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Five Questions with Wally Calayag

Five Questions with...Wally Calayag

This month we catch up with technical sales engineer, Wally Calayag, and ask him some questions about his community involvement, challenges for machine shops in the aerospace industry, how shops can be more efficient and more. See what he has to say in this 5-minute read.

As a manufacturing engineer and CNC manager, Wally focused on implementing lean manufacturing (5S) on the shop floor for 13 years before joining Sandvik Coromant approximately two years ago. An application engineer at Mazak and Fagor Automation in his previous roles, his diverse background and experience includes basic PLC functions for automation, machine integration, and tooling design using Solidworks and Mastercam. His skills include programming machines from simple 2-axis lathes to multi-tasking turn-mill centers and 3-axis to 5-axis mills.

Sandvik Coromant: You volunteer your time working as a mentor in your community with students in Hawthorne High School’s Metalcrafters Manufacturing and Engineering program. Why is it important that we share knowledge with young people about the metal cutting industry and what advice would you give them about considering careers in manufacturing?

Wally Calayag: It is important to help prepare the next generation of machinist, technicians, and engineers. One of the main reasons I volunteer my time is because we are facing a severe shortage of skilled workers here in the U.S., and that number will only continue to grow as baby boomers retire. That is why I invest my time in mentoring because of the manufacturing skill gap. Also, when you share your experiences with others, it helps deepen your knowledge and helps to further ingrain what you know.

My advice to young people is to find a mentor because having a role model in the manufacturing field will support you in your career goals and development. Also, look to your engineering teachers and add their strengths to your portfolio and remember to never stop learning. Manufacturing is a never-ending learning process. Don't forget to have fun while doing it.

SC: Many of your customers in your territory in Southern California are in the aerospace industry. What do you see are their challenges? And is there one tool or machining method that you are surprised that shops don’t utilize more?

WC: I see that one of the biggest challenges is simple to fix however, it is difficult to diagnose. Many shops use improper tools and have poor programming skills. This is especially tricky when working with inexperienced operators. So, it is my job to inform them of our Sandvik Coromant approach which can help them eliminate inefficiencies, and reduce costs by increasing productivity.
One of the methods that shops underutilize is High-Speed Machining. I always inform them that one of the main reasons for this method is to prevent heat exchange between the chip and the part. So, the result is no structural changes due to heat, retains its integrity, and increases productivity.

SC: What material trends do you see in the aerospace industry? What solutions do we have to help cut those materials productively?

WC: One of the challenging materials to machine for aerospace manufacturers are nickel-based alloys. I usually introduce my new clients to our CoroMill Plura tooling because of the ceramic substrate that allows different processes than traditional solid carbide tooling.

SC: What types of additional improvements to an operation could a shop see if they were to use machine monitoring software such as CoroPlus Machining Insights?

WC: Getting the insights on your machine status, cycle time, set up time, machine downtime, and performance with reports consisting of real-time and historical data, and more are all key factors for a shop. This pertinent information is useful to our clients so they can find issues, address them and improve their manufacturing process.

SC: We talk a lot about sustainability and lean manufacturing. What’s your best tip on how a shop can start to be leaner and more efficient? 

Kaizen, One-piece flow, and elimination of waste are a few examples of lean manufacturing. Some shops forget that things like manufacturing processes such as poor programming, using incorrect tooling, cycle time, set up time, machine downtime are overlooked. That is why when I visit any manufacturing facility, I try to evaluate the manufacturing process and I look to ways to help them find inefficiencies and increase their productivity on the manufacturing floor.

Bonus question: What’s does “Shaping the Future Together” mean to you, and why?

WC: Industrial and manufacturing platforms have radically changed in the last century. With the rise of automation and industrial IoT, the future of manufacturing will look different than it does today.  There is an evolution in our industry that is happening. Technology globalization is one of them because it forces the world to become a large city. An organization can search for talent anywhere in the world, and your physical location is starting to matter a lot less.

I started in manufacturing back in 1997, and from what I notice, every aspect of business behavior has changed in the last 15 years. Work is something you carry in your pocket wherever you are, like at a coffee shop, for example. Technology allows us to stay connected to people and information anytime, anywhere. People are also comfortable sharing their public life by posting photos, sharing ideas, and engaging a conversation on social media.

So all these trends and technology are forcing the organization to create an environment to attract new talent where new talent would look at the company culture and will decide they want to be a part of that team. So, for me, "Shaping the future together,” means developing a diverse pipeline of talent in an inclusive environment.

Second bonus question: What’s your favorite Sandvik Coromant tool and why?

WC: One of my favorites is our Power Skiving tool. This process is many times faster than shaping and more flexible than broaching. This tool enables all machining to be carried out in a single setup. By eliminating multiple operations, our client's productivity will automatically increase, improve quality, save time, and cost by using our tool for gear and spline production



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