My cat has no sympathy for this condition. He considers it a superior way of living, an acquired taste, an elegant life choice. He looks disdainfully at my melancholy. If I fill his food bowl, clean his litter and give him a treat, he will show me how to enjoy window views and play with the drapery cords. Life is what you make it. He’s getting along fine.
Normally I enjoy living alone. Control of the remote and a freezer full of nukeable foods are just part of the perks. Nobody cares if my dirty socks pile up. I run the dishwasher only when I’m out of clean forks. Paper plates come in seasonal designs. Amazon delivers. And when I change my sheets, I flip over the pillowcases and only wash them every other time. It’s not laziness, it’s efficiency. Turn up the heat, turn down the air, who is going to know? Nirvana is living alone.
Netflix and chill feels different when it is not a choice. I realize I am dependent upon the building cafeteria. I made a foray into a supermarket and bought peanut butter, crackers, parmesan cheese and a box of wine. I bought macaroni and cheese too, but didn’t realize that I need milk and butter for that. Neither do I have all the fixings for a sandwich. I miss the salad bar and my bottled ice tea. I miss piping hot french fries. I miss the news back when there was more than one topic coverage. I miss having a meal out with colleagues or friends or even a frenemy. I want sports scores. I want freedom. I want my life back.
A week into self-isolation and I have cabin fever. Life feels deserted. I am chaffing at the loss of control. I am exasperated at the uncertainty of how long this could last. I am terrified of all the people hoarding guns and ammunition. My mood can go careening out of control if I don’t rein it in. There must be something I can do. My four legged fur ball circles his water dish, dreaming of ice cubes. A simple thing makes him happy. I can be grateful.
I am grateful for leadership. Queen Elizabeth and Tom Hanks are my new heroes. I am in awe of the medical personnel and caregivers risking their health and their lives to fight the scourge, and grateful there are so many willing to do it. I am grateful for spring and for tulips and daffodils. I am grateful for puppy dog videos and the rhythmic sounds of rain against the windows. I am grateful for creativity. I can learn anything on YouTube. I love my kindle. I am able bodied and symptom free. And I live in America and we will come roaring back when this is over. I am grateful.
So I will enjoy the empty streets and the cavernous elevators. I will plan my next vacation. This will not last forever. And compared to the real hardships and loss in the world, I am outrageously lucky. I can survive Self-Isolation Cabin Fever.
IN WITH THE OLD
“Old machines show why Trump tax breaks may not spark new company spending.”
That’s the headline of a Reuters story that recounts the experience of the Cleveland-based Dan T. Moore Co., which has nine factories in Ohio and Indiana.
It begins by focusing on David Shippoli, a manufacturing engineer who won the company’s annual scavenger award — a stuffed hyena head — given to the employee who finds the cheapest way to execute an investment project in the past year. He won “for finding used machines that were a fraction of the cost of buying them new,” Reuters reports.
Shippoli is a Donald Trump fan, but the news service says he “embodies a mindset that exists across industrial America that will make it hard to boost business investment, even if the corporate tax breaks floated recently by the Trump administration come through.”
As he tells Reuters, “I don’t know why anyone would buy new equipment when there’s so much stuff out there that’s perfectly capable of doing the job.”
That’s not what the Trump administration wants to hear as it pushes a plan to cut corporate tax rates, slash taxes on cash parked overseas and spur domestic capital investment.
Hanging on the wall of David Shippoli’s office at a sprawling factory here is his company’s annual scavenger award, a stuffed hyena head, given to the employee who finds the cheapest way to execute an investment project in the past year.
Shippoli, a manufacturing engineer at Dan T. Moore Co., a privately-held company which operates nine factories across Ohio and Indiana, won the prize for finding used m achines that were a fraction of the cost of buying them new.
He is a fan of President Donald Trump’s policies and even propped a bright red “Make America Great Again” hat on the hyena during the campaign. But Shippoli embodies a mindset that exists across industrial America that will make it hard to boost business investment, even if the corporate tax breaks floated recently by the Trump administration come through.
“I don’t know why anyone would buy new equipment when there’s so much stuff out there that’s perfectly capable of doing the job,” he said.
Made in India, printed with the white postseason logo, the Indians handed out red rally towels for every game and every watch party. They’re great for cleaning up spilled beer, protecting heads from sleet and rain, and when vocal chords fail, they can be spun around in unison with the fan brethren who refuse to go home as the games march ever so slowly to conclusion. Today they’re another momento of an “almost” season. And as we wallow in overcast skies and a game seven loss, it’s easy to forget the joy we felt along the journey. Who predicted in April that we’d be awash in rally towels, in November?
As the post season began, the Indians had the lowest odds of all the playoff teams to win it all. We were the underdogs, the team plagued with injuries and quickly dismissed. Our catcher was injured, and the replacements couldn’t hit. Our reliable clutch hitter and best outfielder only played the first few games of the season. Pitching and base-running were our strengths, and with two starting pitchers lost late in the season and our ace questionable with a quad injury, well, pitching didn’t look like a bright spot. Our outfield was patched together with rookies and aging veterans, with another outfielder suspended from post season for steroid usage. The chances for victory looked non-existent. And yet there is a reason we play the games.
Remember the Boston series? On the last weekend of the regular season, we swept the reigning World Champion Royals in Kansas City to claim the second seed in the American League playoffs and home field advantage in the division series. We then proceeded to shut out the Red Sox. The media bemoaned the end of Big Papi’s career with a loss at Fenway Park. And they covered the Red Sox fans in distress, and their tearful goodbye to their vaunted designated hitter. And to be fair, the post-game crew did ask our manager if he had any latent sympathy for the Boston team. We rolled our collective eyes. Let them weep in Boston; we’re still playing.
Winning early when part of your team is injured can be a blessing. Time heals. The media circus moves on, and the Blue Jays wore themselves out defeating the Texas Rangers with offensive fireworks and cocky confidence. They showed up in Cleveland for a best of seven series wearing Canadian flag capes and the consensus conventional wisdom of two nations that they would win. But our ace was feeling better, we played error free baseball, and after our starting pitcher was booted from a game due to uncontrollable pinky bleeding, we wove together a victory one inning at a time from the bull pen. Records were set for number of pitchers in a post season win. The Blue Jays were toast, and again we were blessed with a few extra days to recover. We’re going to need more rally towels.
And on to the Cubbies we go, the winningest team in baseball, the National League juggernaut, the sentimental favorite, the beneficiaries of an over-the-top payroll, and the darlings of a large market audience. They filled Burke Lakefront airport with their private planes. They interrupted press conferences at the white house. And they bid ticket prices to all time astronomical highs. And so the team with the longest world series drought in baseball came to play the injured Indians, the small market team with second longest drought in baseball. Maybe we would just curl up and lose gracefully. After all, the weather was miserable. But we didn’t. Our ace set a record for strike outs in game one, and we hit the ground running. Remember when we were up three games to one, and the Cubs faced elimination? The heroes were unexpected. Everyone contributed. We hung in there. But there are risks of using the ace too many times on short rest, and rookies can eventually make errors, and games can slip through your fingers, until the series rests on a game 7.
Seventy degrees in November is Indian summer in Cleveland. The crowd was evenly split, both teams played hard, with the Cubbies taking the early lead and Cleveland catching up. The game was all but won, when Cleveland tied it up in the bottom of the eighth. But injuries were taking their toll. The Cleveland ace was in heavy rotation, pitching his third game, yet another short rest outing. We moved to the bull pen early – strikeouts were scarce. And still we came back, relentlessly refusing to give up. Rain delay, and extra innings, the Cubs scored two in the top of the tenth. Cleveland could only answer with one. And the series swung to the National League Champion Chicago Cubs. It was a roller coaster of emotions, an epic game, worthy of the world series and the historic breaking of the Chicago curse.
Cleveland is no stranger to heartbreak, in fact we name them. The fumble, the drive, the shot, the departure, all have meaning to Cleveland sports fans. And we were not all quick to forgive when the King returned. It took a heart-wrenchingloss against Golden State for some to embrace “the return.” The 2015 Cavaliers gave their all, every ounce of effort, amid injuries of their own. It wasn’t winning or losing that brought us around, it was the monumental exertion of will and emotion, the willingness to give all to the team that earned the hearts of Cleveland fans.
The 2016 Indians played the same way, they left nothing on the table. They played as hard as individuals can play, and not willing to let their teammates down, believing against all odds that anything was possible, and making personal sacrifices for the good of the team. It is not the outcome we hoped for, but no one can doubt the effort.
So I’m keeping my rally towels. They’re the evidence of an epic game, an historic series, and an extraordinary season. We are the American League Champions. And we got to play baseball in November, in Believeland.
Strategic agreement to propel AHP Merkle Cylinder technology in die casting industry!
US, Canada, Mexico
AHP Merkle GmbH and Delaware Dynamics LLC signed a strategic distribution agreement in late July focusing on the die casting industry in North America. Delaware will market the Merkle cylinder line in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. “The agreement between Delaware and Merkle marks two companies with industry leading technology, internal capabilities to deliver paradigm shifting products, and a desire to spearhead advancements in production and design of complex die cast tooling,” says Ryan, Haas, CEO of Delaware Dynamics. “We employ the cutting edge technology of the Merkle cylinders internally and have found unique and distinct advantages in design, performance and durability.
“Our core business of delivering the best in large complex die cast tooling will not change. But this agreements now allows Delaware to forge relationships with companies outside our technical segment, and share technical advantages that will contribute to others’ success.”
Dan T. Moore, CEO and chairman of Dan T. Moore Co. that holds 19 companies, is an ageless entrepreneur and inventor who is full of ideas and vitality. He skis and motorcycles the world, which you can read about on his blog; starts successful business after business; holds about 30 patents; and currently is hobbling about on crutches and in a cast after having bones in his ankle fused from a ski accident. His plans? To ski again! And, to continue to innovate and create successful startup companies in Collinwood.
His Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center (CiiC) at 17000 St. Clair Avenue, a former airport used by Curtiss Wright of Wright Brothers’ fame, houses nine established and startup manufacturing companies that employ approximately 350 people: Team Wendy, Soundwich, CiiC, Gem Tool, Ecowise, Metal Matrix Innovations, Rooftop Green, NatGasCar and Petfiber. The property also has available tenant space that Moore markets to encourage minority business enterprises…
It all started with those Cowboys in purchasing. They had to figure out what and how much product to buy, and when to order it. The tried and true method was just to keep a safe level on hand, and reorder more when the quantity dipped below it. And that worked great as long as customers kept ordering what they always ordered. Any change in the customer behavior and there was too much inventory on hand, or even worse, too little. The corner office decided it would be great if purchasing could reduce inventories, because isn’t that just cash tied up in a warehouse? Oh and while they were at it, the executives thought purchasing ought to be negotiating better pricing. “A little less vendor lunching and a little more volume discounting,” the corner recommended. So the PO guys got POed at the impossible sounding edicts and decided to go visit their brethren in the sales department. The sales guys at least understood the value of a relationship.
So purchasing and sales got together for a martini or two at the local saloon (and no one recalls who picked up the check) and hatched a plan. Sales would give their monthly forecast of what and how much they were going to sell to purchasing, and the POs would be written based on these expectations. Purchasing used the promise of future buys to wheedle better pricing out of vendors, and that shortage problem all but disappeared. Purchasing was off the hot seat, and an acronym was coined: Material Resource Planning, or MRP.
Wyatt ERP, accounting marshal, shook the dust off his black hat and the smudges off his spectacles. The corner office now wanted to know how much money purchasing was saving the company from this new strategy. So Wyatt decided each item that purchasing bought should have a regular price, and they would call that regular price the “standard.” They would track the difference between what items really cost against the standard, and a new acronym was born, price variance or PV. It’s pretty simple, if we buy an item for 95 cents and the standard is a dollar, we have a five cent variance. So the standard inventory cost is a dollar, the variance is an expense reduction of five cents, and that nets to the 95 cents the company owes the vendor. Tracking this variance was very motivating to our purchasing. At last their contributions were measured!
But the corner office is never happy for very long. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could track how much raw material was used against how much was supposed to be used?” they asked. Wyatt was dragged into the meeting, thinking, “Now that we’ve complicated purchasing, why not manufacturing?” But if inventory was always kept at the standard cost, then any difference between materials charged to a job and the planned materials had to be a usage variance. The Manufacturing department either used less or more than they should have, and this difference could be tracked (or fracked depending on the mood of auto correct.)
Now we’re getting somewhere the corner office decided. We know price variance, and usage variance for materials, let’s add labor! Same concept, labor can cost more or less than expected based on overtime and shift differential, and production could be more or less efficient than planned depending on how they used it. Wyatt ERP upgraded his ten key and got to work. To track all these differences, a standard for the finished items would have to be created. But this had another advantage. If goods sold were always at standard, then differences in margin generated has to be from too many sales discounts to customers, or the mix of products sold. More new general ledger accounts and more new variances. And now we weren’t just planning materials, we were planning the whole enterprise.
And so it was then ERP was called into the corner office to explain the Ripple order sold to Acme Widgets in Cripple Creek. All these variances flow downhill to the ledger. Someone has to corral these accounts and make some sense out of this. “ERP, crack the whip and explain this” the sheriff roared as he multi tasked and checked his tee time on his Apple Watch. Sales and Purchasing were not the only departments that know how to build relationships. “I thought we got a great deal on the material, and Manufacturing was extremely efficient in making the ripple but this report says profit was exactly what we expected. “ERP, explain this. Where did the extra profit go?”
ERP thought about the glazed eyes that faced him routinely at the monthly meetings. This system wasn’t built Overnight, and the more differences we track the more complex it gets. But basically it worked like the this:
We got a great price on the Ripple bottles and the malt at the after Christmas sale in January. Those differences were recorded in January when we bought them. Manufacturing was very efficient in February. No one was on vacation and they made Ripple in record time. All those differences were recorded in February when the Ripple was made. But the order for Cripple Creek didn’t ship until April. Seems Acme is implementing a new MRP system and they figured out they didn’t need the Ripple until April Fools’ day. So since the variances had already been recorded when the materials were purchased and the goods were made, the sale itself is therefore at planned margin.
The corner office scratched, blinked, turned three shades of red. “What I want is everything at actual cost.”
ERP, tipped his black hat and smiled. “Standard plus variance equals actual,” he said. We can do that. ERP circled the wagons and formatted new reports. They were now officially back to the beginning. But it was all in a day’s work at the accounting corral.
The first chapter of the Dan T. Moore Company story is rooted in its hometown Cleveland, but the second chapter has a new setting. Here is where we explore the next plot point on our World Tour map– Delaware Dynamics. Located in Muncie, Indiana, Delaware Dynamics wears the Dan T. Moore Company stamp with pride from across the state border. They are largest producer of die cast molds in North America, providing clean sheet design, complete die manufacturing, and sampling capability for all the automotive OEM’s in the USA as well as several OEM transplants and Tier 1 automotive manufacturers. Delaware concentrates on engine block, powertrain, and structural die casting programs.
Much like the facility at 17000 St. Clair Ave, the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center, the facility at 700 S. Muncie St illustrates the story behind the company operating within—its growth in size, market, and employees. Since 2011, Delaware has invested over 7 million dollars in equipment, software, and supporting technologies, further strengthening its leadership role as the premier high pressure die casting mold builder in North America. An additional 50,000 square feet makes Delaware 220,000 square feet strong with an employee count approaching 175. Delaware is continuously searching for high quality people to supplement its experienced technical staff.
Current Day Delaware
The development of the DD workforce has continued until the present day, as evident by their list of current job openings. At the moment, Delaware is looking for an Engineering Intern, a Mill Machinist, and two Stick Welders. Cassandra McClelland, the Dan T. Moore Company Recruiting Manager, took a hands on approach when notified of these openings. She drove to Muncie, Indiana, taking a week to learn about the facility and how she could better recruit for the company’s needs. When asked what was the most striking aspect about her visit, she answered, “Their commitment to discovering and implementing the newest and most state-of-the-art technology.”
Cutting Edge Technology
Delaware’s dedication to acting as innovators in the die cast industry is not a novel concept. They have been consistently aiming to be the best by discovering the best. “Delaware is committed to strengthening its leadership role in the die casting industry. It is paramount to develop employees internally and recruit the next wave of talent. It is vital to advance our technologies and provide the roadmap for our customers and their ability to advance their competitive position. Standing still in a global marketplace is not the answer. We have been, are, and will continue to be the definitive source for companies looking for large complex die casting mold design, manufacturing, sampling, process development, and R&D….” said Ryan Haas of the past and current investment.
At Dan T. Moore Company, we innovate to resolve. In the ongoing search for value, the discovery of unmet needs is inevitable, and along with it the motivation to fulfill them. With regards to our second Company Spotlight subject, the unmet need takes form as an empty gas tank, and the solution as
The relationship between the fuel industry and the environment has not always been one of an easygoing nature, but their interconnection cannot be denied. Often, people consider them rivals, with pollution and oil drilling acting as principal antagonists. These preconceived notions have led to green and environmentalist movements demanding eco-friendly policies be implemented in the fuel industry. As a result, interest in alternative energy sources has developed, but still, the United States has been slow-going in its green transition. This sluggish evolution prompted Dan T. Moore Company to take action with the founding of affiliates NatGasCar and Axiom.
Founded in 2008, NatGasCar’s primary objective is to develop safe and reliable solutions for natural gas in consumer vehicles. Fuel is a necessary evil; it may negatively affect the environment, but it is required for modern civilization to continue as we know it. The only reconciliation of fuel necessity must resolve its effects on the environment. Enter compressed natural gas. CNG. Natural gas burns cleaner, emitting approximately 20% less carbon dioxide per mile than regular gasoline. In this process, it creates 25% fewer greenhouse gases. Even if these reasons aren’t enough to convince one to go green with CNG, its price might just do it. Natural gas is cheaper than gasoline, and with Federal government subsidies, there is always the possibility of Federal Tax Credits. NatGasCar designs vehicle conversion and refueling systems that harness CNG’s obvious advantages.
Although NatGasCar fulfilled a significant need — eco and cost-friendly CNG conversion systems for light-duty vehicle consumers — a gap in the industry still existed. Not all CO2 emitting and expensive vehicles on the road are light-duty; in fact, medium and heavy-duty trucks make up 7% of all vehicles on U.S. highways, and they consume more than 25% of the oil. To apply the same benefits of CNG in the heavy-duty vehicle sector, NatGasCar established Axiom Integrated Fuel Systems.
Axiom designs and produces its integrated fuel systems at the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center. Using state-of-the-art CAD and FEA software, we are capable of both client specialization and mass production. Our process allows us to work with factory specified and existing prep patterns developed by alternate suppliers. Much like our fellow subsidiary companies within the DTMCo portfolio, Axiom has extensive interest and experience in development. We strive to innovate and provide the best and the strongest in the industry.
In Recent News
Medium and heavy-duty trucks must endure rough service, and Axiom Integrated Fuel Systems have proven themselves capable of handling these harsh conditions in real world applications. However, a recent event further illustrated the durability of our designs.
Recently, a Volvo VNL sporting one of our CNG fuel systems was involved in a serious accident that we have been referring to as an “unintended” destructive field test. During said accident, a light-truck impacted the tractor at a speed high enough to bend the frame rails’ alignment by approximately 1.5 inches. Despite this level of impact, the CNG tank designed by Axiom remained intact and in proper working condition with no signs of leakage. For precautionary measure, the tank was removed and replaced with a new Axiom tank. The frame will be straightened, and the truck back on the road soon. This accident may have been unfortunate, but it illustrates clearly the durability of Axiom Integrated Fuel Systems.
With a slogan like “Industrial Innovations,” Dan T. Moore Company’s objective is to seek out the newest developments in any and all industries. The rapid expansion in the realm of nonwovens immediately caught our attention, and led to the establishment of the subject of our first Company Spotlight entry: Fiberworx is housed amongst its fellow subsidiary companies at the Cleveland Industrial Innovation Center. It began as yet another twinkle in Dan Moore’s eye when he acquired a few of the machines necessary to start manufacturing nonwovens. Nonwovens are broadly defined as sheet or web structures bonded together by entangling fibers of various materials. Originally, DTMCo’s need for such materials came from affiliate company, Soundwich. Nonwovens are incorporated in several of Soundwich’s major products, including AcoustaTherm and ThermaPatch, both of which harness the fibers’ thermal and acoustic properties to enhance vehicle consumer experience. When the market for nonwovens skyrocketed, so did the potential for a new DTMCo portfolio company. Now, Fiberworx has all the machinery and engineering capabilities to contribute substantially to the ever-growing nonwovens industry.
Fiberworx utilizes recycled and virgin materials to create clean and lightweight fibers used in numerous commercial applications. The intrinsic properties of these materials render them ideal solutions for a wide array of operations, including acoustic, thermal, and structural. The versatile nature of these materials open the door to a multitude of markets. Nonwovens may be hidden, but with a little searching you can find them almost anywhere. Peek under the hood of your car, or behind the upholstery of its seats, nonwoven fibers are most likely there. Behind the walls of buildings and homes, even atop roofs, they are used as insulators. Beneath you when you sit or sleep, they are stuffed in your mattress and chair cushions. Nonwovens are present and thriving in the automotive, construction, filtration, medical, and industrial markets.
The majority of these markets take advantage of the soft, airy quality of nonwoven fibers, which renders them acoustically and thermally valuable. However, the Fiberworx Research and Development Team has extensive interest and experience in the structural value of nonwovens. Due to their malleable nature, these fibers can be processed through forming techniques that make the possibilities for their use almost limitless. With our thermoforming, die design, and stamping capabilities, we can produce nonwovens of nearly any shape and rigidity.
Check out our new website Fiberwx.com for more information!