Tap into your creativity and be hands-on in contributing to the future processes and products at Shape, or push our existing ones further.
We’re making things that a lot people can’t. Some of the hardest materials in the world we’re roll forming.
Innovation is what we do. It's built into our process.
Process Development Engineer
We’re bringing new products and processes to the market, so that we have better manufacturing technology that no one else can offer.
Electrical Engineering Tech
We challenge each other. We’re always looking for better ways to do things and better processes.
Share your ideas, develop your skills and make an impact at Shape by being a contributor each day you go to work.
Shape’s always pushing you to be better, they don’t want you to remain stagnant. If you want training, the training will be made available.
Shape has a genuine interest in our health and well-being.
Shape definitely provides you the environment to grow in. There is a wide abundance of opportunities.
One of the main reasons I came to Shape was the emphasis on team and individual development.
Being able to work at Shape and live in West Michigan is the best of both worlds. You get to work for a global company, but still raise a family in a smaller community.
SHAPE IN THE NEWS
Grand Opening in Guangzou
The celebration was one for the books. The greatly anticipated Shape Guangzhou grand opening ceremony took place on Tuesday, February 21. This was an incredible milestone for Shape and the event was a huge success. Around 70 people attended the event from Shape US, Shape China, our customers DFL, NCIC and Toyota, and local government in Tanbu town, as well as all associates from the Shape Guangzhou plant. Before the ceremony, Mark White, president, shared our vision to build a unique and special company which improves and enhances the lives of our associates, our customers and the communities in which we live and work. Patrick Sullivan, general manager, shared Shape’s commitment to delivering the same level of performance from Shape Guangzhou as our customers have come to know and expect with Shape’s brand promise. The speeches kept flowing with sentiments shared by Sumi Li, deputy general manager from DFL and the Major of Tanbu Town. A traditional performance of drum and lion dancing opened the ribbon cutting. Mark White shared the honor with Patrick Sullivan, Nakayama-san, Purchasing SAO from RNPO, Haigan Wei, Deputy Purchasing General Manager from GTMC, Weiyu Zhou, Town Major and Wensheng Wang, Deputy Town Major from Tanbu Town. After the ceremony, attendees were invited to partake in a plant tour and luncheon to learn a little more about Shape. Congratulations to Shape Guangzhou on a successful event. This celebration truly displays your hard work and dedication to Shape.
Shape China Earns Government Award
With the pace of industry changes and improvements occurring in Kunshan, the local government recognized 10 companies who contributed to technological transformation and upgrades. Shape is one of the companies to receive the honorable award. Shape’s investments in robot welding to increase productivity was one of the key areas that aligned with the needs of government. This is another example of Shape’s THINKERS, BELIEVERS and DOERS making a difference in our company, our communities and the industries we serve. Congratulations Shape China!
Shape Wows at BAMA Bi-annual Conference
The Bluegrass Automotive Manufacturing Association (BAMA) bi-annual Learning Conference brought together executive level leaders from numerous tier-one Toyota suppliers. The conference highlights each region’s development and training packages over the last two years. Organizations can then adopt the new content, share it within their organizations and leverage the learnings to help to build momentum. Daric Morell, director of manufacturing, presented to five groups of roughly 25 participants regarding Shape’s lean journey. “It was great. We had a lot of attendance. It was really cool to see different people from different backgrounds and different companies go through the process of trying to find the problem we were able to create. It was really fun,” said Ryan DeBoer, 1900 plant manager. Shape received great feedback from attendees, highlighting that the problem solving activity in conjunction with Daric’s message about our transformation was eye opening to leaders of other companies. “I think everyone who took our training session saw how powerful it is to use moment by moment problem solving, and really finding the point of occurrence before you start down your five why problem solving tree,” said Ryan. The power of the SPS program at Shape keeps people engaged in our lean journey. Congratulations to Ryan DeBoer, Jay Blanchard, continuous improvement manager, and Daric Morell, director of manufacturing on the honor of being asked by the OMDD team to teach with them, side by side. This is definitely a feather in Shape’s hat.
Shape Explores SME PRIME Lab
We came. We saw. We benchmarked. On Monday February 6, Doug Peterson, vice president of human resources; Julie Davidson, talent acquisition,, manager; Mike Johnston, vice president of government affairs for the Michigan Manufacturing Association; Mike Roberson, assistant principle at Grand Haven High School, and Jeremy Case, technical education teacher at Grand Haven High School, traveled to Wadsworth High School in Ohio to see a PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) lab and classroom in action. PRIME programing through SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) is a national organization that prepares high school students for skilled careers in manufacturing. Typically, local manufacturers consult and provide insights into the training and development requirements for their current and future workforce. This insures the curriculum is designed around the needs of the businesses. This trip marked a very important first step toward the possibility of a PRIME and Grand Haven High School (GHHS) partnership. After hearing from the principal, program director, instructors, students, the corporation that sponsored Wadsworth’s PRIME lab and seeing some demonstrations, the value of this program was apparent to all. Shape plans meet with MMA, PRIME, and GHHS to perform a gap analysis on the current GHHS technical education lab/program and evaluate what it would take to be compliant with the PRIME program. Whether if PRIME is the best path, or not, Shape is dedicated to preparing the future workforce and has committed to developing a partnership with GHHS, placing students in co-op opportunities and potential skilled trade roles. “I am very excited for what this partnership can do in preparing students for great careers in manufacturing,” said Doug Peterson.
Shape China Wins Training Award
After completing the challenging course design and development workshop in November, Shape China conducted delivery skills training for new trainers by master trainer Jerry Zuo. The training focused on adult learning theory, teaching skills (including verbal and non-verbal skills), as well as presentation and feedback skills to help the participants deeply understand how to be an excellent trainer. At the end of the course, the participants were encouraged to utilize a mind-map to summarize what they learned from the training. For the action learning, the participants were required to pass a teaching demo by using the skills they learned. Ken Zong and Nick Li attended the training and successfully passed the demo with valuable feedback from certified trainers, and finally were certified as internal trainers. Now, we have an internal training team with 19 people including 6 managers who lead the way in talent development.
Shape Achieves Veteran-Friendly Employer Status
We are pleased to announce that Shape has been selected as a Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency bronze-level status Veteran-Friendly Employer. This certification demonstrates that Shape Corp. has made a commitment to help better recognize and support veterans and the valuable skills and experiences they bring to the workplace. Thank you to all veterans who registered their status. We would not have been able to achieve this certification or make this commitment without your help.
Shape Takes Steps Toward Innovation
With the automotive industry heavily focusing on lightweighting for improving fuel economy, Shape as always, is eager to support our customers with innovative, lighter weight components. For years we’ve been developing bumper solutions that are some of the best in the industry, utilizing ultra-high strength steels, unique aluminum alloys, and patented cross section designs. Still the need to do even better continues. Shape is now developing a unique technology to bring carbon fiber bumpers to our customers. Carbon fiber is an extremely lightweight, but expensive material, not traditionally suited for automotive high volume programs and the common car. However, Shape’s roll forming process and design experts have found a way to market and manufacture one nonetheless. Zeroing in on pultrusion (due to its relative speed and likeness to roll forming) as the best process for the job, Shape, with a partner in Germany, has already made and tested production-intent bumper beams. “This is a great demonstration of Shape innovation, but it takes foresight, innovation and partnerships,” said Danni Schertzing, commercial manager. “One significant partnership was officially formed last month with a signed commercial agreement allowing us to use a patented process owned by Thomas Technik.” Thomas Technik is a family-owned German pultrusion company with several process patents around curved pultrusion, a few of which are key to furthering our development. There have been many teams involved in the development, maturation and commercialization of this new technology. It is an exciting step that demonstrates our connection to industry demands, customer needs and innovative Shape capabilities.
Shape Shocks Toyota at SPS Checkpoint
It is not often that Toyota finds a supplier who actively pursues their mentoring. Shape was one of the unique companies who reached out for Toyota’s support nearly 18 months ago. After a few phone conferences and a formal meeting at Shape, Toyota took the plunge to help us continue our lean journey. Through intense training, checkpoints, and support, we have grown. In the spring of 2016 the Shape team presented final reports to numerous executive level leaders from Shape and Toyota. As Toyota left, Shape continued the learning process. Six months later another checkpoint meeting with Toyota brought Melvin Sullivan, general manager, and Terry Horinouchi, vice president, who wanted to see what Shape had done for themselves and understand our continued leadership commitment. In preparation, Peter Tornga, manufacturing engineer, Andy Tanner, manufacturing engineer, and Jeff Salisbury, manufacturing engineer, worked copious hours reviewing their own internal presentations and preparing them for Toyota. Melvin and Terry spent time on the floor with each engineer and a group of Shape leadership asking intuitive questions about our process and journey using the tools Toyota shared with us. After time on the shop floor the leadership teams reconvened to discuss next steps. Daric Morell, director of manufacturing, shared with Toyota elements of our strategic plan, tactical deployment strategies of the tools that Toyota taught us in late 2015, and our commitment to support Toyota moving forward. Part of this commitment is to provide a place where Toyota and BAMA can send team members for their own development. Terry proclaimed, “I am shocked,” Shape team members hung in suspense, “pleasantly shocked at what you have done in the last 6 months to take the tools we provided and continue to share them with your team.” He further went on to thank Shape for their willingness to provide time and resources for development indicating that Shape, “would be a shining light for team member development.” Melvin and Terry bid farewell with numerous open actions for team members from both Shape and Toyota to begin rallying around the energy developed during the meeting and discuss next steps for 2017 and beyond.
Shape Wows Nissan at Tech Show
Last Wednesday 65 engineering and purchasing professionals attended our Tech Show at the Nissan Mexico Technical Center. Shape’s Nissan business unit intrigued the attendees with banners, videos highlighting our plastic capabilities, roll forming and pultrusion technologies, as well as a selection of parts on display. Nissan engineers and purchasing members were eager to learn more about Shape’s products and processes. They showed great interest and began discussing a visit to one of Shape’s plants to learn more. Specifically there was great excitement around the swept carbon fiber bumper. The Nissan attendees highlighted and showed appreciation for the support that we bring to our customer, including our regional teams in France, Japan, US and Mexico. This tech show yielded many new connections, teaching moments, and some lessons learned for future shows.
SPE Innovation Award
Society of Plastics Engineer’s (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards program is the world’s oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. Each year the combined ingenuity and creativity of the automotive engineers, designers, and their suppliers yield the latest and best results of the dynamic nature of the automotive industry. Many teams submit nominations describing their part, system, or complete vehicle module and why it merits the claim as the year’s Most Innovative Use of Plastics. This year Ford took home the SPE award in the Body Exterior category on the 2016 Super Duty pickup partly in thanks to the injection molded, all-composite GOR/front-end module bolster, supplied by Shape Corp. “We are very excited and pleased to be recognized for this award. This is a great example of both up and downstream collaboration and partnership with our material supplier, and customer, to come up with an award winning product. This win demonstrates how Shape can showcase our expertise in this type of product, from design, to analysis, to manufacturing,” shared Mark Liberatore, director of the Ford business unit. The application featured Celstran 40-20 black long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) polypropylene (PP) and was produced via injection molding. This all-composite design, without metallic reinforcement, is the first active grille shutter (AGS)-capable, injection-molded LFT-PP front-end module (FEM) bolster used on a heavy-duty pickup platform. Replacing steel and plastic-metal hybrids, the design offers part consolidation with locating features that aid fit and finish, improve airflow, while meeting structural requirements. Congratulations to the Ford team, the Comstock plant and all who were involved in this accomplishment.