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Published On: Feb 20, 2024 12:00:00 PM

BWXT Mount Vernon produces components for naval nuclear reactors, used in submarines and aircraft carriers. Their sprawling facility is home to CNC machine tools and sophisticated welding and heat-treating equipment. In this episode of MakingSparks, General Manager Nate Foote shares more about their commitment to processes, their recruiting practices, and why the work they do is incredibly...

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Published On: Feb 13, 2024 12:00:00 PM

What are the pros and cons of plasma cutters vs. water jets vs. lasers? How does cutting with nitrogen differ from cutting with oxygen? How is technology driving innovation in fabrication? R.J. Reed and Brendon DiVincenzo join us in this episode of MakingSparks to cover all things lasers and fabrication. Because if you’re not MakingSparks with the right tool, you’re not making money. BAM! – Nick

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Published On: Feb 6, 2024 12:00:00 PM

On December 7th, 2023, Jason had a heart attack, the type well-known as the “widow-maker.” Miraculously, Jason survived. Then he survived a heart transplant. January 19th, 2024, he wenthome. Jason beat the odds. In this episode of MakingChips, we’ll share Jason’s miraculous story. We’ll also share some of the lessons we’ve learned throughout the last couple of months. Be ready to be awe-struck.

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Published On: Jan 30, 2024 12:00:00 PM

Every family business that’s growing and expanding runs into some challenges. From navigating tough conversations with family to determining a centralized versus decentralized model, there are numerous things to consider. Joe Patterson’s family business overcame the challenges that came their way and expanded globally. However, they had lofty goals for the business and ultimately needed more...

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Published On: Jan 23, 2024 12:00:00 PM

What are some of the biggest challenges that family businesses face? How do you navigate communication with your family? How do you foster open communication in difficult conversations? Running a family business is full of unique challenges—and successes—that many other businesses don’t have to think about. But navigating those challenges doesn’t have to be difficult. Tad Dickel returns in this...

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Published On: Jan 16, 2024 12:00:00 PM

Nix Companies is a fifth-generation family business in an industry that's predominantly privately held and family-owned. Family-owned businesses are the fabric of our economy. Today’s guest on MakingSparks, Tad Dickel, is a Leadership & Strategy Consultant with a special interest in family-owned businesses. He helps them with everything from governance to succession planning. Tad shares why...

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Published On: Jan 9, 2024 12:00:00 PM

Cutting tool manufacturers have to remain on the cutting edge. If you do so, it’s possible to stay competitive. We know that a solid education and training for new talent is the best first step. But you also have to learn to embrace grit to make it through. We cover what else is important to remain successful and competitive in this episode of MakingChips. – Drew Crowe Out call-to-action: Bring...

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Published On: Jan 2, 2024 12:00:00 PM

Andy Mueller is a seasoned vet in manufacturing, one of the real OGs. I’ve leaned on him for advice and support throughout the years because he’s beenthrough theseasonsand weathered the storms. Andy was able to step in and teach my students things that I couldn’t with my limited resources. That’s why, in this episode of MakingChips, we have a conversation with Andy about inspiring the next...

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Published On: Dec 26, 2023 12:00:00 PM

Kyle Stoff spent his high school years doing parkour and making butterfly knives by hand. By the end of his Junior Year in high school, he’d decided he wanted to get into manufacturing to perfect his knife-making process. He skipped his Senior Year and dove into a full-time program at Ranken, becoming one of my best—and youngest—students. Now, Kyle works full-time for Orizon Aerostructures and...

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Published On: Dec 19, 2023 12:00:00 PM

Do you express gratitude for your team members? Do they know their work is appreciated? Do you help guide them through their career so they can continue to learn and improve? Too many shops overwork good employees because they achieve excellence. That’s a mistake. It’s one of many reasons machine shops struggle with retention. In part II of our conversation with Drew Crowe and Dan Borders, we...

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Published On: Dec 12, 2023 12:00:00 PM

How can we attract the next generation to machining? How cansmall shopsattract and retain talent? How can we fuel greatness? In this episode of MakingChips, guest host Drew “The MFG” Crowe—the force behind the American Manufacturing Renaissance—brings on Dan Borders with Edge Technologies to start to tackle these questions. Because if you’re not attracting and retaining top talent, you won’t...

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Published On: Dec 5, 2023 12:00:00 PM

What separates successful shops from unsuccessful ones? Thepeople. As a leader, taking care of your people is paramount. So how do you manage and lead your people better? By following the Golden Rule. How do you apply the “Golden Rule” in business? Mike Ruge—the Integrator and Experience Director at ZENGERS—shares what that looks like and it can transform your business in this episode of...

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