Member Spotlight - Aaron Wiegel

April 2017

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

Aaron Wiegel
PMA is pleased to highlight Aaron Wiegel, president, Wiegel Tool Works, Wood Dale, IL. For more than 75 years, Wiegel Tool Works has been a go-to metal stamping source for engineering-driven programs. The company serves the aerospace, appliance, automotive, construction and housing, electronics, lighting, military, solar and telecom industries.

Read Aaron's thoughts about game-changing metalforming technology, what is on his wish list for his shop, and more!

Q: As PMA is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2017, what do you value most from being a member?

A: Being a member of the PMA is crucial for our overall business at Wiegel Tool Works (WTW). The value-added networking, member services, and government engagement offered is crucial for not only WTW, but for the entire manufacturing industry. I embrace the PMA networking group that I have had the privilege of being involved in for over three years as I truly value the relationships I’ve made. Additionally, WTW often engages in many of the seminars organized by the PMA. I place a great value on the government relations offered through the PMA as I believe it is critical that we stay in front of our local and federal elected officials. These officials play a huge role in the success of manufacturing and we need a unified voice in order to tell them manufacturing’s message.

Q: What is on your wish list for your shop this year and why?

A: Wiegel Tool Works plans on growing its business by adding additional manufacturing capabilities along with expanding internationally. There has always been a lot of pressure in the global marketplace to be able to produce local content. WTW has always explored this option and hopes to make that a reality in 2017.

Q: What do you see as a technology game-changer for metalformers?

A: The game changer we see is the servo press technology in presses. For decades, the technology for presses never changed. Oftentimes, you had to spec out your machines with a set stroke length, which did not provide companies with a lot of versatility. Link motion came on the scene in the 2000s, which moved the needle for presses, but was not a game changer. From what we’ve seen so far, the servo technology is exactly what we needed. It allows manufacturers a lot more options when programming dies to specific applications. Now that the servo technology has been proven and strokes per minute have improved, we see this as an important investment.

Q: What would be on the agenda of your ideal metalforming conference?

A: • The ideal agenda for a metalforming conference is to continue to push the message of manufacturing to the next generation. We feel that a crisis is looming in our current workforce. As the baby boom generation retires off and less millennials enter the manufacturing workforce in the United States, it is a growing concern for Wiegel Tool Works and for the industry as a whole. We feel it is such a grave, long-term problem for our industry that it is up to the leaders of our industry to develop a strategic plan to fill this skills gap.

Q: What was the best piece of business advice you were ever given?

A: My dad once told me “you cannot manage what you cannot measure.” This is obvious in our industry as we measure everything we can in order to get a good pulse on the overall health of our companies.

Q: If you could have a dinner party with three famous people (living or dead), who would you invite?

A: 1. Otto Wiegel (my grandfather and founder of WTW, whom I’ve never met)
      2. Steve Jobs
      3. Ronald Reagan

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