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Yarde Metals Hosts PRT Event for Incoming PMPA 1st Vice President Mike Reader

Nov 08, 2017

After spending the first day of their east coast trip navigating rain and fog, incoming 1st Vice President, Mike Reader, Precision Plus, and Executive Director, Bernie Nagle were treated to a splendid Fall week of travels in New England. On Thursday evening of that week, a President’s Roundtable meeting was graciously hosted by Matt Smith, CEO of Yarde Metals in Southington, CT. The meeting featured a presentation by PMPA Workforce Development ManagerSterling Gill III, as he explained the workings of PMPA’s new Online Aptitude Testing & Precision Machining Training program. Following Sterling’s presentation, the Yarde folks took our group on a tour of their remarkable facility. We extend deep appreciation to Matt Smith, Josh Siefken, Jay Gawitt and the entire Yarde team for their hospitality. If you get an opportunity to tour this amazing facility, do not pass it up!

Yarde Event

Yarde event 2 Yarde event SGIII

Member visits started out in Watertown at Prime Engineered Components, where Mike and Bernie were hosted by CEO, Dennis Izzo, Brian Smith and Kathy Dibble. Following a discussion of the company’s history, Kathy conducted a tour of their clean and well-organized shop, where Mike and Bernie got to see a whole bunch of Davenports and some very impressive bowl-fed visual inspection systems. This shop is always tour-ready and well run. Next year Brian promises to show us their other plant as well.

Prime, Dennis, Brian, Kathy, Mike

In Waterbury, Mike and Bernie stopped in to see Eric and Rob Somma at Somma Tool Co. Eric’s shop is a perennial stop on this east coast tour. It is hard to match Eric’s warm welcome, constant smile and quick wit. We always enjoy stopping by to see the complex work they do and the seriously cool electronic gadgetry they have created. No hot dogs or chocolate factory this year…Eric, you’re slipping!

 Somma, Eric, Mike

Up the road about 45 minutes, in the idyllic town of Winsted, our travelers arrived at Fairchild Auto-Mated Parts. Warmly greeted by Fairchild President and consummate gentleman, Jake Thompson, Mike and Bernie were treated to a short presentation on the business and a tour of Jake’s ultra-space-efficient shop. If there were a prize for getting the absolute most out of every square inch, Jake wins hands-down. Yet despite the proximity of machines, the shop is very neat and well cared for. Following the plant tour, Jake’s lovely wife, Tara, served homemade wedding soup at their lake cottage. Can it possibly get any better?

 Mike, Tara, Jake

Most everyone knows that Bristol, CT is the HQ town of ESPN, but even more importantly, it is also where DaCruz Manufacturing calls home. Fresh off a successful MFG-Day event, Victor and Betty were brimming with enthusiasm and anxious to find more ways to invite young people into their tour-worthy shop. PMPA Board and Executive Committee member, Victor DaCruz, recounted some of the early days of owning his business, when bold decisions were necessary to move past a difficult partnership arrangement and forge ahead with self-confidence and natural business instinct. The results are hard to argue with!

Victor & Betty DaCruz, M.Reader 

Heading back north to Windsor, Mike and Bernie stopped in to see Brad Morris and Mike Mugno at Tsugami/Rem Sales.  This was an unscheduled visit so we appreciate the hospitality on such short notice.  What an impressive facility, with ample accommodations for a PMPA Chapter event. Brad and Mike very graciously offered to host a future PMPA gathering when schedules permit.  We thank Brad and Mike for making time to see us with little warning.

Tsugami-Rem Sales

Just around the corner from Tsugami/Rem Sales, Mike and Bernie visited new PMPA member, Leipold, where they met with General Manager, Michael Kraemer, Lydia Blanche and Matthew Phillips. As the US production arm of their German parent, it is evident the amount of thought and planning that went into this plant. A recent building addition has doubled the available space and they have filled that space with state-of-the-art precision machining equipment. The entire facility is designed based on sustainable energy concepts. To say this shop is clean and meticulously organized is to do it a disservice. We welcome Michael and his team to PMPA, and we look forward to seeing them on the ListServes and at many future PMPA events. Michael has a right to be very proud of what they have built!


Heading an hour or so back south to Norwalk, Mike and Bernie landed at Hannes Precision. Now, there are good machinists; there are great machinists, and then there are true artisans. We would say Hannes President, Ray Schaer, falls into the last category. It is such a joy to spend time with someone who revels in pride-of-craftsmanship in each and every part. As we listen to Ray explain the intricacies of his craft, it is evident there can indeed be a higher calling in this work.

Hannes, Ray, Mike, Bernie IMG_2636

This annual journey to Southern New England has become one of Bernie’s favorites, and for good reason. The cradle of American Manufacturing offers history, craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology and some of the warmest hospitality in the country. We’ll be back!

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Tsugami/REM Sales, Windsor, CT - IMG LaserSwiss