Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 67

Stainless Foundry and Engineering

	 To	improve	quality	performance,	SFE	developed	what	
it	calls	a	control	plan	that	starts	with	a	flow	diagram	of	its	
processes.	The	process	flow	diagram	is	then	put	through	
a	failure	modes	and	effects	analysis	to	identify	the	critical	 elements	 it	 needs	 to	 control.	 These	 critical	 control	
elements	are	rated	based	on	the	severity	of	impact	to	the	
outcome	of	the	process.	The	high	severity	elements	become	the	key	process	inputs	of	the	control	plan	because	
if	they	fail	it	will	impact	the	quality	of	the	part.
	 The	next	steps	are	for	SFE	to	identify	and	control	high	
risks	and	probability.	"Once	the	control	plan	is	in	place,	
we	 will	 follow	 up	 with	 layered	 process	 audits,"	 Stachowiak	 explains.	 "We	 will	 have	 a	 supervisor	 or	 team	 lead	
monitor	key	steps	and	verify	employees	are	doing	what	
the	control	plan	says	they	should	be	doing."	
	 The	 next	 layer	 will	 be	 the	 foundry	 and	 engineering	
directors	 ensuring	 frontline	 employees	 are	 doing	 the	
audits	 by	 monitoring	 that	 on	 a	 consistent	 basis.	 The	 final	 layer	 includes	 the	 executive	 management,	 which	
includes	 Stachowiak,	 conducting	 process	 audits.	 "This	
is	 the	 first	 step	 for	 us,	 getting	 control	 plans	 in	 place,"	
he	says.	"The	next	step	is	implementing	standard	work,	
which	is	how	we	will	replace	the	knowledge	and	skilled	
craftsmen	that	are	retiring."

Midwest

ing	its	technology.	"We	really	leverage	the	technical	piece	
behind	the	foundry	and	what	you	can	accomplish	by	combining	alloys,"	Stachowiak	says.	"There	is	a	tremendous	
amount	of	science	behind	foundry	work	and	casting,	and	
that's	what	we	tap	into	when	we	get	them	excited	about	
it.	Once	they	understand,	see	it	and	watch	what's	going	
on,	it	creates	a	desire	for	understanding	the	technology	
and	science	behind	it."	
	 SFE	 is	 implementing	 3-D	 technology	 for	 its	 wax	 and	
sand	processes	to	get	prototypes	to	its	customers	and	get	
into	full	production	faster.	It	is	also	upgrading	robots	in	
the	investment	foundry	to	increase	its	productivity	and	
improve	quality.	
	 "We	 are	 the	 leading	 foundry	 from	 a	 technology	 perspective	 and	 giving	 our	 engineers	 exposure	 to	 things	
they	may	not	see	in	other	foundries,"	Stachowiak	says.	"I	
think	it's	an	industry	that	has	good	potential	here	in	the	
U.S.	despite	pressure	from	foreign	competition.	We	need	
to	understand	to	do	that	and	be	competitive	we	have	to	
offer	the	best	quality	with	the	shortest	lead-time."	mt

Growing the Workforce
As	seasoned	employees	look	to	retirement,	SFE	is	finding	the	amount	of	knowledge	in	the	workforce	is	draining	away	while	new	entry	into	the	industry	is	slow.	SFE	is	
working	to	attract	the	next	generation	through	internal	
training	 and	 state-of-the-art	 technology.	 "The	 biggest	
challenge	we	have	seen	has	been	the	shifting	of	the	workforce	 away	 from	 skilled	 craftsmen,"	 Stachowiak	 adds.	
"We've	crafted	programs	both	on	metallurgy	and	foundry	that	are	taught	here.	Courses	are	specific	to	the	industry	and	products	we	are	pouring	here."
	 Training	is	held	on	each	step	of	the	control	plan,	outlining	 work	 instructions	 for	 each	 procedure,	 which	 can	
be	referenced	directly	from	the	plan.	SFE	partnered	with	
Wisconsin	 Regional	 Training	 Partnership	 (WRTP)	 to	
develop	a	Foundry	101	course	held	at	a	local	college.	"It's	
a	 six-week	 bootcamp	 program	 where	 WRTP	 identifies	
candidates	for	the	program,"	Stachowiak	says.	"They	did	
foundry	 training	 on	 both	 sand	 and	 investment.	 Those	
students	are	eligible	to	be	hired	out	of	that	program	and	
provided	skills	we	need	to	build	the	workforce."	
	 SFE's	goal	is	to	change	the	younger	generation's	mindset	of	manufacturing	as	an	old,	dirty	industry	by	leveragJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016		 manufacturing-today.com			67


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover1
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