Slowdown Coming for the Trucking and Rail Industry

With low fuel costs, you would think the transportation industry would be seeing big gains. But, unfortunately, the opposite is true as a slowing economy and lower freight volumes lead to more trucks and railcars being available.

The trucking industry is responding by reducing workers. ABF Freight Systems recently reduced its workforce by 4% because of the slow economic environment. The predictions for 2016 were optimistically cautious a few months ago but have turned to outright caution even though trucking executives generally expect a stronger second half of the year. But, their outlook for this year is described as uncertain.

The slowdown in freight volume leads to shippers having an easier time finding trucks to hire. This puts them in the driver’s seat to negotiate for better terms. It is still unclear at this time the exact factors that are causing the drop in freight volume. Possibly reasons include excessive inventories, a manufacturing slowdown, reduced demand from the energy sector, or lagging retail sales of winter clothing and equipment due to the warmest December on record.

Workforce reduction isn’t the only belt-tightening measure for the shipping and transportation industry. In response to the lagging economy, new truck builds are being reduced. Truck users may be replacing older models with newer ones but are not buying new trucks outright. Orders are down and layoffs might be coming for OEMs.

The impact of the economy on the trucking industry doesn’t hurt us as greatly as it would other OEMs. The commercial truck components we manufacturer are just one of the many components in our portfolio. Diversification across a wide range of industries and strong capabilities enable us to maintain a solid manufacturing base in uncertain times.

Open House Celebrates Our Expansion and New Equipment

In a technical industry like ours, it is often difficult to explain to others what it is we do and how we do it. We can get the major points across (we make things) but it is hard to explain the full scope of how involved manufacturing is and how that component goes from raw materials to a finished product. To help bring our work life together with our home life we decided to host an open house so that we could show family and friends the completion of our facility expansion project and our new press line. So, on a bright Sunday in December, we opened our doors and threw a party!

This opportunity lets each employee bring their loved ones to the shop, a sort of Bring Your Family to Work day, to show them what it is they do and the types of machines they are responsible for running. It was fun to demonstrate how selected machines work and we were proud to show off the newly expanded shop.

It was a tremendous success! We hosted 80 employees and their guests (over 200 in total) and we ended the day with a buffet meal and a raffle drawing with prizes generously provided by the company and our suppliers. Everyone enjoyed the relaxed, fun atmosphere.

We are very thankful to all of our dedicated employees who have contributed to the success we have achieved in 2015. We are looking forward to another successful year in 2016!

Happy New Year!
   

 

Pentaflex Will Be Attending FABTECH 2015

FABTECH, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing event, is the industry’s premier show and conference. Drawing over 40,000 attendees with over 1,500 exhibitors, this is the place to see the newest products and innovations, find the tools you need to be productive, and to meet with industry professionals for technical seminars and expert panel sessions.

Pentaflex will be attending the event again this year, which will be held on Nov. 9th to the 12th at McCormack Place in Chicago. We have attended the show for many years as it is a time for us to connect with others in the industry and with past, present, and future customers. It is here that we get to see the latest trends and newest technology going on within the metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing industries.

One of the most exciting events is the awards ceremony. The industry recognizes manufacturers who have excelled in certain areas over the past year. For two years in a row Pentaflex has been the recipient of numerous Precision Metalforming Manufacturing Excellence Awards! In 2014 we were selected as the winner in two of seven categories, Safety and Education-Training. In 2013 we were awarded the top prize in the categories of Productivity and Quality Systems. It is truly an honor to be recognized by our peers for the work that we do.

We are looking forward to another year of immersing ourselves in the world of manufacturing outside of our facility. From the exhibits to the panel discussions, the hottest topics in manufacturing are on the table and we are eager to experience all that is new at the event.

For more information on Pentaflex’s capabilities and services, please contact us! If you are interested in attending this year’s FabTech event, please click here.

Pentaflex Launches a New Website

Pentaflex Launches a New Website

In over 40 years in business, Pentaflex has continually grown and has always embraced changes that help us maintain leadership in the metal stamping industry. Our most recent change, a newly redesigned website, highlights our outstanding capabilities and services in an easy to navigate format.

As a specialist in metal stampings for a wide range of industries, we have set up the new website to highlight our innovative capabilities and offer real-world examples of our work. These sections make it simple to see precise components that we have fabricated for specific industries. It’s our goal to make the fabricating process as easy as it can be for each customer and believe this new site, with more user-friendly features, will improve each customer’s experience with Pentaflex.

What will you find on our new website? We have expanded the information on services we provide which include:

Within each category we detail and explain what the service is, how we get it done, and how it is utilized for the best possible manufacturing outcome. As a look inside the workings of all of us here at Pentaflex, this new website reflects the expertise, skill, and reliability we consistently deliver to each and every customer.

Although the look of the site has changed, the people behind the site are still the same dedicated professionals you have depended on in the past. This new format showcases our abilities to produce the top-quality, complex, precision components that Pentaflex is known for throughout the industry.

We hope you will check out the new website and contact us with any questions or comments. As always, we are looking forward to working with you on all your future projects.

Manufacturing Day At Pentaflex

In honor of Manufacturing Day Pentaflex will be hosting Shaefer Middle School and
Springfield-Clark County Career Technology Center for a full tour of our facility. At Pentaflex, we find it our duty to embrace any opportunity that helps us connect today’s youth with modern-day manufacturing. During these tours, we hope to spark interest and answer any questions about what it means to have a career in manufacturing.

The event is schedule for both schools on Friday, October 2nd
, as it’s nationally recognized as Manufacturing Day.

Manufacturing Day is an occasion to boost the public’s awareness about manufacturing as well as promote it as a fulfilling career path for younger individuals. It encourages educational institutions and those within the manufacturing industry to host events that will highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs in manufacturing fields. Pentaflex participates in Manufacturing Day annually and encourages all other manufacturers around the country to do the same.

We find it important to participate and hope other manufacturers do too. The true message of manufacturing needs to be recognized as manufacturing is all about ingenuity, innovation, and teamwork. We know many young people would enjoy working within engineering and manufacturing but often aren’t given the right information about it or how to pursue it. It is up to those of us within the field to promote its advantages and benefits to the youth in the effort to have modern manufacturing advance even further.
If you would like to host an event or learn more about this important day, please visit www.mfgday.com as they have many helpful tips and information about this initiative.

As always to get the most up to date information and stay connected to Pentaflex follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Pentaflex Supports Ohio’s Local Farms

While Ohio is commonly known as aOhio Farms long-standing hub of industry, we are also blessed to have a thriving agricultural presence. Indeed, manufacturing and agriculture are the two largest industries in the State.

 

Ohio Farms at PentaflexSo it is no surprisPentaflex Ohioe that we are happy every summer when the farmers markets and farm stands open to provide fresh produce.

Our owner, Julie McGregor, is a big advocate of good food and fresh produce,and she likes to share her passion with the employees at Pentaflex. Every year Julie contracts with a local farm to provide Corn and Tomatoes to all the employees. It is a wonderful gesture and much appreciated. Thanks Julie!

A Big Thank You To Our Pentaflex Interns

manufacturing internsUnfortunately, it is true. All good things must come to an end. It seems like just yesterday that Carissa Myers and Joseph Lacey started with Pentaflex as part of our 2015 summer internship program. We cannot thank them enough for being a part of our team for the summer and the fine job they did as interns.

Pentaflex, in conjunction with the Greater Springfield Career ConnectED was able to provide Carissa and Joseph with an opportunity to experience working in manufacturing.

Three days a week they worked with our Manufacturing Engineer on important programs such as 6s lean strategy, flowcharts during setup activities, time studies and preventive maintenance programs. These are important programs that every manufacturer deals with, but can be very time-consuming.

That is why it was so great to have Carissa and Joseph lend their eyes and ears to gathering data and analyzing it into a useful tool that we can use to improve our processes at Pentaflex. We are very proud of the work they have done and are happy to have provided them with real life experience before heading to their higher education of choice.

Carissa will be heading to Wright State and Joseph will be attending Bowling Green State University this fall. Pentaflex is grateful for their fine work and wish them both much success in their future endeavors.

Pentaflex’s President, David Arndt is Elected Second Vice Chairman for PMA

The Precision Metal Forming Association (PMA) has elected,Dave Arndt  Pentaflex’s very own president, David Arndt into its three year rotational Chairman process.   As a long time member David has seen the work that has made this organization successful and is thrilled to contribute towards its progress.   David looks forward to collaborating with the board and the organization’s members to propel this full-service trade association even further.

PMA ASSOCIATIONPMA mission is to create an environment where those involved in the metal forming industry can turn to for the best industry insight, networking events, and community for valuable connections.  PMA’s purpose is to join and connect leaders with other like-minded individuals or companies within the metal forming industry.  Overall, the entire industry benefits.

As president to Pentaflex, David is no stranger to being a leader, encouraging others, and pushing the limits to achieve success. The values of PMA is one in the same as David’s and he is happy to play a major role in this dedicated association.

If you would like more information on how to join PMA or have a company that may benefit, please visit the PMA website.

Overview of Trailers and Features

Truck trailers depend on the manufacturer and load requirements and state roadway regulations. It is always important to check state regulations and guidelines.

Standard Freight Trailer
The Standard Freight Trailers are commonly used for carrying in most freights. They are classified as either boxed, crated, or palletized. This is a dry van and some features may include Screwed in wood floors, ETrack, lift gates, vented trailers, plate trailer, roll up doors or swing doors.
Common lengths : 28′, 32′, 36′, 4-‘, 42′, 43′, 45′, 48′, 53′
Common Widths: 96”-102”
Common Heights: 12.5′-13.5′
Weight: 48.000 Lbs

Reefer Truck Trailer
Reefer Truck Trailer are used when good need to be refrigerated. A fuel tank and refrigeration unit are directly outside of the trailer. These units are usually found at the front of the trailer. Usually Reefer trailers include eTrack, produce chutes, downloadable T.R.U., roll up doors or swing doors.
Common Lengths: 28′,32′,36′,40′,48′,53′
Common Widths: 96”-102”
Common Heights: 12.5-13.5′

Flat Bed Trailer
Flat Bed Trailers are designed to hold oversized cargo. These oversized materials are loaded either through the top or side of the trailer.
Common Lengths: 26′,40′,42′,45′,48′
Gooseneck Trailer or Dropdeck Flatbed
Specially oversized cargo are used on the gooseneck trailer. It has a two level tandem to accommodate heavy, oversized materials.
Common Lengths: 40′,42′,45′,48′

Lowboy Trailer
A typical lowboy trailer Is extremely low compared to other trailers, has a two drops in deck height, one before the tires, and one after the gooseneck and they are much longer in deck length. They usually haul heavy equipment like bulldozers or other industrial machinery. Their neck is arched so when lowered it becomes a ramp allowing equipment to be pulled on and off.
Common Lengths: 10-29”
Common Width: 8”
Common Height: 9-12”

Although, there are numerous types of trailers with different features for hauling all kinds of materials one thing is for certain they all have Pentaflex components within them to make them safe and successful. Commonly Pentaflex manufactures brake, axle, and other gage metal parts necessary. If you need a part for your trailer, don’t hesitate to speak with us on our expertise in manufacturing quality parts for the heavy trucking industry.

Expanding the Pentaflex Team – and the American Workforce

At Pentaflex, we pride ourselves on our dedicated team to which we know are the backbone to making us a great success. Recently, we took on two bright, eager, driven summer interns, and we’re happy to welcome them. Carissa Myers and Joseph Lacey are excellent examples of how we bring in young people from our community who want to learn and grow and make a difference in the American workforce.

Carissa is a senior at Southeastern High School, and Joseph just graduated from Kenton Ridge High School this past May. They both came to us through our partnership with the Greater Springfield Career ConnectED program, which organizes summer internship opportunities for high school students in Clark County who are looking for hands-on experiences with local businesses.

Students who wish to participate in the program must submit an application prior to acceptance, and once accepted, they undergo several training programs, which help them develop their soft skills and safety awareness. Once the training is complete, they are then interviewed by businesses like ours.

We are proud to participate in this exceptional program, helping to develop the next generation of the manufacturing workforce, including participants like Carissa and Joseph. They will both be working for our engineer, Bob Mayberry, helping to analyze setup time reduction, 6s activities, design of experiment programs, and ppap data collection.

We’re very happy to welcome them to our family for the summer, and look forward to providing them with an educational opportunity that will surely make a difference for their future.