supposed to fail at a certain tensile strength, it’s supposed to yield at a certain tensile strength, it is supposed to have a certain percentage of elonga- tion, and there’s a reason for all that. I want him to know all those things, not just how to run a magnet over it to get a magnet full of pig iron and a magnet full of that other material.” Te best way Frazier & Frazier has

found to do this is through its focus on keeping managers and supervisors on the shop floor and emphasizing the team approach to decision mak- ing and training. “Te supervisor is supposed to be

right in the middle telling his people not just what to do but why to do what they are doing,” he said. “And they all understand about customer

service, from the janitor to the coremaker to the molder. Tey know who the customers are, what the parts are, and why they need to be done a certain way.”

Ewing said the teams at Frazier &

Frazier help instill a sense of com- munity in the plant that resonates to the surrounding area, as well. Coolidge is a small town with a population of 1,000 people in the mostly rural Limestone County, about an hour and a half south of Dallas. Frazier & Frazier Industries is one of the larger employers in the area and participates in many local drives, organizations and events. Ewing pulls out another letter also received that week. It’s from a community member, thanking the company for its involvement. “We pride ourselves in taking care

of the area, the community and the people here, as well,” she said. Frazier nodded. “Because that is

what you are supposed to do. People lose track of that.”

Smart Automation Te offices and buildings at Frazier

& Frazier are not fancy but the orga- nization runs sophisticated operational systems and keeps a bustling, well- staffed full metal and sand lab. Konico McLennan runs the IT

systems, and his job is to interface the company’s technology with the people who use it. McLennan has been at Frazier & Frazier for 16 years, and though his job is computer-based, he is required to be as present on the shop floor as the rest of the staff. His challenge is to improve the operation’s efficiency and quality through automa- tion while keeping the technology’s complexity commiserate with the abilities of the people using it. “We want a robot, but we want a

robot people can operation,” Frazier said. “We want a lab, but we want a lab people can understand.” McLennan tells the executive team

what’s possible to automate, and the team decides whether it’s an avenue best traveled. “We have to stay current but we

Frazier & Frazier Industries’ aim is to operate with continuous employee training in a team-based atmosphere.

28 | MODERN CASTING July 2017

don’t get too caught up in the tech- nology,” Frazier said. “It needs to be operator friendly.”

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