Headquartered in Lodi, New Jersey, HK Metalcraft Manufacturing Corp. (HKM) is a fourth-generation family-owned and -operated custom metal stamping manufacturer with nearly a century’s worth of experience. HK Metalcraft’s state-of-the-art facility houses their corporate headquarters, manufacturing facility, and warehouse space, and by being under one roof it allows them to offer individualized customer attention, custom engineering, advanced manufacturing techniques, run more efficiently, and deliver their custom-manufactured products globally to innovative companies in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
HK Metalcraft was facing an aging workforce without the talent pipeline to fill the coming gaps. For General Manager John Speidel, a manufacturing leader with over 20 years of experience in the industry, “The challenge that brought us to NJMEP was increasing the number of resources we have capable of performing internal audits and collecting quality data, especially from an SPC (statistical process control) standpoint.” SPC is an industry-standard methodology critical for measuring and controlling quality during the manufacturing process, which allows quality data in the form of product or process measurements to be obtained in real time.
I definitely recommend working with NJMEP. [NJMEP] provides manufacturers the tools they need to do things that you may otherwise not be able to do as a small business.
We recently installed a 150-ton servo-press into operation and we’re going to be able to expand our portfolio offering due to that. And we’ve continued to innovate in other areas—both metal and non-metal processing areas including value-add and automation.
John and his team decided to enlist NJMEP, part of the MEP National Network™, to help train a new batch of internal auditors who could carry out quality audits going forward. With the relationship between NJMEP and HKM going back over a decade, NJMEP was the clear choice for facilitating the internal auditor training. NJMEP’s expert resource set about training ten HKM operators on how to conduct internal audits on manufacturing operations. First, they collaborated with John and his management team on audit planning and scheduling dates, then set about reviewing HKM’s current documentation and updated the documentation wherever needed. The next stage was conducting process-based internal audits and recording findings before completing an audit report. Lastly, NJMEP’s expert resource ensured HKM’s QMS was compliant with ISO 9001: 2015/IATF 16949 Standard.
John noticed some clear results after working with NJMEP. “There were definitely some aha moments for operators that were never able to see some of the aspects that we just never trained them on—how all the data that we collect can be used to help them control their process,” he adds.