Member Spotlight - Todd Wenzel

July 2016

Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features an outstanding member sharing his/her insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

Todd Wenzel
PMA is pleased to highlight Todd Wenzel, president of TCR, Inc., Wisconsin Rapids, WI. TCR is a turnkey provider and systems integrator for the metalforming industry—whether a company needs to improve existing equipment or requires an entire new production system.

Read Todd's thoughts about game-changing metalforming technology, what keeps him up at night as a metalformer, and more!

Q: What is on your wish list for your shop this year (i.e., a new piece of equipment) and why?
A: Another truck and equipment trailer with a complete set of tools. The service department is growing and we will need another complete setup so that we can support more installation work in more locations simultaneously.

Q: What do you see as a technology game-changer for metalformers?
A: Two technologies to handle the ever-increasing percentage of high-yield-strength steels spreading in markets beyond automotive. First is the servo-press technology to make these high-strength materials formable in the tools. Second is new straightener technology, required so that coiled steel can be flattened and relieved of internal stresses to allow the manufacture of good parts while not destroying the straighteners, which are being subjected to higher forces than ever before.

Q: What would be on the agenda of your ideal metalforming conference?
A: To prepare a plan to strengthen manufacturing in the United States. We would discuss how to increase awareness in the general population of how important manufacturing is to the economy, how it is a great career path with real earning potential, and how much manufacturing is still here in the United States. The goal of the conference would be to raise the profile of manufacturing and encourage motivated hardworking people to enter this field at all levels of the organization chart.

Q: As a metalformer, what keeps you up at night and why?
A: The work to impose tariffs on imported steel. While there is a desire to protect U.S. steel manufacturers, it is important to note that there are many times more people working in plants that consume metal. Those jobs are threatened if raw material purchased here in the United States is not competitive globally. Also, high tariffs on raw material significantly impact prices for consumers of products that are still made here, which applies yet more pressure to export manufacturing jobs and import cheaper end products.

Q: What was the best piece of business advice you were ever given?
A: You must be honest all the time, and it is especially important to be honest with yourself. If your great new idea stinks on ice, kill it and move on. If the numbers show you are wrong, believe them and change. No outside competitor can damage you as much or as fast as self-sabotage caused by lying to yourself.

Q: If you could have a dinner party with three famous people (living or dead), who would you invite?
A: Jesus, George Washington and Thomas Sowell (Make it four and Duke Ellington is coming for dinner).

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