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Career Connections: Die Shop Manager

4 minutes

I'm the die shop manager, and my job is to oversee the die shop operations for die shop, cold die prep and warm die prep. Die shop manufactures the forging tools. Cold and warm die prep assemble the tools, inventory them, inspect them. They make sure that everything is ready for production when production needs to run that part. Hirschvogel is a manufacturer of forged and machine components, mostly for the automotive industry. We do have, particularly in this plant, we do have some products that go to other industries. Most cars on the road, you might find Hirschvogel parts in them, particularly in the transmission. I started with Hirschvogel 9 1/2 years ago in the product development department, and product development is responsible for bringing new parts into production. After product development, I went to the manufacturing engineering group and eventually made my way to die shop. I have a bachelor's and master's in mechanical engineering. For the engineering functions, they require an engineering degree. For the die shop position, a lot of my training has been on the job. I was in Germany several times at the main plant for training on various aspects of die shop operations. Also had a lot of training from my coworkers in the die shop on how things run and what the expectations should be from our performance and areas we could improve. I don't really look so much at advancement within Hirschvogel as I look at what I can do as a manager. There's many things I recognize as this company grows, not only just developing my own department and the equipment, but aspects in developing the people and the systems that support the people. That can be within my department and within other departments and within other managers. That's where my focus is, is how do we make Hirschvogel a stronger team at this point. We started a training program last year. It was modeled in part after the NIM certification, which is the National Institute for Metalworking skills, and the apprenticeship programs that are common in Germany. The headquarters in Germany has their own training program, their own training facilities. A number of people in Germany go through this program, including our engineering manager today. He started in their training program as a machinist when he was 14 and graduated into die shop when he was 18. So we have a model that we worked from and came up with a training program in conjunction with C-Tech to address our needs.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material mostly using a press. Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create. Products made with dies range from simple paper clips to complex pieces used in advanced technology, and die shop managers are the first-line supervisors of die shop machinists and other production and operation workers. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 4 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12