Celebrating the Past, Securing the Future


I know it sounds cliché, but the past two years have flown by. As chairman of AGMA, I have had the pleasure to work with an exceptional team at AGMA’s headquarters, a committed board of directors, and members who want to see AGMA thrive now and in the future.

The title above, “Celebrating the Past, Securing the Future,” summarizes it best. Over the past two years, AGMA has experienced one of its greatest transformations in recent history. We celebrated AGMA’s centennial, transitioned to new leadership, and developed a strategic roadmap, all the while adding value back to our members with a successful 2015 Gear Expo, educational programming enhancements, and world-class technical standards.

The celebration of AGMA’s centennial began October 2015 at Gear Expo in Detroit and concluded at the Fall Technical Meeting in Pittsburgh in October 2016. In May 2016, a record number of members attended the Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. The Annual Meeting culminated with AGMA’s centennial gala when we celebrated AGMA’s past and looked forward to the next 100 years. During these events, nearly 1,000 members participated in the celebration of AGMA’s first 100 years.

During the Annual Meeting, AGMA also celebrated Joe Franklin’s retirement after leading AGMA for 25 years. With the commemoration of the Lifetime Achievement Award, we recognized Joe for all of his accomplishments to bring AGMA where it is today and position it for the future. Words and recognition can never adequately express the difference that Joe made to the organization, its members, and the AGMA staff. His contributions are the foundation for AGMA’s next 100 years, and his legacy is enshrined at AGMA headquarters.

With Joe’s retirement in 2016, AGMA created a Steering Committee to identify and select its fifth president. Through the leadership of Chairman Emeritus Lou Ertel and Pamela Kaul of Association Strategies Inc., AGMA was fortunate to hire Matthew Croson, who joined AGMA in June 2016. Matt has been well-received by members and has begun leading AGMA into its next 100 years.

Also over the past two years, the organization has been focused on the future as well. Starting in 2014, the board of directors, staff, and past chairmen participated in creating the AGMA Strategic Plan. For those who have been through a strategic-planning exercise, it is an arduous task. With efforts led by Jim Bregi, AGMA drafted four roadmaps for future success — from a new vision to a revised mission. Under the leadership of Matt and the AGMA staff, the Strategic Plan is not simply a “binder on the shelf” that will collect dust. These roadmaps have already refocused the organization. Two new committees, Industry Voice and Emerging Technologies, have been added to the Business Management Executive Committee (BMEC). And staff has been added to support AGMA’s education and global strategies with new directives and programs.

As we look back on the past two years, we should all be proud of the accomplishments. Membership eclipsed 500 in challenging economic times. AGMA and its members paid off the mortgage on its headquarters, entering the next century debt-free and with an investment portfolio under new management and aligned to our strategic roadmaps. The board of directors, committees, and staff have been refocused on our members and adding more value to them. The obstacles seemed overwhelming at times, but with an organization as strong as AGMA, everyone stepped up to the challenges and excelled beyond our wildest dreams.

As I turn the chairman position of AGMA to Jim Bregi of Doppler Gear, I hope that I served as a good steward for AGMA. I have been fortunate to work with such a great board of directors and a staff so dedicated to its members. It has been an honor.


Gear Failure Analysis

June 12-14 | Big Sky, Montana • December 6-8 | San Francisco, California

Instructors: Robert Bundy and Andrew Milburn • Guest Instructors: Robert Errichello and Jane Muller

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

The June course includes the Lone Peak Expedition where students will have the opportunity to examine the mechanical room behind the ski lift operation. This peak is Montana’s highest overlook at 11,166 feet.


  • Identify the primary and secondary failure modes.
  • Use the proper nomenclature to describe the morphology of gear failure.
  • Diagnose the root causes of failure.
  • Prescribe remedies to prevent repeat failures.
  • Use the Geartech textbook and other provided resources for ongoing study of gear failure analysis.
  • Tailor failure analysis techniques for their specific requirements.

Fee: $1,795 First registrant per member company | $1,595 additional registrant

 $2,295 First registrant per non-member company | $2,095 additional registrant

New Instructors:

Rob Budny is president of RBB Engineering, a consultancy providing service to the rotating equipment industry. Budny is a mechanical engineer with 20 years of industry experience. He spent eight years at a large wind turbine OEM where he led the mechanical engineering department. Prior to working in the wind industry, he worked in aerospace for Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Budny was co-author of a paper on wind turbine bearing failures that won the 2015 STLE Bisson award for best paper published by STLE in the previous year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Andrew “Andy” Milburn is president of Milburn Engineering Inc., a consulting firm located near Tacoma, Washington, and has 41 years of experience in the design and analysis of gears and gearboxes. Prior to starting his own consulting firm in 1989, he worked at The Gear Works in Seattle, Washington, for 15 years and was involved in all aspects of gear manufacturing and gear failure analysis and designed a number of custom industrial gearboxes that included the design and full load testing of drives transmitting over 2,000 horsepower. As a consultant, he has continued to design custom gearboxes, investigated numerous gear and bearing failures, and helped clients improve their gear products. During the past 16 years, he has been active in the wind industry investigating gearbox failures, developing gearbox modifications, and participating in due diligence design reviews. He has been active on the AGMA/AWEA committee developing standards for wind turbine gearboxes and was a U.S. delegate to ISO TC66, working on the new international gearbox standard, IEC 81400-4. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Washington, has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington, and is a member of AGMA, ASME, and STLE.

AGMA’s 2017 Strategic Resources Network (SRN) Conference

May 16-18 | Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Join AGMA in Tulsa for the 2017 Strategic Resources Network event. The agenda for this meeting is strong. Capitalizing on the location in the heart of oil country, AGMA presents speakers on topics of the energy sector, steel market, and workforce development. There will also be a special presentation on the current state of 3D printing — specifically in metal — by an expert from Oak Ridge Laboratory.

Attendees will visit Muncie Power and Tulsa Tech where they will be afforded both tours and informative presentations.

Presenters include:

  • Matt Croson, President, AGMA
  • Raymond V. Fryan, VP of Technology and Quality, TimkenSteel
  • Rick Huddleston, Instructor, Machining Technology, Tulsa Tech
  • Senthil Kumar, CEO, Thors eLearning Solutions
  • Brian Maher, Assistant General Manager, Muncie Power
  • Peeyush Nandwana, Researcher, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Buford Boyd Pollett, J.D., Assistant Professor of Energy Law and Commerce, The University of Tulsa
  • Brian Schultz, AGMA Emerging Technologies Committee Chairman; President, Great Lakes Industry Inc.
  • Doug Sullivent, Director of Operations/Tulsa Plant Manager, Muncie Power Products
  • Ross Wegryn-Jones, AGMA SRN Committee Chairman; Regional Sales Manager, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America Inc.

The Strategic Resources Network group brings together new and upcoming gear industry professionals from within AGMA membership. Its goal is to provide a dynamic, educational, and productive forum to help participants grow, both within the industry and the association. The Strategic Resources Network addresses such topics as leadership, best business practices, AGMA programs, and personal development.