According to Amedro, Weidmann has always been involved in creating electrical transformers. The company’s main product is paper and board, which he says is really just thick paper, made the same way and pressed together to become board.
“It all goes into transformers, whether it be a transformer on a pole to power generation to transformers like at Dayton Power & Light,” he said.
“It’s utilized to, obviously, insulate the transformer from shorting out. So it’s a very important part of the transformer. Our company has developed itself into what I call a cradle to grave company, and what I mean by that is we have transformer engineers on our payroll that help design transformers and work with customers.
We have a lot of experience and have people from Westinghouse, for example, that we hired in. They’ll help develop the new transformer designs with a customer.
Of course, with that we’re suggesting to use Weidmann insulation as we go. So they design the transformer, then they make it, then at that point they’re utilizing paper and board into these transformers. And these transformers, in the way we look at the business, are in two different categories, and we consider power transformers the bigger ones, like DP&L and bigger substations that use mainly a lot of board - more board than paper - but they also use paper to wrap the wire.
The distribution side is smaller transformers, which would be on top of a telephone pole.
Between each layer would be either a copper sheet or an aluminum sheet. It is then wound with copper, paper, copper, paper, built out to the size of a transformer.
“Once they complete it and it’s out in the field, we also have a division that does monitoring of the oil,” he continued.
“All these transformers are filled with oil, and that’s what helps cool them and insulate them as well. We have a whole separate lab division kind of like you go to a doctor and you get your blood test, and they tell you all your results as to cholesterol and what not - well, they do the same thing to the oil. So if they find certain gasses and things in that oil it will tell them the life of the insulation. So we monitor that. And then on top of our oil testing we also design monitors they can attach to these transformers that’ll measure temperature, moisture, gasses and things like that, and they can do online measuring.
Customers will also come to us at times to do a post mortem to find out why it failed, so we take it apart to find out why. So cradle to grave.”
Of the company’s sales volume, Amedro said that about 66 percent of what they make stays in North America, 11 percent goes to Mexico, 11 percent goes to Brazil, 4 percent goes to Europe, one percent goes to Turkey, 3 percent goes to the Asian Pacific region and 3 percent goes to China.
“In each one of these locations we have a sister company that we can ship to and they’ll convert it, and then they’ll ship to the various people in that country,” he said. “We do occasionally ship directly to a customer in Korea.
Sam-Dong is one of the larger customers. They also have a site in Tennessee that we ship paper to and they make the wire and wrap it with the paper.”
Weidmann’s first step into the American market occurred about 50 years ago, according to Amedro, with the purchase of a plant in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
“That’s how they got their first foot into the U.S., in St. Johnsbury,” he said. “From that point, then, as they grew they bought two more converting operations.
They bought them from Avery-Denison. One operation was in Framingham, Massachusetts, making the lightweight papers into crepe - makes it stretchy - it starts with standard paper and then we run it through the crepe operation. This crepe paper is then sold to wire companies. Then they also bought an operation just outside St. Louis in O’Fallon, Missouri, and they took the heavier paper and they put this diamond dot on it that is an epoxy resin and that resin, what that does, is after they, the transformer maker, get done wrapping this all together layer after layer they put a clamp on it and they set it in an oven and they bake it, and this epoxy diamond touching the copper bakes it all together so it becomes a solid unit.”
Amedro said that as competition has gotten more intense in the last ten years, Weidmann decided it would be a better idea to move all their operations under one roof. They decided on the 700 W. Court St. property and bought it in 2010.
“As they were going around looking for operations, most of the heaviest part of our customers are east of the Mississippi. So we had looked in Tennessee, probably Indiana and a couple other places to be more centrally located between east and west,” he said. “We very seldom ship material to the west coast, but we ship a lot of overseas stuff, so we needed good access to highways, and the timing was right. We looked for a property that already had the infrastructure there, water systems, effluent systems, had the air systems and everything set up. That’s why this site became very attractive.”
The building where Weidmann’s Urbana operations are located was originally built in 1910 and started out as the Howard Paper Company, established in 1895. According to Amedro, the Howard family sold the property in 1965, at which point it passed through several hands before it was purchased by the Fox River Paper Company in 1991. Around 2007 the property was again purchased by Neenah, Inc., who Amedro said ran the paper business for about eight months and then shut it down and gutted it.
Several years later, Jerry Damewood bought the building to use as a warehouse, but got rid of the machines on the mill and converting side.
“Jerry had bought the whole building when we came in,” Amedro said.
“We wouldn’t take over the rest of the property until we got a clean bill of health from the EPA, because the old property had a coal fire boiler, it had asbestos and all that, so the city actually bought the rest of the property and through a brownfield grant they got it cleaned up. Once that was cleaned up and we got a covenant not to sue from the city and state, then we took it over. That’s when we started building our operation.
“We then built it up the way we’re set up now,” he added. “The company decided they were going to put everything in one house, so they moved the whole Framingham and O’Fallon operations here for the converting - that’s what’s in the center part of our building and a little part on the west. And then the paper machine went in on the far east of the same building, and that’s the original building - the 1910 building.
So now everything’s done under one roof. We make our own paper and convert our own stuff.”
Weidmann still operates the board mill in Vermont, but is able to do everything else from their Ohio facility.
Weidmann continues to be a third tier provider, supplying paper but not the copper wire or other metal parts of the transformer, and they do business all over the world.
“We’ve been growing,” Amedro said. “When we started we had 95 people, now we’re up to 160 people. We’re getting to capacity levels on our DPP machine that makes the coated papers, and we continue to expand that business, and we take pride in that for a paper company we stick strictly into the electrical paper business. We don’t jump into commodity and make brown paper for brown paper bags, for example, just to run our machines. We specialize in engineered papers that are specific to an application, so it’s really high specialty type grade. We’re growing those engineered papers which then continues to increase our volumes.”
The Papermachine at the plant runs for ten days, then is down for four days to perform maintenance. Amedro says most of their raw material comes from spruce and lodge pine trees in British Columbia. There are currently about 160 employees in Urbana, but Amedro estimates that there are over 2,500 company-wide.
“We always have a certain amount of turnover,” he said. “Skilled labor is toughest one to find right now, we’re looking for off-shift mechanics.
I think they’re looking for three operator positions as well. There’s constant turnover from retirements and people want to go to a different shift. I think it’s a great company in the fact that it’s family owned and the one thing they do is they really treat their people well, and because of that we get a lot of loyalty to the company and people are pretty happy working here.”
Anyone interested in applying to work at Weidmann Electrical Technology or who wants to know more about the company may call 937-652-1220.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304.
Longtime Springfield business expanding, as it has large customer base in Champaign County city
“Wallace and Turner has always had a large customer base in Urbana and it continues to grow, so it was a natural decision to open a second location there,” said Patrick Field, a partner with the insurance agency. “We want to make the insurance process as simple as possible for clients and having a physical presence will make it even more convenient for them to stop in and ask questions or update their policy.”
Wallace and Turner has operated locally in Springfield since 1870 and provides personal and commercial coverage, according to a news release sent this week.
The agency is also a long-standing member of Associated Risk Managers International, Keystone Insurers Group, Trusted Choice, Ohio Insurance Agents Association and Independent Insurance Agents Association, both in Ohio and nationally, the release said.
“The office addition demonstrates Wallace & Turner’s continued commitment to providing the best services we can to our surrounding communities,” said P.J. Miller , a partner with Wallace and Turner. “Our agency is deeply invested in supporting our clients, their families and businesses, and we look forward to expanding our relationships throughout Urbana.”
Contact this reporter at 937-328-0355 or email Hasan.Abdul-Karim@cmg.com.
MARYSVILLE - Honda associates on Tuesday celebrated the 40th anniversary of the historic start of production at Honda of America Mfg. Inc. in Marysville, in 1979, when the first 64 associates began producing the Elsinore CR 250 motorcycle, which began the rapid growth of Honda in America.
After Honda became the first Japanese automaker to build products in the United States, automobile production quickly followed on Nov. 1, 1982, at the adjacent Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. Honda now has five U.S. auto plants and in 2018, nearly two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the United States were made in America. With 12 major plants in this country, Honda also produces engines and transmissions, ATVs and sideby- side vehicles, a variety of power equipment products and the HondaJet in America. Honda’s initial $35 million investment in the Marysville Motorcycle Plant has grown to more than $11 billion in Ohio, and an investment of over $21 billion in Honda’s U.S. operations. Honda now employs more than 25,000 associates at its 12 plants in America. Honda also has steadily increased its local purchasing of parts and materials with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America and cumulative parts purchases of over $440 billion.
“Honda’s success in Ohio has always been driven by the dedication and innovative spirit of our associates and this 40th anniversary milestone is a tribute to Honda associates, past and present, who have provided their energy, ideas and passion to create high-quality products for our customers,” said Mitsugu Matsukawa, president of Honda of America Mfg. “Based on the team we have in Ohio, and the opportunities ahead, I’m excited for the future of Honda in America.”
In addition to the commitment to local manufacturing, Honda has invested over $1.1 billion in Honda’s U.S. R&D operations, including major centers in Ohio, California, North Carolina and Florida. This year, Honda also marked the 60th anniversary of its business in the U.S., with sales operations established in Los Angeles, California, in June 1959.
Quick Facts: Honda in Ohio Since Honda began production in Ohio in 1979 …
· Employment has grown to 15,000 Honda associates in Ohio.
· Investment has surpassed $11 billion in its Ohio operations.
· Auto production totals nearly 20 million vehicles at Honda’s three Ohio auto plants.
· Engine and transmission production exceeds one million units per year.
· Purchasing of parts and materials has grown to $10 billion annually.
· Operations expanded to include R&D and parts procurement.
· Charitable contributions top $100 million to Ohio community organizations.
40 Years of Honda manufacturing in America
Honda marks its 40th anniversary of manufacturing products in America this month. Honda was the first Japanese automaker to produce products in America, beginning with motorcycles in 1979, followed by the start of automobile production in Marysville, Ohio, on Nov. 1, 1982.
Over the course of four decades, Honda has steadily grown its manufacturing capabilities in the region. Honda now employs more than 25,000 associates at 12 plants in America with the capacity to produce more than one million automobiles, three million engines, 400,000 power equipment products and 330,000 powersports products each year, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In 2018, nearly two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were made in America.
Honda also manufactures the HondaJet advanced light jet and GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines in America. Cumulatively, Honda has invested more than $20.2 billion in its American manufacturing capabilities, including more than $5.9 billion over the past five years. The company also works with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America with cumulative parts purchases of nearly $400 billion over 35 years.
Submitted by Honda of America Mfg. Inc.
More people confident enough to start looking for jobs, expert says.
By Hasan Karim, Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
ONLY IN THE NEWS-SUN
State figures showed the unemployment rates in Clark and Champaign counties went up in July as the local labor force continues to grow.
The unemployment rate increased to 4.9% in Clark County, up from 4.2% in June. The increase comes as the county’s labor force has seen steady growth over recent months, according to state data released by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
In Champaign County, unemployment rose to 4.3%, which is up from the 3.6% reported in June. Both counties experienced a downward trend in unemployment numbers starting at the beginning of the year. However, that rate increased slightly in May and has continued to increase into July.
“This is one of those cases in which the unemployment rate went up for the right reasons,”said Bill LaFayette, an economist and owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based economics and workforce consulting firm.
LaFayette said the labor force in Clark County is larger than what is usually projected for July, leading to an increase in the unemployment rate. Though unemployment tends to go up between the summer months, more people are either currently employed or looking for work compared to the same period last year, he added.
Clark County’s labor force at the end of July had 64,200 people, according to data collected by the Ohio DJFS.
Those numbers showed a decrease of 100 people in the county’s labor force compared to the previous month.
However, there is usually a dip of around 700 people in the county’s labor force between June and July, LaFayette said, noting that a decrease of only 100 people shows that more people are confident enough to start looking for jobs.
He added that those numbers do not take into account seasonal patterns that affect labor and unemployment trends. Those factors can include seasonal employment, major holidays and school schedules.
Taking into account those seasonal factors would bring Clark County’s unemployment rate closer to 4.4 percent in July, compared to a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.9 percent reported in June.
LaFayette said factoring in seasonal patterns also brings Clark County’s labor force for July to 64,100 people and that is actually an increase of 600 compared to June’s seasonally adjusted numbers. He said the labor force compared to this time last year is up 1.3 percent.
“For Clark County, this is very good given that the population is stagnant,” LaFayette said. Clark County’s population was estimated to be 134,585 people last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Amy Donahoe, director of workforce development with the Chamber of Greater Springfield, said local companies are taking a more aggressive approach in attracting people that are not in the workforce. She said that includes raising starting wages as well as tweaking benefit packages.
“We have seen record low unemployment numbers in the past year,” Donahoe said.
“Employers have responded to that. They want to make sure they are attracting and retaining good talent.”
Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment in July was 4 percent and remained the same from June, according to the Ohio DJFS. The national rate was 3.7 percent in July, also unchanged from June.
In Champaign County, the labor force decreased by 100 from June and had 20,100 people last month. The number of those reported as employed also went down by 100, according to the most recent information from the Ohio D JFS.
Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, said despite a dip in the labor force, there is not a shortage of job openings in the county, especially in manufacturing and healthcare.
“There are still plenty of job opportunities here. We are still seeing pretty consistent openings,” Bailey said.
She said local manufacturer Rittal has recently posted a notice that it will be conducting open interviews on Tuesday. The company is looking to hire assembly operators, machine operators, welders and paint loader/unloaders, according to the notice.
Bailey said the starting hourly wages for those positions range from $13.40 to $16, according to information provided by Rittal.
Contact this reporter at 937- 328-0355 or email Hasan.Abdul-Karim@coxinc.com.
The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of jobs and the economy in Clark and Champaign counties and has covered recent stories relating to wage increases, the latest housing numbers and job growth.
JOBLESS RATES - 2019
Join us for a half-day talent forum featuring University of Cincinnati's Economics Center and national workforce expert, Ady Advantage as we uncover resources and best practices in talent attraction and retention.
Who Should Attend? Local company reps looking to obtain more tools for talent attraction and retention.
What will be covered? Tools, trends and best practices in talent retention and attraction from local businesses, local and regional resource partners, and a National Consultant.
Why attend? You will leave with concrete ways to improve your workforce!! Additionally, this program is approved for 5 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute, and through National SHRM.
The event is $55 per person and includes light breakfast & lunch.
Ohio's In-Demand Jobs list helps drive the state and federal investments in our workforce. As the Office of Workforce Transformation designs Ohio's list, we want to make sure it accurately reflects the needs of Ohio businesses - your needs. So help us help you. Your feedback will directly shape Ohio's workforce priorities.
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She added that KTH has about 900 full-time associates, 130 of them “retirement eligible.”
The ESG team oversees the maintenance of KTH’s 1,100 robots and troubleshooting of mechanical and electrical issues.
Bernardi and Boggs are the first interns that KTH has assigned to work in the ESG department, though the company has had engineering internships for several years, Wead said.
In the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Triad, both interns completed classes in robotics, CNC, manufacturing operations and advanced manufacturing. Their Advanced Manufacturing teacher, Todd Bodey, made them aware of the internship opportunity at KTH.
“I’m not sure where this will take me,” Boggs said, “but the robotics will be very interesting. I’m looking forward to working with everyone here.”
Bernardi said he also is looking forward to working with the ESG team. “I love problem solving.”
The CEP has coordinated other job signing ceremonies for graduates and students at ORBIS, Bundy Baking Solutions and Rittal. The events, patterned after signing ceremonies that colleges conduct for new student athletes, are part of the CEP’s workforce development initiatives.
The CEP has been partnering with employers and local schools to better inform students about local employment opportunities and to help schools prepare students for the local workforce.
KTH Parts Industries Inc. makes underbody structural frame components for cars and is Champaign County’s largest manufacturing employer. KTH is a Tier 1 supplier of automotive components worldwide.