Reaching for the Stars Starts With Students

• Industry misconceptions that promote the idea that manufacturing is an underpaid, low-skill occupation prone to accident and injury

Academia within arm’s reach

With both educational and shop floor data points like these, it’s clear the entire Helander team has been extremely satisfied with their FARO scan-arm results. While it’s unlikely that hand-tool measurement has met its total demise, it’s equally obvious that 3D technology is rapidly gaining ground—particularly in tight-tolerance industries like aerospace and defense, where younger talent is needed most.

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For late teens and early 20-somethings looking to narrow the manufacturing skills gap and embrace the cutting edge of the latest 3D laser-scanning technology, such news is sure to go from “low-key” to “high-key” before anyone else can apply for that amazing future job.

Founded in 1936, Helander has come far from its humble beginnings. Today the company of 40-plus employees headquartered in Lombard, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, specializes in metal spinning, sheet hydroforming (the process by which hydraulic pressure is applied to a sheet of metal, which causes it to deform and take on the shape of a die and is used to create auto body panels, aerospace components, and appliance casings) and machining, with a focus on aerospace, energy, and commercial/industrial machinery and equipment industries. Helander works with companies big and small, including leaders in the aerospace industry. On average, the company has close to 100 new projects per year.

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2024 – 12:02

Quality Digest


Ask anyone higher up in manufacturing today—like Brian Coglianese, the quality manager and management representative of Helander Metal Spinning Co.—and they’ll tell you a similar story: Recruiting top talent, especially younger post-high school students, is increasingly difficult.


Reaching for the Stars Starts With Students

Helping narrow the manufacturing skills gap with 3D tech

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One of the ways Helander achieves that aim is through the purchase and use of 3D laser-scanning technology, like the FARO Quantum Max ScanArm. The Quantum Max is a precision measurement tool that combines the measurement capabilities of a Quantum Max FaroArm portable coordinate measuring machine (PCMM) with the noncontact functionality of a laser line probe. More than that, it’s also a state-of-art piece of 3D measurement technology younger employees are increasingly eager to embrace.

• Cultural shifts that have de-emphasized vocational training in favor of college-level coursework and advanced degrees

This article was first published by FARO. Learn more here.