N.A.M. HONORS VANCE FOR IDEA / Rubberworker solves production problem /
By JOSEPH E. KUEBLER Business and Industrial Editor
JAMES E. VANCE operates a beadwire machine at Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. For 26 years he has been on the job steadily.
Tomorrow Vance, 63, will stand before the golden anniversary conference of the National Association of Manufacturers in New York to receive the plaudits of management.
His solution to a production problem was acclaimed as an outstanding contribution of a rubber industry workman to the reconversion program and symbolic of American ingenuity.
VANCE WILL be one of six representatives of basic industries to be honored by the manufacturers.
His achievement was threefold. It solved a problem in the use of synthetic rubber, it improved the product through perfect rubber insulation of the wire bead for tires, and increased production by the elimination of wasted and imperfectly insulated bead wire.
There were times when the wire insulating machine would run for hours without a break. There were other days when every human effort could not prevent great quantities of waste because the synthetic wouldn't stick to the metal.
VANCE FIGURED the trouble centered in the diameter of the die through which the preheated wire passed before the rubber was pressed on the wire in a compression chamber.
A number of strands of wire were coated with rubber and then pressed together in the operation. He found he could get a more uniform product when the strands were moved farther apart since synthetic is less pliable than natural rubber and could not be forced between the wires easily.
Then there was another stumbling block. The separation of the strands made the diameter of the wire too big for specifications. Convinced his idea was practical,
Vance set up a model guide and die in the basement of his home. He was certain that once the rubber was uniformly applied, the insulated wire could be easily reduced to the exact thickness by another die.
HE WAS right. Everything worked out as he figured. Research men and technicians were amazed. Immediately the idea was placed in operation in all Firestone plants.
"Coming at the time it does, the idea will go a long way toward bolstering the production of badly needed tires in this period of reconversion," a Firestone official said.
Vance and his wife, Hazel, live at 1218 Allendale av.
Nearly 50 representatives of Akron area industry and business will attend the manufacturers' first peacetime conference in five years. The sessions open tomorrow and continue through Friday.
PHOTO CAPTION: James E. Vance, a beadwire machine operator who solved a production problem that stumped experts, will be honored by the National Association of Manufacturers at their annual meeting in New York tomorrow. Vance is shown at his machine at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.
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