It’s rarely good to be front-page news, but we’re excited about our moment in the spotlight. To see why take a look at The News Herald from May 12-18th. At the top, you’ll see a headline that reads, “New investment, jobs to help Wiley Metal”. This is a good news story about what we do, and how we’re making sure we’ll keep doing it in the years to come. In fact, Herald journalist Sean Douglas did such a thorough job his piece continues onto page 2, so you should click that link too.
We’re not going to take traffic away from our local newspaper, so we won’t repeat the good news story here. Instead, we’d like to tell you what it is we’re doing that made headlines.
The Wiley Success Story
British entrepreneur Richard Branson, (the man behind Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Galactic, and the Virgin Hyperloop,) said, “It takes years to become an overnight success”, and the Wiley family would agree.
Building a business from nothing takes an immense amount of work, and you can never afford to take your foot off the gas. In the metal fabrication industry as everywhere else, there are competitors nipping at your heels like turtles in a pond. If you don’t want to be swallowed up you have to keep growing, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
The Herald story was, in part, about a major investment we recently made in our fabrication capabilities. It was also about how our growth creates good jobs for the people of our community. Those jobs need people to do them of course, so here’s a closer look at our investment and why you might want to consider working here.
High Technology Manufacturing
People have been cutting and shaping metal to make useful things since the Iron Age. Welding is a lot newer though, dating from 1881 or thereabouts. Since then we’ve seen the invention of a whole host of fabricating machinery, like turret punches, press brakes, and most recently, laser cutters.
Laser cutting machines focus an intense beam of light into a small spot that’s hot enough to melt metal. Moving the metal under the laser makes it possible to cut out intricate shapes that we can bend into covers, enclosures, shelves, and all the other things our customers ask for.
Some years ago we decided to add laser cutting to our long list of fabrication capabilities. It helps us cut shapes faster, and that means we can do more work in less time. Our most recent major investment is a Mazak Optiplex fiber laser.
What’s that, you ask? We’re glad you asked.
What Does Fiber Do For Us?
Lasers are cool, but we buy machines because they do something useful. Our new high-power fiber laser cuts four times faster than our other machines. To quote from The Herald, “[a job] that would take 100 hours on one of the older lasers would only take about 16 hours on the Mazak.”
In addition, it can cut thicker material, and it cuts metals that other lasers can’t, specifically, aluminum and copper. And if that wasn’t enough, we can run it unattended at night and over weekends.
Now there was a time when it was thought faster machines and automated machines meant less work for people. Today we know the opposite is true. Faster cutting makes us more competitive, and that brings in more work. It also gives us the capacity to handle more work, which we can cut faster for a lower cost. You might call it a virtuous circle.
The Downside of More Work
Machines don’t work without people to feed and care for them. They need cleaning, programming, (most of our newer machines are computer-controlled,) and supplying the material. And more work also means there’s more to do in the stores, in Maintenance, in Welding, and in Shipping and Receiving. So when we grow we need more people, and that means opportunities, which is good news.
Come to Work at Wiley
We try to make this a good place to work. The fact that some of our employees have been here since the business was started suggests we’re succeeding. It is, as The Herald points out, a family business where we try to treat everyone like family. (No, that doesn’t mean send a card at Christmas and ignore each other the rest of the year. We’re not that kind of family!)
There are many reasons for coming to work at Wiley, but arguably the biggest is that you’ll be treated with respect. You’ll be a name and not a time card, and you’ll be part of a team that makes useful things. Would it be arrogant to say we think we’re making the world a little better? Perhaps, but deep down we hope we’re making a difference.
Find Out More
We’re known for our excellent customer service and for the high-quality fabrications we produce. If you’d like to be part of that we want to hear from you. You can apply online, or if you’d rather have a conversation about whether your skills and background make you a good fit, call us on 765-671-7865 or drop off a resume.