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President’s Message From Mike Betts

President of SMISpring Applications, Past, Present and Future

After our successful annual meeting in Dana Point, California in April, I found the theme “Spring Applications, Past, Present and Future” for this issue of Springs to be timely and fitting. Much of the California meeting included conversations on myriad topics member companies can do to positively impact their businesses for the future.

The minutes from Dana Point of our 11 SMI committee meetings were recently issued and full of many new ideas and content related to technology, enhancements to the SMI Metal Engineering eXpo, innovation, materials, website improvements, the direction of technical education, and much more. I would like to thank our committee chairs and members for the dedication and time they each shared for the betterment of the spring industry and SMI. Our committees are the foundation of what SMI is about and the level of participation by more than 50 SMI members impressed all in the room. It is clear that active committee members provide and gain value.

When we think about past spring applications many products come to mind, such as the Slinky. The spring applications of the present and future include innovation, technology and process improvements. The theme for this issue provides the opportunity to reflect and acknowledge the fact that few of our companies make the identical spring products we manufactured when we first entered the industry. Times have changed, and our industry has leapfrogged forward.

Without a constant focus on new opportunities and identifying new ways to improve processes and materials, our businesses can become stale. The final report “Observations of the Spring Industry; Recommendations for the Future,” presented by Paul Menig in California, provides a vivid picture of where the spring industry stands today and where we are headed in the future. All members can view the complimentary report at the member section of the SMI website at Non-members can purchase the report for $750.00.

Many things have taken place since the annual meeting. We recently held our first SMI Metal Engineering eXpo Trade Show committee meeting in Chicago to plan for the 2017 event in Hartford. The first strategy meeting on updating the SMI website was also held. We had a spring manufacturing industry representative attend the annual “Dream It. Do It.” conference in Washington held by The Manufacturing Institute. By partnering with The Manufacturing Institute and their Dream It. Do It. program, we are looking at new ways to highlight the spring industry in all the career and technical education programs at high schools and community colleges throughout the U.S. We want to identify a multitude of ways for spring companies to become more successful in building the next generation pipeline of talent for their businesses. Lastly, I spent one-on-one time with Lynne Carr while visiting Chicago to map out SMI’s goals for the next two years.

Finally, allow me to extend a heartfelt thanks to Lynne, Dina, Gary and Laura for the great job they did while in Dana Point. We are blessed to have Lynne as our executive director, and her team to wave the SMI banner as they visit several regions throughout the U.S. this summer and fall with our new SMI Traveling Roadshow. Be on the lookout when they visit a city near you.

All the best!
Mike Betts

SMI Springmakers

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