Clow Stamping: A METALFORM EDU Power UserJune 9, 2023
The 520 employees of Clow Stamping, formed in 1970, produce parts for OEMs in markets such as agriculture, recreational vehicles, fitness equipment and petroleum, to name a few. Processes in use at the manufacturer, comprising 286,650 sq. ft. under roof in Merrifield, MN, include stamping via 77 presses in capacities to 400 tons, tool build and maintenance, laser cutting, bending, welding, finishing and assembly.
A major part of the manufacturer’s efforts to keep employees trained involves extensive use of the Precision Metalforming Association’s (PMA’s) METALFORM EDU online training system. Through 2019 and 2020, Clow Stamping became aware of METALFORM EDU and assessed its capabilities, with a few supervisors taking blueprint-reading courses as part of that assessment to determine what training might be applicable to its needs. By late 2021, the company began full group training via the training system.
METAFORM EDU features nearly 40 PMA-exclusive courses and more than 800 total courses, covering topics such as precision measurement, blueprint reading, SPC, CNC, Six Sigma, lean manufacturing and safety. Also available: the newly created METALFORM EDU Press Brake Operation module, and the Die Setter Training module, containing 12 and five courses, respectively. Courses on advanced stamping press operations also are in development and will be introduced later this year.
Alternative to Sometimes-Problematic Hands-On Training
“Prior to METALFORM EDU, we had some older training courses that had become outdated, and we relied on hands-on training for new employees, using lead operators, for example, going over part inspection and blueprint reading,” says Jasmine Johnson, Clow Stamping pressroom manager. “But there’s room for error with hands-on training, and people can pick up bad habits without formalized training.”
Since adopting PMA’s METALFORM EDU online training, Clow Stamping has been using the system to train groups of employes in about three-month increments, Johnson reports.