Engineering is a critical part of manufacturing operations. When it comes to industrial knife and blade manufacturing at American Cutting Edge, we would be lost without the expertise, knowledge, and commitment of our engineering department. Since it's Engineers Week, we thought we would tell you a little about how these mission-critical professionals add to our business.
Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Engineers Week celebrates the difference engineers make in our world. The NSPE dedicates itself to ensuring the future engineering workforce is diverse and well-educated by increasing the understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.
I recently sat down with our Engineering Director, Mike Hammel to talk about the impact engineering has on ACE as an industrial knife supplier. The truth is, this important department touches every aspect of our industrial knife manufacturing operation. Whether working with our machine operators to calibrate equipment to reverse engineering a blade without a drawing, engineering is involved! They troubleshoot and collaborate with customers, help develop custom knife quotes, manage quality assurance programs, consult with vendors, and so much more!
ACE Engineers Are Industrial Knife and Blade Experts
As a leading industrial knife manufacturer, ACE’s in-house engineering department is crucial to the success of our business. Engineers at ACE are well-versed in:
- Developing manufacturing processes
- Researching and developing new industrial blades
- Understanding advanced and specialty materials
- Understanding metallurgy
- Understanding equipment capabilities
- Driving quality assurance
- Working with a wide variety of vendors
- And more!
They also intimately understand a wide variety of cutting applications across the broad range of industries that we serve. Our customers often rely on our expertise when modifying an industrial blade, adjusting a cutting edge, or considering a switch to a different material such as tungsten carbide, carbon steel, or zirconia ceramics.
“When you work with a broad range of industries, you have to have an engineering department that can apply their knowledge and understanding from one type of customer to the next without skipping a beat. As an industrial knife supplier, we’re often called upon by our customers to help them improve a process or solve a problem that has slowed down or even stopped their cutting operation. We have to understand not only the industrial knives and blades we produce but also the material and coating options, the cutting application in use, how the materials will respond in the knife manufacturing process, and how they will perform when in use in terms of toughness and wear resistance,” explains Director of Engineering Mike Hammel.
“Whether customers are looking for new product innovation to help reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies or we’re in the market for a new piece of equipment in the factory, ACE engineering is always involved. Our team has a deep understanding of metallurgy and industrial cutting. This knowledge provides our customers with a level of experience they just can’t get from other industrial knife suppliers,” continues Hammel.
“From quality improvements and blade failure analysis to evaluating prints or finding a new way to serve our customers better, there’s never a dull moment at American Cutting Edge. We pride ourselves on thinking outside of the box and coming up with new ways to solve a problem. We find that our customers truly appreciate having an outside view because sometimes, they're just too close to the problem to find the perfect solution. We truly thrive when we come together with our customers to help drive their business forward.”
According to Harvard Business Review author, Willy C. Shih and our own experience here at American Cutting Edge, a lot of manufacturing is knowledge work. It’s a common misnomer that manufacturing work is merely mechanical and does not require thinking. This could not be further from the truth. Our industrial knife manufacturing operation requires an enormous amount of sophisticated knowledge and our engineers help drive that knowledge base throughout the company.
“Our engineering department leads from within our organization with innovative ideas and new opportunities to drive efficiencies not only for ACE but for our customers as well. There isn’t a day that goes by where they are not brought in to discuss a new way to help improve a customer’s operation, review prints, discuss the best options for a new industrial blade or knife, or to perform a cost-benefit analysis on equipment we’re considering to make cutting easier for our customers,” says Chief Operating Officer, Gregory Billhardt.
He continues, “The involvement of engineering in our business from the production floor to the discovery of new products or process improvement for our customers illustrates our commitment to finding new ways to improve efficiencies and truly make cutting effortless.”
Put the engineering team at American Cutting Edge to work for your organization today. Since 1965, ACE has been driving customer satisfaction through high-quality industrial knives, blades, and wear parts. Whether it’s an off-the-shelf solution or a custom application, we bring a unique perspective of over five decades of industrial cutting experience.