Let AGMA be your solution center

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The first quarter of 2018 is done, and the programs at AGMA are off to a roaring start. We here at the AGMA home office have heard that members are very busy, which is great! That may also mean that time-starved executives may not be aware of how their association can help. Yes, AGMA is best known for the incredible work on the gear manufacturing standards. But, we offer so much more value to members through many of the programs and resources we have.

First, a quick review of AGMA’s first quarter:

  • AGMA held its first international education course in Mumbai, India. Almost 30 students attended the Steels for Gears course and the reaction was very positive.
  • AGMA was recently accredited by IACET, meaning student attendees are now earning CEUs for these courses. It’s a big asset for AGMA learners.
  • Technical committee meetings continue to happen each week with experts from around the world working on gear standards.
  • The AGMA Foundation is embarking on a new strategic plan — it’s the result of a recent survey asking for input (462 responded) on the needs and wants for gear industry businesses. We heard you!

In 2016, a new five-year strategic plan was approved by the Board of Directors. In 2018, we are focused on carrying out all elements of this plan with the aim, as always, of providing members with more value and more benefits than ever. AGMA members are dealing with many challenges for which they may turn to others for assistance. However, in many cases, AGMA can be that solution provider.

For instance, the newly formed Emerging Technology Committee is dedicated to providing information on the latest innovations in the gear industry and manufacturing. More than that — they are looking ahead to what technologies may affect and even disrupt the industry in the future — it’s called the Tech Deck on the AGMA website. Don’t have time to search for all the latest industry news across numerous platforms? AGMA can help with that.

AGMA held its first international education course in Mumbai, India. (Courtesy: AGMA)

Nearly every member I visit says one of the biggest challenges is people — both finding new employees and keeping and training current employees. AGMA has a robust list of 16 educational courses being offered and is working on adding more with input from members on what is most needed. AGMA also holds operator-level training twice a year at Daley College in Chicago — it almost always sells out. Members need both engineering and operator training. AGMA can help with that.

Market intelligence can come from many different providers. But how many have gear industry specific information? AGMA will hold the Marketing and Forecasting webinar on May 17, and it will be free for members. The forecast is presented by IHS Markit, a world-renowned economic and business intelligence provider. Gear manufacturers can also participate in several economic surveys centering on benchmarking their numbers to the industry – also for free. Do you want to know how your business is doing compared to the industry? Who wouldn’t? AGMA can help with that.

It’s an old adage, but true: People like doing business with people they know and, even better, people they like. AGMA holds the industry events, such as the Annual Meeting and the Strategic Resource Network, where you will meet these people. Are you looking for new suppliers? Or maybe a technical question you’d rather ask a peer? Maybe you’re launching a new brand or rebranding your current business and want to make sure people know. Guess what? AGMA can help with that.

In addition to all this, AGMA is the place to go to read the latest industry news through the weekly and bi-monthly newsletters. Or, you can read and share through the Gears Matter blog or join and connect with other industry experts on the online communities AGMA hosts.

As you can see, there are many reasons to join AGMA, and if you are already a member, there are many reasons to get involved that can help you and your business develop and grow. Don’t miss out on the many resources that AGMA offers to its members, and let 2018 be the year that you get the most out of your association.

AGMA welcomes four new Board members

Scott Miller, Gear Tech Steward, Caterpillar, Inc.

Miller has more than 20 years of experience in gearing and drivetrain engineering at Caterpillar. He has held a variety of technical and leadership positions in drivetrain design and development. Miller is responsible for gear technology strategy, and his extensive experience is leveraged across numerous research, new product development, product improvement, and sourcing projects.

Prior to his current role, Miller was gear engineering manager and developed the “make-buy” strategy that is now delivering excellent operational results through restructuring of internal manufacturing and outsourcing selected gears.

Miller also recently served the AGMA Foundation as a trustee and chairman, helping to expand the scholarship program and provide $125,000 in scholarships to graduate, undergraduate, and technical degree candidates.

Before joining Caterpillar, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He graduated with a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University in Houston, Texas, after completing a B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Shawn O’Brien, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, McInnes Rolled Rings

Shawn O’Brien has been employed with McInnes Rolled Rings for 24 years.  After beginning in inside sales, O’Brien relocated to manage a large Midwestern territory.  Several years in the field later, he returned to the plant as general sales manager and eventually became a partner and vice president of Sales & Marketing.

O’Brien is an active member of the Forging Industry Association, serving two terms as chairman of the Marketing Committee.

O’Brien joined AGMA in 2012 and has regularly attended SRN, Marketing & Forecasting, and AGMA/ABMA Annual meetings. He served on the SRN planning committee and recently became chairman for the newly formed Industry Voice committee.

O’Brien is a 1990 Graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in Business Marketing. He has been married for 24 years and has a 20-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son.

O’Brien has completed three Iron Man Triathlons and 33 marathons, including 12-consecutive Boston Marathons.

Gary L. Neidig, President / CEO, ITAMCO

Gary L. Neidig is the president/CEO of Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies, also known as ITAMCO. ITAMCO is a multi-faceted, advanced manufacturing company with its core business in metal machining of precision gears and machined components.

Neidig graduated from Bob Jones University with a B.S. in Business Management and a minor in Computer Science. He is an active coder and has written engineering as well as business system applications.

He has served in roles of customer service, engineering, and executive management during his 38 years in manufacturing while overseeing technology development for advanced manufacturing. During his career, Neidig has helped develop ITAMCO from a small, 24,000-square-foot facility to a totally integrated manufacturer with more than 500,000 square feet.

Neidig has served on numerous charitable board/committees that include The Boys and Girls Club of Marshall County, Marshall County Entrepreneurship Board, and DMDII (Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute) Executive Board.

Neidig’s passion for learning has been a driving force in his broad scope of expertise. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), computer programming, database design, and administration and music writing and performance are just a few of Neidig’s interests. 

Bent Hervard, CEO, CFT

Bent Hervard was born February 19, 1954, in Copenhagen, Denmark. His family owned a gear manufacturing company, CFT, where he and his parents and sister resided. During his childhood, Hervard’s early career in gears started by bringing the daily gear production to the post office on his large bicycle.

After the passing of his father, Hervard took over the business and eventually beaome CEO. In 1990, he bought two additional gear manufacturing companies and moved everything out of Copenhagen to their new premises in the middle of a forest where they still work today. CFT specializes in all types of high-quality gears, some up to 700 mm and all with fast turn-around and delivery.

Six years ago, Hervard contacted Fred Young with Forest City Gear, which led to him becoming a member of AGMA. In 2019, Hervard can celebrate his 50th anniversary at CFT and 40 years as CEO. Currently, Hervard and CFT have begun a controlled generation shift process with Hervard’s daughter, Sofie and son-in-law, Johan, who will be taking over the family business.

Stay in the ‘know’ with AGMA

There is so much information at our fingertips these days. Between social media, online publications, and the vast amounts of junk mail that we all receive in our inboxes, it is hard to find the right news at the right time. That is why it is more important than ever to tune in to AGMA and let it do it for you. Articles from top news sources are selected for you every week and compiled into the Industry Newsletter. The Emerging Technology Department posts four stories on the latest technology every Wednesday in the weekly Tech Deck. You don’t need five online newspapers; you need AGMA.

Working Group 6 committee members meeting in Netherlands. (Courtesy: AGMA)

Did You Know?

AGMA members have access to the latest in the gear and manufacturing industry through many forms of communication. The following resources are available to all members:

  • Member Newsletter
  • Industry Newsletter
  • Tech Deck
  • Gears Matter Blog
  • Emails sending you upcoming events and courses
Emerging Technology Committee meets and tours DMG Mori. (Courtesy: AGMA)

Did You Know?

Members have the opportunity to join any one of AGMA’s committees and learn even more about the gear industry and how AGMA and its members are working to stay on top of all the changes happening in manufacturing. Not to mention, when you join a committee, you are meeting your industry peers and working on real issues surrounding our membership. AGMA has about 250 volunteers sharing their expert knowledge on our committees and joining efforts with others around the industry. You will have a chance to network and make a difference at the same time.

To see all the committees that you can be a part of, please visit:

  • www.agma.org/membership/leadership-committees/
  • www.agma.org/standards/technical-committees/

If you have any questions about joining a committee and want to get involved to stay in the know with AGMA, please contact membership@agma.org.

Upcoming courses

Gear Failure Analysis

June 19-21, 2018 | St. Louis, Missouri

Explore gear failure analysis in this handson seminar where students not only see slides of failed gears but can hold and examine those same field samples close up. Experience the use of a microscope and take your own contact pattern from field samples.  

Gear Manufacturing and Inspection

July 10-12, 2018 | Ontario, Canada

Learn key factors in the inspection process that lead to better design of gears. Develop a broad understanding of the methods used to manufacture and inspect gears. Discover how the resultant information can be applied and interpreted in the design process. 

This course is accompanied by a tour of a gear manufacturer. The tour for 2018 will be at Ontario Drive and Gear.

Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing

September 11-14, 2018 | Chicago, Illinois

Learn the fundamentals of gear manufacturing in this hands-on course. Gain an understanding of gearing and nomenclature, principles of inspection, gear manufacturing methods, hobbing and shaping.  Using manual machines, develop a deeper breadth of perspective and understanding of the process and physics of making a gear as well as the ability to apply this knowledge in working with CNC equipment commonly in use.