Recognizing & Awarding Achievement at Abrasive Technology

Posted by Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 @ 6:12 pm
Champions Program recognizes Abrasive Technology associates by sharing their stories and celebrating them for excellence, collaboration and dedication.
Champions Program recognizes Abrasive Technology associates by sharing their stories and celebrating them for excellence, collaboration and dedication.

Recognition is an acknowledgement of achievement. It’s rewarding effort and a form of validation. It’s saying, “thank you,” and it fosters a sense of belonging.

At Abrasive Technology, we believe in The Carrot Principle and utilize several effective forms of recognition:
• Day-to-Day – done frequently and specifically and timely
• Above-and-Beyond – reward achievements that support values
• Career Recognition – acknowledge associate loyalty
• Celebration Events – celebrate important moments that show “we’re in this together.”

We have developed our Champions Program to align with each of the aforementioned forms of recognition. We also have directly tied some Champions initiatives to our company’s values ingrained in our LEADERS program (Learn, Excellence, Appreciate, Dependable, intEgrity, Respect, Safety).

In the Champions Program, our Diamond Awards cards are the most frequently used method of day-to-day recognition, allowing associates to provide positive feedback to colleagues and reward them with small prizes. Nominations allow associates to recognize an individual’s contribution to their team, individual goal achievement, as well as contribution to the organization’s values and goals. Every Abrasive Tech associate can read the Diamond Awards cards on the company’s intranet system, though it’s far more fun to see someone walk up to a colleague, thank him or her for their work, and offer the card as a special token of their appreciation. We’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like to scratch the card and reveal their prize.

For Above and Beyond recognition, we have created the AT Individual Impact and Team Impact Awards. To be awarded an Impact Award, associates must demonstrate an achievement in alignment with Abrasive Technology values. Nominations for Impact Awards demonstrate how the associate/team positively influences the goals of the organization and/or impacts all components of our AT Values. The Impact Awards culminate with a cross-company committee review of all the submissions, then a vote for the winners. Prizes for Impact Award winners include cash bonuses, activities with the CEO, and recognition throughout our facilities.

We hold an annual appreciation dinner to recognize associates for milestones of service with Abrasive Technology at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25+ years. Everyone gathers for dinner and a lighthearted “roast” of the year’s newest inductees. Talk around the “water cooler” following the appreciation dinner continues for days. The company also hosts celebration events around Memorial Day, a Summer Picnic, a Fall Tailgate and Winter Holidays, to name a few.

We believe recognizing, celebrating and rewarding our associates fosters a happier and more engaged workplace. And when people are happy, we see improvements in attendance, productivity, and overall morale.

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LEADERS Key to Manufacturing Success

Posted by Monday, August 22nd, 2016 @ 4:05 pm

LEADERS-Primary

I recently read the article “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Manufacturing Culture” by Jill Bellak, President of MBX Systems, and was thrilled to learn of another manufacturer recognizing the need for culture change in the manufacturing sector. I spend a great deal of time thinking about how to bring a “Silicon Valley mentality” to our facilities around the world that manufacture superabrasive grinding wheels and tools, as I always believe in the possibility of a new and/or better way.

Ms. Bellak discussed moving away from a traditional top-down organizational structure, dominated by primarily white men, towards nimble organizations inspired by startups and the mindsets of millennials.

At MBX Systems, the initiatives to achieve change included:
1. Run Fun Cross-Functional Team Exercises
2. Actively Engage Employees in Process Improvement
3. Get Creative with Your Change Campaign
4. Put Power Directly in Employees’ Hands
5. Go the Extra Training Mile
6. Communicate Loud, Clear & Often
7. Keep it Fresh

I applaud MBX for its concerted efforts to open its work culture and engage the employees of the company to drive improvements from within. At Abrasive Technology, we also utilize all seven of the initiatives mentioned above in our flat, Process Centered Organization.

Additionally, we created the LEADERS program to help leverage each other’s expertise and understand that as a team, we’re far more capable than we are on our own.

L = Learn. Be curious and ask “What if we did it this way instead?” We hope our associates suggest and support new and better ways to make diamond grinding wheels and tools, and not give up if ideas aren’t immediately accepted. We encourage asking questions, offering new solutions, taking risks, challenging assumptions, and accepting decisions.

E = Excellence. Be excellent, taking initiatives to improve skills and embrace continuous learning. At Abrasive Technology, people move to where the work is and when challenged, take a step back to evaluate the problem with a clear mind.

A = Appreciate. Have Fun and recognize that coming to work is a new experience each day to celebrate successes, try new things and explore new ideas. We blend work with learning and personal well-being, pursuing interests beyond job duties.

D = Dependable. Do what you say you will do, knowing that we are as good as our word. Our team works hard to set clear expectations at the forefront of every project to help avoid surprises and deliver what we promised.

E = intEgrity. Do the right thing when thinking about our colleagues, our customers and the environment. When armed with the proper knowledge and expertise, we encourage associates to trust their gut and go with their instincts.

R= Respect. Treat others with honesty and respect, checking personal agendas at the door and recognizing open and honest communication fosters a successful work environment. We believe it’s important to consider different viewpoints and appreciate everyone’s input, while also learning how people prefer to communicate.

S = Safety. The highest standards of safety allow us to do our best work. We put safety first with use of the proper personal protective equipment, safety training, and documented work procedures.

Abrasive Technology’s beginning, back in 1971, is rooted in believing in the goodness of people. The result? A place where associates are self-motivated and accountable. We are engineers, manufacturers, developers, researchers, salespeople, customer service professionals and more. We all believe we have a stake in the company because we ARE the company.

Daryl Peterman
CEO, Abrasive Technology

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CONTINUUM BELTS PERFECT FOR SUEDING TEXTILES

Posted by Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 @ 1:19 pm
  • ​In 1988, Diabrasive Int’l (now a part of Abrasive Technology) introduced diamond to the sueding industry at a large trade show in Germany. Torres, a Spanish textile machine manfacturer, devised a small machine that outperformed the much larger machines commonly used in the trade, simply because it was fitted with damonds instead of regular abrasives. The market took notice.Textiles are sueded, or abraded, or sanded to give the fabric a pleasing-to-the-touch peach skin finish. Most textiles are abraded in some manner, whether for bedding sheets, pants, shirts or underwear. Even upholstered material receives the treatment. And most recently, swimwear  and laced feminine lingerie have become the latest products for suediing. For the most part, fashion dictates the finish and  fall lines typically make more use of sueded techniques over lighter summer wear.

    Sueding machines are typically made with rollers on which abrasive sheets are fixed, and the textile is forced in contact against the rollers to produce an abraded finish, more gentle to the touch. There are many configurations of machines and Continuum readily adapts to a great majority. When rollers are equipped with sandpaper, sueding work needs continuous attention from the operator to ensure an even finish, as the abrasive wears. This is because textiles are extremely abrasive and as such place a big demand on the abrasive surfaces requiring very frequent adjustments, and replacements. A roller change, typically every 4 hours or less of operation, causes major downtime as production is halted during the changeover.

    When the abrasive on rollers is replaced with diamonds, they last much longer – typically millions of meters. At a speed of 10 meters per minute, a machine will work continuously for months, 24/7, without interruption. Downtime due to abrasive changes is eliminated, production increases and more importantly, the fabric has exactly the same finish characteristics, all with minimal operator intervention,from the beginning to the end of each run.

    An traditional sandpaper strip costs much less than Continuum strips. Fortunately, the return on investment is easy to calculate for shop managers who readily see the benefits on their productivity. And for managers and owners, we developped calculators to assist them in calculating their savings.

    To install our diamond strips onto machinery, we simply wind a long strip of Continuum helicoidally onto the entire surface on the drum and fasten it firmly at both ends. Previous products were produced by joining individual strips together, but in high humidity and heat (think monsoon) conditions prevalent in Asia, the joints could come apart. Hence, we eliminated the joints and created Continuum.

    We’re proud Continuum promotes AT as a company that provides the very best tools for a specialized and demanding industry.

ABRASIVE TECHNOLOGY APPLIES FOR PROVISIONAL PATENT FOR CMP PAD CONDITIONING METHOD

Posted by Monday, August 17th, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

Abrasive Technology is pleased to announce it has applied for a provisional patent for a CMP (chemical mechanical planarization) pad conditioning method designed to provide users with increased tool utilization and cost savings.

The provisional patent describes a method where a separate CMP pad conditioning disk is used specifically for the CMP pad break-in process.

Traditionally, a single CMP pad conditioning disk was used for both the break- in process and the “in process” conditioning, which has resulted in longer pad break-in times because the “in process” CMP conditioner was not optimally suited to match the needs or requirements to break in a new CMP pad.

Additionally, since the disks often have enough life to condition more than one pad, consistency on subsequent pads during the break in and manufacturing process varies because of the degradation of the conditioner throughout its lifetime.

By utilizing two separate disks (one for the break-in process and one for “in process” conditioning), users can expect one or more of the following benefits:
–        Increased CMP tool utilization (reducing CMP pad break-in times).
–        Increased current CMP pad and “in process” CMP conditioner lifetime.
–        Improved process stability.
–        Improved CMP module cost (improved pad life, improved conditioner life, reduced tool downtime, and reduced pad break-in failure rates result in increased tool utilization).
–        Capability to customize new CMP pad break-in conditioning disks to the pad type and material specified by the customer.

Contact Mark Diaz (mdiaz@abrasive-tech.com) if you’d like more information.171

INVENTORS MONTH SPOTLIGHT – JOSH DUDLEY

Posted by Thursday, April 30th, 2015 @ 3:04 pm

Josh-pic

On the final day of Inventor’s Month, we have one last associate to celebrate. After seeing the devastation caused by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Josh Dudley decided to develop the ultimate too for rescue workers. The result was Jack of All Blades, a unique, emergency circular-saw blade that cuts metal, wood and masonry.

Josh and his fellow engineers at Abrasive Technology have ingenuity in their DNA. Abrasive Technology focuses on producing the best superabrasive grinding wheels and tools available, with a culture built around findng creative ways to solve problems for customers.

JackABlades

INVENTORS MONTH SPOTLIGHT – BUTCH PETERMAN

Posted by Friday, April 10th, 2015 @ 9:04 am

leader-loyal

April is Inventors Month, so we’re celebrating one of our favorites, Butch Peterman, president and co-founder of Abrasive Technology. Under Butch’s leadership, AT invented and patented the process for brazing diamond to steel (P.B.S.® bond), used today in a broad spectrum of industries and markets. Personally, Butch has earned other patents and patent applications in the areas of gear grinding, electronics and superabrasive wheel manufacturing.

DIAMOND GRINDING WHEELS AND TOOLS FOR THE FRICTION MARKET

Posted by Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 @ 3:02 pm

Longer lasting and providing greater productivity, these custom-designed diamond drums, saw blades and grinding wheels are specially crafted for slotting, shaping, sizing and finishing, I.D., O.D., champhering and flat grinding of friction materials including brake shoes, clutch faces, disc brake pads and transmission bands.

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