Change can be good for a company – be it small tweaks in the way you do things or big operational shifts. As we said in Part 1 of this blog series, taking an honest look at what’s working for your business and identifying opportunities for improvement is always a good idea. As you approach your annual planning process with an eye on identifying those key opportunities for improvement, one area to consider and assess is the performance of your machined parts suppliers. Switching machining suppliers can be a difficult decision to make, but choosing who supplies your incoming streams of materials, components or sub-assemblies can have a huge impact on your business.
It was a real pleasure to welcome students back to Cass Precision Machining on Thursday, October 4th. Last year’s participation in Minnesota’s Dream it. Do it. Minnesota Tour of Manufacturing Day was so successful that we decided to reach out, in coordination with our sister company, Ajax Metal Forming Solutions, to a few of our local high schools to offer a field trip. The result was Cass hosting over 70 10th through 12th-grade students and six faculty members from Brooklyn Center and Patrick Henry high schools.
Cass Precision Machining is proud to announce that its President, Jim Garvin, has been named to the Board of Directors for Diversified Plastics, Inc. (DPI), a custom plastic-injection molder of high-precision thermoplastic components. As part of the board, Garvin will provide leadership and strategic guidance and serve as an adviser to DPI’s CEO and executive team.
“We welcome James to the board and look forward to his contributions as we grow the company,” says James Dow, Chairman of the Board at Diversified Plastics, Inc. “His well-rounded background in management, operations, business development and quality makes him ideally suited to help guide the company.”
As a member of DPI’s Board of Directors, Garvin will help represent the company’s shareholders. The board helps establish policies for corporate management and oversight and make decisions on major issues for DPI.
As President of Cass Precision Machining and former COO at Hutchinson Manufacturing, Inc., Garvin brings a long history of industry knowledge to DPI’s board. Garvin will provide thought leadership and add great perspective based on his depth of experience and network of influence. DPI is a full-service parts manufacturer that provides prototyping, manufacturing and assembly, so Garvin is a natural fit for their board of directors.
Before his roles at Cass Precision Machining and Hutchinson Manufacturing, Garvin held several leadership roles at Hutchinson Technology, Inc. Garvin started his career as a supplier and product quality engineer at Unisys, Midwest Operations Group in Roseville, Minn. He received a Bachelor of Engineering Technology degree from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN.
What is High-Volume Production?
The term “high-volume production” can mean many things to many people, from both a supplier and a customer perspective. What does “high-volume production” mean to us here at Cass? We’ve prepared an overview (View PDF) that illustrates the types of parts we run on a daily basis. Our hope is that this overview helps you start thinking about potential matches between your machined-parts requirements and our strengths here at Cass.
Our core-machining competencies include screw machining, CNC milling and turning, Swiss machining and precision grinding. When it comes to high-volume production, our capabilities match up best with parts up to 3.5 inches in diameter and under 12 inches long. Over the years we’ve migrated toward making more cylindrically shaped parts than anything else – at times up to 8 inches in diameter and up to 40 inches in length. The best way to leverage Cass’s machining and grinding capabilities is to release orders to us in the thousands of pieces and up. Through strategic investments in automation, we are running parts with EAUs in the millions without losing a beat.
At Cass Precision Machining we’ve been humbled and honored to receive our share of recognition and awards over the years. The recognition is always nice, and it makes us proud of our company and our team—but it’s the knowledge that our customers are happy and satisfied with the work we do that gives us the most gratification.
At Cass we take our responsibility to our customers very seriously as evidenced by our robust, proven Quality Management System (QMS) (download PDF). Everything we make passes several inspections, or it won’t go out the door. We also conduct cross-functional quality reviews every month at Cass to assess our QMS performance and results.
Cass QMS Highlights
- Our Quality team develops a control plan that defines exactly how quality will be verified throughout the production process for every order we build.
- Our processes require set-up compliance and verification before we run the first part, and we define specific part measurements and process checks throughout the build of each order. We also deploy roving inspection as an additional compliance support tool.
- We apply Cass baseline quality control standards to every order. Examples of our baseline standards include: all machined surfaces to be 125 maximum finish, flatness to be .005” or less, perpendicularity to be .005” or less, all parts to be clean with no chips and coated with preservative as needed.
- Our QMS requires that we customize our quality control plans to meet your business needs. We do this by seamlessly integrating your additional quality requirements with our baseline standards.
We recently celebrated Steve Brown’s 51-year tenure at Cass Precision Machining! Cass President Jim Garvin is seen here shaking hands with Steve (the guy with the big smile on the right) following a special presentation that Jim delivered at our year-end meeting on December 18th 2017.
Steve started at Cass Precision Machining as an inspector in 1966 while attending college at the University of Minnesota. He graduated from the U of M while working full time at Cass, and then served in the US Air Force Reserves. Steve moved from inspection to the machine shop, helping to serve our customers in a number of machinist roles. In the 80’s, Cass recognized his leadership skills by challenging him with a foreman’s position. Steve obviously left a positive mark with the shop team as witnessed by the hearty farewells he received at this retirement celebration. In 1995, Steve joined the Cass sales team as a Sales Engineer, and served in this capacity for the past 22 years. It’s pretty amazing to note that many of us think of 22 years as a career, while in Steve’s case, it was “just a step along the way”.
Another holiday season is upon us, which, of course, brings us near the end of another calendar year. While 2017 can only be described as “tumultuous” from a news headlines perspective, we hope the past year has been productive and successful for your business.
It was a big year for us here at Cass Precision Machining as we rebranded with a new name, logo and website that gives our customers a better view of the many ways that we can serve them.
The end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new one is always a good time for any business to reflect on their operations – to take an honest look at what’s working for you and identify areas where you could be doing better. One area to assess could be an evaluation of your machining suppliers. Switching your machining supplier can be a difficult decision to make, but choosing who supplies your incoming streams of raw materials, components or sub-assemblies can have a huge impact on your business.
In the first part of this series, we will discuss two key areas to assess in your relationship with your machining suppliers. If you find that your suppliers aren’t meeting your expectations in these areas, a switch to a new supplier could become a part of your 2018 continuous improvement plan.
Thursday, October 5th was a fun day for us at Cass Precision Machining. Our participation in Minnesota’s Dream it. Do it. Minnesota Tour of Manufacturing Day resulted in Cass hosting about 100 10th through 12th grade students and 10 faculty members from local schools. After welcoming students to the Cass campus, Cass President, Jim Garvin gave opening remarks about career opportunities in precision parts manufacturing. From there, we split into smaller groups for a four-stop tour of selected areas within our five-building campus. Upon completion, we rallied the students around an exhibit that featured a few of our customers’ more exciting vehicular products, along with displays of the parts that we manufacture for each vehicle.
Hello and welcome to Cass Precision Machining’s new website! After completing an extensive research study that gave us outstanding feedback on our name, brand, and all the ways that we can best support your machining needs, we are proud to announce that we have rebranded the company as Cass Precision Machining.
As we cut over to our new name, we hope the completed FAQ’s below will address most of your concerns and questions regarding doing business with Cass. In the event you do not see the answer(s) you are looking for below, please feel free to address your question(s) to us via posting a message in the “Contact Us” page of our new website (www.CassPrecisionMachining.com), or you can directly contact our Business Development Manager, Dave Schuh at 763-535-0501 x223 or email Dave at email@example.com.