GREENE, NY — The Raymond Corporation was represented by Raymond welder Mark Hartwig at the inaugural Toyota Material Handling Group (TMHG) Skills Competition in Takahama, Japan, on March 16. To showcase their skill sets, participants had to weld a steel pressure vessel performing tack welding, semi-automatic welding and finishing of the surface. Hartwig placed first in the competition among seven other competitors across TMHG facilities in the United States, Italy, Sweden, France and China.
“Participating in the Toyota Skills Competition has been an opportunity of a lifetime,” Hartwig said. “I’m so honored that I could be a part of one of the Toyota Material Handling Group’s first welding competitions and compete with the best of the best.”
Accompanying Hartwig was Jim Cirigliano, welding operations manager at The Raymond Corporation. After experiencing Toyota Industries Co. (TICO) Skills Competitions in Japan years earlier, Cirigliano championed to begin an internal welding competition at Raymond’s headquarters in Greene, New York. In 2015, Raymond’s internal welding competitions began, helping promote friendly competition and enhancing welding skills and knowledge. As the internal welding competition winner two years in a row, Hartwig earned the invitation by Toyota to travel to Japan to compete in the TMHG Skills Competition.
“Toyota holds the Skills Competition to know and understand where our company’s welding skills are and to promote higher skills learning in the Toyota Material Handling Group. Mark’s work was beautiful and could withstand the water pressure test, which showcased Raymond’s excellent forklift welding quality,” said Hisanori Miyajima, manufacturing general manager, Toyota Industries Co. “We would like to congratulate and thank not only Mark but also his supporting members at Raymond. We believe this win came from good preparation and teamwork through pre-competition activities.”
Earning a gold medal in the TMHG Skills Competition allowed Hartwig to move on to compete at the TICO Skills Competition on March 18. Hartwig placed fifth in that competition against 18 competitors from around the world — all of whom work in TICO facilities.