machines are changing all the automotive. Then, when the economy slowed down in the
U.S. in 2009, Northwest Fourslide focused on providing
time, the fourslide is a mechanical workhorse.”
Malolepsy says having people understand fourslide prototyping and low volume services.
The company has 33 fourslide machines and over 30
technology is an ongoing challenge for Northwest
Fourslide. The company offers “lunch and learn” seminars employees. With a drop off in high volume electronics
for potential clients and also invite customers to their work, the company now has fewer machine operators.
In terms of their business philosophy, Malolepsy says
facility to see the machines in action.
He says mechanical engineers who visit Northwest a quote on their website summarizes it well: “Quality
Fourslide go “bonkers” over the technology. “It’s like Willy is the essence of our business success.” He says quality
Wonka with everything moving,” explained Malolepsy doesn’t just pertain to parts, which is what customers
expect anyway; it extends to the quality of their work
with a chuckle. “They’re amazed.”
Malolepsy also takes a video with him on the road to env i ron ment, a nd how t hey t reat customers a nd
show potential clients at trade shows or for sales calls. employees. “It’s an overall quality in everything we do.”
The video, with classical music in the background, is Northwest Fourslide has been registered to ISO standards
also on their website at
“If we can get the word out there about fourslide, there’s
work to be gotten. It helps once people understand the
e in a
advantages and limitations of the machines.”
One of the funny parts about being fourslide-focused
is the way the company name has been spelled. Malolepsy
says he’s made a hobby of collecting the ways in which
Northwest Fourslide has been misspelled.
“Nort hwest Four Slice. Nort hwest Floor Slide.
Northwest Forest Life. Northwest Porch Light. You tell me
• For all applications with ranges from
when to stop, I’ve got 100 of these,” Malolepsy laughingly
.003”–.750” wire diameter.
told me in a recent phone interview. “That shows we’ve
• Extensive inventory ready to ship
got a 150-year-old technology that is not well known,
with over 1.5 million parts in stock,
especially on the West Coast.”
including die springs.
A Tradition of Quality
Since Nor t hwest Fou rslide sta r ted, Ma lolepsy
estimates they have built one new tool a week to amass a
total of over 1,500 tools. “And we continue to expand our
knowledge base.
“We are a fourslide specialist and do some really
precision, difficult parts that probably a lot of other
companies would not want to take on. In fact companies
with their own fourslide machines send fourslide work
our way for this reason…our expertise.”
He says when high volume work went overseas,
Northwest Fourslide had to figure out a way to make money
on lower volume work.
• Custom design work with quick delivery.
• Most estimates returned
within 24 hours.
Convenient locations throughout the US –
Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 35
Parts washer
at Northwest
36 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
since 1996 and is working on aerospace
“To me, success is people staying with the
business and feeling like they are part of the
Malolepsy says the work environment at
Northwest Fourslide was shaped by his uncle,
family. That feels really good. And it feels really
who had worked many years in the corporate
good when we can offer bonuses to our employees
world and saw what did and didn’t work.
“We have monthly meetings and bring in
to reward them for their commitment.”
pizza and celebrate birthdays,” said Malolepsy.
“We keep our employees up to date on what the
company is doing as far as which way it is headed. We share family. That feels really good. And it feels really good
when we can offer bonuses to our employees to reward
a lot of information with them.”
Northwest Fourslide has many long term employees. them for their commitment.”
Northwest Fourslide recognizes employees in five“That’s actually critical to fourslide,” said Malolepsy. “The
setup, the tool making and running quality parts. It’s all year increments of service with a monetary reward. Key
employees attend SMI conventions.
contingent on experience.”
Malolepsy says the other area where his uncle was
That’s why Northwest Fourslide has invested heavily
proactive was maintaining a very high quality, clean
in their employees.
“We talk about fourslide machines, but really it’s and safe work environment, and clean equipment. “Our
the people, not the machines, that drives the success of customers have been known to say: ‘You can eat off the
fourslide,” said Malolepsy. “The knowledge, the creativity floor at Northwest’s shop.’”
He points out that the pictures on the company’s
and the experience with fourslide leads to problem solving.
This requires an experienced and supportive management website accurately portray the actual look of their shop
team which we have with Jan Mellinger as vice president floor. “They weren’t taken when the building was new or
have been doctored up for the photo shoot. There is no
and Mark Ver Halen, our production manager.”
Northwest has a plaque on the wall that shows janitor, and employees take pride in cleaning up their
employee start dates. “To me, success is people staying work area at the end of each day.”
with the business and feeling like they are part of the
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 37
management world before deciding to join
the family business.
Malolepsy relocated to Oregon in
1992 to work with his uncle in what he
describes as a “long-term” succession
plan. He had the chance to work with
Kollom up until his death in 2006. “I
appreciated the opportunity to have a
great mentor,” he thoughtfully stated.
Left: Tom relaxes with his wife Katalin.
Without a background in the spring
Right: Tom's daughter Natalia is an aspiring
Malolepsy said he was able to
singer. Opposite page: Tom at work
grow in his knowledge of the business
over the 14 years he worked with his
He says the Northwest customer base has been built uncle. Malolepsy said he was able to bring to Northwest his
background in computer-aided design (CAD), computers,
on the company’s reputation for quality.
systems and facilities to put in shop systems for the company
and to implement CAD in design work.
Long-Term Succession
Kollom’s wife, Malolepsy’s aunt, Malle, manages the
Malolepsy did not start out in the fourslide business,
though he made trips to Oregon from his home in southern LLC for the building and Kollom’s grandchildren have
Ontario, Canada, to visit his aunt and uncle. “I remember when worked in the business during summers.
he started the business with just two fourslide machines in a
garage, and watched its growth,” explained Malolepsy. “So I Family/Music
was aware of what fourslide technology was all about.”
When he’s not busy running t he operations at
Earning a couple of degrees in Canada, including one Northwest Fourslide, Malolepsy enjoys working out and
in environmental studies/architecture from the University playing golf, which he says “is a sport I had to pick up to
of Waterloo, Malolepsy worked in the corporate facilities go the SMI conventions. Now I enjoy it.”
In addition, Malolepsy plays and listens to music. Along
with his wife of 25 years, Katalin, who is a songwriter,
the Malolepsys are involved in the management of their
18-year-old daughter Natalia’s music career.
Natalia, whose stage name is Natalia Malo, is a singer/
songwriter. She signed a record contract with Spicy G
Records in Los Angeles and has her own YouTube channel
at She states
on her YouTube page: “I’m a young aspiring artist working
towards my goals in music. I have been singing, writing and
composing my own music since the age of nine.”
Malolepsy describes his daughter’s music style as
“acoustic pop.” Helping manage Natalia’s career is like
running a small business, relates Malolepsy, but he says
the music business is different than manufacturing.
“Music industry types tend to be intuitive right
brain thinkers versus more logical left brain types in
manufacturing,” he relates with a chuckle. “Both are very
demanding though!”
Due to the return of business to the U.S. through
reshoring, Malolepsy is optimistic about the future of
“Unfortunately, industries like springs don’t garner
much attention from politicians. We don’t seem to get
much benefit from Washington,” he says. “Yet we’re
instrumental in supporting many Fortune 500 companies.”
Malolepsy is quite active in trying to recruit the next
generation into the fourslide business. The company
participates in an internship program with a local college,
38 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
“I keep looking for that diamond-in-therough employee who has potential along
the way to become a junior toolmaker
or fourslide setup operator,” says
Malolepsy of his job related programs.
works with the state of Oregon on an on-the-job training
program and hires through a summer works program
helping high school students land jobs.
“I keep looking for that diamond-in-the-rough employee
who has potential along the way to become a junior
toolmaker or fourslide setup operator,” says Malolepsy of
his job related programs. “Currently we have some young
people in fourslide.”
Malolepsy is an unabashed promoter of a fourslide
career. “If you are mechanically minded, with attention to
detail, and a willingness to be a lifelong learner; that’s what
fourslide requires,” says Malolepsy of the path forward in
the industry.
“If you treat your position as not just a job, but as a
career, you become an invaluable employee, the type the
company wants for the long term.”
Malolepsy believes fourslide is a craft which requires both
hemispheres of the brain (art and science) to achieve success. Q
,67 6(59,&(6
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 39
For over 25 years, Zapp has been providing
the spring industry with the highest quality,
best performing products which far exceed
the industry standards. Our state-of-the-art
mill facility located in Dartmouth,
Massachusetts, offers a convenient supply
chain that insures continuity and reliability.
At Zapp, no matter how we slice it, our
precision quality and outstanding customer
service always shine through.
East Coast Service Center, 100 Benton St., Stratford, CT 06615
Tel 203.386.0038 Fax 203.502.6681
40 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Process Optimization
Through Failure Analysis
By Jason Sicotte, Associated Spring
he design goal of any spring is
to absorb and return energy
repeatedly without failure.
Through years of experience,
testing and data collection, it is fairly
easy to estimate how many cycles a
spring will survive before fracture for
a given material grade and processing
(i.e. stress relieving, shot peening,
pre-setting, etc.). Inevitably, designers
push the limits of stress for a given
material and process, typically to
optimize packaging or spring weight.
In this situation, if a spring fails
prematurely during testing, there is
an opportunity to perform a detailed
failure analysis — the results of
which can be used to guide process
optimization to improve durability.
In this article, Associated Spring,
a world-class provider of engineered
springs, prov ides a case histor y
detailing how failure analysis can
be used to optimize manufacturing
processes for enhanced fatigue life.
In general, it is useful to consider the
four inputs to fatigue life. In no particular
order of importance, they include:
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 41
Figure 1: Stereo microscope image showing a classic fatigue halo.
Applied stress
Material fatigue resistance
Residual stress
Geometric stress concentrators
The intent is not to use these
factors in a quantitative calculation,
but rather to guide failure analysis
and fatigue life optimization. These
four factors can be further explained
in the following ways:
• Applied stress includes the
design stress, amplification from
spring surge or dynamics, Hertz
contact stress, etc.
• Material fatigue resistance
includes tensile strength /
hardness, microstructure, grain
size, etc.
• Residual stress is the internal
stress imparted by forming, heat
treating, shot peening, etc.
• Geometric stress concentrators
include any feature which may
locally increase the stress, most
common material surface defects,
non-metallic inclusions, or
spring manufacturing induced
concentrators such as tool marks.
Ideally, to validate a new design,
application, material or process, the
42 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
springmaker or customer will be
able to perform fatigue testing which
matches the expected use as closely as
possible. In the case of extended life
applications, this may be time or cost
prohibitive, so accelerated testing at
higher stress levels can be used.
Here, caution must be exercised
as a higher applied stress may induce
a failure mode which will not be
experienced in normal usage. One
example of this is high stress, creating
a surface-initiated fatigue crack on a
shot peened spring, when possibly
under expected stresses the crack
would initiate subsurface. Regardless,
assuming the fatigue test mimics
actual use, it is possible to design an
improved process based on failure
analysis results.
The goal of failure analysis is to
identify the fatigue crack initiation
site a nd t he root cause of crack
initiation. The complete topic of
failure analysis is expansive and
well beyond the scope of this article;
however, in general, failure analysis
uses progressively higher magnification
instruments to find and study the
crack initiation.
The t h ree t y pica l deg rees of
imaging include f irst na ked eye
observation, then stereo microscope
analysis, and last, if needed (and
available), study with a scanning
electron microscope. This should
be su f f icient to pi npoi nt where
the crack initiated on the fracture
surface, provided there was no post
failure damage. Other tools which
are commonly utilized, as needed,
Figure 2: Scanning electron microscopy image showing the fatigue crack initiation site 225
microns below the surface. No non-metallic inclusions were present.
Figure 3:
Residual stress vs. depth,
plotted over the SEM
i nc lude m ic r oh a rd ness test i ng,
microstructural analysis, and possibly
x-ray dif f ractomet r y to measu re
residual stresses.
Case History — Associated
Spring: Engine Valve Spring
In this case, an engine valve spring
was being tested on a dynamometer
for a d iesel ma r i ne applicat ion.
The spring fractured prior to test
completion a nd was a nalyzed to
determine the cause of failure, guided
by the four fatigue factors previously
discussed. The spring fractured in
one location, 3.2 coil turns from the
front end. Examination using a stereo
microscope indicated that the fatigue
crack initiated below the spring ID, as
shown in Figure 1.
Further analysis was performed
using a scanning electron microscope.
As can be seen in Figure 2, it was
confirmed that the fatigue crack
initiated approximately 225 microns
below the wire surface, in the absence
of any stress concentrators such as
non-metallic inclusions. The material
strength was verified by measuring
the microhardness and was found
to be about 595 HV (55 HRC). This is
normal for a CrSiV alloy spring which
is well processed.
The residual stress was measured
using x-ray diffraction to quantify
the effects of shot peening and stress
relieving. The spring was found to
have good compressive residual stress
from peening and a normal level of
tensile residual stress resulting from
coiling and stress relieving. When
graphically presented over the scanning
electron image (Figure 3), it can be
seen that the fatigue initiation depth
corresponds with the depth where
peening compressive residual stress
disappears and only tensile residual
stress remains (approx. 225 microns).
I n s u m m a r y, t h e a n a l y s i s
concluded that this was a normal well
processed spring with no material
or processing deficiencies. However,
it can also be concluded that if the
tensile stress at the initiation depth
was reduced or eliminated, the spring
would have a longer fatigue life. This
provides the opportunity for process
The process optimization goal in
this case is to eliminate the detrimental
subsurface tensile residual stress
without negatively impacting other
cont r ibutors to fat ig ue, such a s
geometry, material strength, or creating
any stress concentrators. Given these
constraints, Associated Spring has
developed several unique processes
which can either eliminate that tensile
residual stress or, if needed, introduce
a significant compressive residual
stress at that depth. Figure 4 shows the
residual stress profiles resulting from
these optimized processes.
The precise details of the different
optimized processes will be presented
in a future article. However, the point
is that all were developed to eliminate
the “weak link” which resulted in
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 43
Residual Stress Depth Profile
400 –
300 –
200 –
100 –
Residual Stress (MPa)
0 –
-100 –
-200 –
-300 –
-400 –
-500 –
-600 –
-700 –
Process A
-800 –
Process B
Process C
-900 –
Process D
-1000 –
-1100 –
Depth (Microns)
Figure 4: Residual stress vs. depth comparing a conventionally processed valve spring with 4
unique optimized processes, which eliminate the subsurface tensile stress from coiling.
premature failure in this case history.
Ultimately, Process A was chosen and
applied to this spring, allowing the
customer to achieve the durability
goal without having to change the
spring design or material.
With a strong comprehension of
the mechanics of fatigue life, this
concept can be readily applied to any
type of spring, or for that matter any
product subjected to fatigue. Similar
case histories exist where this has
been applied to Belleville washers,
torsion springs, power springs, fuel
injector springs, flapper valves and
others. Ultimately, the goal of process
optimization is first to develop one or
more technical solutions to improve
fatigue life guided by the failure
analysis, then decide which option is
most robust and cost competitive. Q
Jason Sicotte is the new product and process engineering manager
at Associated Spring while also directing the Materials Engineering
laboratory. During the last 19 years in the spring industry he has gained
valuable experience analyzing failures, designing new products and
working closely with wire and steel mills on process improvements.
Sicotte holds several patents and has formerly been a guest speaker to
IVSWMA. To contact Sicotte, email: [email protected]
44 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
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By Mark E. Battersby
hanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act, spring
manufacturers, business managers, executives, or
owners who have hesitated or postponed making
capital investments because of the recent economic
downturn might now want to reconsider. Using those
tax incentives for large purchases, including equipment
acquisitions, just became easier and less expensive.
Those incentives include a unique first-year write-off
for so-called Code Section 179 equipment and property.
The tax break that allows profitable spring manufacturers
and businesses to write-off large capital expenditures
immediately — rather than over time — has also been
resurrected to allow a 50 percent “bonus” depreciation
deduction for property placed in service through 2013.
Basic Depreciation Basics
Under our ta x laws, spring manufacturers and
businesses have long been entitled to deduct a reasonable
allowance for the exhaustion, wear and tear of equipment
and property used in a trade or business, or for property held
for the production of income. Depreciation begins in the tax
year that an asset is placed in service and ends in the tax
year that it is retired from service or is fully depreciated.
Depreciation has many approved forms. The Modified
Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is the most commonly
used. Under MACRS (and the former standard, ACRS)
the cost or other basis of an asset is generally recovered
over a specific recovery period dictated by our lawmakers.
Depreciation based on "useful life" is calculated over the
estimated useful life of the asset actually used by the
taxpayers and not over the longer period of the asset’s
physical life.
The Section 179, First-Year Write-Off
The tax rules permit a spring manufacturer or business
to treat as an expense a portion of the cost of newly
acquired equipment and business property. In other words,
an expense deduction is available for spring businesses
that choose to treat the cost of qualifying property and
equipment, called Section 179 property, as an expense
rather than a capital expenditure. Section 179 property
generally is defined as new or used depreciable tangible
property that is purchased for use in the active conduct
of a trade or business.
A dollar limit is placed on the maximum cost of
Section 179 property that a spring manufacturer may
expense during the tax year. Today, the higher expensing
limits in effect in 2011 have not only been reinstated for
the 2012 tax year, but extended for expenditures made
before December 31, 2013. Thus, a spring manufacturer
or supplier can expense and immediately deduct up to
$500,000 of the cost of equipment and other business
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 47
A spring manufacturer
or business will usually
reap the greatest benefit
from Code Section 179 by
expensing property that
does not qualify for bonus
depreciation such as used
property, and property with
a long depreciation period.
property acquired in either 2012 or 2013. In an attempt to
limit this write-off to smaller operations, the Code Section
179 deduction is subject to a phase-out if total capital
expenditures exceed $2,000,000.
On the downside, the first-year write-off is also limited
to the spring operation’s taxable income during the tax
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year. Naturally, any amount disallowed by the limitation
may be carried forward and deducted in subsequent tax
years, subject to the maximum dollar and investment
limitations, or, if lower, the taxable income limitation in
effect for the carryover year.
A spring manufacturer or business will usually reap
the greatest benefit from Code Section 179 by expensing
property that does not qualify for bonus depreciation such
as used property, and property with a long depreciation
period. For example, given the choice between expensing
an item of five-year property and an item of 15-year
property, the 15-year property should be expensed since
it takes 10 additional tax years to recover its cost through
annual depreciation deductions.
Depreciation’s “Bonus” Write-Off
So-called “bonus” depreciation has long been used by
our lawmakers as an economic stimulus. Today, the tax
law allows 50 percent bonus depreciation write-off for
equipment and property placed in service through the 2013
tax year. Some transportation and longer-lived property are
even eligible for bonus depreciation through 2014.
With bonus depreciation, unlike the Section 179
write-off which can be either used or new, the taxpayer
must be the “first to use.” What’s more, to be eligible for
bonus depreciation, property must be depreciable under
the standard MACRS system, and have a recovery period
of less than 20 years.
The part of the tax laws which imposes dollar limits
on the annual depreciation deductions for cars and light
trucks used in the business is also impacted by the new
bonus depreciation rules. If bonus depreciation had not
been extended, the 2012 tax year would have been the final
year in which substantial first-year write-offs for buyers
of business automobiles would be available.
To Buy or to Lease
Even as credit becomes more readily available, the
question of whether to buy or to lease is facing many spring
manufacturers. Of course, for some businesses, purchasing
needed equipment may not be an option because the initial
cash outlay is too high.
If the business plans to borrow the money and make
monthly payments, most banks require a down payment
of around 20 percent. Borrowing money may also tie up
lines of credit, and lenders may place restrictions on the
manufacturer’s future financial operations to ensure the
loan will be repaid.
Equipment leasing is generally a loan in which the
lender buys and owns equipment and then “rents” it to the
business that will actually be using it at a flat monthly rate
for a specified number of months. At the end of the lease
period, the business may purchase the equipment for its
fair market value (or for a fixed pre-determined amount),
continue leasing, lease new equipment, or return it.
Deciding the best strategy is a tough move for anyone
and there is no one correct answer that fits every situation.
For most leasing situations, however, there are rules that
help determine whether a transaction is a genuine lease
or a disguised purchase. The rules evolved from a series
of court decisions and Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
rulings. Generally, when it comes to determining who is
the owner of the property for tax purposes, the IRS looks
to the “economic substance” of the transaction - how it
is structured and works, not how the parties involved
characterize it.
There is no time limit on leasing. In fact, leasing is
effective even where a spring manufacturer has already
purchased equipment. These transactions, known as saleleasebacks, are usually available for equipment purchased
within the past 90 days. Sale-leasebacks may also be
used to legitimately shift the tax benefits from the spring
business to its owner or shareholders.
Although one recent survey by the Equipment Leasing
Association (ELA) found that almost 70 percent of those
surveyed leased equipment, lease financing is generally
more expensive than bank financing. Of course, in most
instances, leases are more easily obtained.
In addition to the buy/lease conundrum, many
business owners and managers must answer the question
of whether to replace or repair equipment. Since the
Reconstruction Era Income Tax Act of 1870, taxpayers
have been prohibited from deducting amounts paid for
new buildings, permanent improvements, or betterments
made to increase the value of property.
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In an attempt to resolve the controversy that exists
over whether certain expenditures made by a spring
manufacturer or business are currently deductible as
repair expenses, or whether they must be capitalized and
deducted over the life of the underlying business asset,
the IRS has issued new guidelines.
According to the IRS, expenditures are currently
deductible as a repair expense if they are “incidental
in nature and neither materially add to the value of
the property nor appreciably prolong its useful life.”
Expenditures are also currently deductible if they are for
materials and supplies consumed during the year.
On the other hand, expenses must be capitalized
and written-off over a number of years if they are for
“perma nent improvements” or “betterments” t hat
increase the value of the property, restore its value or use,
substantially prolong its useful life, or adapt it to a new
or different use.
A safe harbor has been created for routine maintenance
on property other than buildings. Routine maintenance
includes the inspection, cleaning, and testing of the
unit of property and replacement of parts of the unit of
property with comparable and commercially available
and reasonable replacement parts. Unfortunately, in
50 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
order to be considered routine maintenance, the spring
manufacturer must expect to perform these services more
than once during the class life (generally the same as for
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 renewed
and expanded many tax breaks designed to help spring
manufacturers, suppliers and other businesses reap
benefits from capital investments in new equipment and
business property. When combined with the existing tax
rules for leasing and the new guidance that attempts to
answer the repair or replace questions, opportunities
abound for reducing the out-of-pocket costs for acquiring
equipment and business property needed by the springs
operation. Not too surprisingly, the assistance of a
qualified tax professional is highly recommended. Q
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 51
SMI Scholarship Program Awards
$25,000 in Aid for 2013
A total of $25,000 in awards were
granted in the 2013 SMI Scholarship
Program. Eligible recipients are sons
and daughters of employees who work
for an SMI member company.
A total of nine regional scholarships
of $2,000 each were awarded to students
for the 2013-2014 academic year.
In addition to the regional awards,
three at-large scholarships were awarded.
The International Spring Scholarship
awards an at-large scholarship of $3,000,
and is sponsored by Joe Goldberg of
International Spring Company. The
recipient is Zachary Smith of Kewanna,
Ind. who is enrolled at the University of
Chicago studying physics/mathematics.
He is the son of Winamac Coil Spring
employee Mark Smith.
The Bud Peterson Memorial
Scholarship, sponsored by Pete
Peterson, awards an at-large
scholarship of $2,000, and is named
in honor of Pete‘s father, the late Bud
Peterson, who served as president of
SMI. Michelle Holodny of Highland
Heights, Ohio is this year‘s recipient.
She is enrolled at the University of
Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. studying
actuarial science. She is the daughter
of Alexander Holodny who works for
American Spring Wire.
The Callaghan-Hart Scholarship is
sponsored by Jim Callaghan, former
CFO of MW Industries. The $2,000
at-large scholarship is named in honor
of Callaghan‘s parents, Ed and Rita Hart
Callaghan. The recipient is Evan Kuhl
of Rockford, Ill. He is studying health
science/physical therapy at Bradley
University in Peoria, Ill. He is the son of
Rockford Spring Co. employee Kevin Kuhl.
Scholarship America administers
the program for the SMI Regional
Scholarship Program.
Even More Scholarships in 2014
Medford, Mass.
SMI Member Parent:
Maria DeGiovanni
Cornell University,
Ithaca, N.Y.
SMI Member/Region:
Hardware Products,
Ryan Hysinger
Holly, Mich.
SMI Member Parent:
Stephen Hysinger
Oakland University,
Rochester, Mich.
Major: Health/
Exercise Science
SMI Member/Region:
Link Engineering,
SMI wishes to thank Joe Goldberg
of International Spring Company. He
has agreed to increase the amount of
the International Spring Scholarship to
$4,000 per year from 2014 to 2016.
In addition, several new at-large
scholarships have been established.
WAFIOS has pledged $2,500 per year
for the next three years to fund the
WAFIOS Innovations Scholarship.
KERN-LIEBERS has announced two
new scholarships for one year, both in
the amount of $2,500 per scholarship.
They include the 125th anniversary
KG and the 25th anniversary KERNLIEBERS Texas, Inc. scholarships.
“We thank all these companies and
individuals for their generous support
of our scholarship program,” said SMI
president Steve Moreland.
Regional Awards
Kortnie Cotter
Saint Marys, Pa.
SMI Member Parent:
John Cotter
University, Erie, Pa.
Major: Applied
Behavior Analysis
SMI Member/Region:
Penn Elkco
Spring Company,
Ola Czyzewski
Northbrook, Ill.
SMI Member Parent:
Joseph Czyzewski
Marquette University,
Milwaukee, Wis.
Major: Undeclared
SMI Member/Region:
Aero Spring
52 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Daniel Forrest
McEwen, Tenn.
SMI Member Parent:
Kerry Wills
University of
Knoxville, Tenn.
Major: Chemical
SMI Member/Region:
Sumiden Wire
Products, Southeast
Jose Ibarra
El Paso, Texas
SMI Member Parent:
Jose Ibarra
University of
Philadelphia, Pa.
Major: Chemistry
SMI Member/Region:
Michigan Spring
and Stamping,
"I would like to extend my gratitude for my
selection as an SMI Scholarship recipient.
It means so much to be able to continue
my education and have one less financial
stress burdening me. I will continue to
drive towards my lifelong goals and use
this tool in helping achieve them. I cannot
overemphasize how thankful I am. It really
means a lot to me and my family, and we
are sincerely thankful for the opportunity.
Thank you again.“
- Daniel Forrest
"There are no possible words available
to express the amount of gratitude I hold
for you. Thank you ever so much for
selecting me as a recipient of the 2013
SMI Scholarship! I promise to ensure your
kind donation will not be thrown away in
vain, but used for an empowering effort.
Thanks again.“
- Jose Ibarra
"Sending you my sincerest gratitude
concerning my scholarship award via the
Spring Manufacturers Institute for the 20132014 academic year. As a current senior
in college graduating in May, I decided I
wanted to further my education as soon
as possible through graduate studies. My
field of study is applied behavior analysis,
which I plan to use to help me shape not
only the art but the science of teaching
and learning. This experience satisfies a
love I hold for experiential learning. I will
be participating in a rigorous program
comprised of lectures and 750 in-field
hours. This award will help me in many
ways and I wanted to demonstrate to you
a gratitude I find difficult to put into words.
Thank you, again!“
- Kortnie Cotter
Regional Awards
Emily Lenczowski
Chicago, Ill.
SMI Member Parent:
Zak Lenczowski
Loyola University,
Chicago, Ill.
SMI Member/Region:
Dudek & Bock
Spring Company,
Kearsten RodgersJohansen
SMI Member Parent:
Kenn Johansen
RCC College of
Toronto, Ontario
Major: Acting
SMI Member/Region:
Newcomb Spring,
"I would like to tell you how much I
appreciate your support of the International
Spring Scholarship. Your contribution goes
a long way in helping me reach educational
goal in life. Thank you very much.“
- Zachary Smith
"I would like to take a moment to thank
SMI for awarding this scholarship. I am
extremely grateful for receiving the $2,000
for the 2013-2014 school year. The money is
very much appreciated and will be a much
needed help to continue my education at
Bradley University. I know many people
apply for the scholarship and many also
do not receive it. I plan on becoming a
physical therapist in order to help get
people, who may get injured or need to
recover from a surgery, get back on their
feet. Again, thank you for granting me this
scholarship. I am extremely grateful.“
- Evan Kuhl
At-Large Awards
Sahista Vahora
Flemington, N.J.
SMI Member Parent:
Saukatali Vahora
Rutgers, New
Brunswick, N.J.
Major: Pharmacy
SMI Member
and Region:
Altantic Spring
Zachary Smith
International Spring
Scholarship Award
Michelle Holodny
Bud Peterson
Evan Kuhl
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 53
Students Show Appreciation
SMI Holds 80th
Annual Meeting
in Tucson
lu e s k ie s, c a c t u s a nd
desert heat greeted SMI
members who attended the
association's 80th annual
meeting at the Ritz Carlton
Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.
SMI committees met on April 6
at lunch, which was followed by a
board of directors meeting. The SMI
board welcomed new members that
included Torsten Buchwald, KernLiebers USA; Mark DiVenere, Gemco
Manufacturing; Charly Klein, Fox
Valley Spring; Bill Krauss, Vulcan
Spring; Don Lowe, Peterson Spring;
JR Strok, Mohawk Spring; and Bill
Torres, Gibbs Wire and Steel.
Steve Kempf of Lee Spring has
joined the executive committee as an at
large member. He replaces Russ Bryer of
Spring Team, who is unable to fulfill his
term on the executive committee due to
his retirement from the company.
A lively general session on Monday,
April 8 was an SMI Strategic Planning
exercise led by Joseph M. Thompson, Jr.
Thompson is the founder and principal
of Thompson Management Associates,
54 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
LLC. Results of the planning and a
follow up session will be held at the
SMI Education/Business Meeting at
the Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas,
Nev., September 29 – October 1, 2013.
On Tuesday, April 9, F. Lee
Howell of t he Behav iora l
Assessment Resource Group LLC
(The Bar Group). He helped train
SMI members on how to reliably
assess deceptive behavior and
deceptive strategies to conceal
critical information.
SMI's next annual meeting will
be held February 8-11, 2014 at the
JW Marriott in Ihilani, Hawaii.
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 55
56 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 57
The program includes a preliminary interview, a review of
the company’s written programs, a plant floor inspection
and a detailed, written, post-audit report.
Cost: $1,000 for Members, $2,000 for Nonmembers
For more information, contact:
Spring Manufacturers Institute
2001 Midwest Rd, Suite 106
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Phone: 630-495-8597 Fax: 630-495-8595
E-Mail: [email protected]
58 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
By Christine Comaford
ost leaders know that command and control is dead
and that fear doesn’t motivate employees; quite the
opposite, in fact. That’s why, for the most part, we
refrain from doing scary things. (Only the worst “bully
bosses” make it a practice to scream at an employee, or
call him abusive names, or threaten to fire him the next
time he makes the coffee too strong.) Yet even good leaders
unintentionally strike fear in the hearts of their workforce.
More accurately, we strike it into their brains, and the
consequences are more dire than you might realize.
From time to time we all say or do things that spark
unconscious fears in our employees. The primitive “fight,
flight, or freeze” part of the brain takes control. When that
happens, when people are stuck in what I call the “Critter
State.” All they can focus on is their own survival.
In other words, everything that makes them good
employees—their ability to innovate, to collaborate, to
logically think through problems—goes out the window.
All decision-making is distilled down to one question:
What course of action will keep me safest?
Obviously, we need our employees to be in control of
their whole brain—especially the parts responsible for the
emotional engagement and intelligent decision-making
that lead to high performance. Today’s economy demands
it. That’s why my business teaches leaders how to use the
best tactics from neuroscience to get teams unstuck and
shift them into their so-called “Smart State.”
I regularly see clients who master these techniques and
quickly see their revenues and profits increase by up to 200
percent annually. It just goes to show how pervasive fear
in the workplace actually is—and how crippling it can be.
In my new book, “SmartTribes: How Teams Become
Brilliant Together,” I ask the questions, how might we be
inadvertently holding back our teams and crippling our
own cultures? What, exactly, are we doing to send our
people into their Critter States? More to the point, what
are you doing? Here, I describe five (very subtle) offenders:
You “help them out” by giving them solutions. Or, you
advocate when you should be inquiring. When
we consistently tell people what to do instead of
encouraging them to figure things out on their
own, we develop a company full of order-takers instead
of innovators. By training them to always ask, we create
a workforce of employees who are perpetually “frozen”
in their Critter State.
On the other hand, when we engage them in solving
problems themselves, we create a sense of safety,
belonging, and mattering—which are the three things
humans crave most (after basic needs like food and shelter
are met). And of course, we help them develop a sense of
ownership that will serve them—and the company—well.
Start inquiring and see what happens. Ask, “How
would you do it? What impact might your course of action
have?” After you do this a few times with someone, she’ll
start expecting you to ask questions instead of give orders.
She’ll start coming to you with ideas, seeking feedback and
validation. And after a few of these sessions, she’ll come to you
saying, “I have a plan, here it is, and speak now if you aren’t
okay with it.” Finally, she’ll stop coming to you altogether.
Aim for five inquiries for every advocacy. You’ll be
amazed by what a powerful difference this makes in your
employees and your company.
Your meetings are heavy on sharing and point-proving,
light on promises and requests. Why might a meeting
scare your employees? Because confusion and
uncertainty create fear. Meetings that are rambling
and unfocused send people into the fight-flight-freeze of
the Critter State. On the other hand, short, sweet, highenergy meetings that have a clear agenda keep everyone
in their Smart State.
The key is to understand the five types of communication:
- information-sharing
- sharing of oneself
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 59
- debating, decision-making, or point-proving
- requests
- promises
The typical meeting is heavy on the first three and
light on the last two. Ideally, you should focus on only
enough information-sharing in order to solicit requests
from parties who need something and promises from
parties who will fill that need.
Tune up your communication and the result will be
meetings that are efficient and effective, and that keep your
team happy and clipping along to glorious accountability
and execution.
You give feedback to employees without first establishing
rapport. Imagine for a moment that your employees
are antelopes. Because you have authority over
them, they quite naturally view you as a lion. It’s
not that you’re purposely ruling with teeth and claws. It’s
simply their critter brains at work, peering out and “coding”
who is a friend and who is a foe. That means unless you
can get employees to see you as “just another antelope,”
you won’t be able to influence them—they’ll be too busy
ensuring their own survival to accept your feedback.
I have a wealth of neuroscience tactics for helping
leaders get inside their employees’ heads and truly
establish rapport. Most of them are too complex to convey
in a short article (meta programs are one of the most
potent), so here are three “shortcut” phrases that help
people feel safe enough to shift out of their Critter State:
“What if…” When you use this preface to an idea/
suggestion, you remove ego and reduce emotion. You’re
curious—not forcing a position, but kind of scratching
your head and pondering. This enables someone to
brainstorm more easily with you.
“I need your help.” We call this a dom-sub swap,
because when the dominant person uses it, they are
enrolling the subordinate person and asking them to rise
up and swap roles. This is an especially effective phrase
when you want a person to change their behavior or take
on more responsibility.
“Would it be helpful if…” When someone is stuck in
their Critter State and spinning or unable to move forward,
offering up a solution will help them see a possible course
of action or positive outcome.
You focus on problems rather than outcomes. First,
a little background: I teach my clients that there
are three default roles that people lean toward—
Victim, Rescuer, or Persecutor. (These were first
created by Dr. Stephen B. Karpman, and his article detailing
these roles won the Eric Berne Memorial Scientific Award
in 1972.)1 These roles are interdependent (there must be a
persecutor for there to be a victim for the rescuer to save)
and they play out every day in the workplace.
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60 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Together these roles make up the Tension Triangle—
and when we’re in it we’re problem-focused. We see
everything as a problem, which causes anxiety, which
leads to a reaction, which leads to another problem. It’s
a self-perpetuating cycle. The solution is to switch your
focus from problems to outcomes. Instead of asking
“What’s wrong?” and “Why is this happening?” we ask
“What do we want?” and “How will we create it?”
Being outcome focused feels very different. It’s
empowering and energizing and fills you with confidence.
It firmly places you in your Smart State, where possibility,
choice, innovation, love, and higher consciousness are
abundant. Victims become outcome creators. Rescuers
become insight creators. Persecutors become action
creators. (I have a chart that lays out the differences.) So…
how do you make the switch?
First, identify each role that you and the other person
are playing. Speak to the other person as the positive
counterpart. If he’s in Victim mode and you tend to be a
Rescuer, don’t say things like “I’ll make it better for you”
or “Let me help you.” Instead, say, “What outcome would
you like?” and, “What will having that do for you?” If you
do this in every conversation, and teach others to make
the shift as well, you will transform your cultures and
quickly start getting the outcomes you want.
Clients verify these techniques work.
“I’m learning to see myself as an insight creator
rather than a rescuer of others who see themselves as
victims,” reports Rick Thompson, vice president, talent
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management, Rising Medical Solutions. “I have more
control over my schedule and more focus on truly ‘moving
the needle.’ And the best part is that several other members
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employees are seeing more potential for career growth.”
You frame “change” the wrong way. Almost all leaders
want—probably need—their companies to change.
It’s the only way we can achieve growth. Yet as we
all know, people inherently resist change. In fact,
according to Rodger Bailey’s groundbreaking work on Meta
Programs in the workplace, 65 percent of Americans can
tolerate change only if it is couched in a specific context.
That context is “Sameness with Exception.”
What does this mean? Essentially, it means leaders
need to present the “change” as merely an improvement to
what we are already doing: The bad stuff is being removed,
and good stuff is being added.
Seriously—this is the best way to package a change
message. And don’t use the C-word. Say “growth” instead.
By the way, resistance isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It’s just the first step on the organizational path. The other
four steps are Mockery, Usefulness, Habitual, and New
Standard. But once you can clear the resistance hurdle—
and it will go fairly quickly when you present change the
way I just described—you’re well on your way.
Did you recognize your own leaders—even yourself—in
the list above? If so, you’re not alone. And the good news
is that once you can make the (relatively simple) changes,
you are likely to see dramatic improvements in your results.
All leaders want to outperform, outsell, and outinnovate the competition. And most of us have teams that
are quite capable of doing so. We just need to stop scaring
the competence out of them. Q
Stephen Karpman, “Fairy Tales and Script Drama Analysis,”
Transactional Analysis Bulletin 7, no 26 (1968): 39-43. For
more on Dr. Stephen Karpman’s work, see http://www.
Christine Comaford is a global thought
leader who helps mid-sized and Fortune
1000 companies navigate growth and
change, an expert in human behavior and
applied neuroscience, and the bestselling
author of “Rules for Renegades.” Her latest
book, “SmartTribes: How Teams Become
Brilliant Together,” was scheduled to be
released in June 2013. She is best known for
helping CEOs, boards, and investors create
predictable revenue, deeply engaged and passionate teams, and highly
profitable growth. To learn more, visit
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 61
©, ©
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62 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Inside SMI
©, ©
Join SMI in Las Vegas for Fall Business Meeting
The 2013 SM I Fa l l Bu si ness
Meeting will take place September 29
through October 1 at the Green Valley
Ranch in Henderson, Nev.
The meeting will begin on Sunday,
September 29 with the SMI board and
committee meetings and an evening
cocktail reception. Here's the featured
topics and speakers for the balance of
the event.
For more infor mat ion a nd to
register for the Fall Business Meeting,
phone SMI at 630-495-8588.
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SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 63
Inside SMI
New SMI Member Program with Grainger
SMI has kicked off a new affinity
discount program that can provide
significant cost savings for its members.
SMI recently joined a metalworking
industry association partnership
with Grainger to provide member
companies with discounts on products
and services. Grainger has more than
450,000 products in stock and access
to additional products from thousands
of suppliers. This includes more than
130,000 metalworking products.
SMI members receive discounts
on all catalog items. Members can also
save an additional seven percent when
choosing free standard shipping on all
Depending on how much
an SMI member may
already be planning to
spend with Grainger, the
immediate and direct
savings in this new
program alone may offset
a significant part of your
SMI membership dues.
online orders. Additional discounts
may be made available on selected
items throughout the year. Sourced
items and FINDMRO special orders are
excluded from the shipping promotion.
Depending on how much an SMI
member may already be planning to
spend with Grainger, the immediate
and direct savings in this new program
alone may offset a significant part of
your SMI membership dues. For the
majority of SMI members, enrollment
in this new affinity discount program
—and the savings it provides—is
automatic. Members that already belong
to a Grainger discount program are
encouraged to compare the value of this
new program to their existing program
for increased savings opportunities.
For mor e i n for m at ion, v i sit
SMI Mourns Passing of Members
It is with deep regret that Springs
announces the passing of Lee P.
Whittington, 65, on March 29, 2013 unexpectedly at his home in Logansport, Ind.
Born September 19, 1947 in Brazil,
he was the son of the late John and
Constance Powell Whittington. On July
3, 1974, he was married to Cheryl K.
(McVay) Whittington, who survives him.
Whittington graduated from Logansport
High School in 1966 and from the University of Texas in 1970 with a bachelor of
business administration degree.
Whittington began working for
Rockwell International in 1970 before it
later became Matthew-Warren Spring
Division, where he was the purchasing
He was a proud member of the University of Texas Alumni association, the
Texas Exes, and enjoyed watching their
football and basketball games. Whittington had a love for music, especially
Bruce Springsteen, and a curiosity for
science fiction.
Other survivors include his daughter
and son-in-law, Jennifer and Ben Rotz
of Sydney, Australia; sister, Lynne Whittington of Sheridan, Wyo.; and two
grandchildren, Abigail Rotz and Jack
Rotz, both of Sydney, Australia.
64 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
Donald J. Musielak, 76, of McHenry, Ill., passed away on March 30, 2013,
in his home. He was born Sept. 11,
1936, in Chicago, the son of Alexander
and Anna (Zawadzki) Musielak.
Musielak was the founder of Classic
Products, including Mastercoil Springs
and DJ Springs. He was in the spring
business for more than 55 years. Mastercoil Springs recently celebrated its
30th anniversary. He also dabbled in
multiple enterprises through the years
and was best known for his enjoyment
collecting antiques and classic cars.
Musielak also enjoyed golfing, fishing
and bowling.
Musielak is survived by his children,
Catherine (Kenneth) Miller, Jeffery
Musielak, Sandra (Paul) Wesinger and
Carolee Musielak; grandchildren, Eric,
Kristie, Kyle and Kaitlyn Miller, Jake and
Grace Wesinger, and Matt Musielak;
and dear friend, Liz MeDeo. He was
preceded in death by his parents; and a
sister, Joan Doftal.
Dan Nichols, 69, of Bloomfield Hills,
Mich., passed away on May 5, 2013.
Nichols was the founder of Matthew-Warren Spring Company. He was the father of
Matthew Nichols, vertical market manager
for MW Industries, Inc. (MWI).
Nichols spent many years working
for various automotive companies until
he founded his own firm, Aprotech
Group Companies, in 1982. The company is located in Troy, Mich., and their
main focus is manufacturing consulting.
Nichols was most recently the chairman and CEO. He was very dedicated
to his career, and could often be found
tirelessly working. He also travelled the
world because of his job. He enjoyed
flying, and spent time everywhere from
South America and Mexico to Russia
and Japan.
Family was the most important
aspect of Nichol's life. Faith and his
Serbian heritage were also important to
him. He was a lifelong member of St.
Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. In
his spare time, he also enjoyed playing
golf with his family, and boating.
In addition to Matthew (Kristin),
Nichols is survived by his wife, Judith
and his son, Christopher (Joy). Q
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 65
New Products
Forming Systems, Inc. and HSI announce
the addition of the new HCF 600-IX large
conveyor oven to their extensive line of over
30 standard model oven sizes.
Like all HSI ovens, the 600-IX provides the
following features:
• Maximum temperature 930°F
• Seamless rolled edge belt
• Insulated belt return
• Alarm system
• Optional CQI9 modifications
After numerous requests, HSI has also
designed and developed a larger capacity
parts collector for a variety of applications.
The all new PC 250 increases part capacity
by 33 percent and weight capacity more than
doubles to 550/lbs.
Features include:
• Automatic lot control
• Schedule bin change by time or quantity
• Synchronize with machine
• Emergency stop and alarm system
HCF 600-IX
PC 250
BearCom Adds
New Vertex
Standard EVX-531
to Its Broad
Product Line of
Two-Way Radios
66 / SPRINGS / Summer 2013
BearCom, a nationwide provider of
wireless communications equipment and
solutions, has added the new Vertex
Standard EVX-531 two-way radio to the
BearCom product line.
“The Vertex Standard EVX-531 fits
perfectly into the simple talk-and-listen
space that is still the most popular,”
said BearCom’s product and purchasing
manager, Hugh Johnston. “Because it’s
dual-mode analog and DMR digital, the
EVX-531 is fully compatible with existing
digital systems, including MOTOTRBO
from Motorola Solutions, for basic
Johnston added, “The new radio is on
the platform of the Vertex Standard VX451. It’s small, durable, and submersible,
is compatible with existing Vertex Stan-
HSI is represented exclusively in North
America by Forming Systems, Inc. For additional information, please contact FSI at [email protected] or 269-679-3557.
dard accessories, and comes with a full
three-year warranty. The VX-451 is an outstanding product, and the VX-531 should
be as well.”
The Vertex Standard EVX-531 is the
latest addition to the company’s EVX-530
Series of digital portable radios. The series
is part of Vertex Standard’s new eVerge
portfolio, designed for commercial and
industrial customers who use basic land
mobile radios for voice communication and
could benefit from improved audio quality,
coverage, and privacy.
BearCom carries two-way radios from
Motorola Solutions, Vertex Standard,
and Icom America. It also offers three
BearCom-branded models: the BC95,
BC100, and BC130. For more information,
©üseyin harmandaglı,
morkeman, PeskyMonkey
Forming Systems, Inc. and HSI Introduce HCP 600-IX Conveyor Oven
and PC 250 Parts Collector
New Products
Larson Electronics Releases 72-Watt LED Flood
Light with Magnetic Mount Pedestal Base
A new pedestal work light from
Larson Electronics produces more
light from less power than traditional
incandescent pedestal lights. The
WAL-M-LED72-120 LED Work Light
combines the power and portability of
a pedestal mount LED work light with
the versatility of magnetic mounting
capabilities to produce a work light for
a wide range of applications.
The WAL-M-LED72-120 LED work
light produces 4,320 lumens of brilliant
illumination in a wide flood pattern
from only 72 watts of power use. This
LED work light features an extremely
durable LED lamp mated to a three leg
aluminum pedestal mount fitted with
three magnetic pads. The LED lamp
on this unit is a high output design that
produces over four times as much light
output as a 100 watt incandescent
lamp while using only three quarters as
many watts. This lamp runs far cooler
as well, and is waterproof and highly
resistant to the effects of impacts or
dropping, making it ideal for high stress
locations such as industrial work places.
With this LED work light, there are no
worries with accidental burns or bulb
breakage or shattering should the lamp
be dropped or knocked over. In addition,
three 200 lb. grip magnetic pads mounted to each leg allow operators to attach
this light to metal surfaces such as tank
ceilings or wall, effectively letting the
light be used as an overhead or hands
free area light in places where simply
setting the light down is impractical.
To view Larson Electronics’ entire
line of heavy duty lighting visit For more information,
phone 800-369-6671, or 214-616-6180
for international inquiries.
New High Powered
Temperature Controller
from Oven Industries
The 5R7-001-HS from Oven
Industries is a high power temperature controller mounted on a heat
sink for high powered applications
greater than 15 amps. With a bidirectional or unidirectional H-bridge
configuration, the controller has
many benefits. User-friendly PC
software makes it quick and simple
for users to change any temperature
control configurations, which eliminates signal interference or errant
The software also enables the
temperature controller to operate as
a stand-alone unit. A computer can
also be connected to the device to
retrieve data.
Oven Industries supplies custom
temperature controllers for a variety
of industries. For more information,
visit or phone
877-766-OVEN. Q
Advertiser's Index
A & D Trading
(440) 563-5227 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Admiral Steel
(800) 323-7055 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Alloy Wire International
(866) 482-5569 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
(630) 369-3466 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Century Spring,
Division of MW Industries
(800) 237-5225 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Diamond Wire Spring Co.
(800) 424-0500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Dispense Works
(815) 363-3524 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Elgiloy Specialty Metals
(847) 695-1900 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
(866) 263-9268 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Industrial Steel & Wire
(800) 767-0408 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
InterWire Products Inc.
(914) 273-6633 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
JN Machinery
(224) 699-9161 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
(201) 461-8895 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Link Engineering
(734) 453-0800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Mapes Piano String Co.
(423) 543-3195 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Mount Joy Wire
(800) 321-2305 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
(563) 391-0400 . . . . . . . . . 11, 39
Proto Manufacturing
(800) 965-8378 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Radcliff Wire
(860) 583-1305 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
RK Trading
(847) 640-9371 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
+81-6-6794-6610 . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Simplex Rapid
(563) 391-0400 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Spectral Systems
(800) 393-4747 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Spring Manufacturers Institute
(630) 495-8588 . . . . . . . . . . 28, 58
Suzuki Garphyttan
(574) 232-8800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Tool King
(800) 338-1318 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Ulbrich Stainless Steels
(203) 239-4481 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
United Wire Co.
(847) 840-9481 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Vinston US
(440) 972-1098 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Vulcan Spring & Manufacturing Co.
(215) 721-1721 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
(203) 481-5555 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Zapp Precision Strip
(203) 386-0038 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
SPRINGS / Summer 2013 / 67
© Ievgenii, nicholas belton
JR Strok
Mohawk Spring
Name: Jim Strok
Nickname: JR
Company name, and city: Mohawk Spring
Corporation Inc., Schiller Park, Ill.
Brief history of your company: My uncle,
Andy Strok, started Kaylen Spring
in 1960 in Chicago after working for
American Spring and Springs Inc.
In 1971 he moved the company to a
larger shop nearby. He purchased
Mohawk Spring in 1983 and merged
the businesses. He managed a large
plant in Rolling Meadows Ill., until his
son in-law, Dave Michals, became
president in 1987. After Andy’s death
in 1988, Mohawk Spring moved to its
current home. Andy enlisted his brother,
Jim (my dad), to join the company and
my dad recruited me. I've been with
Mohawk since 1996.
Job title: I contribute in purchasing,
sales, special projects, and training. I
also serve as CASMI president and as
SMI regional board director.
Birthplace: Chicago.
Current home: Now 49 years later, I still
live in Chicago.
Favorite song/musician: No favorites.
I enjoy country and rock when I'm
active, smooth jazz when relaxing and
good blues on a Saturday night. I'm
also a big fan of National Public Radio.
Hobbies: Working on and around my
house, and anything outdoors.
Favorite places: Hawaii, Las Vegas and
those not yet ventured. I'm looking
forward to doing a lot more traveling in
my "empty nest" years.
Best times of my life: Anytime. I'm so
If I weren't working at Mohawk, I would
like to: Work with the Make-A-Wish
Foundation. My family and I were
blessed with a trip a few years ago.
Besides doing great things for the child,
they reach out to the entire family.
The most difficult business decision
I ever had to make was: I had the
unenviable task of having to make very
difficult work/family decisions in order
to care for my son. I wish that burden
on no one.
daughter, Samantha "Sam," 21, son,
Jake, 16, and our dog, Scooter.
A really great evening to me is: Quiet
Role model: My three cousins, Dave
Michals, Mike Gallo and Paul Cook.
They have influenced me in ways they
will never know.
What I like most about being in the
industry: The diversity. Over the years
evenings with friends over dinner or
around a nice fire.
I would like to be remembered in the
spring industry for: Working hard to
we have supplied springs to small oneman shops and Fortune 500 companies.
The one thing I can't stand is: Hypocrites.
My most outstanding quality is: Loyalty.
improve things. I'm always trying to
find, and frequently suggest, ways to
do something better.
People who knew me in school thought I
was: Funny.
But people will probably remember me
for: Being a pleasant and fair guy to
Family: Lisa, my wife of 26 years,
Favorite food: A nice lobster tail. I'm a
"foodie" so I enjoy a wide range of dishes.
Favorite books/author: “Don't Stop
the Carnival” by Herman Wouk, Tom
Clancy's “Jack Ryan” series and any
/ Summer
68 68
/ Summer
involved in something that I lose track
of time.
I knew I was an "adult" when:
My wife told me we were expecting
our first child.
deal with.
Gibbs delivers the ultimate level of customer service. Period.
Not what is typically expected but a level of service that is
really, truly, well beyond expectations. And if you think this is
just an advertising line, ask any Gibbs customer. We do. All
the time. Remarkable customer service is one of the benefits
we are known for throughout the industry.
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
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.
That’s why so many leading companies have chosen to partner
with us.
The People You Can Rely On For Wire And Strip
North Carolina

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