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The Melting Point

Westfield Steel’s blog containing valuable industry insights and company information from our inside experts.

Westfield Steel Job Open House

This entry was posted in News, Working At Westfield Steel on by .

Westfield Steel is hosting open interviews at our Westfield office on the follow dates:

  • Wednesday, May 31 – 4:00PM to 8:00PM
  • Wednesday, June 7 – 4:00PM to 8:00PM

You are guaranteed an interview if you come during these times. (Tours will be available on the half hour.) This will be a great opportunity to meet members of our team and take a tour of our warehouse. Open positions are listed on our careers page on this website. If you have questions, please call our main office phone number at 317-896-5587.

Presentation at the 2017 AWS Midwest Welding Competition

This entry was posted in News, Steel Industry, Working At Westfield Steel on by .

The following condensed presentation by Fritz Prine was delivered to about 140 students and instructors for the American Welding Soceity’s 2017 Midwest Welding Competition and Show. It was held at the J. Everett Light Career Center in Indianapolis, IN on April 28, 2017.

I am Fritz Prine, President of Westfield Steel. I am here with my Production Manager, Jack Laudig. We have been supporting the local chapter of the American Welding Society for over 20 years. I am here to speak to you about where we are in steel and manufacturing today. We are in an interesting time for students, and I want to highlight some major trends in U.S. manufacturing:  Jobs, Technological change, and Opportunity.

Over the past 50 years, manufacturing has changed just as everything in our world has changed. Just as each of us uses technology more and more, businesses also use technology to produce things better, cheaper, or more efficiently. The technology used in manufacturing has increased continuously.  Think of computers, software, automation, and robotics.  Many industrial jobs have disappeared over the past 50 years, 20 years, 10 years, and even the past 5 years. Those jobs will not be coming back. Another trend is that many industrial jobs have been occupied by skilled workers who are retiring. There is a huge gap in the knowledge and skills of today’s workers entering the field.  Here is your opportunity. You are learning those skills, so keep working at it.

I don’t want to sound too negative. The state of U.S. manufacturing is not all bad. Many products are still made of metal and steel.  AWS_fcp 2 sm

At our company, Westfield Steel, we are trying to be a company that still makes these products in the U.S. using people and technology together.

Many skills that you use today, 1 year from now, or even 5 years from now will be much different than those skills needed in the past.

  • The key for you is focus on learning, be curious with technology, and work hard.
  • You will have to adapt more quickly than others in the past.
  • Make your opportunity.

Examples of changes in technology just in a steel service center. Technology is also tools.

  • CNC machines have been around for over 50 years. The tools and capabilities have evolved over time to be faster and more flexible. These machines reduced the need for people.  At Westfield Steel, one example is that we have evolved from cutting steel with a hand torch to oxy-fuel burn table to high-definition plasma table and now to laser.
  • Robotics – The first commercial robot was from 1956. It was not until the 1970’s that manufacturers figured out how to use robotic arms for industrial production. Now, we see it in machining, welding, painting, assembly and material handling.  Every major automaker has more robotic arms in welding and assembly than people. Think about that. Here is a data point. In the year 2000, there were about 100,000 industrial robots being produced in the world. In the year 2015, there were 254,000. Today, the current estimate is that there are 1.6 million industrial robots in operation worldwide.  At Westfield Steel, we have evolved from hand welding then using fixtures à  stud welding then our R-12 machine with feeder bowls and now robotic welding arms.
  • 3-D Printing – Actually began in the 1980’s and started with plastics. In was not long until metal was being used. There are a lot of processes that people call 3-D printing. For metal, it is sintering or additive manufacturing.  Now, large companies like General Electric have created an entire division that only makes metal parts from 3-D printing. In 2016, they made 1 fuel nozzle for a light aircraft engine. This replaced 20 other parts. For 2017, they expect to make 15 new parts that replace 800 other parts. Think about what companies or who made those 800 other parts. GE believes that they will save billions of dollars over the next 5 years.
  • Software and computers – Think about the changes that you have seen in the phones, pcs, gaming, and apps just in your young lives.  At Westfield Steel, we started with paper and pencil and no computers in the 1980’s. We evolved to desktop computers and a software system in the 1990’s to new system in 2000’s with faster computers, CAD and nesting software to now with new integrated Microsoft software that runs the entire company and operators have technology in their hands to move production through the process.  Our drivers now using GPS data collection devices integrated into the engine for safety and efficiency. We now have electronic logging for DOT compliance reducing paper.  All of our employees use interactive safety training with on-line modules to improve.
  • Welding trends – You may have learned history from your instructors. TIG and MIG were not advanced enough to work well until the 1940’s.  Laser beam welding started in the 1960’s.  Robotic welding grew in the 1990’s.  Future will have different weldable metals, growth in alloy welding, and embedding computer chips into the steel to monitor the weldment over its life.

 

Where are your opportunities?

  • As each of these tools becomes more integrated and automated, there are fewer operators. However, the operators become more critical and valuable to the success of the process.AWS_fcp 1 sm
  • If you understand how to use these tools, you become more valuable. Understand both the operation and the programming.
  • You need to be comfortable and accomplished using technology.
  • Wages will be higher, but the expectations are high. You can’t just show up.

As I mentioned before, the skills that you use today and in the future are much different than the past.  Focus on learning technology, work hard, adapt, make your opportunity.

Westfield Steel Acquires Springfield, Ohio-based Remington Steel

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We are excited to announce that Westfield Steel has acquired Springfield, Ohio-based Remington Steel.

“This adds production capabilities and machines that further expand our value-added production and manufacturing,” says Westfield Steel President Fritz Prine. “Remington Steel allows us to expand east and southeast, while building new customer relationships.”

Formed in 1986, Remington Steel began operations as a carbon steel distribution business. “We’re so excited to have them, as they bring equipment, skilled operators, a reputation for quality manufacturing, and a local footprint in central Ohio,” Prine says.

Remington Steel

Westfield Steel Job Open House

This entry was posted in News, Working At Westfield Steel on by .

Westfield Steel is hosting open interviews at our Westfield office on the follow dates:

  • Wednesday, September 14 – 4:00PM to 8:00PM
  • Tuesday, September 20 – 4:00PM to 8:00PM

You are guaranteed an interview if you come during these times. This will be a great opportunity to meet members of our team and take a tour of our warehouse. Open positions are listed on our careers page on this website. If you have questions, please call our main office phone number at 317-896-5587.

 

Westfield Steel Job Open House

This entry was posted in News, Working At Westfield Steel on by .

Westfield Steel is hosting open interviews at our Westfield office on the follow dates:

  • Monday, May 9 – 4:00PM to 8:00PM
  • Tuesday, May 17 – 4:00PM to 8:00PM

You are guaranteed an interview if you come during these times. This will be a great opportunity to meet members of our team and take a tour of our warehouse. Open positions are listed on our careers page on this website. If you have questions, please call our main office phone number at 317-896-5587.

 

Westfield Steel Employee Participates on Career Panel for the Indiana Deaf

This entry was posted in Working At Westfield Steel on by .

The following is written by Dustin Maynard, a Burn Lead Man with Westfield Steel.  He’s been with the company since April 2011.  He has progressively grown in his positions with the company, serving in various capacities as a Puller, Loader, Burn Operator, Receiving Clerk, and a Shipping Supervisor.  While working full-time for Westfield Steel, Dustin completed his Bachelors of Arts (in 2012) with an English major and a dual focus in Business Communication and Education.

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I recently had the pleasure of being selected to be part of a panel at the Indiana Deaf and Hard of Hearing Transition Day at the Indiana State Fair Grounds.  I served on the panel with four other
esteemed career professionals.  Transition Day was created to inspire deaf students and push them towards a successful future.  Presentations throughout the day consisted of employment options, vocational rehabilitation support, navigating Social Security Income benefits, and so much more.  There were many booths displaying different services, products, and opportunities that DM panel mar16 1would aid the deaf in one way or another.

The panel was created to inspire the participants (mostly high school students on the brink of graduating) by exposing them to five career professionals who have done well for themselves in the “hearing world”.  We were also tasked with providing our insightful tips on how the students could be successful as well.  I felt honored that I was asked to be on the panel, and I wanted to volunteer my time to help pave the way for today’s deaf youth.  I went as a representative of Westfield Steel, and as an empowered deaf individual who worked hard to move from entry level into management in a hearing environment.  My intention was to prove that hard work will triumph hearing loss.  When the students see that it is possible, they will feel more encouraged to take chances.

DM panel mar16 2The unemployment statistics for Deaf Americans are alarmingly high.  According to multiple online sources, it is roughly 72%.  The best thing I can do as an individual is to generate more exposure to employers like Westfield Steel.  When the hearing masses see one person succeed, then another, and another, chances are they will feel more confident in hiring a deaf employee into their company.

Westfield Steel adds Messer Titan III

This entry was posted in Value Added on by .
new messer heads

Torches o’ plenty.

We are pleased to announce that we have added a Messer Titan III burn machine to our existing capabilities.  This machine will have six Alfa oxy-fuel cutting torches and one Hypertherm plasma system.

This machine gives us added capacity and increased flexibility as it teams up with our Crossfire high-definition plasma machine, our Sector oxy-fuel cutting machine, and our L-Tec oxy-fuel cutting machine.

The new Messer Titan will give us excellent cut quality and improve our efficiency as it works above a forty foot table. Further technological improvements help in automation and maintenance.

new air dryer

We have reconfigured our warehouse operations to make our burning operation more efficient.  This includes improved layout of machines, added material handling equipment, upgraded utilities, improved air quality for the operators, and improved oxygen feeding the machines.

Our goal is to meet or exceed our customers’ quality expectations.

These pictures do not fully capture the time, effort, and excitement of the project.

 

 

 

Westfield Steel Earns Another ISO 9001 Certification

This entry was posted in Quality on by .

FOR RELEASE:
October 22, 2014

 WESTFIELD, Ind. – Following a long and demanding review process, Westfield Steel Inc. was re-certified under ISO 9001:2008.

“We are pleased that we achieved the re-certification.  Since our prior re-cert audit in 2011, we have improved many parts of our quality system, focused on continuous improvement, worked very hard to  engage are employees.” said the company’s President & CFO, Fritz Prine.  The effort put forth by many over the past two years will help the company improve its products and services in the future.  The original certification was issued in October 2008.

According to ASR, ISO 9001:2008 is a set of basic business principles written in a standard for quality management systems that is accepted around the world. Currently, more than 100 countries have adopted ISO 9001 as a national standard. The standard is intended for quality management system assessments and registrations to ISO 9001.

About Westfield Steel 

Westfield Steel is an independent, family-owned, full-line steel service center. Headquartered in Westfield, Ind., the company was founded in 1977 and has grown to accommodate customers’ needs and credits its success to quality people and the capacity to provide customers quality steel and processing. The company’s main processing center is in Westfield and a second facility operates in Terre Haute, Ind.  
To learn more visit www.westfieldsteel.com.

2014 Annual Family Picnic

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On Saturday, September 13th, Westfield Steel held its annual picnic for families at Dillon Park in Noblesville. Despite the colder weather, it was one of the best picnics in recent years. Fifty-one employees and seventy-one guests attended, and every employee who attended received a prize.
The picnic was a huge success, thanks in part to all the donations provided by vendors. City Barbecue and Kroger helped provided lunch and there was even an ice cream cart!

After the great eats, employees and their families were able to participate in a cornhole tournament, volleyball, and badminton. The children weren’t left out, as they had a chance to participate in a scavenger hunt for prizes. And for those who were still hungry after lunch could compete in a dessert eating contest. Many great prizes were awarded. Every person went home with a Westfield Steel T-shirt and some won gift cards, an iPad mini, bikes, grills, and Indianapolis Colts football tickets.

Overall it was a fantastic day and many are looking forward to the next Westfield Steel company event.

Westfield Steel Conducts First Annual Earth Day Cleanup

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As part of our exploration of being a “greener” company, Westfield Steel held its first Earth Day event on April 25.

Chris Isaacs, Manger of Quality and Safety, was the driving force to plan, organize, and conduct the symphony of workers. All of our employees were part of our onsite beautification. Mini-teams spent two hours each in various areas. Some teams focused on cleanup and trash on our 20 acres. Other teams focused on organizing wood dunnage in new racks and bins. We even had a team create an enjoyable landscaped area with perennials, ground cover, and mulch.

Earth Day 3

Beyond the basic housekeeping and cleanup, the event helped build morale and instill a sense of team. These cleanup activities also put heft behind our operational improvements with 5S. We completed Sort, Set in Order, and Shine. The more difficult steps of Standardize and Sustain are what we will be mindful of moving forward. The added benefit will be a sixth “S” of Safety. As a steel service center, we are always cognizant of slips, trips, and falls when it comes to Safety.

As an organization, our first applied Earth Day went well. The free lunch with cookies helped the time go faster… especially the cookies.

 

Earth Day 2 Earth Day 4 Earth Day 1

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