Finding Ways to be Green

June 1, 2018

Atlas is excited about finding new ways to be green. Our vision is: Be responsive. Be innovative. Be an organization that matters to customers, employees and our community. We believe that mattering to our community includes being environmentally friendly. With most powder coating operations, there is overspray waste that often times ends up in landfills. According to surpluscoatings.com, it is estimated that there is enough waste powder paint sent to the landfill each year in the United States to bury New York City in seven feet of powder. That is just below the average annual snowfall of the whole state of Michigan. Atlas has taken the initiative to start recycling powder waste through Surplus Coatings in July 2016 and has kept a total of 28,990 pounds of powder waste out of the local landfills! Surplus Coatings re-manufactures, blends or mixes the powder waste so it can be used in a variety of new products.

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Taking Action on the Tariffs

April 26, 2018

 
Atlas is not sitting idle while manufacturing costs escalate. With this adversity comes creativity and change. A metal fabricator has three inputs into the process: material, human labor, and machine time. We see material continuing to increase and it has not plateaued yet. Human labor is pressuring for increased wages and benefits which add to the pricing pressure. But, our customers want costs to be contained and stable prices. To help combat the rising costs of material and labor, speed is our ally. Humans augmented with collaborative robots like Baxter and industrial robots help with labor costs. We currently utilize both technologies and carefully plan more implementation in 2018.
 
   
 
Investing in the machines that make the parts seems to be one input that can control costs. Over the last several years, Atlas has aggressively invested in automated Trumpf punching technology in both facilities, now boasting 4 Trumpf punch systems, three of them fully automated. This technology is the fastest punching technology in the world. The only variable we can control is to build the parts faster so that the machine run time costs less.
 
Once again, we are embarking on change by installing a 4kw fiber laser. With cut speeds up to 5x faster than CO2 technology, we plan to use this tool to help combat rising costs. The software to nest parts on the flat sheet is also key to minimizing scrap and obtaining maximum sheet density. We are also implementing Radan nesting software on the laser and punches so that our engineers can get the best sheet utilization possible.
We are diligently investing in technology to control production costs and combat the tariff increase.
 

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Congratulations to Mark Jackels on 40 years at Atlas!

April 25, 2018

 
We would like to congratulate Mark Jackels on his 40th work anniversary here at Atlas!
 
Mark started his journey at Atlas on April 24th, 1978. Over the last four decades, Mark has held several job titles including Machine Operator, Production Lead, Union Steward, Sales Estimator, Plant Manager and currently as our Senior Sales Engineer.
 
Please help us in congratulating Mark on a tremendous accomplishment!
 

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Silver Service Style for Record Sales at Chippewa Falls Facility

April 13, 2018

Record sales for the month of March is a reason to celebrate! Our amazing team worked hard to provide excellent customer service and products to all our clients and we are grateful to see increased sales as a result! We celebrated in silver service style at our plant with delicious food and drinks. A few unique dishes we enjoyed included stuffed pork loin with spinach and garlic, chicken marsala, roasted potatoes, and of course, a cupcake tower. Needless to say, we devoured the cupcakes in celebratory style. Thank you to all our clients and team members who helped us reach a new record!
 
 

 
 

 
 

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Tariffs Update

March 20, 2018

Update on Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

On March 8th, President Donald Trump signed two proclamations levying tariffs on imported aluminum and steel. White House officials say the tariffs are an essential matter of domestic and economic security, an argument that critics have rejected. The 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent charge on aluminum follow a pledge from Trump to revisit global trade deals, NAFTA in particular. The tariffs will take effect on March 23rd, 2018.

Atlas mass customizes flat sheet material into precision fabricated solutions. The steel and aluminum parts that Atlas produces will be significantly impacted by tariffs. Material pricing is highly volatile at present and prices have already been on the rise. Regardless of the actual results of the tariffs, mills and service centers that supply our material have implemented immediate and dramatic pricing increases on flat sheet products.

While we want to make sure that the tariffs are real and permanent, we also want to alert you to potential price increases created by these actions.

• Orders shipped in March will not be affected
• All open blanket orders will be reviewed for pricing
• New quotes will be honored for 7 days
• Orders placed and not delivered within 30 days may be subject to price increases prior to shipment

The media is full of information regarding the Section 232 tariffs and it is our intent to be transparent and current with pricing. For any questions or concerns, please email mark.engel@atlasmfg.com.

Articles relating to the steel and aluminum tariffs:

http://www.amm.com/Article/3794914/Section-232-exemption-process-rules-released.html
https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2018/03/us-department-commerce-announces-steel-and-aluminum-tariff-exclusion

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Roseville FireBears Robotics Team Inspires Community to use STEM

March 9, 2018

Sponsoring teams is one of the many ways Atlas gives back to the community. We are excited to be sponsoring the 2018 Roseville FireBears Robotics Team, marking it our fifth year of partnership with FireBears. We help to provide Roseville Area High School students with real world experience by creating fabricated sheet metal parts for their CAD models and designs. The FireBears Robotics team focuses on using Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and makes it a goal to show the importance of engineering and science to the community.

This experience is as close to real world engineering as high school students can receive. The FIRST Robotics Competition requires students to design, build and program industrial-size robots to play a challenging field game, and are challenged to raise funds to support their efforts. Students gain experience by solving problems with multiple solutions and are inspired to make the world a better place by applying their education to robotics. In 2017, over 3000 teams from around the world participated in the FIRST Championship.

We want the students to be able to see the fabrication process from start to finish. Not only do we work with students and mentors from the CAD team to discuss the robot design, we also suggest ways to improve the design and schedule the fabrication. A tour of our factory is also offered to the students, so they can learn how the parts are fabricated based on their CAD models.

The Roseville FireBears are embarking on their 10th competition season in 2018. The team consists of 46 students, grades 9 -12, and 12 adult mentors with industry experience in programming, electronics, fabrication, CAD, marketing and more. In the fall, students practice and prepare for the upcoming 6.5 week-long build season which begins the first Saturday of the new year. As a result of the Atlas and FireBears partnership, the team has seen increased success in competition since 2014. In 2016, the FireBears won their first trip to the World Championship and have won two Imagery awards and an Industrial Design award. Learn more about the 2018 FireBears here!

Good luck to the Roseville FireBears Robotics Team on their upcoming competitions this season!

UPDATE
The 2018 FireBears have made history! For the first time, the Roseville FireBears have made it to the Minnesota State High School League Championships on May 19th. The event will be held at Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. In addition, the FireBears won a trip to the World Championships in Detroit on April 25 – 28th! We are proud to have sponsored these young men and women in their historic journey – Congratulations!

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2018 “Super Heroes on Ice” Fishing Event

February 14, 2018

Atlas Manufacturing participated in the annual EACFILIFIT-2018 Super Heroes on Ice Fishing Tournament with some of our customers and employees while enjoying drinks on the lake. The event is a way to get employees and coworkers together to have a fun afternoon full of food, fun and fishing.

Our team this year was the ‘Metal Men’ based on the Marvel character Thor.  After Metal Men took home the gold, they showcased their Thor Hammers that were laser etched and finished in our own facility.

We landed three fish, largest perch and our northern was inched out by another fish losing the largest fish award.  We left with the longest cape award and furthest travelled team member (India).

Our customers and employees are the core of our business. This years’ ice fishing event was a great way to connect with them outside of the business.

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Atlas Adds TruPunch 2000 at Chippewa Falls Site

August 4, 2017

Atlas Manufacturing strives to provide our customers with great support through best-in-class metal forming equipment that provides quality and cost efficient sheet metal fabrications. Through efforts to continuously improve, Atlas has added a TruPunch 2000 in the Chippewa Falls facility to supplement the three Trumpf punches in the Minneapolis facility. This machine offers reliability and redundant backup, as well as flexibility to move work between the two sites, improving Atlas’s ability to handle your big projects.

The TruPunch 2000, equipped with several features including a brush table, offers part production without scratches. It is installed with automation that allows the machine to load blank sheets and unload parts without operator interaction. The TruPunch 2000 is capable of performing advanced forming, punching, countersinking, and thread rolling functions.

Contact us to learn more about the punching capabilities we offer!

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Sheet Metal Fabrication

July 31, 2017

Atlas Manufacturing provides sheet metal fabrication to a wide range of industries in an even wider range of applications. While our processes and equipment are best in class, it is our equipment and culture that truly sets us apart from the competition. We support the entrepreneur through the volume manufacturer and we specialize in working with OEMs on their Sheet Metal Fabrication needs.

Sheet metal fabrication is used to provide durable metal parts and assemblies for a plethora of applications. Our capabilities provide the means necessary to fabricate metal parts according to any specification our clients may require. Atlas provides a just-in-time solution that is cost-effective and offers a full complement manufacturing processes custom finishes, many material options. Our sheet metal finishes include powder coating, chromate conversion, anodizing, and many mills or prefinished options. In addition, materials range from cold and hot rolled steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and specialty materials including pre-painted steel. No matter what project we are working on for our clients, we enjoy a fun challenge and always assure exceptional results!

Our sheet metal fabrication process capabilities include laser cutting, punching, stamping, forming, welding, and assembly. Whether you need precise dimensions, intricate designs, low cost or high tolerance products, we respond accordingly. Every process step in our sheet metal fabrication plant can be tailored to specific requirements, industries or assembly needs of our clients.

Contact us to offer a challenging sheet metal fabrication project and we will provide you with an exceptional product!

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2017 FireBears Robotic Team

May 19, 2017

One of the ways Atlas gives back to the community is sponsoring the Roseville FireBears FIRST Robotics Team. 2017 marks the fourth year of our partnership with the FireBears. We provide a real world experience for the Roseville Area High School students to take their CAD models from ideas to fabricated sheet metal parts.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is called the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship. In 2017, over 3000 teams from around the world participated. Minnesota has 208 teams. More information can be found at https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc.

The 2017 challenge was called FIRST STEAMWorks. The game this year was made with the concept of getting a steam powered airship ready to take flight. Robots needed to bring gears to their alliance’s airships and the human players would place the gears and turn the rotors for points. Robots were responsible for getting fuel into the boilers to power the airships. At the end of the match, the robot needed to climb a rope and activate a light at the top of the climb to prepare the robot for takeoff. A video animation of the game is here: https://youtu.be/EMiNmJW7enI

The Roseville FireBears just completed their 9th competition season. The team consists of 13 volunteer mentors. Mentors are adults with industry experience in fabrication, electronics, programming, CAD and marketing. This year, the FireBears had 41 students ranging from freshmen to seniors. These students are split up into 5 subteams (CAD, Mechanical, Electrical, Programming and Marketing). The students practice in the fall to prepare them for the 6.5 week long Build Season, which begins the first Saturday of the new calendar year. Team website here: http://firebears.org

  

As part of this sponsorship, Atlas provides a factory tour to the team during the summer or fall when the team isn’t quite so busy. When the Build Season starts, Atlas meets multiple times with the students and mentors from the CAD team to review the robot design, suggest ways to improve and simplify the design for fabrication, and to schedule fabrication and powdercoating. Atlas provides these parts and services so the students learn how things are done in the real world and to be better prepared for college and careers.

Since Atlas and the FireBears formed their partnership in 2014, the team has seen greater competition success. The FireBears won their first trip to the World Championship in 2016. They have won an Industrial Design award and two Imagery awards.

From the team: “For fun our team made different signs to go on the underside of our robot for each match. We knew we would be climbing so we made 20 different messages. No one else had this idea and it was fun to see the excitement on the field and in the stands when we climbed as everyone wanted to know what our next message would be. Of course one of our signs said “Thank You Sponsors” because without them, we wouldn’t have a team and be able to give students an application for what they learn in the STEM fields in school. Thank you for helping us make another beautiful robot!”

An exciting match with our team, the FireBears: https://youtu.be/FVTSQbJjr9E

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