Chief Technology Officer, Victor Morando and CEO Normand Forest show Joe Courtney some of the technology used at Dymotek.
Check out the article highlighting the Asnuntuck Community College Manufacturing Technology program and internships here: bit.ly/1nO8Fh5
By: Chris LaBranche- Tooling Technician
Like many people, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after I graduated from high school. It wasn’t until I went on a field trip to a manufacturing career fair that I decided to enroll in the Manufacturing Technology program at Asnuntuk Community College in Enfield, CT. Once I started my classes, my career path began to form.
After graduation from High School, I began studying to become a Machinist at Asnuntuk. Shortly after classes began, I was placed at Dymotek for my internship. This meant I spent every Monday through Wednesday at Asnuntuk doing course work and spent every Thursday and Friday at Dymotek completing my internship hours.
My job at Dymotek was to shadow the Tooling Manager, who is responsible for all maintenance and repair of the injection molds used in manufacturing. I didn’t know anything about Plastic Injection Molding and was curious how I was going to fit in to the Dymotek environment. As it turned out, there was a place for me and it was doing something I enjoyed. Since starting at Dymotek, I have learned a lot about molds for both thermoplastics and thermosets, mold maintenance and repair, molding machines and manufacturing in general. I couldn’t be happier with where Asnuntuk placed me for my internship. In just one year, I have come a long way and have been provided great opportunities by Dymotek.
One thing I was lucky enough to experience happened just recently. In March of 2014 Dymotek asked if I would like to go on a trip to Germany and Austria to attend Arburg Tech Days and visit one of our mold builders, Elmet. As a 19 year old who started as an intern at Dymotek just one year ago, my mind was blown. I could not believe the opportunity presented to me. Of course, I said yes!
While in Germany and Austria I was introduced to two experts in the molding business, Arburg and Elmet. When visiting the two facilities I was amazed by the state-of- the-art technology both companies utilized. The amount of combined knowledge these two companies have for traditional thermoplastic injection molding, silicone molding and two shot molding is incredible. Dymotek has very close working relationships with these two companies, all three companies helping one another to further business, knowledge and become experts in the fields of Liquid Injection Molding (LIM) and Two shot molding.
The trip was an experience I will not soon forget. Not only did I get to see Germany and Austria, but I learned a lot about the field in which I am now employed. I was also able to network with companies that, along with Dymotek, are subject matter experts in the Silicone and Plastic molding arena. Dymotek has invested a lot into me and their eagerness to help me grow as an employee is apparent. I truly enjoy coming to work every day with the Dymotek family, I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else and I thank both Asnuntuk and Dymotek for that.
We are very excited to have one of our youngest stars, Chris LaBranche, be featured in the latest edition of Plastics News. Read it here: http://bit.ly/1o6w15j
Chris has written a blog post which we will post shortly.
By: Alyssa Cannella- Business Development Associate
I am a millennial, born and raised in the technology age. A part of a generation of innovators who are ready to be hired. The problem? Our general lack of interest in Manufacturing. The unfortunate thing about being a millennial is a majority of us are clueless when it comes to present day manufacturing. We were brought up to believe that the jobs that come with fancy clothes and the corner office are more appealing than anything manufacturing can offer. Before I was hired at Dymotek, the word “Manufacturing” brought visions of dirty, poorly lit factories. Assembly lines, bored workers and smoke stacks. Manufacturing was something that I went to college to avoid. I was under the impression that those who are in manufacturing are there for the one reason: they can’t do anything else. There was never any excitement about manufacturing, the number of lives it touches, or the opportunities it provides.
I was hired in June of 2011. A recent college grad, hard on my luck and excited to have a job. It wasn’t that high paid Public Relations job I was promised after my five years (and thousands of dollars) spent in college, but it was a job. By the time my first week was over, I was in love. At Dymotek I was surrounded by some of the smartest people I have ever met. From engineers to operations managers, sales to process technicians and everything in between. Every day I walked out onto a CLEAN production floor and watched robots move effortlessly in and out of machines all while carrying and assembling parts. The hustle and bustle of a manufacturing environment is addicting. Now when I hear Manufacturing, I picture Dymotek. I picture plastic engineering, and technology like I have never seen. I see why people are so passionate about it.
I started as customer service, but quickly moved into a business development role. Now I work very closely with our engineers and am in the front lines of all the latest innovations taking place in injection molding. Dymotek is always searching out the latest innovations and technologies to improve our facility and capabilities. We are the pioneers, the ones foraging a path for others to follow and I get to be a part of it all.
While all of that is amazing, the part that affected me the most was realizing what goes into the products we consumers buy at the store. All of the other businesses that are essential to Dymotek’s success. From material suppliers to packaging suppliers, electricians to office supply stores. The list goes on. To trace the line of one of the products we make is my favorite part. Before I started working at Dymotek, I was a consumer. Now I am part of the bigger picture. I see a product on a shelf and understand how many steps, facilities and hands that product has passed through. How many jobs that product has created. How many families that product has fed.
Now, my ultimate goal is to inspire a younger generation. The next generation of workers. I want to play a role in opening their eyes to what manufacturing can offer and what manufacturing touches, while I am still relatable. I want to share with them the highly technical, well paid positions that manufacturing offers. Show them our bright lit, robot laden facility. Do factories with assembly lines exist? Yes, and they always will. But they are not the only jobs available in manufacturing. To all of the 20 somethings, stuck worrying about what you want to do with your life, try plastic injection molding manufacturing. Come visit us. Go visit anywhere. Go out and make something!
By: Taylor P. Bidmead – Education Coordinator
Seven very short months ago, I was hired as an Education Coordinator at Dymotek. My job is to create and implement an in house training structure for new machine Operators. Coming from a background of Biology, Lacrosse, Office Assistance-ships, and Cheerleading, you may as well have asked me to create a training program in a foreign language! However, being the person I am, I saw this as an advantage. Who better to welcome new-comers than someone who was just as new, first-hand themselves?
When I took the job, my supervisors and I agreed that I needed to experience the current “status-quo”. I wanted to weigh the pros and cons of the current training program. For the next 30 days, I began learning the jobs that ran on the floor. Not just one shift, but on all five. I learned each press 5 times, 5 different ways, from 5 different people, and valued it like it was the first time I was hearing the information every time. This was the most critical part of developing the training program we have today. I heard where the breaks in communication were, saw where people weren’t being given clear instruction, and identified the root causes of any major confusion. Most importantly, I began to see where some of our core strengths were, where Operators had really gone above and beyond their job requirements to contribute to our current success. Really shape in my mind “what makes a great operator.”
When you think of learning, most often you think of school, how you needed to learn your shapes and colors first, have to “get the basics” before you move forward. I realized when I started at Dymotek that I knew nothing. I read every book anyone happened to bring up in conversation (ie. Injection Molding Reference Guide 2nd ed. Routsis Training), I brought videos home (ie. Gemba Academy Improvement Learning, Improved. “Standard Work 1 & 2”), I completed interactive computer based learning modules (ie. Routsis “Introduction to Plastic Injection, Machine, Process, and Mold”). I started doing what I do best, researching. I educated myself on Manufacturing, train the trainer programs (ie. Fred Pryor’s “Train the Trainer”, 1995), visual management psychology papers and even asked all the employees here 100 questions a day. I wanted to be 100% positive I knew everything, even about the “basics.”
The next step, was to gather hard data and bring it to the attention of the senior management team. So I did. I polled all the Operators on every shift with a series of questions ranging from Safety questions (questions pertaining to on the job safety), to Quality (defect questions, paperwork questions, and others), and finally Production questions. These were ranked in descending order because that is the order in which we rank priority. After reviewing the average number of answers correct in each area, training took on a new priority and has been continually supported ever since.
I’m ever enthused by the future of training, because my job will change from trainer to coach. Once we have all the basics information down, consistent across every shift, together we move forward. Together we raise the business to the next level. I am currently working with engineering to become a part of their project list as they develop and launch new projects. This is to ensure that training is implemented and supported from the beginning. Not only that, but as the business develops, so do our people. They move into different positions, from Operator to Lead Operator, Lead Operator to Supervisor. Outlining and developing these training structures and progressions for them is something I look forward to. I love to hear Operators who are excited for training, cannot wait to get more, and continually ask me questions. I appreciate the Supervisors and fellow Operators who support training and encourage other Operators to go to training with an open mind. Most of all, my absolute favorite days are when I get an Operator response such as, “You know something? I have worked here for a while now, and I have always done exactly what I’ve been told. I grab the runner, I toss it, remove the good parts and put them on the table, but I have never once thought about a runner. I never knew what it was for or what it did! I never really understood the machine and how it works, that is so cool!”
I leave you with a quote that was e-mailed to me when I first started and has been the background on my computer ever since, “CFO asks CEO: ‘What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?’ CEO: ‘What happens if we don’t and they stay?’ “