ATG US

Shelly Henson
Value Stream Leader

What I do at ATG:
I manage a team of production associates in our finishing department, which covers heat treat, polishing and packing.  A big part of my role is focusing on the safety of our associates, as well as quality, delivery and cost – the metrics that drive our business success.  I try to be on the production floor as much as I can, but I also am in the office analyzing data, reviewing spreadsheets and updating budgets.

Where I got my start:
My first jobs were in poultry processing, and I took a break from work to start a family.  I was ready to work again in 1997, and took a temp job with an ATG sister plant nearby.  I really enjoyed manufacturing and joined full time on the specialty tools assembly line.  Soon I was running two departments, and wanted more education to further my career.  I was working full time and attending classes through the company’s tuition reimbursement program, and in 2007 I completed my associate’s degree.  During that time, I took on new supervisor roles in machining and assembly, and moved over to our Springdale facility.  In 2009, I finished my bachelor’s degree in organizational management and in 2012 I was promoted to my current role.

A day in my life:
I get in at 6 am for the first shift, and the plant has a management meeting every morning to talk about delivery issues, any equipment that’s down, plus review safety programs and quality metrics.  Every week I have a meeting with the 40+ associates in my department to talk about the business and our customers, and answer their questions.  If there are any issues that need to be passed along to the next shift, I make sure I tie in to my counterpart supervisor to make sure we’re on the same page and to keep our lines running smoothly.

What I would tell a prospective associate:
Safety is an absolute must here at Springdale, and any of our plants.  We want you go to home to your family the same way you arrived.  ATG’s Core Values emphasize taking care of our customers, and continuous improvement.  We involve our associates at all levels in delivering on those promises – everyone’s feedback is important and we never stop trying to improve. 

Cynthia Waymyers
Lead Person - Second Shift

What I do at ATG:
We have about two dozen Machinist and Machine Operators on second shift, and as a Lead Person I make sure they have everything they need to do their job and stay on schedule.  I do part inspections; run machines if someone is out that day, assist others with programming fixes, and manage the work flow for Lexington’s machining operations. Most of our work is on CNC machines, but we have manual machines, grinding and honing equipment, heat treat and deburring processes, too.

Where I got my start:
I took machinist courses at a technical school, and worked at a few machine shops.  But I had friends working here, who encouraged me to apply.  I was hired the same day I interviewed!  Over the years I have worked in many machining areas at Lexington.  I earned a degree in education and left for a few years to teach, but manufacturing was what I really enjoyed and came back.  I was promoted to a Lead Person role last year, and had the opportunity to take leadership courses to develop my managerial skills.

A day in my life:
On the second shift, I start at 3:30 and review that day’s scheduled jobs, anything that’s been tagged a rush, and check if anyone’s out that shift.  If we are shorthanded, I run the machine myself.  I work with operators to quality check our first and last pieces coming off the machines.  We run a lot of small quantity machining, so new cutting parts are always needed to change out the next job on the schedule.  I make sure first shift knows about our completed work and any issues they’ll need to handle so there are no surprises.

What I would tell a prospective associate:
ATG has a lot of good opportunities for women in manufacturing, just set your goals and keep learning.  In a job like mine, you need training in tooling and machining, and quality is of course a big focus here to produce good parts and hit our daily goal.  Every day, we want to put the best product out the door, and working efficiently helps us do that.  Apex Tool Group has a lot of talented people and you can learn a lot from them. The more you learn the more beneficial you are.
 

Moe Shepherd
CNC Machinist

What I do at ATG:
As a CNC machinist, I keep critical parts and processes running smoothly.  I work four days on and three off.  Most of my job involves supporting the forging operations here at Springdale, where we forge mechanics hand tools.  But when parts wear out on a machine, or if we need new cutting dies or press and bolster plates, I make sure the manufacturing cells have what they need.  I’m in the tool and die shop at the plant, and there’s variety all the time in what I do.

Where I got my start:
I’ve been here nearly 24 years, mostly as a CNC Machinist but also in the finishing and forging departments.  I went to technical school for milling, electrical, machining and welding training, and spent time in the heating and cooling service business before coming to ATG.   All of those skills have helped me on the job.  I sometimes have to spot weld a part that needs repair, and my electrical training has been put to use many times.  Plus I’ve gained many new skills by being able to learn on the job here at Springdale.

A day in my life:
There is a weekly flow of scheduled CNC projects, but any day I might be asked to do a repair. That means I adjust my jobs to meet our production needs.  All the areas in the plant rely on me to keep our forging and production lines operating on time.  I like my job because it’s very self-directed, and I am always working with engineers and programmers to make our work flow more efficient.  There are lots of problem solving opportunities – one weekend a critical tooling part went down that was needed for a rush production order on Monday. I’m not a programmer but have been around it enough – I was able to re-calibrate the program, and got the line operating again.


What I would tell a prospective associate:

ATG has good pay and benefits, and the work environment requires you to ask questions and solve problems.  You can’t be shy as a CNC Machinist.  You need to share your experiences and opinions with the engineers and supervisors to make sure we are continually improving and finding the best answer.  Math skills are very important in my job, I am working with prints and dimensions and enjoy the challenges ATG gives me.  There isn’t a day that I’m not thinking and figuring out a better way.

Jackson Wang
Product Manager

What I do @ ATG
I oversee the Dotco®, Cleco® and Master Power® brands of pneumatic tools. This includes managing the product lifecycle, profitability and new product introductions. I see myself as the conduit that connects all global functions involved in the supply and sales chain, which includes engineering, sourcing, operations, and sales. I have an engineering degree, technical experience, and a diverse business background therefore I can effectively influence the various functions involved with the design, manufacture, and distribution of three of our power tool brands.

Where I got my start
After graduating from Lehigh University with a degree in mechanical engineering, Ingersoll Rand selected me to participate in its engineering Leadership Development Program, which involved an assignment in their manufacturing facility in China. Being born there and speaking Mandarin fluently, this experience was invaluable in shaping my future. After returning to the United States, I became more involved in marketing and product management. After IR, I joined one of the largest suppliers of tools to the vehicle service sector as a technical product manager.  I traveled extensively and worked closely with manufacturers in Taiwan.  Before I joined ATG, I owned and operated a tool and equipment distribution business for the automotive aftermarket.

A day in my life
I like being hands-on with the products and brands that I manage and as a result, every day is very different.  Because of my diverse background in engineering, sales, sourcing, and marketing, I am involved with every step of a product’s lifecycle, from ideation to obsolescence.  I enjoy meeting with global suppliers and customers because it provides me with a greater understanding of how our products are built and used in everyday situations. Entering new markets, tackling the unique needs of our customers, and creating excitement around a product introduction are some of the favorite aspects of what I do.  

What I would tell a prospective associate
There is immense opportunity that exists within the company and potential for each associate to add value in their own way as long as they also understand how to win as a team. It’s a non-hierarchical work environment, which means every voice is heard and anyone can drive change. This is a good fit for those who can look at the big picture and understand how to drive results for the long-term.

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