Yes, in most cases. Traditionally we are trying to balance the density of a part so that they are similar throughout the part, however, sections of a part have the potential of being designed with lower or higher density.
DuBois, PA - Atlas Pressed Metals President Jude Pfingstler has been named one of the Top 100 Business Leaders in Central Pennsylvania for 2015.
The Top 100 Business Leaders is a list developed by business journal “Pennsylvania Business Central,” which honors the region’s top executives, business and community leaders who have made a major impact in their community or industry over the past year. Persons nominated for this honor must have a significant impact in the business community, from job creation, building expansion and improvements, to fiscal growth or community involvement, the Pennsylvania Business Central noted.
As president of Atlas Pressed Metals, Jude Pfingstler, 38, continues to lead with the discipline that has worked for this family-owned business since 1980 – grow business around the culture of people. Treat them well, include them and relate to them, and surround yourself with strong people. At Atlas, everyone has a function in moving the business forward in success. Pfingstler said when this culture is matched with sound financial management and strategic investments, such as the company’s recent 8000-square-foot expansion, it’s a win-win combination. For example, business has doubled for this medium-sized manufacturer since the Recession.
“Our goal is not to be the largest company, but to develop a good business that provides good wages to support families that support our community,” Pfingstler said. “And as we’ve grown, we continue to be able to improve upon the caliber of people we bring on board. This makes us even stronger as a business.”
Pfingstler has worked at Atlas since he was in high school in the mid-1990s. After graduating from college, he came into the company as a customer service rep, moving up to the position of Sales Manager in 2003. He has also served as Production Manager. In 2010, the company leadership developed a strategic/succession plan, and it was at that time that Jude Pfingstler succeeded his father, Richard “Dick” Pfingstler, as president of the company. The powdered metal company serves the automotive, lawn and garden, appliance, meters and industrial and commercial equipment industries and employs about 90 people.
Pfingstler holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing from Stonehill College in North Easton, Mass., where he also received a full scholarship to play for the Stonehill Skyhawks men’s basketball team. He earned his MBA from Alvernia University in Reading. He formerly served on the Industrial Development Board for the Metal Powders Industry Federation, and is currently on the DuBois YMCA Board of Directors. He is a member of St. Catherine of Siena Church, and he and his wife, Lisa, have three children.
# # #
For the second year, Atlas Pressed Metals has been very active in supporting the local BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics competition, both as an event sponsor and with team coaching.
Dr. Craig Stringer, Senior Metallurgist at Atlas Pressed Metals, worked with
DuBois Central Catholic students Zachary Logan (left) and McKenzie Park
(center) in preparation for a Boosting Science Engineering and
Technology (BEST) Robotics competition.
According to the event website, BEST is a middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields. The BEST program indicated that through participation in this project-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program, students learn to analyze and solve problems utilizing the Engineering Design Process, which helps them to develop technological literacy skills, highly desirable in the industrial workforce. Each fall, more than 850 middle and high schools and over 18,000 students participate in the competition. The competition finals were held Dec. 4-6 in Fargo, N.D., but the regional competition, sponsored in part by Atlas, was hosted locally at the Penn State DuBois campus earlier in the school year.
The DuBois Central Catholic team, called C3 (“C-Cubed”), was additionally assisted by Dr. Craig Stringer and Sally Moran, both employees of Atlas. Within the DCC team are several divisions, each assigned to address the challenge from a different perspective, such as through engineering, design, programming, marketing and management. Numerous mentors were involved in team coaching for each of the divisions. Stringer, a Senior Metallurgist at Atlas, was a mentor for the programming team involved in problem solving and engineering design through Solidworks CAD, RobotC, Simulink, Sketch up CAD, and Excel. Moran, Atlas Director of Sales and Marketing, coached the Sales and Marketing team.
This year’s BEST challenge was called “Paydirt.” Teams designed and built a robot, and programmed it to repair and operate a simulated underground mine. The robots could score points over a period of three minutes by repairing the mine’s broken pipes and failing filtration system, and by extracting minerals from the mine. The robot could mine any valuables simulated in the challenge including limestone aggregate, coal, iron ore, Bauxite, copper ore, and lithium crystals, or the robot could also take core samples. In addition to the robot challenge, the team was required to present the business model for the team, market research for the “product” and a full sales and marketing plan.
“As the process went on and we were nearing the competitions, I believe the most impact we as mentors had on the team was in the style of presenting and how to handle questions from the judges,” Moran said. “These kids matured in their confidence and public speaking skills right before our eyes. It was very rewarding to see this.”
Moran added that Sean Garred and Bob Logan assisted in the coaching of the sales and marketing team for the Fargo competition due to her travel schedule with Atlas. She said all the mentors worked well together, and the students were able to get three different perspectives on their presentation.
Students who mentored under Stringer learned mostly about the engineering process, math skills including geometry and trigonometry, and how to better communicate across all disciplines.
“Another notable skill the students learned along the way was persistence and not giving up despite difficult engineering and technical challenges,” Stringer said.
For everyone’s efforts, C3 was able to take home a first-place regional award, and excellent experience from nationals.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Dave Conti reached out to Atlas Pressed Metals for a feature article about powdered metal and the Atlas corporate philosophy, appearing Nov. 24 in the newspaper's Local section.
Powder Metals Fabricator Atlas Pressed Metals Diversifies Appeal to Customers
When Atlas Pressed Metals was a young company, it was forced to look beyond automakers that buy about three-quarters of the parts made by the powder metals industry for business.
“Large auto companies don't usually look at companies with 20 employees,” said Jude Pfingstler, president of the family-owned manufacturer in DuBois.
Finding other markets for the gears, bearings and other specialty equipment Atlas makes is paying dividends as the growing company with 85 employees serves a more diverse range of customers and is less reliant on one market for its business. Less than a quarter of the parts it presses and sinters go to the auto industry; appliances, lawn and garden equipment and business machines take the rest.
“It has helped in some of the slowdowns in the markets,” said Pfingstler, 38, whose father, Richard “Dick” Pfingstler, and grandfather founded the business in 1980.
Such diversification, plus close attention to customers are important to business at Atlas, given the relatively small size of the powder metals fabrication industry at about $3 billion.
DuBOIS – Approximately 50 visitors toured Atlas Pressed Metals on Friday, Oct. 2, designated as the third annual National Manufacturing Day. It is a day intended to inspire the next generation of manufacturing, and to continue to promote careers and family-sustaining jobs in the manufacturing workforce.
Tom Krug, far left, a member of Atlas'
manufacturing team, and Atlas plant
manager Chris Sconzo, second from
left, discuss with students from Jeff Tech
Vocational Technical School in Reynoldsville
various aspects of jobs in manufacturing.
The tour was part of the national recognition
of Manufacturing Day 2015.
The majority of visitors were students from Jeff Tech Vocational Technical School in Reynoldsville, Pa. Students learned about careers in powdered metal manufacturing, the process of manufacturing powdered metal components and many of the skills that are desired and needed in the industry. Students first heard a presentation on the basics from Christina Mahlon, Materials Laboratory Technician, and Craig Stringer, Senior Metallurgist. Mahlon is a graduate of Jeff Tech and is currently attending Penn State DuBois as an engineering major while she works full-time at Atlas, where she has been employed for 9 years.
“Atlas has given me many great opportunities to excel and grow as an employee. I started working for this company shorty after high school. With my background knowledge in computer and computer programs I received from Vo-Tech, I feel gave it me a more competitive edge then most,” Mahlon said. “As a Jeff Tech graduate, I think the students could really relate to my experiences here at Atlas.”
After the presentation, students and other visitors from the public, received tours of the plant and got a chance to meet some of the employees, hearing why they are working in the field of manufacturing. Atlas took the opportunity to interview several of its employees as to why they like their jobs in manufacturing.
“The manufacturing environment demands that its people be diverse in their skill sets,” said Luke Crawford, Production Supervisor, who has worked at Atlas for 15 years. As a manager, Crawford said he appreciates the variety and daily demands of the ever-changing work day. “Depending on the day-to-day problems that arise, a leader on the plant floor may need to provide support in areas of engineering, quality control, customer service, or handling employee issues,” Crawford said. “The challenges that result from this structure keep the job interesting.”
What’s New at Atlas?