Newly appointed Executive Director/CEO of MPIF, Jim Adams, sat down with MPR's consulting editor Joseph Capus during the MIM2017 Conference in Orlando, Florida. Adams explained that he had no knowledge of the PM industry until a school visit to the Hennepin Technical Center inspired him to make a career in the industry. He joined the staff of MPIF in 2004 after spending nearly 20 years in PM parts manufacturing and powder production companies, and today is the first Executive Director/CEO of MPIF to have had first-hand experience of PM. He sees an extremely exciting future for the industry.

Jim Adams is the youngest of four brothers, whose father operated one of the most highly-respected cabinet making businesses in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Adams broke away from the family wood-working tradition and switched to metal-working with machine-shop and welding classes while at high school. His interest in auto mechanics and auto body repair earned him one of the top prizes in a Minnesota State Auto Body Competition. As a senior in high school he was introduced to powder metallurgy during a field trip to the Hennepin Technical Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota (now Hennepin Technical College). He was amazed at the speed parts could be produced by PM compared with shaping by lathe-turning or on a milling machine. He recognized PM was “an up-and-coming process” and wanted to be a part of it. Shortly after, he enrolled at Hennepin and became an APMI member in 1983.

'I graduated from Hennepin in 1985 and headed east to Connecticut where I accepted a process engineering position with American Powdered Metals. I selected APM because they were owned by Alcoa at the time and were the premier aluminum PM company in the world. Near the end of my first year I was re-assigned to the APM Conover North Carolina plant (presently GKN Sinter Metals Conover). An opportunity arose with Trico Products, Buffalo, New York who were searching for technical support for a new maquiladora operation in Brownsville, Texas/Matamoros, Mexico. I took advantage of the opportunity and soon after joining the new Trico Technologies I was named supervisor over the powder metallurgy and heat treat departments. I honed my managerial skills during this time with over 30 employees reporting to me. While at Trico I was able to increase my knowledge of bronze bearings and was approached by Greenback Industries, Greenback, Tennessee, to become their national sales manager. While at Greenback I became more active in APMI through its Southeast Chapter and started to attend regional APMI meetings and golf outings. Through my networking activities I was noticed by Kobelco Metal Powder of America, who offered me a sales specialist position. I worked for Kobelco until joining MPIF in 2004 as Director, Technical Services. Prior to becoming Executive Director/CEO I was Vice President, Technical Services.'

This article appeared in the March/April issue of Metal Powder Report.

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