Sunday – September 24, 2017
Machine Shop President Taps MATC Classes, Instructors to Grow and Improve His Business
Taylor Deutsch, 34, blends in with the other students, working on complex computer numerical control (CNC) vertical machines on MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus. A casual observer would not suspect he is the president of a company who is taking classes to sharpen his skills, learn more about cutting-edge machining equipment and network with instructors and students.
Deutsch is president of Deutsch & Sons Co., Inc., a nearly 100-year-old machine shop located on Milwaukee's Miller Park Way. The shop was founded as a patternmaking firm by Taylor's great grandfather Simon Deutsch in 1920 and has been run by the family ever since. Taylor's father, Dave Deutsch, is the CEO. Taylor stepped into the role of president several years ago when his father was experiencing health issues. A small, close-knit, family-like business, most employees have been recruited by word of mouth and trained by other employees and family members, said Deutsch, whose wife and mother also work for the company.
Taylor Deutsch (l) and James Ayits-Mbet demonstrate CNC tool setting.
Classes Sharpen Skills, Offer Exposure to New Machines
"I started by sweeping floors at the company when I was 14," Deutsch said. He has worked for the company full time for the past 10 years. He took several welding and machining courses at MATC and Waukesha County Technical College seven or eight years ago. Then the business got too busy for him to continue coursework. Last spring, he took a CNC programming class at MATC and this fall is taking MATC's vertical machining CNC class.
Deutsch & Sons is a prototype job shop, specializing in deep-drawn metal stamping and short-term pre-production stamps. The company works with research and development (R&D) staff in a wide variety of industries, making prototypes of parts for newly developed items. Deutsch & Sons develops parts and continues to make minor changes as clients check to make sure parts fit their new products correctly. The company makes short runs - about 12-25 pieces - of each part.
"I am developing good relationships with the MATC instructors and would like to continue to use the college as a resource. I am extremely impressed by everyone at MATC. The instructors have been more than flexible and helpful in pointing me in the right direction."
"We have a large customer base functioning in a narrow niche," Deutsch said. "We work as an extension of customers' R&D departments."
The company will soon move to a new location in Pewaukee which will allow for great efficiencies. It will also provide an opportunity to invest in new machines and technologies. During the transition to the new plant, Deutsch is carving out some time to attend MATC classes and make connections.
Expanding, Upgrading Company's Offerings
"I'm taking classes at MATC to better acquaint myself with new technologies," he said. "The industry has turned heavily CNC-based. We're looking to expand to more modern equipment. I'm learning along with everyone else."
Deutsch's father and two other employees expect to retire in the not-too-distant future, so he is keeping his eyes open for people he might like to hire down the road. He hopes to hire employees who can start training side-by-side with those who will be retiring.
(l to r) Chris Moldenauer, Taylor Deutsch and Fernando Hernandez set up CNC tool holders.
"I see my classmates excel and pick up on things very quickly," Deutsch said. "I see people's timeliness, teamwork and work ethic. I'm keeping my eyes open because we will be looking to hire in the near future. This is a great way to network."
MATC Instructors Offer Advice
He has met with MATC machining and tool and die instructors Chris Haase, Pat Yunke and Dale Howser, Sr., talking with them about the kinds of machines his company should purchase in the future and the type of classroom training he should take. "I am developing good relationships with the MATC instructors and would like to continue to use the college as a resource," he said. "I am extremely impressed by everyone at MATC. The instructors have been more than flexible and helpful in pointing me in the right direction.
Taylor Deutsch (l) and MATC instuctor Dale Howser make adjustments on CNC machine controls.
"We all have a passion for the industry," Deutsch said. "These professions are so important. We need to develop these skills so this trade continues. MATC is the kind of place where you're going to find people that are passionate about the industry."