REGARDING COVID-19: Hoosier Pattern has decided to limit face to face meetings with customers and visitors and will be heavily utilizing the use of teleconferencing and web meetings with customers until further notice. It is our goal to not only keep our employees safe but to keep visitors safe by limiting contact.
Community News

Thanks for Coming! Open House July 2018

In July, we hosted an open house for our friends, families and the community to come in on a regular working day and see what we do on a daily basis. This is the first time HPI has ever opened its doors for people to come in. We weren't sure what to expect or if anyone would even be interested in seeing what we do everyday. The doors were set to open at 11am and at 10:45 there was a line outside of people waiting to get in! Over 400 people came through the doors and toured our facility making our open house a huge success. Local food vendors, Noble Barbeque and C&J Shaved Ice, were on site serving people good food and refreshing treats throughout the day. 

Throughout the tour, visitors got to walk the shop floor and see our many CNC machines working on current projects in the shop. In the sand room, visitors were some of the first people to see our brand new 3rd in house 3D sand printer! They got to extract their own keychain molds, clean the excess loose sand out of them just like a sand room employee would do and then take them to a pouring station where an HPI employee assisted them with pouring molten metal into the clean mold. Once the casting cooled down, visitors got to break open the molds and pull out their casting. Although HPI doesn't do any pouring in our facility on a regular basis, visitors got a glimpse of what happens after our products leave our facility and go to a foundry. The keychain pouring station was one of the most popular parts of the day!

  

 

In the quality room, visitors were able to see the laser scanner working in real time. Apprentice Patternmaker Kyle Rittmeyer was operating the laser all day scanning the hands of visitors showing them the process of how the scanner works and explaining the uses for it. Scanning hands on top of a basketball helped show the detail that our laser can pick up. 

 

Friends and families of HPI employees had the opportunity to come in and see where their loved ones spend 40 (sometimes more!) hours a week. Our family members are a part of our extended HPI family and it was exciting to share with them what we do every day and how we do it. 


Above: Hadley (daughter of our CAD supervisor, Nate Chavarria) got to come in and see what her dad does at work!


Above: Haydenne (daughter of office staff Kristen Hake) came in to see mom's desk!

Going into this open house and not knowing what the response was going to be was exciting and scary at the same time. We cannot thank the community enough for taking an interest in what we do here at HPI and supporting us as employees and as friends. If you missed this open house, don't worry! We are already planning another one and can't wait to see you here. 

We’re Having An Open House!

HPI is having an open house and you are invited! We are opening our doors for the public to come inside and see what we do on a day to day basis. We are proud to be a part of a hardworking community and are excited to share what we do with them. 

There will be refreshments, facility tours and even some casting! We will have our 3D sand printers running in our newly renovated sand room. There will be a job box fresh out of a 3D printer where people can extract their own keychain molds from the sand, clean them and then pour molten metal into them! Once the keychains cool, employees will help remove the gating and rough edges so attendees can take home a small keepsake from HPI. 

Along with our 3D sand printers running, our CNC machines will be running, our plastic printer will be printing and our laser scanner will be fired up for visitors to see HPI work in real time. 

Mark your calendars and come see the great things we are doing every day at Hoosier Pattern! 

 

   

Coming Summer 2018

Hoosier Pattern prides itself on being innovative and consistently raising the bar within the industry while maintaining the level of quality they are known for. Back in 2013, Hoosier was the first top service center to own and operate their own 3D sand printer in the United States. Coming Summer 2018, Hoosier will be the only service provider to own and operate two 3D sand printers under their roof along with maintaining a 3rd printer in their facility as well.

 

Customers are the driving force behind everything Hoosier does and this expansion is no different. This will allow Hoosier to take on jobs that once had to be turned away due to capacity restrictions. The current turnaround time for printed sand of 10 days will remain standard; however the possibility to turn printed parts around sooner -if needed- for customers has greatly increased.

On top of the addition of the 3rd sand printer in house, Hoosier has recently added a 5-axis machining center as well as 3 Doosan DNM 650’s to the machining side of the shop. All of these additions allow Hoosier to maintain current customers as well as take on new customers with more complex projects.

Exciting things are happening at HPI. Stay Tuned!

HPI Plays a Part in NASA Student Launch Program

The NASA Student Launch Program is a year-long engineering design program that allows college teams to work right alongside NASA engineers to build and launch a model rocket to a height of one mile. Each year students design, build, and test the model rocket capable of reaching 1 mile, while also carrying a scientific payload. This program also features a series of reports that must be submitted to NASA that go through the engineering design process for the team. 

 

Below is an interview with a student at York College of Pennsylvania, Kyle Abrahims about the project and how HPI played a role in it. 

What are the specifics for the rocket for 2017?
​On the rocket for 2017, we will have an automated rover payload that will be carried during flight. This rover will need to know when it is launched and when it has reached its' target (the ground after flight). Once it reaches the ground, it will sense this change and move automatically via electronics a certain distance away from the rocket. Once it has moved 10 feet, it will open up a set of solar panels from which energy will then be collected.

When designing the rocket for this year we wanted to build something different and unique. Normally a model rocket would have fins (for flight stability or to maintain a straight flight), but these fins are normally epoxied (strong adhesive) to the rocket tubing. This creates a problem if a fin breaks, because now the entire back tubing must be replaced in addition to the fin that is broken. The fin-can that we designed in CAD is designed to take the place of these fins. They function the same, but now if a fin were to break, we can easily replace it in a matter of seconds, rather than in a matter of days (epoxy takes a while to dry)

 

How many people are working on this project? (how many people are on the team, what is your role)
There is a total of 10 students working on this project. All attend York College of Pennsylvania for Mechanical Engineering and are hoping to work in the racing and aerospace industries after graduation. My role is the team captain (basically I oversee everything and make sure that everything is getting done correctly and on-time). But I am involved in every aspect of the project and I love it.

 

How did you hear about Hoosier Pattern? What made you want to work with them? What was the obvious advantage?
I race a sprint car in Central Pennsylvania as well, so I attended the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis and met the team at the show. The team was super friendly and they said that themselves and their boss were willing to help out college students, which for us is amazing and very much appreciated as we do not have a very large budget compared to some of the other universities competing. (Other schools include: MIT, Vanderbilt, Penn State, NC State, Florida University, Cornell, exc.)

The obvious advantage was the customer service and the help that I received from the start! It was super helpful and helped our team get going immensely!

Was there a problem/issue that HPI helped solve or make your project possible? How long were you looking for a solution?
We were looking for a fin-can solution for about a month and could not find any company willing to help us out with our design parameters. The print is rather large which also played a role, but HPI helped make our project possible by allowing us to transform my idea and Solidworks’ design into a tangible product which was amazing and I am forever thankful for the help that I received!

 

A huge thank you to Kyle and the rest of the team at York for reaching out to HPI and allowing HPI to be apart of this project. Good Luck to you and your team on the rest of the school year!

Local Students Pour Castings Using 3D Printed Molds

Recently, the Area 18 Precision Machining class at South Adams High School poured their own castings from 3D printed molds printed with HPI’s sand printers.

The South Adams / Area 18 Precision Machining classes prepare students for going straight into their machining careers. Several of our employees at HPI are graduates of this class. Past graduates include Tony Uhrick, Ryan Seddlemeyer, Phillip Bauman, Jon Dathe, and Kyle Rittmeyer. Advisory board members from Hoosier Pattern include Keith Gerber and Ryan Seddelmeyer, and Todd Yoder.

The graduates of this class can earn both NIMS (National Institute of Metalworking skills) certifications and college credit, but most importantly, they are ready to begin their careers in a real-world machining/manufacturing company.

The South Adams Precision Machining class begins the first year with an introduction to shop safety, shop math, and basic hand tools. While the first “bench work” project is starting, each student gets an introduction to CNC (computer numerical controlled) machining by using a CAM system to design and program a polished aluminum nameplate for their lockers. After that, it is back to the manual machines to get a good machining foundation on manual lathes, mills and surface grinders. By the end of the first year, the students begin to get more experience programming and setting up basic parts on their 6 CNC machines. (3 of the machines were donated by HPI).

During the second year class, students completely design, engineer and manufacture a complex assembly from scratch. This year, the student designed a double acting steam engine with variable timing. The students worked together as a team to produce a working model in SolidEdge of their own design. Once the design was finalized, the students created industry level blueprints for each part along with inspection sheets. After that, the students will take all that paperwork they created as a team and machine all the parts individually and leave with a working engine by the end of the school year. The column/crankshaft support is the part that the students worked with HPI to have sand printed molds made for.

Back in January, Mr. Jerod Dailey’s class poured their castings using HPI’s molds. Lars, Mason, Chandler, Keaton, Kegan and Bailey got some real hands on training in handling molten aluminum as well as how to safely pour it and produce a quality casting. Below are some pictures of the class as well as some of the student’s thoughts on the project.

 

1st and 2nd are of the parts they poured – there are two parts to a pour, each one will make a column for the 17-18 engine project that the students designed. Once they are cut apart, there are still 4 holes and 2 bearing bores that will be machined.

 

The material that they melted that was donated by FCC Adams and they used about 8 pieces for this first pour. 4 more pours to go plus any green sand casting they do. The class took their scrap parts and cut them into 4 pieces to fit in the crucible

 

Last picture are the molds that Hoosier Pattern made for us with the 3D Sand Printer

 

“It was really interesting to pour molten aluminum. It was neat that at really high temperatures that metal will flow as easy or easier then water. I thought it was going to be pretty light weight but when all the aluminum was melted it was actually pretty heavy. So thank you for the material and for donating the molds to us so that we could experience casting for the first time."

Keaton A. (Adams Central)

 

“Pouring our molds was very interesting and fun because we got to see the aluminum melt and turn into liquid form which I have never seen. This was my first time I have ever poured aluminum and I think it would be cool to do more often. Thank you for donating the molds to the class so we could have the opportunity to pour our own part for our class project.”

Chandler S. (Adams Central)

 

“Thank you for the molds that you made for us. This was the first time I have poured aluminum and it was one of the coolest experiences I have had in this class. I was surprised by how easily it poured into the mold. I hope I can defiantly do this again sometime.”

Lars I. (South Adams)

 

 

Bellmont Trade Classes visit HPI

Thursday March 23rd, Bellmont students from Jason Egly's various trades classes came to HPI to gain insight on the character traits of a desirable employee. The students were also able to take a tour of Hoosier Pattern’s facilities and learn about what our team does.

The discussion was led by HPI's Jim Geimer, Phillip Bauman, and Alyssa Corral. Jim, Phillip, and Alyssa gathered the students into the training room and presented on what makes a quality employee – not just at Hoosier Pattern, but in any field the students might choose in the future. Topics were broken down into three general categories:

•The Basics – skills someone at the high school level should already possess

•Things That Can Always be Practiced – skills to constantly improve upon

•HPI Specific – skills that would help a person employed at HPI
 

 

Touching on The Basics, HPI's employees emphasized arriving to work on time, communication skills, and learning to get along with coworkers. Even though it’s 2017 and cell phones are a normal occurrence, it’s still shocking to see the amount of people who show up late for interviews without prior notice. Communication ties into this, as well. Failure to communicate being late, especially to an interview with a potential employer, raises a red flag before the interview even begins.

To the third emphasis, getting along with coworkers can be a lot easier said than done. Depending on the job within an industry, it’s not uncommon to spend half of the hours in the week with your coworkers. Being able to push through differences to find common ground is essential to the overall health of a company. It is vital for customers to see teamwork, and this teamwork will translate into minimal errors, quality service, and getting the job done.

 


 

Another area of conversation surrounded skills and character traits that can always be improved upon. Hoosier employees, especially the younger ones and apprentices, are always encouraged to learn more and immerse themselves in whatever can help them better understand the trade.

As adults, and not just in the workplace, we try to integrate these habits into everyday life. Phillip Bauman can attest to going the extra mile and how it can affect you. Phillip got his start at HPI in high school by painting the outside of the building during the summer and one day it was closing time and Phillip decided he only had a few spots left to paint and stayed over and finished the job. Keith, the owner at HPI, noticed this work ethic in a high school aged student and a few years later, Phillip is now in his final year as an apprentice.

Another emphasized topic was being able to admit defeat. As humans, we are bound to fail from time to time. However, the victory is found in how the failed situation is handled. This is something we wanted to instill into the Bellmont students. On occasion, we have had employees that get frustrated with the job. That is to be expected. However, instead of asking for help, they just stop showing up to work. This is a poor reflection of the organization and it leaves extra work for other employees to pick up. It's okay to fail, but it is necessary to recognize when it has happened and to ask for help on how to correct it.

 

When we started discussing the qualities and characteristics necessary for a future at HPI, it was important to communicate that everything covered in the previous slides is vital. It takes an entire team committed to excellence to make things run smoothly and deliver products on time.

Along with everything previously covered, it was noted that taking certain classes as a high school student will help to lay a foundation of what to expect inside HPI's doors. Having both Jim and Phillip in the apprentice program and knowing firsthand what helped them was helpful in letting the students know which classes to sign up for in their upcoming high school years.

After the presentation, the students had the opportunity to tour the facility. Most of the students had never seen a machine shop in full swing. Students were able to see the 3D sand printing area, various printers running, and final production pieces being cleaned. They also had the chance to see plates in the CNC machines and parts being laser scanned in the quality control room.

The day ended with students asking several job specific questions like, “What is the average pay for a Journeyman Patternmaker?” Questions were asked about dress code, other skilled trades industries, and more.

We want to thank Mr. Egly and his classes for taking the time to come through our shop and allow the younger generation to see what skilled trade jobs look like in real life and how they contribute to society. We look forward to having next year's class here!

 

Kyle Rittmeyer - On The Job Training

Kyle Rittmeyer is not a stranger to HPI. Kyle's dad, Dave Rittmeyer will be celebrating his 18th year with HPI in April, making Kyle a part of the HPI family basically since birth. Kyle is the newest (and now youngest!) team member and is not a stranger to the trade. As you will read below, Kyle aspires to be a third generation pattern maker. We look forward to having Kyle here in the building and look forward to seeing him grow in the in trade.

 

What school do you go to?
Norwell High School.  I'm enrolled in South Adams Area 18 Precision Machining Program.

What grade are you in?
Senior

What is "on the job training" Is it part of a class? A program?
On the job training is being trained while doing that job as a potential career. Students have the opportunity to be enrolled in on the job training during their 2nd year class at South Adams. I work from 12:30 to 4:30 Monday thru Thursday and will continue to do so for the last half of the school year.

What are your plans after high school?
My plans for after high school are apply for a full time job at Hoosier or another pattern shop. Once I've worked there for awhile, I hope to apply and be accepted into an apprenticeship program and fufill one of my life goals and become a third generation patternmaker.

Did you get to choose HPI as a place to do your on the job training or was it picked for you? If you picked, what made you go with HPI?
I got to choose HPI. I chose this place because it is where I hope to be hired. It has many learning opportunities.

What makes HPI different than other choices you had?
HPI is different because I have worked here in the past. I have done and internship and done odd jobes to help in needed areas around the shop (painted, cleaned in the summer).

What do you at HPI?
At HPI I do a little of everything. I help quality control with scanning and inspecting. I shadow the setup crew watching them set up parts on the mills and lathes picking up little tricks that they were taught. I help in the benching area by taking gating off plates so they can be cleaned up and I help in the sandroom cleaning molds and cores, job boxes or helping pack so they can ship them out.

What do you enjoy the most about HPI?
What I enjoy the most is seeing friendly faces that are willing to advice and give their tips for projects.

Which career/industry are you hoping to do for life?
I am hoping to work in the machining side, either programming or on setup.

What qualities/traits does a person need to succeed in this line of work?
teamwork. Most jobs I've watched people do here involve more than one task and more than one person.

What activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy reading books and fishing. I played saxophone in the marching band at football games and bass guitar in the pep band at home basketball games. I am currently restoring an old motorcycle with my dad right now. 

Thanks for a Great 2016!

2016 is winding down and at HPI we are looking back at everything we accomplished this past year.

 

The end of the year is a time to reflect on how we have evolved over the past 12 months. Between trade shows, expanding our facility, and launching a new 3D printing service, and everything in between, Hoosier Pattern has continued to have a successful year. We are lucky enough to have a business that employs ambitious, driven and dedicated individuals who all excel at what they do. If it weren't for the HPI team, 2016 would not have been as successful of a year as it was. 

 

- Early in the year we announced that we had purchased a Stratasys Fortus 450MC. Throughout 2016, this printer has allowed us to print sample prototype parts, print supports to assist in machining patterns and gating with offset partings, print CMM and machining supports/fixtures and produce patterns for low volume runs. This plastic printer has been an asset in HPI's toolbox, allowing us to expand options we offer our customers. Check out what our FDM printing can do for your next project here

- HPI is now ITAR/EAR compliant!  With our ITAR/EAR compliance came many changes internally at HPI. We have stronger security systems in place and more in depth monitoring of who is entering/touring our facility. Being ITAR/EAR compliant will open doors for new opportunities for HPI in the future and we are looking forward to capitalizing on those opportunities. 

- HPI completed its 10,000th shop order! 10,000 jobs have left our shop and we look forward to making that number rise in 2017. 

- In 2016, HPI had 100% employee participation in giving back to community programs. As mentioned before, the HPI team is second to none. HPI is not a stranger to community involvement. This work family knows the importance of community and helping those who are struggling temporarily or just not as fortunate. Every single employee had money taken out of each check and put it back into the programs that help our neighbors, schools and town. 

- HPI has expanded the facility from 45,000 sq. feet to 80,000 sq. feet. Almost doubling HPI's footprint gives us endless possibilities.  

- HPI was awarded a Global Supply Chain SOLVE Solution Award by Emerson Process Management. Read all about that here. 

- HPI exhibited at multiple trade shows around the country including the Casting Congress in Minneapolis, RAPID in Orlando, The Turbomachinery and Pump Symposia in Houston, SEMA 2016 in Las Vegas and The PRI Show in Indianapolis. The connections made and networking that happens at these shows are always beneficial to us and we look forward to meeting up with our current and future customers at shows in 2017

- HPI gained 3 new journeymen! Chris Lichtle, Mark Bodnar and Ron Cox all received their journeymen certifications in early November. 

- HPI put on their very first webinar and had a very positive response. HPI strives to be an industry leader in quality and knowledge and webinars are one way to reach large audiences across the globe. We look forward to utilizing this technology again in the future.

- HPI had 3 interns this year. Seeing a younger generation interested in the manufacturing industry and what we do at our shop was exciting and a great teaching opportunity. In 2017, we are hoping to educate more and let people know that we are way more than a typical machine shop. 

 

In addition to all of these accomplishments, HPI turned 19 years old! For 19 years, HPI has seen continual growth in this industry and HPI plans to continue growing and only getting better. 19 years of quality workmanship and strong work ethics have brought us to this point. We could not have done this without a solid team and a great network of customers. Thank you to our customers for giving us the opportunities to be your service provider. It is our desire to keep you satisfed with our quality workmanship and commitment to your projects. You are our inspiration in doing our very best.

 

We look forward to working with you on your tooling and rapid prototyping projects in the future. 

 

 

See You in 2017!

 

HPI Helps 2 Local Students Build a Prototype for Farmers

Andrew Blomenberg and Morgun Werling are 2 recent graduates of a local school, Bellmont High School. The 2 worked together in Bellmont's Engineering Design and Development (EDD) course to bring a simple concept to a real, functioning prototype. Hoosier Pattern provided the steel needed to create the prototype to the duo for their project. 
 

Above: Andrew and Morgun pose with HPI owner, Keith Gerber, and their Extendable Drawbar

The prototype is an attachment for farm tractors designed to make it easier to attach wagons and other implements to the tractor. Normally, a farmer would need to precisely position a wagon and tractor so that they can be connected; this often takes several tries and can be quite frustrating. Their design makes the drawbar, or hitch, of the tractor extendable so that the farmer can get his or her tractor close to the correct position and then move the mechanism instead of the entire tractor into the correct position. This dramatically reduces the time necessary to hook up a wagon or other implement. The Extendable Drawbar prototype is currently in use at Werling Farms.

During the EDD course, Blomenberg and Werling found that there was a high demand among farmers nationally for a product like this. The pair may take the next step and produce an actual product based on this prototype. 

 

Check out this video to see the Extendable Drawbar in action: 
 

Hammer Molds for Bellmont High School

Today, students in Mr. Egly's manufacturing class at Bellmont High School here in Decatur poured hammer molds that were 3D printed with our  Ex One S-Max sand printer.The students got to experience a part of the foundry world while wearing the right protective gear and getting to pour the melted metal into the molds by themselves. Of course, Mr. Egly was there to oversee and make sure everything went smoothly, but the students did a phenomenal job of pouring these molds by themselves.

 

 

Here are students, Josh Custer and Alec McDonald, pouring the melted metal into the molds as well as the finished product. It's very cool to see younger generations in our community interested in the foundry world as well as the world of 3D printing. We may have some local foundrymen in the future... good work, students! 

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