by Josh Schroeder
Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
What’s in a name? I’m always fascinated how a company, a team or a band gets their name. Sometimes it’s as simple as the last name of the founder or the initials of two partners but often there is a story behind what’s in a name.
The Company 3M got its start in 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company making sand paper. Later as they continued to grow they shortened the name to 3M and introduced other products like Scotch tape and the famous Post-It notes.
Apple Computers was born out of inspiration while Steve Jobs worked on an Oregon apple farm in 1976. He was also a Beatles fan and admired their record label Apple Records. Later the “computers” portion of their name was dropped as they successfully ventured into the world of consumer electronics.
In baseball the Dodger were originally called the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers in reference to 19th century Brooklyn where the streets were filled with trolleys and the pedestrians scurried out of their way. It was later shortened to just the Brooklyn Dodgers.
When the Cincinnati Reds were formed in 1869, they were the Red Stockings, later shortened to the Reds until the early 50’s when McCarthyism was rampant and no one wanted to be called a “Red”. They made another official name change to the Redlegs and when the patriotic panic died down they quietly switched back to being the Reds.
The New York Yankees were originally called the Highlanders and the Hill-Toppers (because their park was located at the highest point in the city). Sportswriters complained about the difficulty of squeezing the long team name into headlines. In 1909, a newsman arbitrarily called them Yankees, patriotic slang for “Americans” around World War I and the name stuck ever since.
Here at Beckwood there is also a story about how we got our name. Most people understand that the “Beck” is short for “Becker”, after our late founder Charlie Becker. But many are puzzled by the “wood” part of our name when our primary customers are in the metal forming business.
In 1976 Beckwood was formed as a fireplace insert and door manufacturer. The “wood” portion of the name was in reference to the “wood” burning fireplaces.
One part of the manufacturing process required the use of hydraulic presses. Charlie, being the entrepreneur and frugal minded business man that he was decided to build his own presses for internal use. This would prove to be a wise decision because in 1996, the opportunity to sell hydraulic presses commercially presented itself. Then as the fireplace business dwindled due to low cost offshore mass production, those lines were phased out and full attention was paid to hydraulic press manufacturing in 2001.
The Beckwood name while known to the wood burning fireplace industry as a strong, quality driven manufacturer has become just as prevalent in the hydraulic press industry today. What’s in a name? Well for Beckwood, while the name and logo maybe a little strange in the metals industry, the name pays homage to our beginnings and our founder whom without, we would not exist.
by Michael Riehn
People are the resource that drives manufacturing, but they can often be overlooked in the overall process. In difficult economic times, many talented people are the first in line when cost cutting moves occur.
The standard thinking is: “I can’t keep my employees busy, so I’m wasting the bottom line”. This is a short-sighted vision, when the next economic upturn can be right around the corner.
The hydraulic press industry is especially sensitive to this resource. Finding talented hydraulic engineers can be difficult in the good times, so each great hire is a precious resource.
Electrical, Hydraulic and Structural Engineering teams are a vital component to a great press, and more importantly, a great project. A hydraulic press manufacturer’s application experience can make or break your project. It is essential that you get to know the company that you choose before making your final decision.
The lesson from the press industry can be used for almost any manufacturing processes. By investing money in new employees and updated technology training in the difficult times, you are able to ‘leap ahead’ of the competition during the good times.
Lead times become shorter, technology advances, machinery becomes more efficient and new out of the box thinking gives your company an edge when everyone else is scrambling to keep up.
Can you afford to miss out on the most talented people in your industry?
by Michael Riehn
featuring Dan Michki, Controls Engineer
Check out the latest installment of the How to Series videos by Beckwood Press Company. See the basic functionality of the LabVIEW HMI control system, A PC Based Control System for Hydraulic Press Control.