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Metal finishing in the 21st Century – Pete Mirabello

Metal Finishing Technologies
MFT Accepting an Energy Award

Rated the “Best Metal Finisher in New England” this company stays at the forefront through focused projects on reducing water, air, and chemical use, and energy efficiency. As one of the few NADCAP-certified Cadmium platers in the US, and a prime supplier for some of the largest manufacturing plants in Connecticut, Metal Finishing Technologies is constantly innovating to adjust to risks and market changes, without sacrificing personnel, quality, or customer relations. We have a frank conversation with its CEO and Chairman, Pete Mirabello.

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Show Notes

EPISODE TITLE: Metalfinishing in the 21st Century – Pete Mirabello


This week we interview Pete Mirabello, President of Metal Finishing Technologies, in Bristol, CT. Back in the day, and I mean back as early as 1970, metal finishing was not so pretty. And if you go to some places in the world it’s still that way. But in Bristol, there’s an honest-to-goodness 21st-century metal finishing operation. Run as a tight ship with collaboration and continual improvement, this factory is truly stepping into the future. We talk to Pete about how to encourage bright minds to come into the factory career path, what he sees as the next big thing and what corporate social and environmental responsibility means to MFT.  

About our Guest Pete Mirabello: 

As Chairman and CEO, Pete serves the company by focusing on innovative and green-based accelerated growth opportunities through M&A, product category expansion, and driving cost reduction and competitiveness.

Metal Finishing Technologies, LLC (MFT) is a Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) technology company and nationally recognized source of diversified metal finishing and surface preparation services as well as a certified FAA repair station.

Pete has deep experience in the Commercial and General Aero/Aviation industries in both the US and Western Europe. He got his start at Pratt & Whitney as a Manufacturing Development Engineer out of college, progressing to Purchasing Finance. He has held positions as EVP of NetJets, Inc. and Commerical Director of International Aero Engines. Highly regarded within both the metal finishing and aerospace industries, Pete is a well-known thought leader and speaker at key industry events.

Advice for Getting into Manufacturing

Audio Gram #1 : You can move up rather quickly. And with the senior folks, we found they could help us grow these folks organically based on their experience before they left the door.”

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What does Metal Finishing Technologies do?

“So look, in a nutshell, we make metal perform better. Okay. All right. So if you take a piece of metal and you put zinc. It’s corrosion-resistant. If you’re old enough to remember cars used to rush a great they don’t rust anymore and they didn’t get any more expensive.

They put a coating on there. That’s corrosion resistant and that’s how you do it. Now, Zinc is a great corrosion inhibitor. There are others, but Zinc is probably the mainstream. Nickel will resist heat. Now you can be in a jet engine, which is crazy high heat, and you get into these alloys and these coatings in this plasma where you resist heat.

Tin will be a good conductor. Now you’re into broadband. And then when you get into the medical world, you have to have some incredibly clean metal because it’s going to get put into a person’s body, right? So you have to passivate it to remove a lot of the impurities in there. So what we do is through a variety of processes.

We help metal to perform better. Simple as that. “

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7 – Peter Mirabello, CEO & Chairman of Metal Finishing Technologies

Mirabello – Peter -MFT

[00:00:00] Mitch: Welcome to another episode of Factory of the Future® podcast. Today I have with me in the studio, Mr. Peter Mirabello, president of Metal Finishing Technologies of Bristol, Connecticut. Welcome, Peter. Thank you for joining me, 

[00:00:17] Peter: Dr. Mitch, happy to be here and welcome back to you. I know you’ve been quite the world traveler.

[00:00:25] Mitch: Thanks. Some exciting things going on with FactoryoftheFuture®.org. Thank you very much. Yes. Bringing this up to speed and getting it going is my biggest joy at the moment. 

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into manufacturing? We like to hear people’s origin stories. We like to hear what they’re excited about in manufacturing today.

[00:00:41] Peter: Sure. I started my career as a developmental manufacturing engineer, simply met. I went to work for Pratt and Whitney, and I got a chance to work on next-generation manufacturing. Technologies to bring to the shop floor or prototype parts for next-generation motors. So I really got a chance to cut my teeth and understand really forward-thinking efficient high precision manufacturing I spent about 10 or 12 years.

[00:01:04] Those folks, they actually had me in two shops looking after Airbus kind of launched their fledgling new V 2,500 motor at the time after doing that, I got pulled away by a Berkshire Hathaway company. The Berkshire guys really were the ones that taught me how to run a business. And so fast forward to 2011 it made a lot of sense for me to be home or and so I found something close to home and I found metal finishing technologies, which brought the two things together, this manufacturing, and then also the ability to run a business.

[00:01:34] And that’s how I got here. 

[00:01:37] Mitch: That’s great stuff. That’s, in the beginning, going around and coming back to a hundred percent.

[00:01:42] Peter: I get asked a lot of questions like United Technologies, Berkshire Hathaway metal finishing technologies, which one of these doesn’t fit. But it was the right decision.

[00:01:51] I’m glad that I did it. What I’ve learned and some of the market timing is has been for two. But it’s also just been, a lot of hard work, but at times challenging, but often rewarding. 

[00:02:01] Mitch: Since you’ve been at MFT if I could call it MFT. What have you seen happen in terms of manufacturing in Connecticut or in the United States? And is it on an upswing? Is it on a downswing? We hear a lot about, there are not enough people 

[00:02:17] Peter: to your opinion. I think it’s all good. I think there’s definitely a table. And I think a tailwind also becomes an opportunity for a lot of young folks, because, with all the offshoring in the eighties and nineties, everybody left.

[00:02:29] So he took this blurred, but the overarching vision of the industry. You got a lot of folks probably in their fifties and sixties or their twenties for some may think there’s a deficit. I think it’s an incredible opportunity for young folks to go into a company and know that there is a void.

[00:02:44] You can move up rather quickly. And with the senior folks, we found they could help us grow these folks organically based on their experience before they left the door. So there’s definitely been a return of manufacturing. And it’s exciting. There are some [00:03:00] amazing products being made here in the states.

[00:03:01] If you’ve been in a car lately, whether it’s a BMW or a Ford, they’re all made in the country now they’re gorgeous private jets and things like that. So there’s definitely a return. There’s definitely an opportunity. And there’s definitely a chance now to make a very good living and exciting living, solar manufacturing.

[00:03:17] Mitch: Just to Hone in on that a little bit. I think there’s one of the predisposed opinions or beliefs out there that I hear a lot is you got to graduate high school and go to college in order to get a job. And you got to also pick a degree that you know, is going to get you a job. But what I hear from some of the people that I interview is that you don’t necessarily need that path to get a good job in manufacturing.

[00:03:49] Peter: No, you don’t. And in fact, sometimes it makes sense to get into it and find something you like, a product you liked, certainly a company and the culture of that company you like, and then you can always augment it with schooling, but it’s no longer, let me go get a degree and go find out what I’m going to do.

[00:04:04] We actually have some very, and I find this stuff fascinating, a very clever learning approach now where we just don’t deal with the universities we deal with the two-year schools and the technical high schools, we can really bring them in early. And I remind the kids that come in, especially early on what am I going to be doing?

[00:04:25] And I said, I almost think that’s a little bit irrelevant. I think you want to go in there and see if you like it. And then we can teach you. To answer your question more directly. Yes. We can teach you the skills you need to be successful that are enduring. Our company is one. Whether it’s deliberate or not.

[00:04:41] We pride ourselves on being a teaching organization. We want you to improve. We want to give you the opportunity to improve and grow. And we’re fine with the fact that that may be, you just don’t have the degree you’re pursuing the degree. You don’t have any interest in the classroom.

[00:04:54] Thing is, you can still find a spot, make a good living and grow, it’s still going to come down to the same things, the right attitude and understanding of how business works and how it makes money. Contributing and learning the different facets. The more you get a chance to grow, but certainly, any business would be.

[00:05:11] Probably shortsighted if they didn’t want their employees to grow and how to help them do that. 

[00:05:17] Mitch: That just so good to hear because like I said when I’m talking to people at various events or summer outings, whatever you can say, oh, my son wants to go do this in this college and that college.

[00:05:30] And I was like, he’s going to graduate with a lot of debt and maybe it’s. Or maybe just some debt, you could go into, right now we have so many computer programmers coming into manufacturing. We’ve had CNC milling machines for quite a while, probably almost 50 years now.

[00:05:47] And you needed to know. Coding and it’s nothing like it is now. I Now you’ve got the 3d printers you have to program and all the CAD work, and then you have to program the robots that move things around. There are just so many places where technology is infiltrating into manufacturing. 

[00:06:04] Peter: No question. And I think one of the things it’s fairly easy to recognize, especially with the gen Z the generation right after the millennial. Is the stuff, that they just have as part of their DNA early on, which are the phones and technology and things like that. These are tools that aren’t really options anymore and being a great company, you really have to put these.

[00:06:27] So there’s a lot of things that this group brings to the table already that companies could benefit from without saying the formal degree that gave you all this general educational study. And I think it’s at a point now where really you have to really embrace these things, or it’s going to pass you by which no longer would be nice as it may have been 10 or 15 years ago at the same time.

[00:06:48] You’ll just be that much more competitive as a business. And I, I just want to be clear. They’re not displacing anybody they’re working in conjunction. It’s just a much more powerful tool. It still needs a human interaction and guidance, but they can do an awful lot, to really, to help you.

[00:07:04] And listen, I’ll go off on a bit of a sidebar. Do you understand what China’s doing? China wants to be the greatest manufacturer in the world, the leading power, the way they’re doing it now is they’re no longer saying that the stuff made here is of lesser quality, and the way they’re going to do it as they’re applying AI and they’re applying robotics to make it repeatable high precision, that’s really where they’re going to gain their advantage.

And so look, it’s here and it’s exciting. And at some point, it’s no longer going to seem like a leap of faith. You’re going to need to at least be aware of it, because if you’re not using it, there’s a chance, your competitors will be right?[00:07:42]

Mitch: Oh yeah. I was talking to someone else today and they made the analogy that back in the day, the person who did facility maintenance basically had a spanner wrench, and maybe a blow torch or some tool and some duct tape. [00:08:00] And that was pretty much all you needed. You could fix so many things with just those tools. But now because there are so many other demands on a factory in terms of on-time product and keeping production up and minimizing defects and meeting very tight quality parameters.[00:08:18] The need for other tools has arisen. So that the Same facilities person now might have an ultrasonic leak gun to test bearings, to test motors, to test compressed air systems. They might have an infrared camera to see hotspots in certain places of the production or on different pieces of the machine.

[00:08:39] So they need to know these things. So that penetration of technology is now down through every level. It really is. And they should be.

[00:08:49] Peter: You don’t have to be a business long to know that scheduled maintenance is preferred to unscheduled maintenance, right? Because when you get a disruption, when it’s [00:09:00] unexpected, nothing good really happens right.

[00:09:01] More than likely you’ve got a rework, which means now you got to run it a second time. You’re only getting paid once. And when you’re running it a second time, you’re not running the next incremental things. And then you just get the lost productivity. So these tools can help you troubleshoot. And to couple that with a good preventive maintenance program using these tools really is it’s short money to really just have better control over your product and its cost.

[00:09:24] And as you said earlier, I think you touched upon it as delivery in turn time, obviously critical, right? Being able to back up what you promise. On a consistent basis, right? Yes. Time and time again, you find in this business, when the phone rings at your customer and your name is in the window, on the phone, they’re either really excited or really annoyed depending on, and it’s a fairly simple trait.[00:09:47] They got a thousand things going on, maybe 10,000 things going on. They really don’t want to think. Now we have vendors that are just going to add to this level of frustration or concerns. They just want to know we have a deal and we’re going to [00:10:00] send you the stuff you’re going to do, what you’re supposed to.

[00:10:01] You’re going to send it back on time at a pre-agreed price. And it’s really that fundamentally simple. And if you can do that I can promise you the days when the big houses are always trading and competing vendors, they don’t now, they want it stable. Another little insight about our business and manufacturing.

[00:10:18] There is a shortage of good shops and there’s a shortage of raw materials. The overhaul and repair industry is very big in aerospace because they’re fighting for raw materials with the new engine builds, but they’re also fighting with the people that are building the car. And they’re fighting with the people that are building the golf clubs and the medical equipment.

[00:10:37] Mitch: You never hear about it.

Peter: You don’t hear about it, but it’s a huge issue. There’s a whole bunch of supply chains and things like that. You have to be aware of these things if you’re in a business and understand how they work and understand what success looks like in doing it. But yeah, it’s a really fascinating time with the return of manufacturing.[00:10:55] It’s just not the shortage of talent. We can grow that, that’s being addressed. Tossed the [00:11:00] material side as well. 

[00:11:00] Mitch: So just to circle back to what MFT does, you are in the metal finishing business, and for my listeners who maybe don’t have experience in manufacturing or are curious to know what Metal finishing is, can you just sketch out what kinds of things MFT finishes? Sure. 

[00:11:18] Peter: So look, in a nutshell, we make metal perform better. Okay. All right. So if you take a piece of metal and you put on zinc. It’s corrosion-resistant. If you’re old enough to remember cars used to rust a great deal, they don’t rust anymore and they didn’t get any more expensive.

[00:11:36] They put a coating on there. That’s corrosion resistant and that’s how you do it. Now, Zinc is a great corrosion inhibitor. There are others, but zinc is probably the mainstream. Nickel will resist heat. Now you can be in a jet engine, which she’s crazy high heat, and you get into these alloys and these coatings in this plasma where you resist.

[00:11:54] 10 will be a good conductor. Now you’re into broadband. And then when you get into the medical [00:12:00] world, you have to have some incredibly clean metal because it’s going to get put into a person’s body, right? So you have to passivate it to remove a lot of the impurities in there. So what we do is through a variety of processes, involving chemistry is we help metal to perform better. Simple as that.

[00:12:16] Mitch: That’s cool. I like that. Hopefully, it makes sense. That’s a nice closed box of, that’s 

[00:12:20] Peter: what we do. And so a lot of manufacturing. There’s a lot of CNC, there’s a lot of milling and grinding and turning and sheet metal. We just happened to use chemistry, which is fascinating.

[00:12:31] I think as this discussion, we’ll probably touch upon it because there’s a whole environmental component and so on and so forth which we’re fascinated about. And we’re also stewards of, and we take very seriously the responsibility to handle some of these sensitive materials, but that’s what we do.

[00:12:46] That’s not going to go away. Plenty of young folks that are listening out there. What the government would love to do is find a cadmium replacement. Cadmium is outlawed everywhere because it’s a very sensitive material except in the military. Yeah. [00:13:00] You’ve got to find a way that maybe there’s a greener solution.

[00:13:02] That’s still going to have these properties of hardness and resistance and things like that. But that’s what we do at Metal Finishing Technologies. We help metal perform better primarily. 

[00:13:12] Mitch: That’s cool. That’s really cool. So while we’re on it, then you mentioned there are some environmental aspects and your company is very proud of the work they’ve done with the environmental aspects.

[00:13:23] Maybe you can enlighten us on some of the techniques, people. Worked on or done for your company? 

[00:13:30] Peter: Yeah. Look, we all have a responsibility here. There’s a real challenge with the environment that we wanted to get it to sustain, not just for our generation, but generations to come historically, manufacturing has always been thought to be more of a contribution to the environment, but I promise you even in our business, which has historically never been environmentally friendly, we work really hard on this side of our business.

[00:13:53] It’s really important to us. A couple of things really fundamentally, it’s sustainment. You [00:14:00] use things, you recover them, you use them again verses one and done. Okay. So we will have sustainment metrics, which could be as simple as for every dollar sold. How much of it goes to energy and we have our sustainment.

[00:14:14] For gas, water, and electricity use, all are declining through the efficiency programs. We did a couple of years ago that I know you’re very well and had a big hand. And can I say that? Sure. Can we cross connect on that one? The thing that brought us together, so one would be the way we look at the environment, the way we look at water usage, energy usage, and how efficient we are.

[00:14:37] And then the other thing that I think is just as fascinating, we touched upon corrosion resistance. Okay. Zinc is great corrosion resistance, and zinc-nickel is corrosion-resistant on steroids. So if a car or something zinc on, it’s not going to rust for 10 years, zinc nickel. It’s not going to rust for 20 years.

[00:14:56] Wow. And you say, okay, that’s good. No, I think it’s [00:15:00] phenomenal because it’s not going to wear out as quickly. So it doesn’t need to be replaced as quickly. So you don’t have this drop on these natural. The other thing that I think is fascinating now is we all know that plastics is a challenge because it just never disintegrates.

[00:15:16] And I was just learning that there are plastics now that they can actually time to when they get to disintegrate. So if you need to use plastics, at least get one, that’s going to have a much shorter shelf life. You can get back some sort of organic compound and can be restored. You think of that.

[00:15:32] And we look at our business and we say E H & S environmental health and safety. When I got in there, it was so confusing and confusing manuals. It was just scary. Cause it just felt like it, I didn’t really know how it works. And it felt like it was a trap. And then we just cleared all the smoke out of the room.

[00:15:51] And we said the environment is the environment around the building. Okay. So we’re being good stewards in terms of the way we handle any sensitive materials. We’re being good [00:16:00] stewards because you’re using less and less energy to produce more goods. The health is the health inside the building this year, the quality and things like that.

[00:16:08] And safety is just culture. And so we work on that very well. We say on a daily basis, if we can’t get A’s in all three of those, and we’re not as good as we think. You have to take these things to heart. So one is the energy we used to have the products and then three is just something we take very important.

[00:16:24] And that’s our culture in our outlook as being responsible stewards. 

[00:16:29] Mitch: That’s cool. Thank you. Bravo, 

[00:16:31] Peter: right? I don’t know about it, that’s a lot of good people doing a lot of good things. Yeah. I’m pleased to see, the ownership, and people doing it. But we’re certainly trying to do our part, trying to do our part, and look, we’re trying to build a business that’s going to last, right?

[00:16:44] I mean it’s 70-year-old business. It was teetering when I got in there. It’s on Terra firma now. We’re setting up for 20 around to get it to its 90th anniversary based on the watch and the date that’s on my license in my pocket. I probably won’t be there for the hundredth. Someone else can handle it, but we’re going to get it to we’re going to, we’re going to get it to 90.

[00:17:01] Mitch: I’d like to circle back to technology and get your take on what everybody’s calling industry 4.0, is Industrial Internet of Things. It’s a connected factory, a lot of people reporters especially will say the factory of the future and industry 4.0. It links a forward-thinking factory.

[00:17:21] Digitization monitoring, things like that. Or are you guys looking at that sort of thing? What are you excited about?

[00:17:28] Peter: We think that the tools today, the real-time feedback obviously is really helpful. And if you can come up with a dashboard like you have in your car, how fast am I going?

[00:17:37] How far have I gone? How much fuel do I have left? Can tell you enough. So we try and establish those things at work. We have dashboards and are fascinated by some of the young folks, I’m involved with a local university. We often elect to bring in students to work on projects. And one of the things these kids can do today that fascinates me is when you get into a database, it used to [00:18:00] be partitioned to be like the marketing.

[00:18:02] And then there would be the finance stuff. And then there would be the production stuff they’ve taken the partitions down and these folks are so good to go in there and mine and they turned into information that you can then make some decisions on, which I think is very fascinating. The internet of things is great.

[00:18:18] I think the feedback is good. The proactive nature is good. Look right now in the world, it comes with a bit of an ethical dilemma. And I think what you’re going to see happen is I think they have a phrase called O P. Online privacy promise. Collect. The big houses and their big data collect an awful lot of data.

[00:18:40] You, you don’t go for three or four days now without somebody saying credit. I just said something all of a sudden, an ad popped up over here, which is, which can be creepy. [00:18:49]

Peter: It is creepy. And I think that’s the point. There’s a, there’s an ethical, I don’t, I think the speed of the digitization moves so much faster, a lot of tools we have from the sort of analog world that we’re stepping [00:19:00] out of.

[00:19:00] And I think that’s a dangerous part, but I think there’s incredible use. There just has to be this ethical and sort of moral disposition to it. And it really is not as sweeping as maybe there are going to be rules and regulations, but each company needs to take that on. Because I do think that the tools are strong and I think the internet of things and the ability to communicate and foresee what’s happening and give you feedback, I think is also very good.

[00:19:25] We’re excited about it. We’re excited to be able to see things real-time control buildings from phones, and get feedback but let me give you a ridiculously simple breakdown to everyday living, which marries these two generations. All right. So we have all these OSHA requirements.

[00:19:46] Let’s say one is fire extinguishers, and they need to be checked. Everything’s checked daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on what it is. And it used to be somebody going to come in and check how we’re maintaining it. Let’s go to the book. Oh, let’s see if somebody signed the books [00:20:00] right here. It’s just as simple now to do an algorithm.

[00:20:03] If nobody’s signed it off, three people get notes that nobody checked them today. It’s just proactive. And so for us, we never look at any of these rules, regulation certification, whether they’re quality systems or NADCAP as punitive, they actually help you become a better business. Because you don’t want to find out on a wrong day, that the fire extinguisher doesn’t work.

[00:20:24] Exactly. We can talk about what that looks like with these people, that entry charge, and the idea that, if we don’t pay attention, We may have to make a phone call and I tell the employees, if you see it and you don’t do it, I’m going to let you call and say, stop it. I didn’t do anything.

[00:20:38] We need to build this culture. So I know the question was really about the internet of things and I think they’re all connected again. I think they’re wonderful. I think the one thing globally, we just have to watch is there’s an awful lot of invasion of privacy. Yeah. And I guarantee you, the stuff that they know if they just called and said, Hey, can we know this about you?

[00:20:57] You’d say no, absolutely not. That’s very personal and [00:21:00] very private and the eaves dropping devices and the people have not put the piece of tape over the little camera on their computer or what you have when you have these houses now where you can ask the computer to help you find stuff.

[00:21:10] Yes, they’re listening. Yeah. It’s a good tool. It’s a little bit ungoverned right now. But, getting back to the work world. Yeah. We try and leverage technology. No, it’s just helpful.

[00:21:22] Mitch: Yeah. It gets back to what you said earlier. You either leverage your technology or it levers you.

[00:21:30] You don’t want to be on the other end of that with everybody else using it and you’re not using it. Yeah, that’s great, I love that. That was a good explanation then, I think we haven’t really seen a full deep use of technology. Manufacturing, like we have seen in our personal lives, because a lot of the products that have come out have been for the person, not for an organization or for a field necessarily.

[00:21:58] So you’re absolutely spot on when you say we got to start thinking about how we’re going to use it for the better good and the protection of our own personal privacy, 

[00:22:09] Peter: because it does it. Protection promise is really something that I hope all the businesses really ethically and morally, adhere to.

[00:22:18] And I’m sure they do, there’s a lot of good folks in the world doing a lot of good things. But yeah, you need to really understand that and, even now in marketing your business, as much as we think these online things and okay. Facebook is really a social sort of personal thing, as well as I do that, if a company’s looking to get something done, they’re either going to go through one of these very fancy high-end registers, or they’re going to go through Google and they’re going to put it in there and you got to see how you show up there.

[00:22:47] And what does that look like? And then you also. And if you’re not out there, what’s the person going to do. They’re going to go to your webpage. Or they’re going to go to your LinkedIn 

[00:22:55] Mitch: page, you’re going to vet and vet them electronically, so to speak. 

[00:22:59] Peter: And it’s a little bit of an obligation to want to talk about yourself that way, but it’s also a

[00:23:03] Way that you can make known what you do for people that might be able to use it. They may have never heard of you before. So there’s the front-end piece. There’s the efficiency and the factory. There’s the data collection, converting it to information, just to name a few and yeah, really fun.

[00:23:18] I don’t think I would do this. If there wasn’t a way to continue to think you were growing. Yeah. If it just was, if it wasn’t progressing. 

[00:23:26] Mitch: This is great stuff. Thank you so much for agreeing to be on the show. I have a couple of other questions. The first thing is if there were people who or young people or experienced people changing careers who wanted to know, get into the field of manufacturing, get into the field of metal finishing what is in your opinion necessary for them to do so what kind of background or education or training or apprenticeship or what how can they get into this field, which has the tailwind, as you said?

[00:23:54] Peter: Yeah. I think the first one. Find products that you like. If you’re crazy about computers and get into the world of building computers and if you’re crazy about robotics, there’s robotics. If you love cars, I’m telling you crawl under a new Cadillac or BMW. And I use those cars throughout made here in the states, take a look at those.

[00:24:13] So if you like flying, if you’ve been inside of a Gulf stream ever get a chance to see it or a new Airbus, really some incredible things. So one, find a product that you may be passionate about. Then from there, I think, the schools will help you. Companies will help you get some exposure.

[00:24:27] There’s so many things you can do. If you like to build, you can become a mechanical engineer. If you like to design and try and make things more efficient. Think about the battery. There’s a whole burgeoning battery market. It’s an arms race to come up with solid state batteries.

[00:24:44] They’re going to have longer range, right? It’s just tremendous how exciting these things are. But within the business as well, there’s a need to market your product. There’s a need to do the finances on your product. More than likely if you like to travel, there’s going to be a chance to see the world in some really great places.

[00:24:58] And as you get further [00:25:00] up the food chain in these in this manufacturing world, these factories are. Because of how clean they are. They’re not dusty and smoky, but they’re clean. They’re very intelligent. There is some incredible robotics and technologies and things like that. So I think the first thing is just an interest.

[00:25:17] I think that’s the very first thing. And then, there’s always schools that are always trying to encourage people to get involved. But I think the big thing is just to understand that it’s out there as much as a Korean. In the medical industry or the insurance industry or the real estate industry or the finance industry, there is a real corridor that’s in manufacturing, but people like to build stuff.

[00:25:40] And it’s one of the few things where you actually build something, everything else is a service that she’s actually right. And it’s out. I’m trying to answer the question globally, because I don’t know. There’s probably different levels of folks that, that I know are going to tune into this because I think this whole concept is tremendous business owners know it.

[00:25:58] If you’re a young student, it’s a [00:26:00] sciences or just ask there’s technical schools, one of the things we do we work with. The technical high schools, then we work with the two year colleges and then we work with the four year universities right up and down the line. And, we love to work with the high school students even just come in for the summer, see if you like it.

[00:26:17] And yes, because there is a shortage of engineers out there, this big Raytheon at UTC that marriage has just come, they’re going to hire 20,000 engineers. And that’s something staggering numbers. It’s viable. It’s not overly crowded. It’s not 

[00:26:34] Mitch: saturated. I think of my graduating class when I graduated engineering was like maybe 200 people.

[00:26:39] So that’s the equivalent of another hundred graduating classes. Yes. 

[00:26:45] Peter: Yeah. Yes. And they’re looking for them and some fabulous products out there that are using technology to be built. And you see it in the way we live every day. It’s out there. And if anything, from this conversation, you plant the seed to let somebody know, Hey, this is really [00:27:00] viable.

[00:27:00] And look at things that around your house from your everyday life and say, somebody must be building these. There’s a good chance somebody is. And they’re probably closer than, 

[00:27:07] Mitch: Ask you a call it a retro futurism question. Meaning we at least my perception in the U S is we’re very much excited about the new and shiny.

[00:27:19] What’s the latest greatest what’s new what’s coming and that sort of drives everybody’s consumerism to some degree. And I’m wondering from a standpoint of. No, the ability of there to be only finite resources on the earth and, or a finite space for people or whatever. Is there a possibility that maybe there’s too much technology and we ought to be looking backwards and saying maybe we need to be looking at, I don’t know, more trains or we ought to be looking at.

[00:27:51] Putting the trolley lines back in, or we ought to be maybe not flying so much. This is revolutionary thoughts, but I’d like to get your opinion [00:28:00] on, the advance of technology, which seems almost inexorable our fascination with it. And. Can there ever be too much, 

[00:28:09] Peter: I think anything is too much when it either turns into a mania or it really is not used for a good cause.

[00:28:16] Yeah. He’d say too much of anything. I guess there’s an added, it’s just too much of anything eventually turns into a bad thing. So there’s no doubt there has to be an ethical and a directed use to it. That’s mutually beneficial, right? Yeah. I think a world where you build win-win situations versus zero sum games, or somebody wins, somebody loses, so 

[00:28:35] Mitch: that will be a better world.

[00:28:37] Peter: Yes. Where you try to build those. I think artificial intelligence is going to be the next, this giga community. I think that’s going to come after the digital community. Like you put it this way. I think the speed of sound is 761. Miles per hour. I think digital speed is not [00:29:00] 761 miles per hour.

[00:29:01] It’s 186,000 miles per second. It’s just ridiculous on how strong and how fast and how capable it is. So I don’t know, we could speculate here if it’s like the movies and goes sideways, obviously not a good thing. You come back to this whole moral sort of quick. You know about what you’re going to use with the technology.

[00:29:23] And I think your earlier question about, what should we be really investing in? I think at some point the infrastructure and that older cities, we’re going to need an infrastructure update. They come with finite capacity for getting energy and distributing it, so you’re going to need to look at those things. You’re going to have to marry it with the environment, for the long run to see what’s harmful. And what’s not. But I think, the romantic look to go back to the way it was. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think the world changed, just think about Steve jobs.

[00:29:52] It just with the phone, it’s just change the world. There’s nobody that doesn’t know.

[00:29:57] Mitch: Lots of cell phones. Yeah, 

[00:29:59] Peter: [00:30:00] so the tiger woods, whatever. And he goes on, I started people clap. They don’t clap anywhere. So this is cause they’re all on their phones. But that’s what you do. And now it’s on your watch.

[00:30:07] Now you got people looking at their watch and usually a sign of being rude. And now it’s no they’re getting an email or a phone call on their wrist. So I don’t think it’s going to go back. And look, we tell the people that work with. 20 years from now, you’re going to look back on this and you’re going to sing.

[00:30:23] That was really not good. I didn’t like it. I didn’t enjoy it. And then the people I worked, it was just one of those experience, or you’re going to look back and you’re going to say, Hey, that was great. I really liked it. We all worked together and we all banded together and they know the only difference or they’re told after.

[00:30:36] The only difference between those two outcomes or the decisions you make today and the way you approach it. And I think we just need to be that responsible, with applying technology to build the best businesses that you can. We’re fascinated with the aerospace industry. We’re fascinated with the automotive industry.

[00:30:50] We liked supporting the medical industries and if we can do that to make products more efficient, operate better people, more environmentally friendly, use less. [00:31:00] And, that’s good for us and, hopefully we continue to make good decisions that nothing sinister entails, it’s coming.

[00:31:06] And again, I just go to that line where we’re, how much is too much information and how much does somebody have to that? If we can make sure we understand where those guideposts are. 

[00:31:15] Mitch: There’s a movement in the Netherlands. I believe it’s called the right to be free.

[00:31:20] Which is, we have a lifespan, right? We’re born. We may live, 50 years, 60 years, 70, 80, 90, maybe a hundred years now with all the advances. But at some point we’re probably going to die most likely, 

[00:31:33] Peter: probably smart money. 

[00:31:36] Mitch: And and then there is, what’s left afterwards. Now, back in the day, it was a box of belongings and maybe some land and some.

[00:31:45] And that project, you would carry your memory forward. Now we have the Facebook and Instagram and the LinkedIn and those don’t go away. They don’t go, they don’t go away. And even if they’re taken offline, they’re still all the servers [00:32:00] around all the world from all these companies that are holding that information.

[00:32:03] Oh, your health insurance company here, life insurance company or investment com. All the real estate transactions you ever participated in, there’s all this data about you that will persist far beyond when we die. And in the Netherlands, they said that’s really not appropriate. Everybody has the right to be forgotten.

[00:32:24] Meaning expunged. 

[00:32:26] Peter: Yeah. My time is over. I’m going to go rest in peace. I need to keep churning through my old notes. I’m sure. How about these hybrids? I can go see, Michael Jackson not performed live as a hologram, really used it. Oh, absolutely. They come up on the stage and it’s a hologram and you can see them and they interact and they talk and it’s, and it’s something it’s something else.

[00:32:46] So it’s an interesting concept. And these are the things that you learn now once these new capabilities, it’s how do you complete that whole life cycle? I guess so. The right to be forgotten the right to be [00:33:00] left alone. Whereas the young kids today, I, I see so many young folks fascinated and I’ve got kids of that age and I can see the pressure, the runner, Hey, go to get coffee in the morning and make sure they look like a million bucks.

[00:33:10] Cause somebody may take their picture and put it online. You never had a chance to work. Feelings or thoughts, it’s all done in a public forum under a great deal of comment. And I dunno if that’s the best way to foster growth, that sort of scrutiny. Because it seems like we hear about a lot of the downsides and how tough it is for some kids.

[00:33:29] And I’m sure there’s a ton of upside as well, but it’s just different, right? That you’re always somebody who’s listening, someone who’s paying attention. Interesting times was its own set of interesting. 

[00:33:39] Mitch: On that very wide and broad perspective, I think I think I will say thank you so much for being a guest.

[00:33:47] You represent so much experience in the manufacturing world. You represent a pretty progressive company doing really good things for the workers, for the product, and for the environment. I’m going to put a link to your company website in our show notes because we usually add transcriptions of the podcasts that people want to download them.

[00:34:09] And so I want to make mention of your site so people can go check out Metal Finishing Technologies, Inc. in Bristol, Connecticut, if they want to. And again, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure, absolute pleasure to have you on this podcast.

[00:34:20] Peter: Hopefully it was worthwhile. It’s always good to see ya. And it, I appreciate your time.

[00:34:26] Thank you and you’re welcome. Okay. And with that we say, goodnight listeners. Great.

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