J. Harry Dubois - Hall of Fame Entry
Author: Plastics Academy Staff
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J. Harry Dubois
Sales, Process, Management
Author and lecturer, began his career at General Electric Co. in 1927. Associated with Shaw Insulator Co., Plax Corp., Mycalex Corp. of America, and Tech Art Plastics. Founded J. Harry DuBois Co. in 1958, serving as plastics consultant. His first book, Plastics, published in 1942 and now in its fifth edition, continues to be the basic text and reference book for schools, colleges, and in-plant training programs. Other works include Plastics Mold Engineering and Plastics History U.S.A.
Our problems are no longer special to plastics. We face the concerns common to all businesses. Management becomes more important than technology. Research, motivation, innovation, advertising, scientific selling, budgeting, market analysis, planned obsolescence, and technical advancement are the tools for survival.
The greatest hazard and unknown in the immediate future is the "energy crisis." The coal gasification and liquefaction programs, now funded niggardly by OCR, must be accelerated greatly to reduce our dependence on Middle East oil. A total drive on these programs can bring essential relief in this decade. Pragmatic compromises in the environmental laws concerned with utilization of high-sulphur coal and atomic power also are essential. Plastics must be heard loudly in Washington.
We have now achieved a real start with effective educational programs as the result of the fine work done by PEF, PIA, SPI, and SPE. Continuing financial support is essential to accelerate these educational programs and their drive to regain technological leadership for the U.S.A. The conformity to high performance standards and the safety codes of OSHA demand carefully engineered products plus judicious material selection.
Educational work to date has improved the supply of "Chiefs," but we are continually short of "Indians." We must attract and train more capable men as tool makers. Molders and mold makers must subsidize those who are capable of mastering this profession. Such trainees should receive machine operator pay during their apprentice period to insure that enough capable men will complete this exacting training.
Management responsibilities also include continuous in-house training for the "Chiefs."
The potential gains from contemporary technology are fantastic. Solidstate controls, combined with mini-computers and the available sensing devices, have introduced gains resulting in "no reject" injection molding. In extrusion, the use of digital computers and simulated computer controls has eliminated scrap loss. Parison programming combined with solid state controls have made blow molding a precision business. There will be no survival for any sizable operation that fails to take advantage of our widely available contemporary technology.
Accelerated technology and the improved control systems also accelerate the mold obsolescence factor. It demands a frequent analysis of existing high-volume molds and machines to determine the economical point for their replacement. New mold designs must contemplate technological machinery advancements of the future to extend their longevity. Industries, like businesses, are enthusiastic and flexible when they start; morale is high and actions are taken quickly on profitable ideas. Historically, with time, many businesses get welded to one success formula, are run by the organization chart with a resulting loss of enthusiasm, vitality, and profits. Plastics managers must be alert to this pitfall and maintain programs that foster innovation, ideas, and high morale.
Production machinery, technology, and the ubiquitous plastics are so versatile and capable today that every manager must refuse to recognize any technical obstacles. Future growth will be determined only by the will for further accomplishment.