Finding the Right Employees

Great Blog story from VIBCO Industrial Vibrators.

Why VIBCO Supports the SAMI Program

by Mike Emiliani | Feb 03, 2015

Finding great manufacturing employees is hard work. Finding great manufacturing employees who fit, and who are ready, willing and able to be part of a high-functioning lean culture is even harder.

Thank goodness for our excellent partnership with the New England Institute of Technology’s SAMI program

Last Friday morning, VIBCO’s CMO Linda Kleineberg, and Machine Operator Antone Cherry, spoke to the Governor’s Workforce Board of Rhode Island to share their experiences with the SAMI (Shipbuilding/Marine Trades and Advance Manufacturing Institute) program. Their primary message was that SAMI provides exceptional value for both employers and unemployed/underemployed workers, and that their success is driven by the SAMI staff’s genuine desire to help Rhode Islanders find meaningful work.

The SAMI program (short for Shipbuilding/Marine Trades and Advanced Manufacturing Institute) is a program operated by the New England Institute of Technology and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program began in February 2013 with a 2.5 million dollar Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Training (TAACCCT) grant from the United States Department of Labor. The program’s focus is to train unemployed Rhode Islanders and provide them with the trade skills RI employers currently need.  Their mission is to develop a “pipeline of skilled workers for Rhode Island’s marine and manufacturing industries” with a focus on welders and machinists.

Through partnerships with employers around the state of Rhode Island, SAMI has played an important role in helping Rhode Island manufacturing businesses find needed talent for their operations, including VIBCO’s.

Antone, a VIBCO employee and SAMI Graduate, hired through a work immersion experience funded by the Governor’s Workforce Board of RI, stood in front of the Board and the audience to share his story. He explained how participating in the SAMI Program has changed his life. Antone had driven a fork lift for 10 years before SAMI and VIBCO. Long hours at multiple jobs meant that he was not able to be present for his family. He shared that his new career in machining would allow him to support his family and spend more time with his children – a win-win-win for everyone.

Click Here to continue reading via VIBCO Industrial Vibrators Blog.

AutoCAD: Working between drawing files

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

While working from one drawing to another you may want to reuse geometry from one drawing to another. Here I will cover a few ways that you can quickly transfer / copy geometry from between drawings.

(Reference to Geometry = anything placed in the drawing, Blocks, Annotation, data placed in with the Draw and Insert commands…..)

Preliminary steps to take to set up the drawings to easily work between them.

Step One:

Set up the drawings you are working between be visible on the screen. My preference is to Tile the drawings Vertically. There is also the options to Tile Horizontally or to Cascade them.

View tab

Interface Panel

Tile Vertically

Step Two:

Orientate your drawings so you are working in the area of the geometry you wish to work with from one drawing to the other drawing area you are placing the items into.

*Only one drawing can be active at a time. The Title area of the drawing is highlighted to represent the active drawing. To make a drawing active Click in the drawing area or select the Title area of the drawing.

Tile Vertically 1

The drawings are ready to work between:

1st Option: Pick, Hold, Drag and let go…

1. Make sure the drawing you are copying the data from is Active.
2. Select all of the geometry that is to brought into the other drawing, (no command active)
a. With the Pick box select somewhere on any of that geometry avoiding all grips.
b. Drag the geometry into the other drawing and place it in the drawing by letting go of the mouse button.
*This option allows a quick copy to be brought into the drawing with no option for an exact point of placement.

2nd Option: Clipboard: This is a Windows feature not an AutoCAD command.

1. Make sure the drawing you are copying the data from is Active.
2. Select all of the geometry that is to brought into the other drawing, (no command active)
3. Right –Click the mouse to bring up the Pop up window. Select Clipboard.
Here you have four options:

Cut: this option Deletes the selected data and places it onto the Clipboard. Make
the other drawing active, Right –Click then choose how you want to place in the geometry, Paste, Paste as a Block, Paste to original Coordinates.

Copy: this option makes a Copy of the selected data and places it onto the Clipboard
(When selecting data created in other applications this is a better option to use.) Make the other drawing active, Right –Click then choose how you want to place in the geometry, Paste, Paste as a Block, Paste to original Coordinates.

Copy with Base Point: this option makes a Copy of the selected data and places it onto
the Clipboard, but prompts you to select a new Base Point – select a Base Point. (also known as a Handle). This Base Point is where your crosshairs will be attached to the data when you place it into the other drawing. Make the other drawing active, Right –Click then choose how you want to place in the geometry, Paste, Paste as a Block, Paste to Original Coordinates.

Paste: Prompts you for an Insertion Point. (as the Insert Command) Select a location
to place the data. Brings in a copy of the copied data.

Paste as a Block: Same as Paste but groups the data together as a Block and AutoCAD
defines the name of the block.

Paste to Original Coordinates: Right-Click select this option and the data placed onto
the Clipboard is now copied onto the drawing in the Original Coordinates that it originated from.

Clipboard 2
Clipboard 1
3rd Option: Typing options

CTRL+C: Select the geometry to copy, from the keyboard select CTRL then C button. This
places the selected data to the Clipboard.

CTRL+V: Brings in the copied data from the Clipboard and prompts for an Insertion point.

*Keep in mind these options will also work within the same drawing. While working within the same drawing using AutoCAD commands (copy) and options usually offer faster results.

*If the information you want to recall into a new drawing is saved as a block in your block library, another approach would be to use the INSERT command to insert it into your drawing.

AutoCAD: A New Start Up screen to AutoCAD 2015

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

The Start Up screen is connected to all New Tabs and offers two options, the LEARN and CREATE screen. This feature replaces the Welcome window in previous releases.

Here is the breakdown of the NEW TAB pages.

CREATE page you will find:

  1. Getting Started: Where you open or start drawings.
    • Start drawing: (blue box) this opens a new drawing using the ACAD.DWT template.
    • Template: drop down arrow, this displays AutoCAD’s predefined templates, and also allows the creation of a new Sheet Set.
    • Open Files…: access to existing Drawing files.
    • Open a Sheet Sheet…: access to existing Sheet Sets.
    • Get More Templates On Line: Brings you to AUTODESK Knowledge Network web site right to the Download tab for many template files.
    • Explore Sample Drawings: This brings you into the Sample directory that is installed when AutoCAD is installed.
  2.  Recent Documents: quick access to the latest documents used. These DWG files can be pinned.
  3. Connect:Autodesk 360 and Feedback
    • Autodesk 360: In short this is AutoCAD’s Cloud storage option – you must register before you are able to access this option.
    • Feedback: Brings you right into AUTODESK’s Contact Us page where you can leave feedback/comment of your AutoCAD experience. They are looking for an email address, Country, Product, Product Release Number and then your Comments. In hopes to improve their products.

CREATE page:

Create Screen 1
LEARN page you will find:

  1. What’s New: A video that shows an overview of new key features.
  2.  Getting started: Videos explaining the new User Interface, Creating and Modifying Objects.
  3.  Feature Video: Videos covering new features.
  4. Tip: Brings you out to the AUTODESK COMMUNITY web site that offers 20 to 40 minute interactive webinars if you subscribe, if you don’t subscribe you can preview past webinars along with the Q&A from those webinars.
  5. Online Resources: There are three areas to choose from which all offer online information of AutoCAD topics.
    • Hitchhicker’s – AutoCAD basic information
    • AUTODESK – Brings you to the Knowledge Network that offers SUPPORT, LEARNING, and online COMMUNITY.
    • Lynda.com – additional tutorials / 30 day free trial

LEARN page:

Learn screen 2
* When in an open drawing and you want to access the CREATE page select a new drawing Tab at the top of the drawing window. This opens up the CREATE page.

It Must Be Fate!

Mason Brouillette, left, with SAMI lead instructor, Todd Sposato

Mason Brouillette, left, with SAMI lead instructor, Todd Sposato

Mason Brouillette is like many 19 year old young men trying to determine their future career.  He knew he wanted to learn a hands-on occupation but was uncertain which career to pursue.  Then his mother, Jane, told him about a program she heard about where he could learn the advanced manufacturing skills needed to be a machinist. There was a history of machinists in their family because Mason’s Uncle Steven was working towards his apprenticeship 27 years ago. Unfortunately, Mason’s uncle never completed his apprenticeship because he was killed in a car accident in 1985. Mason decided to follow in his dear Uncle Steven’s footsteps.

Mason attended the advanced manufacturing orientation at NEIT’s Shipbuilding/Advanced Manufacturing Institute, SAMI. He was accepted into the program and began classes in July with lead instructor, Todd Sposato. Mason was a quick learner, and after several weeks of hands-on classes in the SAMI lab, Mason was ready to continue his training with a local manufacturing company, Colonial Tool, in Coventry, RI. Soon after his training began, the company offered Mason a permanent position.  Mason along with his instructors and family were thrilled.

Machinists use their own set of tools on the job so Mason asked his grandmother if he could use his Uncle Steven’s tools. She gladly turned the toolbox over to Mason which had been stored in her basement for the past 27 years. Mason brought the toolbox to class and asked Mr. Sposato to help him restore the toolbox and re-calibrate the tools. Looking through the toolbox, they found his uncle’s apprenticeship log book.  When Mr. Sposato read the log, he realized that he knew Steven back in the 1980’s when they were both completing their apprenticeships.  As Sposato stated, “Mason and I felt an instant connection.”  He told Mason that he bought supplies at a company in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, where his uncle worked and the two of them would chat. Then one day when Mr. Sposato returned to the supply company, Steven was no longer working there. He never knew what happened to him, until now.

When Mason told his grandmother that Mr. Sposato knew his uncle, she immediately called Jane who stated, “That night when I received a call from my mother, and she told me Mr. Sposato read Steven’s apprenticeship log book and realized that he knew him. The sound in my mother‘s voice was amazing.  She sounded alive again.”  Mason’s mother later sent the following message to Mr. Sposato, “This is not a coincidence! This was meant to be! The SAMI program is not only a wonderful opportunity for Mason, but it has meant much more to us as a family. I can’t thank you enough for what you did for Mason.  The entire SAMI process has been such a positive family changing experience.”

AutoCAD: A new look for 2015, AutoCAD 2015 that is

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Darker Theme:

When AutoCAD 2015 first opens you will notice it visually has a darker theme. The Drawing and Ribbon (interface) area now offer less of a contrast to each other and blend into one another. 

This is how AutoCAD 2015 looks with an initial install /no modifications. Dark theme.

Darker theme 1

Some people are willing to accept change others are not. For those who are not so open to change AutoCAD never takes away features and or options (they may nest them away and make it hard to locate) so the user can usually access previous features or preference.

The Darker theme can be changed to a Light theme. Here’s how.

  1. Open the Options dialog box:
  2. Where to access the Options dialog box
    1. Found at the bottom of the Application menu:
    2. Right –Clicking in the drawing area and it is found at the bottom of the pop up menu.
  1. Select the Display Tab
  2. Color Scheme found right below the section Window Elements.
    1. This is a drop down with two options Dark or Light. Select your options select Apply at the bottom of the dialog box and the change happens instantly.
    2. Select OK to close the dialog box.

Darker theme 2

Light Theme:

AutoCAD 2015 with the theme changed to the Light option. Notice the Ribbon and Status Bar areas are lighter.

Darker theme 3

This feature is all about preference: the concept with the new Dark theme is to add continuity and may help reduce eye strain.

AutoCAD: Delete Duplicate Objects also known as the Overkill command

Need help cleaning up a drawing? Sometimes extra geometry can sabotage your drawing efforts by slowing you down or in the case of overlapping geometry you may snap to an incorrect point unknowingly. Now measurements may be off. 

The command Delete Duplicate Objects removes duplicate or overlapping geometry. This command responds to Lines, Arcs and Polylines and will combine partially overlapping or contagious geometry.

Where to access this command:

In the Home tab, Modify drop down panel, Overkill 1

Or at the Command line type in OVERKILL. (Not case sensitive.)

Overkill 2

Options once in the command:
Overkill 3
In the video the duplicate lines and arcs are on Layer 1 “color Magenta” as to stand out a bit to be screen. The option Layer in the Ignore object property: must be selected in order for the geometry to be located. The selection of those options will vary depending on the geometry and how it was placed into the drawing.

*At the Select Objects prompt: using the default Crossing Window option helps ensure that everything that is touching or encompassed within that window will be selected.

AutoCAD: Attributed Blocks keeping order

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Creating a block with multiple Attributes and making sure you are prompted in the order you want to be prompted in, may take time upfront when creating the block but in the long run will save you and your company time which in turn is a money saver. 

*Attributes are a huge time saver and helps keep consistency within the drawings. I refer to Attributes as intelligent text. Attributes are text that is associated to a block definition and can be modified as needed.

Here we will discuss the steps to make sure the prompts for the Attributed Blocks are in the order the creator wants them to be. 

The key to this is when creating the block to select the Attributes in the order you want to be prompted. This prompt sequence shows up in the Command line, with in the Attribute Editor dialog box, when you insert the Attributed Block or edit the Block at a later time.

Process:

Step one: Draw the geometry (if applicable) of the item to be blocked.

          Step two: Add the Attributes that are needed. (ATTDEF   1 Attdef Located in the Home Tab / Block Panel drop down) needed.

Step Three: Create the Block – First select all geometry and non-Attribute information. Second using the Pick Selection option select the Attributes One at a time in the order you want them to list.

Step Four: Test the Attributed Block out and make any corrections if needed.

Step 1 and 2:

The geometry is created and the Attributes are defined as the X. This is the TAG section that must be filled in when creating an Attribute.

The X was my choice in hopes that it would stand out for this image.

2 Attributes placed ready to be blocked

Step 3:

Using either the Block or WBlock Command create the block definition. Keep in mind (select all geometry and data first then, while still in the command select the Attributes one at a time in the order you want the prompts to go.

Step 4:

Checking the Block to make sure the Attributes are where they are needed and to make sure the prompt sequence is correct.

Here displays the Attributes defined per the company’s and drawings information.

3 Block with Attributes filled in

This Block contains 14 Attributes:

ATTDIA: is a system variable with the toggle of 0 or 1. When set to 0 the Attribute prompt will display at the Command Line, when set to 1 this opens up the Attribute Editor dialog box when a Block containing Attributes is inserted. To get the second page to display select Next. (See example below) 

This shows the Attribute prompt set up for the above block. The left side is the prompt the user added when defining the Attributes, the right side is the information added once the drawing is created.

4 Attribute Editor5 Attribute Editor

* Always save your Block(s) / WBlock(s) in a directory that everyone has access to. This is a time save – others won’t have to duplicate what has already been completed and will keep consistent within the companies drawings. 

Attributes can be defined by themselves or with geometry, the key to success is they must be selected within a Block / WBlock to function.

AutoCAD: Calculate the Area

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

No math involved: Calculate the Area, find out the Perimeter of your geometry quickly.

Need to make sure the new tank will fit into the open space, want to calculate the square footage before a rug install, or figure out how much material will be wasted?

The AREA Command:

AREA command allows quick calculation of the area and perimeter geometry.

Where to access of the AREA command:

Ribbon:            Home Tab, Utilities Panel, Measure Button drop down, select Area.

Command Line: type in AREA or MEASUREGEOM (If you can remember) then enter. Either approach offers the same command options.

*Area is a running command, meaning it does not finish by itself you need to finalize or stop the command. When you are done you either select the ESC (escape key) or select the eXit option in the command options line or type an X in the command line and then enter.

Steps to calculate the area of a geometry: *this only works when the geometry is straight lines. (see video 1)

Command: Area

Select the endpoints of the lines: Working your way around the geometry (clockwise or counter clockwise either direction works, the selection cannot overlap itself)

AutoCAD fills in the area with a light green display to help make sure the area being selected is what the user is looking for.

Enter once, the area has been completely selected.

The Area, Perimeter even Length information is displayed within the command line


*Change this geometry into Polyline and the process is quicker. You can utilize the Object option which allows a single selection of the entity.

Steps to calculate the area of an object. Geometry that are polylines  (see video 2)
Command: Area
Enter to start the Object (command option) – this is the default option so  it does not have to be selected.
Bring your cursor into the drawing and select the Object / polyline to be calculated.
Enter
The Area, Perimeter even Length information is displayed within the command line


*When calculating geometry with arcs or curves the geometry must be converted into a Polyline (one entity) as the area command doesn’t calculate arcs when selecting individual points on the screen but will when selecting an Object which a polyline is considered to be.

Steps to calculate the area of complex object containing arc (see video 3)
Command: Area
Enter to start the Object (command option) – this is the default option so it does not have to be selected.
Bring your cursor into the drawing and select the Object / polyline to be calculated.
Enter
The Area and Perimeter is displayed within the command line


Steps to calculate the area of an object that contains an areas either being taken up by another solid or a void where a piece has been removed, (Islands)
This process includes additional steps that must be followed in exact order. Think of it as a mathematical problem, start (ADD area) with the largest number (in this case the largest object) then (SUBTRACT area) the smaller number (in this case the smaller geometry items inside the larger geometry) to be removed from the calculation.

Steps to calculate the area containing Islands (see video 4)
Command: Area
Add area
Object – select the outer / largest Objects
Enter
Subtract area
Object – select the interior / smaller Objects


Note:
GREEN filled in area represents the area being calculated.
RED filled in area represents the area being removed from the calculation.

Ways to access the Area Command options are either typing from the keyboard the capitalized and blue letter of the option, selecting the option with the cursor that are listed within the Command Line prompts or by Right-Clicking and selecting the command options from the popup window.

AutoCAD: How the Ribbon displays

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Has your Ribbon display accidentally changed or worst disappeared?

The Ribbon can display as one of four different ways and also can be turned off.

  1. Minimize to Tabs: Only Tab Titles are displayed.
  2. Minimize to Panel Titles: Only Tab and Panel Titles are displayed.
  3. Minimize to Panel Buttons: Only Tab Titles and Panel Buttons are displayed.
  4. Show Full Ribbon: All Tab Titles, Panels and Buttons display.

Ribbon 1Ribbon 2Ribbon 3Ribbon 4

To quickly cycle through the Ribbon display options select the small rectangular button with a black arrow in it, located at the end of the Ribbon Tabs. This automatically cycles through the Ribbons when selected.

Ribbon 5

To select these options from a drop down list select the drop down arrow at the end of the Ribbon Tabs.

Ribbon 6

Cycle Through All: Cycles through the all four ribbon displays.

*To Display or not to Display the Ribbon:

From the Command Line: type in (not case sensitive) RIBBONCLOSE and Enter. This is automatic, and the Ribbon is turned off.

Turn the Ribbon back on type in RIBBON and Enter. The Ribbon automatically appears.

From the Ribbon: Right click in a blank area on the Ribbon just past the Tabs. A pop up window appears with the option to Close. Select and the Ribbon turns off.

*The Ribbon by default is located at the top of the screen just below the Title Bar. The user can undock the Ribbon and relocate it to a side or even in the middle of the drawing area.

SAMI Receives Its Second $2.5 Million Grant

New England Tech has received its second $2.5 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand programs currently offered through the college’s Shipbuilding/Marine Advanced Manufacturing Institute (SAMI), located at the college’s Post Road campus. This additional $2.5 million will allow SAMI to offer new programs that will include Shipfitting, Pipe Welding, Sheetmetal, Pipefitting and Robotics.

SAMINEIT’s initial $2.5 million TAACCCT Grant awarded in March, 2013, is slated to train 400 SAMI participants with the technical skills needed in the shipbuilding/marine and advanced manufacturing industries Now, an additional 200 Rhode Island residents who are either unemployed, underemployed, TAA-eligible, veterans, and/or recent high school graduates will be served through the increased funding. More than 140 individuals are currently enrolled or have completed SAMI’s welding or advanced manufacturing programs, and the majority of program completers have been hired by SAMI employer partners.