Rocky Mountain Tooling & Machining Association (RMTMA) is a local chapter of National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA)
We represent the precision custom manufacturing industry. Our membership is comprised of companies both large and small. Nationally (NTMA) has over 1,300 member companies, representing over $30 billion in revenues. We believe the important role manufacturing plays in our local and national economy. To our members we can provide education and training, networking, business and health insurance, market research, business development and advocacy.
Come check us out!
Our mission is to help members of the U.S. precision custom manufacturing industry achieve profitable growth and business success in a global economy through advocacy, education, networking, information, programs and services.
We are very proud of our member companies. Their services and capabilities serve as the manufacturing bedrock for the production of American manufactured goods. Our local and national member companies provide products vital to our economy, and meaningful well paid employment to thousands of employees and their families. We salute their commitment and entrepreneurial spirit. One of the ways RMTMA says thank you to our members is featuring a different member company every month. This month's our featured member company is:
Denver Precision Products
Denver Precision Products focus on service and investment, are keys to moving their business forward. Claude F. Knuepfer president and his children continue a contract manufacturing family tradition. Claude moved to Colorado from Chicago in 1978 , to join his father's business. Now Claude’s son Jacob, who manages the manufacturing floor and daughter Amy Primrose, responsible for the office and sales are the 4th generation of family involved in the business.
The machining pedigree of the Knuepfer family runs deep. In1922, Claude’s grandfather opened his own screw machine company in Chicago. Claude's grandfather was also a founding member of PMPA (Precision Machined Parts Association), one of the oldest manufacturing trade associations in the country.
The core of their contract machining business, since moving from Chicago to Colorado in 1971, has been producing small diameter turned/milled parts (.100” to 1.65”) Originally, they produced large quantities of turned parts on cam type Browne & Sharp turning machines. When milling was required on the parts, they were then moved to secondary milling machines.
In the 1980-90’s Denver Precision transitioned much of their work from the cam machines to CNC swiss (sliding headstock) machines, with milling capabilities. This move to more advanced technology, enabled them to combine much of the turning and milling into a single setup, better tolerance control, improved finishes, and decreased cycle times.
Recently they purchased three new Tsugami CNC swiss machines giving them 32 mm diameter swiss capability and two new 42mm CNC Miyano (fixed headstock) turn/mills. With the addition of these new machines, they now produce much of their legacy work on these multi-axis machines.
In addition to their commitment to capital investment, attention to personal customer service is a key to customer retention and longevity. “Good customer relations, being responsive to customer needs and problems are foundational to how we do business” says Amy Primrose, who handles much of the customer interface and sales.
Their customer base is primarily regional (rocky mountain area) by design. “Most of our existing customers are within a one-day drive of our business” explains Amy, “It gives us the ability to keep close to our customers and respond quickly to their needs. It’s our best sales tool.”
Denver Precision serves multiple markets: industrial, electronic, medical, energy, and recreational. They have existing customers that go back 40 years, a tribute to their manufacturing and servicing capabilities.
Because of the diversity of their customer base, they machine many different materials: plastics, stainless steel, aluminum, oil lite bronze, and monel.
“We also do lots of tight tolerance work. Some in the .0005” range, occasionally we will have something in the .0003” range. You are now crossing over into a grinding world” commented Claude. “We have a hydraulic part we have produced successfully for years, that requires a 3-6 RMS (mirror) internal finish”.
Another recent investment is an Oasis optical inspection system. “It’s a quick accurate method for checking external dimensions on small parts” says Knuepfer. "
Areas of concern – Workforce awareness. Amy, a former educator states, “educating people on the importance of manufacturing, most people, educators included, and their students don’t know that manufacturing exists.”
“We need to automate, especially in our deburring area” says Amy. “We also are looking at updating our ERP system”
Opportunities – “The economy is good. Our continued focus is on high value hydraulics. We do well with small intricate parts” states Claude.
The future for Denver Precision Products looks bright, please visit their website for more information.
Denver Precision Products
Established in Colorado – 1971
Current building - 5,000 sq. ft.
Location – Broomfield, CO
Employees - 10
Keys to Attracting, Training, and Retaining Engaged Team Members
As I began drafting this newsletter I had a flashback to my days as a young father – my four kids would swarm around me like bees when I walked in the front door of our home. Each kid would talk as fast as they could to catch me up on all the latest news from their busy day. I feel just like that right now – with so much great news to share, I just hope I can get it all out before I explode!
First, in the last newsletter I announced that our chapter leadership implemented a new “unlimited” cost structure for our chapter’s NTMA-U portal (based on the number of employees in your company). Since this plan was rolled out in the middle of the year, we are offering a one-time (half-year) proration of the annual fee. You heard it right – we’re offering a 50% discount when enrolling your company in unlimited online training for the balance of 2018!
If you signed up for NTMA-U courses prior to July 1st, we will give you the option of applying what has been paid toward your annual fee, or letting you take advantage of the prorated fee for the balance of the year. The goal is to get our people trained!
Employees Prorated Cost for Unlimited Training
0-10 $50.00 (does not include books)
11-25 $100.00 (does not include books)
26-75 $175.00 (does not include books)
76 or more $250.00 (does not include books)
While we’re on the topic of Workforce Development, you’ll be excited to hear that the RMTMA is launching “NRL Colorado” in the spring of 2019! The National Robotics League is the only job-driven, project-based STEM learning experience that was created by industry to solve its biggest issue – recruiting a future workforce by “Engaging Manufacturing’s Next Generation.” While there are already a few robotics competitions in Colorado, the NRL competition is different. Here’s what makes it unique:
- Designing, building and testing a combat Bot is a fascinating real-world professional manufacturing experience.
- Students learn the technical and critical thinking skills needed for the manufacturing jobs of today and tomorrow.
- Participating schools create relationships with local manufacturing companies who serve as their industry advisors.
- The NRL is the smart sport where all participants have the potential for a career in manufacturing.
I attended the NRL National Competition last year and was amazed by the passion, focus, excitement and energy that filled that arena. Parents, team sponsors and a host of volunteers all cheered the students on as their combat bots inflicted collateral damage on one another.
Hosting a regional competition is a giant undertaking that will ultimately benefit every manufacturing company along the front range, and we could really use your help to ensure it’s a success! Here are a few specific ways you and your team members can volunteer:
- Marketing and School Engagement – Recruit schools and be point of contact for teachers.
- Industry Advisor / Team Sponsor – Welcome students and educators into your facility to expose them to your real-world manufacturing environment. Assist team with design, planning, and building of remote-controlled robot.
- Competition Committee – Coordinate volunteers, event schedule, arena setup/tear down, and awards.
- Judges – Evaluate arena battle results, as well as each team’s engineering documentation binder (which weighs heavily in the crowning of the Grand Champion).
- Rules and Safety Committee – Make sure we have insurance, waivers, a fire extinguisher, and follow best practices for a safe competition.
- Budget and Fund-Raising Committee – You know what to do.
- Please contact me if you or a member of your company is willing to help – we really need you!
New Association President – Dave Tilstone announced his retirement plans last October, and an executive search was initiated in November. Last week, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved Dr. Dean Bartles as President of the Association (effective August 20th). We are very grateful for the huge contributions Dave Tilstone has made to our association and industry the past 8 years, yet giddy about the extensive and impressive resume from Dr. Bartles. Our future is bright indeed!
NTMA’s 2018 Fall Conference is in Denver Oct 23-26, 2018. You have already received mailings and emails from NTMA and I look forward to having our chapter be well-represented at this year’s 75th Anniversary gala! It’s vital to take time away from your business to work ON your business. So, mark your calendar and register early for this fun, educational, and exciting industry networking event!
President, Rocky Mountain Chapter – NTMA
President, Hirsh Precision Products, Inc.