A Machining Operation That Redefined Itself and its Employees
Toth Technologies is a multi-niche shop that does much more than precision machining. For that reason, Ted Toth, company vice president, refers to his plant as a “Manufacturing Technology Center” instead of a machine shop.
For instance, Toth Technologies machines titanium and magnesium components for satellite applications, but it also provides bonded assemblies for satellite antennas and can perform glass-to-metal sealing for very small microwave connectors. In fact, the company has roughly the same number of skilled employees inspecting and assembling components as it has machining them. Management recognizes that there is more value in supplying customers with sub-assemblies rather than just providing piece parts.
The company also has redefined its skilled workforce. It defines its employees as “blue-tech” workers rather than “blue collar” workers. That’s because its shopfloor employees work with their hands like craftsmen, work with their heads as problem solvers, and work with advanced technologies such as computers and computerized machinery to produce tightly toleranced parts.
Mr. Toth says these new definitions serve as important distinctions because businesses such as Toth Technologies still (unfairly) suffer from an image problem. To many of those who are unfamiliar with today’s machining enterprises, metalworking facilities are oftentimes perceived as dark, dirty, dangerous shops with modestly skilled employees. This is why Mr. Toth says it’s important that “shops” begin defining themselves to the general public as advanced manufacturing technology centers and offer good job opportunities for capable, skilled workers.
That said, continuous employee training is important to growing the skill set of shopfloor employees. To that end, Toth Technologies, which is a 15-year member of the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), has become a beta site for a new training program: NTMA-Tech. NTMA-Tech is a flexible, next-generation, modular training program that supports the new National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Federal Apprenticeship Program. In the future, NTMA-Tech will provide the training to support entry-level to shop manager apprenticeships. Mr. Toth says the NTMA also helps with the company’s employee training through NTMA-U, a six-semester program that provides online classroom training for the current federal apprenticeship program and supports community college machining associate degree programs. He notes that being a member of NTMA has helped his operation grow into the niche company it is today.
Toth Technologies is a 64-years-old, third-generation precision manufacturer. It employs more than 40 in its modern, 30,000-square-foot 6S facility that has in excess of 40 CNC machines. The company has experience with a wide range of materials, and can manufacture machined parts, gaskets, fixtures and tooling in addition to performing bonding, assembly and inspection. In addition, Toth Technologies has numerous CMMs and has upgraded its quality system to comply with the SAE AS9003-Inspection and Test Quality System.
In 2011, the company entered into a partnership with one of its main customers, providing them with manufacturing capability in the U.S. to better support new product lines and its U.S. defense customers. In 2012, that partnership developed into Rosenberger of North America purchasing the stock of Toth Technologies. Rosenberger plans to keep the current employees and management team, while adding more connector manufacturing capacity.
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6970 Central Highway,
Pennsauken, New Jersey 08109