3 Ways We Continue to Grow and Improve

How do you stay ahead of the competition in manufacturing, moving successfully forward without missing a beat? We believe it’s through continuous improvement—in fact, it’s built right into our mission. We always aim to exceed requirements and expectations by improving constantly and adding new methods of success all the time.

We’ve recently done just that, and we have several new additions that are keeping us on our toes.

First, we’re proud and excited to welcome Laura Ark to our team, as our new Customer Service Representative. Laura is a Springfield native and a graduate of Akron University, and she comes to us with ten years of customer service experience.

As the main point of contact for our customers, Laura’s primary responsibility is to remind us daily why we are here: to deliver the highest quality products on time. So far, she’s doing an excellent job of it. When not keeping us in line, Laura enjoys spending time with her daughter, playing tennis, and the occasional road trip. We’re thrilled to have her on board.

Our next addition might not have the personality of Laura, but is exciting nonetheless. We’ve installed a new Aida 694-ton servo press, and in the short time since we began using it we have already experienced increased productivity. We look forward to fully utilizing all of the technological advances that a servo press offers. We’re confident our clients will immediately see the benefits.

Last but certainly not least, we are very excited to announce our plans for expansion, which over the next three years will yield an additional 20,000 square feet and 40 new jobs.

According to our President and CEO, David Arndt, “The $4 million expansion in Clark County will facilitate our continued growth with a 20,000 square foot expansion and the addition of a large bed, 1600 ton mechanical press line. The addition will accommodate further assembly operations, inventory storage and anticipated future stamping requirements.”

Along with the addition of our new Aida servo press lines and new team members such as Laura, this expansion serves as the perfect representation of our commitment to continuous improvement.

Our facilities, our team, our products and services, and our community will all benefit from these improvements, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Honored and Proud to Receive a Meritor Supplier Partner Award

At Pentaflex, we like to say that our parts and products drive the industry. Our mission is to be more than a supplier of quality services and components but to also to exceed expectations, maintain long-lasting relationships, and be a true partner in our customers’ success.

Of course, we don’t do this for the recognition—but when we are recognized for achieving these goals, we’re always proud and grateful.

Therefore, we’re excited to announce that we were recently recognized by Meritor, Inc. in their first ever Supplier Partner Awards, which took place at their headquarters on February 25, 2015.

As one of the companies who received this prestigious award, we’re so happy to see that our goal of being a partner in success was achieved. The award was presented to recognize excellence in quality, innovation, delivery, and cost savings, and was based on the relationship we’ve forged with Meritor.

Our “commitment to excellence,” according to Meritor’s VP and Chief Procurement Officer, Rob Speed, “contributes to [their] specific goal of meeting and exceeding the expectations of customers and further strengthens Meritor’s business.”

And coming from a company as successful and impressive as Meritor, that means a lot. After all, they are a leading global supplier in the commercial and industrial vehicle markets, with a 100+-year history of excellence, and are recognized throughout the world for their superiority.

To be recognized by Meritor for our quality and our role in their success is extremely meaningful to us, and we’re thrilled to be a part of such an elite group. We’d like to thank Meritor for this award, and we will continue to strive for excellence and perfection, bringing Meritor and all of our clients the quality and innovation they require.

Recap Of FABTECH 2014

Pentaflex management team attended the 2014 FABTECH conference and exposition in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference was attended by 30,000 attendees involved with metalforming, welding, assembly, and coating operations. There were 1500 exhibitors displaying equipment and services at Georgia World Congress Center in the 550,000 square feet of space.

The FabTech show was used to introduce the winners of the Precision Metalforming 2014 Manufacturing Excellence awards. For the second year in a row, Pentaflex was selected as the winner for awards in two of the seven categories. Pentaflex won the awards for Safety and Education-Training. Press releases, articles in the Metalforming Magazine, videos on the PMA website, and recognition in the PMA booth at the FABTECH show discussed the Pentaflex awards.   The videos which detail the actions that Pentaflex took to achieve the awards are a new feature to the awards process and present a great picture of the Pentaflex business.   Pictures from the PMA awards ceremony and the Awards of Excellence display at the FABTECH show are shown below.fabtechpic fabtechpic1

As always, FABTECH delivered a great opportunity for manufacturers from the U.S. and 70 other countries to see new technology, attend educational seminars, and network with peers. Manufacturers were exposed to keynote presentatons from senior executives about on-shoring and given insights on the future of US manufacturing. In addition, in honor of Veterans day, there were special events honoring veterans and an emphasis on connecting organizations that sponsor matching veterans with manufacturers for job opportunities. FABTECH attendees and exhibitors also raised more than $10,000 thru FABTECH Expo Cares program to benefit Workshops for Warriors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to training, certifying, and placing veterans in manufacturing careers.

Manufacturing Day 2014 Recap: Another Home Run!

Manufacturing Day, recently celebrated on October 3, was a truly successful day for American manufacturers throughout the country. In its third year, it saw over 100,000 attendees and was even cited by the White House as the “method for securing a talent pipeline in manufacturing.”*

The overall goal of the day was to get manufacturers to open their doors, showcase the mfgday14 great work they do and their impact on their communities, and get young people interested and excited. Personally, we can say that it was a great success.

Along with over 1,600 other companies nationwide, we actively participated in Manufacturing Day, opening our doors to students and teachers from three area high schools. 18 students from Northwestern High School, 18 students from Springfield High School, and 39 students from Clark County CTC visited us and got firsthand knowledge and hands-on participation.

It began with an introductory speech by our President, Dave Arndt, who spoke about manufacturing technology and growth opportunities throughout Southwest Ohio. He presented a five-minute video history of manufacturing and stamping in the auto industry, which the students showed great interest in.

Next, the students were given a tour of the Pentaflex facilities, with a hands-on opportunity to see stamping and welding in action, including our new 300T servo press drive, featuring the latest technology.

mfgday14-2After the shop tour, Ross McGregor talked about opportunities at Pentaflex offering exciting positions with plenty of growth. Each student was given a flash drive showing manufacturing at Pentaflex, which they could bring home with them and show their family and friends what they had seen and learned.

While we could see the interest on their faces and were able to experience their excitement, we think the actual words of the students are proof of the day’s success. This is what we received from one school, signed by all of the students: “Thank you so much for the wonderful field trip on Manufacturing Day! We really enjoyed touring the plant, and we appreciate the time you took to teach us about Pentaflex and the manufacturing industry…We are looking forward to working with you in the future!”

We are looking forward to it as well.


Why is Deep Drawing So Popular?

When you think about metal forming, it is not a surprise when deep drawing is the first thing that comes to mind. As the most popular of the metal forming methods, deep drawing is a great way to form metal sheets into just about any shape. So why is it so widely used? Why is deep drawing often the preferred method of metal forming especially when the depth of item matches or exceeds its radius? Once you get to know the deep drawing process, it will make complete sense.

The General Process

It all begins with the ubiquitous metal blank. You start with a single blank and a metal die; jobshopfrom there, it is really up to your imagination and the amount of pressure you apply. While this sounds like your average metal stamping process, it is different in that deep drawing offers the ability to create products deeper than regular metal stamping. There are some limitations, like radial drawing stress and tangential compressive stress causing wrinkling, fracturing, and cracking. However there have been improvements in recent years and the addition of a number of new processes including hydroforming, aquadrawing, hydro-mechanical deep drawing, hydraulic deep drawing, the Guerin process, and the Marform process have removed some of these risks.


While this list is far reaching, deep drawing is used in the creation of products of all shapes and sizes including,

  • Electronics relays
  • Solenoids
  • Assembly housings
  • Aluminum cans
  • Cookware
  • Kitchen sinks

Cost Benefits of Deep Drawing

Deep drawing can and often does lower your costs. This is especially true when you are producing a product in high volumes. Once you lock down your tooling and dies, the deep drawing process moves forward with little downtime. On top of this, tool construction costs are usually lower than other processes. The only draw back is that, like most manufacturing projects, when the complexity increases so does the cost.

End Product Benefits

If you are looking to create a product that requires strength and minimal weight, especially a cylindrical object, deep drawing is the perfect choice. It is also the way to go if your project demands,

  • Seamless parts
  • Rapid cycle times
  • Complex axi-symmetric geometries
  • Reduced technical labor

Of course, there are many other benefits and some limitations to deep drawing. To find out if deep drawing is right for you, we suggest contacting us. Our metal forming experts, combined with our outstanding selection of equipment, makes Pentaflex a perfect place for your next deep drawing project!









Sales of the Servo-Driven Press are on the Upswing – Have You Kept Up?

Mechanical presses still dominate the manufacturing industry and stamping press market, but according to a capital equipment survey from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl., the servo-driven press is coming on strong. Spending projections on servo presses for 2013 were nearly triple of the previous year.

Instead of a flywheel, main motor, and clutch, a servo press uses a servomotor that basically makes the slide a controllable axis. In the last 3 years, for example, press-makers have come up with a variety of types, but whatever the specific design, the servo press is able to overcome issues associated with flywheel-clutch mechanical presses.

In a traditional mechanical press, energy is delivered from the flywheel through a clutch, down the connecting rods, which drive the ram that produces maximum tonnage at some point above bottom dead center. The main drive motor then has to speed up the flywheel again before the tool hits the material. Therefore, the mechanical press stroke must be a certain speed, because the minimized speed of the flywheel won’t be able to provide enough energy to produce the needed force to cut through and form the metal. A press with a servomotor, however, can deliver maximum torque at any speed.

With the push toward high-strength-to-weight metal ratios, engineers have become creative with the servo press’s forming capabilities. It comes down to the ability to control slide position and velocity—within microns. With the control of the forming stroke comes control of speed, velocity… plus performance and efficiency.

So while traditional mechanical presses remain dominant in industry for now, sales of servo presses continue to make headway into the market. Controlling the press stroke has many advantages, and during recent years, many smaller-tonnage servo presses have started serving aerospace, defense, and other high-tech sectors.



The Importance—and Success—Of Industry Trade Shows

To be successful in manufacturing, there’s more to it that producing quality products. Of course that’s critical, but in order to achieve this, even more has to be done. Constant learning, growing, and evolving are necessary.

One of the best ways to achieve this is through regularly attending industry trade shows. This is where you interact with peers and customers, and attend educational seminars that focus on what’s new, what’s exciting, and what’s truly innovative. This is how a company truly achieves learning and growth.

We place great importance on this, and recently attended three shows which all proved to be invaluable.

HDMA Heavy Duty Dialogue, Nashville, TN, March 10, 2014

One of the top conferences for the domestic and global commercial vehicle industry, this event focused on the “changes and challenges within the industry,” with information on “developing effective strategies to grow and prosper in the ever-changing global HD markets.”

Many experts talked about the connected vehicle, and opportunities for connecting operators. We discussed and learned more about advanced safety, driving, and maintenance systems for improved truck performance, and were fortunate enough to be exposed to a positive outlook for the economy from Bill Strauss of the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, Gary Meteer and Andrej Divis, representing the heavy truck market and IHS, respectively, offered invaluable insight.

Mid-America Trucking Show, Louisville, KY, March 26-28, 2014

With over 1,000 exhibitors from 78 countries and all 50 states, this conference was a huge success. We reviewed exhibits on the latest innovations and concept vehicles for heavy truck manufacturers, including OEMs and engine, suspension, and drive train suppliers.

Cummins and Eaton were there, displaying a new fuel economy power train that’s integral to getting 10 mpg with an extended warranty. We also watched videos of the latest safety systems in action at the Knorr-Bremses booth, and met with a range of interesting people and products.

PMA One Voice Legislative Conference, Washington, DC, May 6-7, 2014

This sixth-annual event saw the opportunity for attendees to “have [their] voice heard directly by the policymakers who are creating the laws of the nation.” It was truly exciting—we had the chance to meet with Speaker of the House John Boehner, as well as Senator Portman and Congressman Gibbs.

We discussed issues important to stamping product manufacturers, including health care costs, tax regulations, and government regulations. We talked extensively about the potential impact of changing ozone emissions regulations (from the current 75ppm to 60ppm), as well as the potential impact to lost jobs, revenue, and business expansion on the state of Ohio.

What is the Best Fuel for Natural Gas-Powered Cars?

Fuel-intensive fleets that travel many miles each day have been using natural gas for years. This would include fleets of taxicabs, transit and school buses, airport shuttles, construction vehicles, garbage trucks, delivery trucks and public works vehicles. Fleets are especially suited to natural gas because a larger volume of vehicles makes it more economical to convert vehicles or to purchase them outright. Plus, fleet vehicles are centrally maintained, making refueling easy and reliable.

The advantages of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are well-known: The biggest being the carbonfootdrastic reduction of harmful emissions. NGVs can achieve up to a 93% reduction in carbon monoxide emissions, 33 % reduction in emissions of various oxides of nitrogen and a 50 % reduction in reactive hydrocarbons. NGVs are also safer; the fuel storage tanks on an NGV are thicker and stronger than gasoline or diesel tanks. Natural gas costs are lower than gasoline. Natural gas generally costs one-third less than gasoline at the pump.

NGVs have lower maintenance costs. Because natural gas burns so cleanly, it results in less wear and tear on the engine and extends the time between tune-ups and oil changes.

Recently, there have been some new innovations in heavy trucks that use natural gas as fuel; either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). Several companies have already built heavy-duty natural gas trucks: Navistar, Freightliner, Petervilt, Volvo.

So far, compressed natural gas seems to be “winning.” There are more CNG filling stations, and it is easier to pump and to store. LNG is a more energy-dense fuel than CNG, (meaning your truck can go more distance on a fill-up), but LNG must be stored at –260 degree Fahrenheit or it will evaporate as pure methane into the air.

Now there is also a third option: Primus Green Energy, a tiny tech company, thinks they’ve found a better way. They’ve built a pilot plant to perfect the technology of taking natural gas and converting it into gasoline. Turning natural gas into gasoline – and then 75% of vehicles in the United States can already use it immediately.

This process has been tried before. Mobil developed similar technology as long ago as 1979. However, it was extremely energy-intensive – and far too expensive to do large-scale. Primus says they’ve been able to improve on the earlier process to make it more energy-efficient. It’s too soon to know if Primus Green Energy can get a plant up and running, but the technology for turning natural gas into gasoline has been around for 30 years and it’s a good time get it going again.


Technology Meets Efficiency: The Country’s First Automated Transmission with Spark-Ignited Natural Gas Engine

The landscape of American manufacturing is rapidly changing—in a good way. It seems almost every day there’s a new advancement in technology and a novel use for manufacturers’ innovation. We are all collectively creating an industry that is as competitive as it is impressive.

Two great areas of technology and innovation—and of major industrial advancement—are in transportation and natural gas. Vehicle makers and their suppliers are seeing more demand than in a very long time, and America’s natural gas boom is generating goinggreenemployment and making manufacturing better and less expensive.

Combine the two areas, and you’ve really got a winning combo. That’s what Eaton and Cummings Westport did, recently announcing their offering of the first automated transmission to be paired with a spark-ignited natural gas engine in North America.

The transmission features a powertrain package combining the Eaton UltraShift PLUS automated transmission with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine. According to this article, the product will meet the market demand, based on “the interest in alternative fuels driving more fleets to integrate natural gas engines into their portfolio,” while offering “best-in-class” technology. More and more people are seeking natural gas paired with automated transmissions, and this product does just that.

Available mid-2014 for limited application release, the transmission offers “maximum power capacity, superior acceleration and low-speed maneuverability.” Other features include:

  • A robust power band at 1500-1800 rpm
  • Peak torque at 1200 rpm
  • Heavy-duty natural gas engine available with horsepower of 320 hp to 400 hp (239-298 kW) with 1450 lb-ft (1966 N”¢m) peak torque
  • Hill Start Aid, preventing rollbacks and reducing risk while simplifying operations
  • Intelligent shift selection software

The product serves as an excellent example of American manufacturers coming together to offer a technologically-advanced product that utilizes the benefits of natural gas, meets market demand, and offers greater efficiency.


The New Fuel Efficiency Standards: How They Relate to Us and Our Clients

If you’re familiar with us, you may be familiar with our mission: to meet or exceed the requirements of our employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and community through continuous improvement. Meeting and exceeding these needs always means staying on top of the latest news and changes affecting our clients and their industries, and reacting accordingly.

You may have heard that a few weeks ago President Obama announced his intentions to issue tougher fuel-efficiency standards for large trucks, starting this year and with the goal of a 10-20% increase in fuel economy by 2018. According to the President, increasing these trucks’ fuel efficiency would make the U.S. more energy independent while reducing greenhouse gas emissions (which are linked to climate change) and saving American consumers money.

This current focus on large trucks, Obama explained, is because while they make up only 4% of vehicles on the road, they cover more miles and are responsible for roughly 20% of the greenhouse gas emissions. The new standards come on top of, and specifically relate to, standards already in place for 2014-2018 model years.

So how does this relate directly to us, and in turn, to our customers? One of the proposed aspects of building more fuel-efficient vehicles is through weight reduction, and this requires us to place greater emphasis on ultra high-strength steel and/or aluminum. With aluminum, this will mean changing the way vehicles are assembled, which will be a new technology we will be working on.   Right now, we will address this through emphasizing higher strength steels.

This is—and will continue to be—addressed in a number of ways. Presently, we are acquiring new servo drive presses that will allow us to make thinner gage parts and better formability with high strength steels. The new press with servo coil feeders can handle steel down to .030 inch thick, as opposed to .060 inch thick minimum in our current presses. The servo presses are also designed to result in less maintenance, and less energy use.

Additionally, many legislators are working on renewing R&D tax credits which would provide incentives for developing technologies and allow American manufacturers to be even more competitive and innovative. If continued this year, this would be another way we, and companies like us, could continue technological advancements that work toward greater fuel efficiency, among other things.

Regardless, we will continue meeting regulations, advancing our work, meeting your needs, and keeping you informed.