Multicraft Gives Students Engineering Experience

For over a year, Multicraft International has been working closely with academic institutions to provide students with real world experience in the engineering field. On the high school level, Multicraft partnered with Pelahatchie High School to form the Multicraft Innovation Academy which provides a 2 year manufacturing course curriculum and an Industrial Maintenance Technology Certificate to interested students. This program has finished its first year this spring. For university students, Multicraft partnered with Mississippi State University to give college seniors the opportunity to improve an engineering process for their senior class project.

Students from the Mechanical System Design course at Mississippi State University worked with Multicraft International on a process improvement study. The purpose was to analyze a park brake switch manufacturing process as part of Multicraft’s continuous improvement activities.  Specifically, the Mississippi State team, along with direction from Multicraft staff Jesse Havard and Olinsser Villafranca, worked to increase the accuracy of the preload force reading device on Multicraft International’s break switch assembly line.

The report states, “In an effort to improve the accuracy of the preload force reading device on the break switch assembly line in Multicraft International’s Pelahatchie branch, HailState Engineering devised a four-phase refinement process. The first phase sought to more closely align the line test method with the test method implemented in the lab. This involved replacing the original preload force reader, which was comprised of an air cylinder system which read the force at full extension, with a new system, made of a linear actuator with a programmable controller and a linear position sensor. Originally, this solution utilized a stepper motor similar to that used in the lab, but it was found to be much too slow for the assembly line time constraints. The next phases included installing a larger contact foot to minimize any inaccuracy incurred by the position of the switch, installing an angle check system similar to that of the other lines, and as a last resort, replacing the foot with a slider system to imitate the contact the brake lever. Though only one phase could be completed in the time allotted for this project, a 14.97 percent improvement to accuracy was noted.”

Below, the graph gives more detail about their results.


This refinement process allowed the test on the line to increase its speed as well as the accuracy that the lab test originally provided.

“The project from Multicraft was an overwhelming success for our students and for Multicraft because the students were able to work on a real production line and make an impact that was beneficial to Multicraft.  The experience that the students attained by working on a real production line will enhance and shape their skills in solving engineering problems in the industry and that is the most impactful educational experience I can think of,” said Dr. Wil Whittington, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

A special thank you to the students Justin Moore, John Davis, Caleb Hill, Sarah Lea, Micah Peacock, Cailin Console, and Cody Evans for working with Multicraft Quality Manager Jesse Havard and Senior Electrical Engineer Olinsser Villafranca to produce these results.

For more information about Multicraft International visit www.multicraft.com

Multicraft International Partnership Wins Governor’s Award

We are proud to announce that Pelahatchie High School received three Governor’s Awards for their partnerships from the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education, with one specifically for the Multicraft Academy Partnership. We are thankful that the Rankin County School District allows us the opportunity to give back to our community.

Multicraft Academy provides a 2 year manufacturing course curriculum with an Industrial Maintenance Technology Certificate and a paid internship. This program, free to students, will also count as college credit for students who want to pursue a 2 or 4 year degree. The program focuses on courses such as safety requirements, quality, blueprint reading, gage measuring, precision machining, software simulation, and an understanding of CAD Software.

Thank you Pelahatchie News, Rankin County School District, and the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education for the pictures!

http://rankinfirst.com/?/news/article/57

http://www.mapie.org/governorsawards.html

International Diplomats Visit Multicraft International

Multicraft International welcomed International Diplomats from France, Greece, Japan, and Taiwan on December 8, 2017.

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) hosted the International Delegation during the State of Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration during December 7-8, 2017.

The visit included a State of Mississippi Economic Development and Manufacturing Briefing, a State Capitol Tour, and a tour of Multicraft International and Multicraft Ventures. These events led up to the Bicentennial Ceremony at the opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi.

Included in the picture is Multicraft International CEO Andrew Mallinson, Multicraft International President Brad Williams, Multicraft International CFO Dennis Rasberry, and Multicraft Ventures President Paul Jones. 

Multicraft International Participates in Governor-Led Mission to India

This fall, Multicraft International participated in a Business Development Mission to India, hosted by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA).

Governor Phil Bryant, MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough Jr, and other local companies met with Indian businesses in September to discuss a joint development.

Mississippi has been selected by the Indian consulate as their primary relationship in the Southeast United States to help foster growth and development. Mississippi, especially Mississippi State University, is well known for its concentration in agricultural technology as well as its advancements in drones, battleships, and submarines.

The Chamber of Commerce for Mississippi has been working diligently to establish a partnership with not only the Indian government, but with specific Indian organizations. As India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the country has been looking towards the United States to help to fill gaps in existing infrastructure such as roads, dams, and buildings.

“The India business mission enabled leaders of Mississippi companies such as Multicraft abundant opportunities to gain access to the country’s booming marketplace,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “Mississippi’s business development missions allow our state’s business to showcase their products and services worldwide. These efforts generate jobs and new investment in quality, Mississippi-made goods.”

Multicraft International specifically met with over 40 engineering companies to help meet their own growing demands. To help supplement Multicraft’s own engineering team, Multicraft is forming relationships with Indian engineers to help with capabilities such as proof of concept, drawing, and testing.

Andrew Mallinson, CEO of Multicraft International, stated, “We hope to establish a partnership with India like we have done in Brazil and Italy. The wide range of Indian engineering companies was very impressive. We have a limit of how many projects we can take on simultaneously, so these additional resources would allow us to take on more ventures. Secondly, by working with Indian software developers, we would be able to improve our own internal manufacturing strengths like shop floor development.”

More information about Multicraft International is available at www.multicraft.com

About Multicraft International

Multicraft International is a privately held Mississippi based designer and manufacturer of world-class products for the automotive, outdoor power equipment, HVAC, industrial, and consumer industries. Founded in 1978, Multicraft manufactures products ranging from automotive break switches, magnetic engine components, engine cooling resistor assemblies, interior lighting, and various electronic controls.

 

WJTV 12 Films Special for Innovation Academy

WJTV 12 “What’s Working” visited Multicraft International to learn more about its Innovation Academy partnership with Pelahatchie High School.

Multicraft is working alongside Dr. Bryan Marshall, the principal of Pelahatchie High School, to enhance the education and training of Pelahatchie High School students interested in a technical field. The Academy, funded by the Rankin County School district, will provide a 2 year manufacturing course curriculum which will lead to an Industrial Maintenance Technology Certificate.

This program, free to students, will also count as college credit for students who want to pursue a 2 or 4 year degree. Through the two-year course study, Multicraft will sponsor paid internships during the students’ senior year along with a work study program during the summer before their senior year.

 

http://wjtv.com/2017/11/08/whats-working-multicrafts-partnership-with-pelahatchie-high-school/

Manufacturing Day-Interview with Andrew Mallinson

October 6th of every year is Manufacturing Day in the United States and Puerto Rico. The purpose of this day is to educate the public about manufacturing as well as celebrating manufacturing as a whole.

For Manufacturing Day, we sat down with Andrew Mallinson, CEO of Multicraft International, to learn more about his start in manufacturing, the challenges this industry faces as well as the involvement of Multicraft in the community.

Q:           How did you start in manufacturing?

A:            “My introduction with manufacturing started with Magna International in Canada which is a very large automotive parts company. I was doing consulting work for them in Toronto. They had operations in Toronto and the U.S. and I would visit the plants for a week or so at a time and would report back to the Magna Board on the state of affairs. That was my original introduction into manufacturing.”

Q:           What are some of the accomplishments that you are most proud of at Multicraft International?

A:            “Multicraft is a small tier-one manufacturer in a tough, competitive environment in the automotive sector. We grew from three manufacturing plants in Mississippi to eight in ten years, of profitable growth. Going from 500 people to 2,000 was a great accomplishment for the management team at Multicraft. It was great to do that in Mississippi where everyone helped us grow. Those were good, solid operations with good customers and a great workforce and that was a great credit to everyone involved.”

Q:           Manufacturing Day has five goals (taken from mfgday.com):

  1. Empower Manufacturers.
  2. Change Public Perceptions of Manufacturers.
  3. Introduce People to Manufacturing Careers.
  4. Draw Attention to the Roles Manufacturers Play in Their Communities.
  5. Underscore the Economic and Social Significance of Manufacturing.

What do you think are some of the misconceptions in manufacturing?

A:            “I agree. Manufacturing, historically, has been the engine of innovation in industry for hundreds of years and single-handedly caused the economic well being of countries all over the world, especially in the United States. Manufacturing might have a smoke stack association or a Ford production line of the 1920s- tough, forbidding environment- but in the 21st century, manufacturing is more about sophisticated product design, ergonomically designed processes, lots of robotics, artificial intelligence, and making products more reliable and more economically feasible. So, whenever people visit Multicraft manufacturing facilities they are always really surprised to find what’s behind the walls in terms of the nature of the workforce, the environment they work in, the specific jobs people have, and the technical competencies that are necessary to get the job done.

In manufacturing, the country has had some bumps in the road with recent recessions but nonetheless is an incredible contributor to the Gross Domestic Product and continues to be a leading employer. While a lot of people work in this environment, there are people outside of it that don’t exactly know what goes on. Therefore, Manufacturing Day is designed to let people peek behind the curtain and find out what real manufacturing looks like. It’s not all smoke and belching equipment. It’s much more sophisticated than that.”

Q:           Why do you think it is so challenging to educate the public about manufacturing, even to this day?

A:            “People have preconceptions; they’ve seen a movie or they have talked to a grandparent who was involved in old line manufacturing or mining- mining itself is a lot cleaner than it used to be- and so these images and preconceptions from media and literature aren’t offset by the reality of actually being involved. Many people don’t see any manufacturing operations. Manufacturing provides tremendous value, good employment, and good products for the population. Moving misconceptions about our image is well known to us in Mississippi and manufacturing has similar challenges. Everyone involved should be happy to pass on the good aspects of manufacturing so people can have a better understanding.

Q:           Another Manufacturing Day goal is to draw attention to the roles manufacturers play in their communities. Could you give an example of the role Multicraft has played in the community here?

A:            “We’re involved in supporting, as a sponsor and contributor, to numerous activities, but I think our greatest contribution is in allowing our people to become involved in community activities. And for ourselves, we are very pleased to be a sponsor and originator of Innovation Academy at Pelahatchie High School. Right now, students in 11th grade are being taught in a technical environment about job possibilities, technical training, going on to college and eventually working in the manufacturing world. Innovation Academy has been a great start to a further engagement with the community in manufacturing education.”

Q:           Do you have any updates on the program and what do you hope to see from Innovation Academy?

A:            “We had a tour this week by a group of students and they are very interested in the processes, equipment, and the methods used in manufacturing the products we use today. That class will move on to 12th grade next year, and in that year almost half of the school week will be spent interning at Multicraft’s facilities, working side by side with experienced professionals in the manufacturing sector. This is allowing them to further their education and attain a degree of certification for their experience at Multicraft, which will count as community college credits. This will enable them to graduate with higher job opportunity possibilities than had they not gone through our program. That is very exciting to us and hopefully will lead to a bunch of Multicraft employees! But if not, we are still thrilled with the process.”

Q:           Where do you see manufacturing as a whole going towards in the future, and more specifically, Multicraft International?

A:            “Manufacturing is a global concern, activities all around the world. I was in India for two weeks earlier this month, and manufacturing is growing leaps and bounds. There are tremendous capabilities for the engineering and design point of view in India including investments. This is the same in China- there is a rise in manufacturing there. In America, manufacturing is also on the rise because the production of products in the technology sector is rapidly increasing along with every other sector. As the economy grows, there is more demand, so it is a steadily growing environment.

For Multicraft, we are aligned with the automotive industry, which is in fairly good shape at the moment. It’s a cyclical industry, but at the moment volumes are high. 70 million cars are manufactured in America each year so we are expanding on our automotive footprint to commercial, consumer, and other products which should lead to us providing more manufacturing content in our existing plants, and further development in the future. We are in a good shape for the diversification of the manufacturing sector.”

More information about Manufacturing Day can be found at MFGDAY.com.

For more information on Multicraft International, visit www.multicraft.com.

Multicraft Ventures – Grand Opening Highlight Video

Multicraft Ventures, LLC celebrated the opening of a newly renovated 40,000 sq. ft. facility in the Pelahatchie Industrial Park on June 26th, 2017.  Ventures is a design and engineering company that is staffed by executives from the Multicraft parent. The company functions as a launch platform that aims to work with entrepreneurs and inventors with developing products for market in a streamlined process.

 

Dee Teague- #FamilyFriday

This week we are featuring Dee Teague. Dee has been our Accounting Clerk for almost 5 years. Dee lives in Pelahatchie with her husband Glenn. In her free time she enjoys helping others. You can find her taking others to the doctor, helping people move, or cooking the occasional lunch for the Multicraft team.

Dee is very passionate about Multicraft. She explained, “It’s a close-knit family. You can ask anyone anything and they’ll help you. It doesn’t matter what position you are in the company. When you ask for help, they’ll be there. If I hear of someone in need of something, I’ll go search for it.”

We are so glad that Dee is a part of our Multicraft Family!

Chris Schooler- #FamilyFriday

Chris Schooler is our Research and Development Manager at Multicraft International. He started his career with our team as a co-op engineering student in 1992. Earning his Industrial Technology degree from Mississippi State University, Chris has vast experience in product design and development, equipment design and automation, and has been the lead engineer on a multitude of new automotive component designs and launches.

Chris resides in Brandon, MS, with his wife Sharron. In his free time he enjoys working on home improvement projects as well as woodworking. He also enjoys spending time at the English Motoring Club with his father.

Chris has fond memories of working with Multicraft. He explained, “I grew up with all these people. We had picnics that I would take my kids too.”

He is also very passionate about his job. He especially enjoys seeing products come to life. “I like that if I think of a design, I can write it on a napkin, draw it up, develop a prototype and put it into testing. This is a way to see exactly what a customer needs and execute it,” he replied.

“For me to not have to move to Michigan and to have an opportunity like this in Mississippi..is a great thing.”

We are so glad that Chris is a member of the Multicraft Family!

Joe Ashker #FamilyFriday

Joe Ashker is the Special Projects Manager of Multicraft International. He spent the last 22 years as our Materials Manager. Joe graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi with a Marketing degree but had a passion for working with customers and suppliers while also solving issues within the company. Joe and his wife Peggy are residents of Sandhill, Mississippi. In his free time he loves to travel and do any outdoor activity like hunting and fishing.

His response on Multicraft’s company culture was simple. “”Most of the people that are here I’ve been working with since the beginning. We are family.”

We are glad that Joe is a pivotal part of our family!