NPE2018 Show Daily - Monday

NPE is truly ‘Breaking the Mold’ as a multifaceted experience, with activities, discoveries and opportunities to satisfy the needs of anyone who works in the plastics industry or has a need to know about plastics

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MONDAY NPE 2018 : THE PLASTICS SHOW SHOW DAILY 'Skills Gap' Among Processors Means More Needed from Suppliers By Jim Callari Plascs Technology The changing landscape in plasঞcs processing is requiring firms up and down the supply chain to offer systems that are more fool- proof and intuiঞve than ever. Here at NPE2018, you can see a lot of this in new control plaorms, not only among suppliers of primary processing machinery but in auxil- iaries as well. "On a daily basis we deal with the fact that processors' central engineering or corporate engineering funcঞons have been substanঞally reduced if not completely eliminated," notes Aline Alroy, president of High-Technology Corp., which next year will celebrate its 50th year in the screen-changer business. "The result is that responsibiliঞes once part of the funcঞon of project management and long- term corporate planning are now added to the daily job funcঞons of plant personnel. Frequently, our customers' plant personnel are working in crisis-management mode, put- ঞng out their usual daily producঞon fires, and they don't have the ঞme or knowledge to deal with equipment or component issues." And Alroy has found that more and more custom- ers fighঞng the daily fires are requiring suppli- ers like her company to carry the hose and maybe even supply the water, too. "Over the past decades we have disman- tled vocaঞonal training in the U.S. The result is a shortage of skilled labor throughout our industry, regardless of geographic locaঞon. With the baby-boomer generaঞon transiঞon- ing into reঞrement, the lack of workers quali- fied or even desiring to step into their posi- ঞons is an issue that comes up with everyone we talk to: fellow machine builders as well as customers. Constant on-the-job training, constant search for qualified workers and frequent employee turnover take a toll, not only financially, but on the plant personnel who are also charged with the responsibility of keeping producঞon up and running." She conঞnues, "Quite o[en, customers High-Technology's Aline Alroy says the company's next-generaঞon screen changer was designed to be intuiঞve in response to growing "skills gap" in plasঞcs processing plants. wishing to retrofit one of our screen-chang- ers onto an old extrusion line cannot find the documentaঞon on their exisঞng equipment. In these cases, one of our engineers is avail- able to travel to the customer's plant to take measurements and obtain the informaঞon necessary to move the project forward. We also offer in-plant training for new employ- ees as a result of the frequent turnover in operators and maintenance personnel." For Alroy, that's what makes shows like NPE so invaluable. "It provides an opportuni- ty to meet with processors, discuss technical issues and offer ideas and soluঞons in a con- centrated fashion. As a closely held, fami- ly-owned business, we have the freedom to invest in the very long term: with our cus- tomers, our employees and in R&D to con- ঞnuously advance our technology." At its NPE2018 exhibit (Booth W4553) High-Technology showcases some of the fruits of those efforts. "We relentlessly and conঞnuously use our experience with our customers to advance our technology to make it as user-friendly and trouble-free as possible," says Alroy. "With diminished re- sources at the plant level, equipment today has to perform with as lile human interven- ঞon as possible. Our latest generaঞon of screen changers, the DR model, represents the culminaঞon of five decades of develop- ment, resulঞng in a unit that sets a new in- dustry standard for reliability, performance and ease of trouble-shooঞng. Sophisঞcated PLC based controls allow for full integraঞon of the screen changer's operaঞon into the extrusion line's controls, enabling seamless integraঞon of the filtraঞon funcঞon with the enঞre extrusion process." Alroy conঞnues, "Our philosophy is to support our customers in every way possi- ble. A High-Technology employee is empow- ered to offer immediate help when he or she answers the phone. We maintain files on every machine we have ever sold. O[en, we get calls from new employees who know very lile about the equipment they are sup- posed to be taking care of. We step in imme- diately to supply missing documentaঞon, spare parts lists, operaঞng manuals and phone support from one of our engineers". 90 NPE.ORG A PRODUCT OF PLASTICS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

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