On Monday, February 26th, Dave Beach, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University along with Anna Olson and Russell Field (graduate students) visited AB&I to learn more about the foundry. They run a small sand casting foundry Stanford Product Realization Lab and want to get to know ABI with an eye towards bringing small groups of students in conjunction with two courses that will be taught this spring and fall to AB&I.
They were surprised to discover that Professor Beach’s daughter had toured AB&I about 30 years ago while she was studying at Stanford. Professor Beach had the following comments about the tour:
“On behalf of Anna, Russell, and myself, thank you very much for the wonderful tour of AB&I you led Monday morning. As a professor at Stanford University I am frequently amazed at how much our students learn when visiting manufacturing sites in the Bay Area. It makes our efforts in 110-minute lectures and 4-hour laboratories pale. Your tour was very generous and worth a tremendous amount in tuition value to our students.
AB&I’s energy and innovation regarding environmental quality are awesome, your attention to sand and metal quality, your ability to automate high volume processes, and your enthusiasm to share these initiatives with us are wonderful.
Relative to the automation of AB&I’s highest volume products, I will always remember you saying, if you have to pick it up you just lost money. The idea of gates that snap off without the need for secondary processing is new to me and impressive. I will carry a mental picture of the mountains of scrap iron which are your sole metal input. Visually striking and environmentally wonderful!
I believe that manufacturing is essential to strong communities. AB&I is heroic in that regard!”
AB&I partnered with Emiliano Sanchez and the Oakland Unified School District to host several middle school students and approximately 65 students from two Oakland high schools on November 2. The goal is to continue educating students about the career opportunities available in manufacturing and the important role it plays in our lives. Many students think of manufacturing as an old industry with no advanced technology. Advanced Manufacturing and Career Technical Education Day gives us the opportunity to showcase the role technology plays in our foundry today and hopefully inspire the next generation of manufacturers.
AB&I manufacturing ambassadors talked to the students about how they started their careers at AB&I, what they are doing now and why they like manufacturing. Environmental team member Mike Olvera talked about how he found his passion in the environment through an internship in high school. He discussed all the regulations he has to follow and stay up-to-date on and how he has to apply them by working collaboratively with engineering, maintenance, production and other departments to implement changes. Rich Watson, Jose Martinez, Jaime Miramontes, Alfredo Costa, Roberto Ramirez led tours for two groups of students, teachers and chaperones. Prior to the tours, Jennifer Grundell coordinated the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), including head phones. AB&I also presented each student with a t-shirt that Jenny designed and a 4” cast iron skillet.
At the conclusion of the tour, the students went to Laney College for lunch and an introduction to the various manufacturing programs available at the college.
“I appreciate the partnership with AB&I and the willingness of the manufacturing Ambassadors and the team to share their experience and knowledge with the students,” said Emiliano Sanchez.
Allowing manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is clears up many common misconceptions. By working together during and after the event, manufacturers can hopefully begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the industry.