Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the mobility industry, was a 2019 recipient of The Going PRO Talent Fund which according to its website, “makes awards to employers to assist in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees.” The program is funded by Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity – Workforce Development through Michigan Works! Agencies.
For Team 1 Plastics, the total amount awarded was $9,775 and allowed 10 different Team Members to participate in specialized training. Included among these Team Members was each member of the Maintenance Department.
According to Andrew Zblewski, Team 1’s Maintenance Captain, two technicians, Anthony Merringer and Will Adams, attended Yushin Robot Maintenance training in Warwick, Rhode Island. Zblewski explained that this was manufacturer specific training on the maintenance of Team 1’s Yushin Robots. Included in the training was one-on-one time with the Yushin technicians during which the Team Members could describe and troubleshoot issues specific to Team 1’s robots.
Zblewski said that “the Yushin training has greatly benefited Team 1. Occasionally, the servo drives or motors fail on the older Yushin robots. In the past, our Team Members would have to contact a technician from Yushin and troubleshoot step by step during phone conversations. Now, our technicians know these steps and can quickly diagnose which drive is the issue and know the correct people at Yushin to contact.”
He then shared an example of the impact that the training has made in saving time and money for Team 1. The Yushin robot on Team 1’s Injection Molding Press #50 recently had an issue. “In the past, it may have taken two days to troubleshoot the issue. This time, Anthony diagnosed the problem and had a replacement part ordered in two hours. The new component arrived the next morning, and the robot was functional. This entire procedure took about 18 hours. In the past, it would have been at least 60 hours!”
The rest of the Team Members in the Maintenance Department attended multi-day classes at ToolingDocs in Ashland, Ohio. According to its website, “ToolingDocs is a leading authority on mold maintenance, offering multi-level mold maintenance certification training involving both classroom and hands-on education.”
Craig Clem attended a texturing course, and Jadon Austin took the mold repair class. Zblewski said that both of these classes will save the company time and money on mold repairs.
Zblewski, himself, attended the Tool Room Manager Certification training. He said that the three-day class, which was very helpful in garnering new ideas, featured a wide array of topics, such as shop cleanliness, employee relations, scheduling inventory tracking, budgeting, and goal-setting objectives. One of Zblewski’s goals in taking this class was to evaluate “how Team 1 compares with other plastics companies in how their maintenance department functions.” He learned that “Team 1 is at least equal to most companies, and far ahead of many others.”
It was not only the Maintenance Department that benefited from The Going PRO Talent Fund in 2019. According to Robert Clothier, Human Resources Manager for Team 1, five Team Members attended Supervisor Training at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC).
Zblewski reported that each of the Maintenance Department Team Members successfully passed his training and received certification. Without The Going PRO Talent Fund, “we would have only been able to accommodate one or two of the classes during 2019.” He added that “it is difficult to place the value that has been gained from the grant into a dollar amount. However, as Captain of the Maintenance Department, I can feel the enthusiasm the technicians have and also see the results that are used daily from what they have learned. I think that the Team Members feel honored to be allowed to attend these classes as well as take pride in knowing that Team 1 has faith in them.”