Au revoir, Robin, and happy retirement!

Au revoir, Robin, and happy retirement!

Robin Thomas — a quality control technician and Micron employee of 30 years — recently retired.

We celebrated her contributions at Micron with a luncheon, where we met some of Robin’s family and enjoyed the company of other retired Micron employees who came back to welcome Robin to the club.

Robin is looking forward to enjoying the outdoors. She plans to plant a garden, raise chickens, and spend lots of time with her children and grandchildren.

Robin Thomas and Mike Preston
Robin and company president Mike Preston.

A team player

Robin is know for many things — a quick wit, being able to “keep the guys in line” — but one observation that persisted was of her desire to help others. As quality manager Brian Hoff noted, Robin frequently helped sort parts, going beyond her duties in the quality department. And this was just one of many ways Robin was willing to lend a hand. Over the years, she went above and beyond to help us meet deadlines, solve problems, and improve. The fact that she cares about her coworkers and the company is evident.

Robin Thomas and Bryan Hoff
Robin with quality manager Brian Hoff. Cary Grant made a cameo appearance.

We’re extremely grateful to Robin for her years of dedication to Micron.

Fortunately for us, her smiling face will be back in the shop again soon. Ever the helper, Robin has volunteered to come back on a part-time basis — so we’re looking forward to seeing her again after a well-earned vacation.

Micron Installs New Parts Cleaning System

Micron Installs New Parts Cleaning System

Micron is committed to ensuring the success of our customers through continuous improvement. On that note, we are proud to announce a major upgrade: a new parts cleaning system!

The newly installed Jayco MAFAC Java parts cleaning system will allow Micron to hit higher cleanliness standards while also improving efficiency and reliability. It’s capabilities include moving spray jets, cleaning basket rotation, ultrasonics, and vacuum-chamber drying. What’s more, the new cleaning system will allow for further automation as we continue to refine our parts-washing department.

Maintenance Technician Josh and Wash Systems Operator Scott receive training on operating the new machine

New Capabilities

A major draw for choosing this type of parts cleaning system is its ultrasonic capabilities. Using vibrations from high-pitched sound above the range of human hearing, the MAFAC Java removes chips from parts. This could save time in several ways, such as reducing sort times where man-hours are spent looking for or removing chips, or by allowing for changes in our machining processes that allow us to run parts more efficiently.

Another great feature is how the system dries parts after the wash cycle is completed. Rather than rely exclusively on air jets to dry a part, the MAFAC Java can create an air vacuum around the parts. Under these conditions, water boils off the parts at much lower temperatures. This means parts will emerge from the cleaning system fully dry, even in deep grooves and inner diameters.

Exciting Times Ahead

Now that the new wash system is in place, Micron will begin programming wash cycles and optimizing the work space for production. Since our parts comprise a range of sizes, materials, and features, our engineering team will be busy ensuring each part has a wash cycle program that’s appropriate.

Meanwhile, 5S principles will come into play as we redesign and optimize the clean and pack area within Micron’s facilities. Through thoughtful placement of tools, conveyors, lift tables and work surfaces, we hope to increase the efficiency, ease, and ergonomic friendliness of this station.

Finally, with this machine Micron will be able to introduce automation to the cleaning process. The new cleaning system’s loading system and conveyors are ready to link with an automation system of our own creation. We’re currently exploring our options and hope to create a system that can run many cycles of parts with minimal operator intervention.

Test Results are Promising

Micron has run various test parts through the new system. These early results are fantastic, and indicate the system will deliver both a higher cleanliness standard and great time savings. Visually, the cleaned parts come out bright and shining, dry and free of chips.

The Benefit to Our Customer

The ultimate aim of this investment is to offer better parts, pricing, and service to our customers. The drive for continuous improvement, which this cleaning system is a part of, is a cornerstone of Micron’s success.

Product Design Support: A Good Quote Makes a Great Difference

Product Design Support: A Good Quote Makes a Great Difference

Micron aims to reduce costs, improve production times, and make great parts for our customer. One way we’re doing this is by incorporating design for manufacturability support into our quoting process.

Design for Manufacturability (DFM) is the practice of engineering parts in ways that make them the most practical to manufacture. By incorporating DFM into our estimate for a part, Micron helps our customers create products that are easier to machine, result in less waste, and ultimately save time and money throughout production.

This ensures we can offer our customer both a competitive quote and a quality part.

Benefits of Our Design Support

By optimizing a product in the design phase, we can reduce the cost and improve the speed of manufacturing it. Our design support also helps us achieve the highest quality product possible, with fewer defects and less waste.

For example, sometimes smart design revisions can allow Micron to use more affordable and easier to acquire tooling.

“A switch from custom to standard tooling can make a big difference in the price we can quote to the customer,” Engineering Manager Alex Puff says, “so we’re always looking at prints for possible design revisions that would allow us to lower costs and offer a better quote.”

Success Stories

The design support we offer often proves valuable to our customers.

For instance, Engineer Joel Finch recalls a recent case where Micron’s design input on one part resulted in improved manufacturability for several others.

“We worked on a cap that goes into a four-part assembly. And because we had offered input on the design of the cap, that made machining the other parts a bit more efficient as well,” Finch says. At the end of the process, “the customer thanked us and let us know our help was really beneficial for them.”

Experiences like this give us confidence that Micron’s estimating process provides value to our customer.

Request a Quote from Micron

If Micron’s capabilities interest you, you can request a quote online using our request for quote form or contact us. If you’re not familiar with our capabilities, our parts gallery has some great examples of our work.