Lapeer High School students, passionate about engineering, were welcomed to Lumco Manufacturing in Attica, on March 24, by CEO and President Mike Morris. The attending students, who are involved with the Lapeer Robotics teams, and the College on Campus programs through University of Michigan Flint or Baker College, were impressed with the company that supplies Tier I and Tier II companies with parts created in a high skill environment.
We asked Mike, What skills are needed to become an engineer?
He said that engineers must have the ability to communicate with a diverse audience, a strong science and math background and an ability to think outside of the box. Just because it has been done the same way for many years doesn’t mean that there is not a better way to accomplish something. The most critical skill in engineering: Problem Solving. Engineers need to come up with solutions.
Morris says, “To work in manufacturing, it takes patience, a willingness to learn, an ability to retain knowledge, and a creative mind set.” He encourages students “to get as much experience as early as possible to understand what is out there to make a better decision on your future career. Summer interning and co-op’s are great opportunities to make yourself more marketable than others competing for the same job.”
Lumco works with its vendors based on their needs, whether the plans are already developed and the product is made onsite, or the product is designed with the Lumco engineers and taken from idea to product completion onsite. In some cases, Lumco, uses reverse engineering, where a customer brings them a product, which may be damaged or no longer available, and Lumco disassembles it and recreates a facsimile of the original. With 21 employees, and looking to grow, Lumco fabricates, machines, designs, and assembles all of the machinery in house. With 21 employees and 19,000 square feet, they are looking to grow.
Morris, at age 28, purchased the company in 2010, from the original owners, and everyday works to make them and many others proud of Lumco Manufacturing. “With a great group of dedicated and loyal employees, Lumco is here to stay and grow, and with our diverse capabilities in house, we can give customers a solution at a competitive cost.”
What is coming? Morris looks to build an additional hi-bay facility with an overhead crane for the assembly area, as well as looking for larger equipment, like a large CNC boring mill to increase the range of products offered to customers through fabrication, precision machine, design, and assembly: to create solutions for their problems.
Originally established by the Gleason brothers in 1968, Lumco focused on designing and building special indexable cutting tools along with repairing them for many years for the auto industry. Lumco still does this type of work but it is a small portion of the business. Over the next couple of decades Lumco diversified into the gas and oil industry. Lumco, over the last 20 years, has provided solutions to many tube and pipe manufacturers, designing and building many types of tooling and projects for a variety of customers throughout the country and in Canada.
Mike Morris is a 2000 graduate of Lapeer East High School, 2004 graduate of Kettering University in Mechanical Engineering, and a 2008 graduate of University of Michigan — Ann Arbor in Mechanical Engineering. He left a management position at General Motors to embark on this journey as an entrepreneur, and he has a vision for his company to become a preferred supplier in the Michigan area, especially Lapeer County. “ I would like people to know that Lumco is here to help with their manufacturing needs.”
Mike and his wife Adrienne live in the Lapeer area, have three children and are active in Immaculate Conception Church and Bishop Kelley School.
Lapeer Community Schools is so appreciative of Mike Morris opening his doors to our students to see manufacturing up close, and in taking the time to share with them his first hand experiences in engineering.