JET and Powermatic
As I spent the day with John Otto and Alan Huang from WMH – JET/Powermatic, something that my father taught me many years ago came to mind. “You don’t do business with a business, you do business with people”. From the moment that we stepped into the OAV Company, one of WMH’s key suppliers for about 16 years, I could see that maxim was absolutely true. OAV’s President, Mike Liu, started our time together by making tea. While we sipped, we chatted and learned about each other in a friendly atmosphere. It was clear that John and the folks at OAV were more than mere business partners – that a warm friendship cemented their relationship.
As I toured the manufacturing facility, Mike’s son, Dennis, explained their very modern and sophisticated systems. Whether they were making band saws, table saws, dust collectors or air filtration systems, they applied the same level of efficiencies and quality control procedures. An example of their sophistication is a weight-based inventory process, where when a bin of parts dropped below a certain point, their supplier – monitoring the weight via the Internet -- deploys a shipment to OAV. Just in time inventory, automated over the Internet.
Later, we were graciously allowed to see part of Mike Liu’s collection of Asian antiques. They were absolutely amazing. Everything from several carvings of “the happy Buddha” to exquisite ivory carvings.
Later, Alan Huang, Director of Product Development, took me to two more plants. Alan showed me the custom tooling and the extra steps taken to insure the quality of their products. A demonstration of balancing band saw wheels was very impressive. Even more impressive in my opinion was the level of testing and documentation that Alan showed me later at their Taichung office. Basically, if a problem appears with any JET or Powermatic tool, simply by means of a serial number, they can look at the quality inspection and testing results for that specific tool. Their record keeping is very impressive, documenting the products development process all the way through to the most recent manufacturing run and container shipment.
John, Alan and I ended the day by hooking back up with Mike and Dennis Liu at a lovely restaurant for good food and good fun. Mike was in a happy mood and made me promise to come back to Taiwan – next week! (I don’t know how I will explain that to my wife.)
Photos top to bottom:
Mike Liu preparing tea for his visitors. Dennis Liu explaining processes to your traveling editor and John Otto. The whole gang from OAV. Alan Huang explains the exacting band saw wheel balancing process. Alan and John Otto explain some details regarding the production of their PM2000 table saw. The support staff at WMH in Taiwan and a happy editor.