Michelle Kane, mechanical engineer at PMI, was born and raised in northeast Ohio. She stayed in the region to attend Cleveland State University, which offered a 4+1 program. That program enabled Michelle to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering in five academic years instead of six.
After college, Michelle worked at a temperature sensor company in Mansfield. Midway through the global pandemic, however, Michelle decided that she preferred employment closer to her family. Michelle’s job search led her to PMI, which she joined in April, 2022.
“I enjoy the variety in my day-to-day work,” she said. “I work in the engineering department and am involved with many different projects and all our departments. The environment is fast-paced and I’m always learning something new.”
We asked Michelle to share more about herself and the work she does at PMI.
What machines and materials have you worked with?
I often work on projects that involve 3D printing and the use of an autoclave. We use the autoclave to replicate ocean depth and for pressure testing.
What is a specialty of yours that you are particularly proud of?
Being organized. I manage multiple projects, as well as PMI’s ISO and safety programs. I use weekly to-do lists to keep track of what needs to be done.
How would you describe a “typical” work week?
A typical work week for me involves working with a variety of departments and people inside and outside of the company. For instance, I provide project information and updates on customer interaction to our sales team. With the production team, the focus is on work orders, procedures, testing, and training. In our quality control, supply chain, and shipping and receiving areas, my involvement ranges from parts to be ordered or evaluated to products shipped to customers or vendors. In my ISO role, I work with all our departments to collect data for key performance indicators, which are used to update and improve procedures and processes and/or create new guidance documents as needed.
What have you learned about the industry? Are there any trends or changes you are following?
I didn’t know just how specialized PMI’s business was when I joined 19 months ago. I have learned so much about vessels, surveys, remote-operated vehicles, fiber optics, etc. and the solutions that PMI designs, manufactures, and tests. At PMI, I’m assisting or leading projects and get to be directly involved with our products, such as our new fiber optic splice kit, Dyna II family, EVERFLEX™ BSR Bending Strain Relief, DAM/BLOK™ Electrical Cable Splice Kit, and other marine cable connectors and subsea cable terminations.
One group I follow on social media is called, “Interesting Engineering.” It has been posting about fiber optics and fiber optic cables and the alternate ways they are being used. One example mentioned using fiber optic cables to track whales using seismographs. Interestingly, PMI’s solutions are assisting in this offshore work and data collection of whale songs!
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
Northeast Ohio has a huge volleyball community. I am part of this and play volleyball about five days a week. I also enjoy reading novels and manga, watching anime and TV shows, going to concerts, and spending time with friends, family, and my three cats.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be “when you grow up”?
I wanted to do special FX makeup, either for movies or plays. I began studying chemical engineering to “make” makeup. That’s when I discovered how much I despise chemistry! I switched to mechanical engineering after two semesters of general chemistry in my freshman year of college.
By Bob Centa, President of PMI Industries
The start of a new year is a wonderful opportunity to express appreciation, reflect on past accomplishments, and look forward to the future. At PMI Industries, we have many reasons to be proud of the work we are doing and the value and opportunities this creates for our key stakeholders.
Our business provides engineered protection solutions for underwater marine cable connectors and subsea cable terminations, including assemblies and hardware that are used in electrical, optical, pressure, and mechanical applications. The solutions we create enable us to service customers around the world through the four different markets in which we operate. We look forward to building upon the strength of these relationships as we embark on our 40th year in business.
Acknowledging PMI’s relationships
PMI’s key stakeholders include our shareholders, employees, suppliers, and customers. We appreciate our shareholders, who provide support when needed and the autonomy to think and act for the long-term health and growth of the business. We are thankful for our employees, who embody a “can-do” attitude and deserve thanks because of the ways in which they embrace new opportunities presented by our customers and help us meet daily operational challenges. We are indebted to our suppliers for their critical inputs, helping us meet the needs of our customers and/or our own operations.
We are grateful to our customers, many of which have done business with PMI for decades. Whether old or new, our customers can count on our subsea cable engineering experts to design, manufacture, and test cable systems for impact and abrasion protection, to prevent bending and provide strain relief, and for dynamic and static cable protection.
Gaining momentum in 2023
We made improvements and changes in 2023 designed to better serve our customers and position us for growth. Among our biggest accomplishments were:
- Facilities upgrade – PMI relocated to a larger, state-of-the-art facility early in 2023. The new space allows us to better address customers’ needs and requirements through operational efficiencies and improved manufacturing and testing processes. The facility offers added bonuses, which include:
- Activating sustainable manufacturing processes that conserve energy and natural resources, such as LED lighting
- Improving ingress and egress for our customers and suppliers
- Positively impacting employee retention and recruitment
- Our people – Key additions in engineering, quality control, accounting, and production were made to an already dedicated team. Each member of the PMI team is making significant contributions to meet, and exceed, our customers’ expectations. You can meet two of them, Rich Sinkovic and Terrence Mathis, who were featured in recent stories on our website and social media.
- New products – A customer referral brought together our sales, engineering, supply chain, production, and quality control teams to provide a solution to a new challenge. The PMI team did an outstanding job in satisfying the customer and exceeding their requirements. Additionally, this product has the potential to cross over into many other applications. The project was a perfect example of PMI at its finest in terms of how we meet the unique needs of our customers, despite significant challenges.
- Our services – We took the opportunity to better communicate the extensive testing capabilities we offer. With the growth in the diameter of and materials used in cables, we have been reminding customers and interested cable manufacturers about PMI’s in-house dynamic cable testing and analysis. It provides an extra confidence boost with their cable system components and the integrity of the complete system.
- New markets – We successfully completed production of a new renewable energy product and collaborated with the customer during installation. As the world seeks alternatives to meet global energy needs, PMI is excited about the growth prospects this market offers.
- Improved communications – Significant enhancements made to our website and social medial channels have made them more informative and user friendly. We are regularly updating our LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter) accounts with interesting content and encourage you to check it out.
Building new opportunities in 2024
We are excited about what 2024 holds. We enter the year leveraging our solid foundation, which allows us to better meet the needs of our customers and deliver existing products while creating new ones in the markets we serve.
Two key areas on which PMI is focused in 2024 are:
- Customer and supplier engagement – While we realize the world has changed due to the global pandemic, we feel strongly about the importance of relationships. We remain committed to meeting customers and suppliers whenever possible, whether at trade shows, their place of business, or anywhere else in the world.
- Processes – With the core infrastructure firmly in place, our last big initiative is the replacement of our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Replacing our ERP system is not just an update; it’s a strategic move towards future-proofing our business operations, enhancing efficiency, and maintaining our competitive edge in the market.
We would love to hear from you. Please contact us if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do for you.