Jeffrey Bladow, Director of New Business Development, Taber Extrusions
Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions has earned their reputation as leader in aluminum extrusions, fabrication, billet casting, and micro-extrusions. The addition of in-house Friction Stir Welding Capabilities creates a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never before seen in North America. The companies’ rapid growth initiated the presence of Jeffrey Bladow, Taber’s recently appointed Director of New Business Development. Read on for an exclusive Q&A with Mr. Bladow!
Q: Job duties & responsibilities.
A: Help lead business growth, assist in building strategy and be a technical voice to the customer regarding Taber’s new processes and applications
Q: Where did you work prior to Taber; same industry or something totally different?
A: Over 25 years in Automotive Design and manufacturing. Extensive experience in structures design, high strength steel applications and the launch of large capital projects. …. the last 6 years concentrating on growing the knowledge base and real world applications for aluminum and aluminum extrusions. How to replace steel with aluminum…some say …..is my forte.
Q: What do you hope to bring to Taber in terms of leadership and company culture?
A: Taber is unique due to its ability to shape aluminum into various shapes and applications from very large to small. Taber solves multi-faceted problems. I knew this company would fit my management style because I encourage critical thinking, continuous improvement and a no fear approach to growing and entering new markets. I enjoy working side by side with problem solvers and relish in the satisfaction in helping our customer’s develop the products of the future. Today’s market is demanding lighter weight, higher performing applications that Taber makes today. There is a growing market demand that Taber can supply. I hope to further engage and create an exciting atmosphere for all of our team as we respond to the opportunity ahead of us. I will encourage and lead a mindset of continuous improvement and a fun family atmosphere to work in. Our society will continue to demand Taber’s unique products. We will make the world a better and more efficient place.
Q: When you’re not at work, what would we find you doing?
A: I get a kick out of working on old cars, motorcycles, tractors and have enjoyed the private pilot hobby. Preserving the mechanical wonders that have shaped our world is interesting to me. I enjoy teaching young people about industry and devices of our world. I enjoy nature and hiking and marveling at the natural wonders of this world. A simple walk in the woods is always good for me.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: My full focus is commercializing Taber’s friction stir welding equipment and micro-extrusions technology. For FSW, we’re selling to electric vehicle manufacturers, ship building, military, bridges & infrastructure, aerospace… a wide range of markets. For our micro-extrusion technology, we’re concentrating on electronics, military, medical, aerospace, industrial… again, a large scope of industries.
A: Grew up in a family construction business and then the automotive industry in Chicago…moved to Detroit to work at Ford Motor Company and I now reside in the Detroit Metro area, a center of Best in class manufacturing and lightweight design.
Q: Cubs or Sox?
Q: Do you like Eminem? (lol) How does working in the South now compare?
A: He’s alright but I’m much more of a classic rock guy. As far as working in different regions, my work has always included a lot of travel, including Texas. I enjoy working with people from all over the country. Especially when I’m doing things that make a better life for others, things that improve society as a whole. I guess that’s me being an engineer at heart, always looking for “the better angle” – how I can help improve something. The people in the South are a bit warmer, more relaxed… the speed a little slower. It’s great. No matter where you go, the people have something of value to offer, you just need to pay attention.
Q: Family, children?
A: Wife: Jennifer working as a data analytics leader at General electric….Twin daughters, identical girls, 20 years old, both attend the highly ranked College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit studying illustration, product and fashion design. They each have their unique style and approach. Some of their creative ability came from their Father of course. Lol.
Q: You were joking, but there actually, creative style does exist in the aluminum extrusion industry. What comes to mind when you think about creativity in your business?
A: Yes, this is a creative field… all these products are designed. They have to be created. One must turn clay into reality. When I was working at Ford Motor Company, it was all about creating something feasible…. Finding creative solutions. It still is. We must create a solution that begins with design and carries through the entire product development cycle.
Q: What’s it like being the father of identical twins?!
A: I’m an engineer. Twins are much more efficient! When I found out we were having twins, I had a conversation with our doctor, who was also the father of twins. He basically said the same thing; “You’ll be carrying one anyways, so you can carry another. You’ll be bottle feeding one anyways, so you can feed another, etc. You’re doubling up, and it’s very efficient!” In their early years, they would try and fool us with their identities. And for awhile, I think they thought they were the same person. Lol – it was fun, that was a very fun time in our lives. Today they have carved out their own identities and are doing great in life, finding their paths.
Q: Favorite part about working for Taber so far?
A: I like the people at Taber and I think we can accomplish anything and have fun doing it.
Q: What sets Taber apart from other companies that deliver the exact same things?
A: Taber delivers, successfully, many unique products, some large and very difficult parts to manufacture. This is a Taber competitive advantage. Taber is uniquely and well positioned to grow in these markets.
Q: Taber is growing rapidly. Any advice for those looking to join the Taber team?
A: Taber will continue to grow in this new economy of lightweight products. Not a large corporation but a family making our future brighter and more efficient. An environment that reaches across the country with many diverse customers, applications and processes. There is always something to be excited about.
Q: What do you think the future holds for Taber?
A: If Taber continues to invest wisely into its existing and new processes, continues to use a discipline of continuous improvement, expands its family of employees, leverages its unique processes of new economy light weight applications and is courageous and aggressive enough to grow. We will.
Link with Jeffrey Bladow: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffrey-bladow-3521861/
About Taber Extrusions
Taber is a minority business enterprise which is AS9100, NADCAP, and ABS certified. Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS., in 1995 which houses a cast house and two additional presses, and multiple expansions of value added fabrication services. Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes, including 7”billet molds, and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys. In 2018, Taber added ultra-precision extrusions to their capabilities allowing them to further serve customers in electronics, computer, and medical industries. Today Taber is proud to announce yet another exciting launch into Friction Stir Welding.