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Minni Tek Event Information

  • Topics
  • Speakers
  • Expert Panel
  • Open Houses


University of Minnesota - Dr. Art Erdman
Direct Digital Manufacturing - Jeff Hanson
SPE - Richard Bopp
Keynote | Governor Pawlenty
CNC Machining - Dave Reasor
Manufacturing & Regulations - Gloria McDonnell
Rapid Tooling & Injection Molding - Dan Mishek
Expert Panel Discussion | Q&A
Governor Tim Pawlenty

Governor Tim Pawlenty is regarded as one of the nation's most innovative, energetic, reform-minded and accomplished governors. Under Governor Pawlenty's leadership, Minnesota ranks first among states in Fortune 500 companies per capita.

Now serving his second term as the 39th governor of Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty has brought increased accountability to state government, held the line on taxes, improved K-12 education standards and made Minnesota a leader in energy reform.




Dr. Art Erdman | Director of Medical Devices, U of M

Dr. Art Erdman is a distinguished teaching professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, specializing in mechanical design, bioengineering and product design. Dr. Erdman has published over 325 technical papers, 3 books and holds over 30 patents.

He has received a number of awards including ASME Machine Design Award, the ASME Outstanding Design Educator Award and shares with his former students 9 Best Paper Awards at international conferences. Erdman is a Fellow of ASME and a Founding Fellow of AIMBE. He chairs the Design of Medical Devices Conferences which are held next to the University of Minnesota each April.

Jeff Hanson | Advantages to Direct Digital Manufacturing

Jeff Hanson discussed the newest method of manufacturing low volume plastic parts without tooling. Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) has found its niche in the low volume production arena. Jeff highlighted the available materials, discuss tolerance and repeatability, outline where DDM has had most successes and show what the factory of the future may look like.

Jeff is the Manager of Business Strategy and Development at RedEye joined the Stratasys team 15 years ago to work on new product development through the application engineering department. During his time with Stratasys, he helped the company obtain two patents of the more than 180 the company holds or has pending. Jeff earned his degree in mechanical engineering from San Diego City College, San Diego, California.

Dave Reasor | Advantages to CNC Machining

Dave Reasor showed why an old method of manufacturing in CNC machining has become one of the most popular methods today for low volume production. Showing examples of the utilization of horizontal milling and vertical milling hit home when deliveries and pricing are drastically reduced. Dave highlighted the advancements and share the successes in today’s economy.

With over 15 years in the industry Dave Reasor has helped successfully launch several startup manufacturing companies. In 2000, Dave Co-founded Product Development Solutions Inc. As CEO of PDS Dave brings a passion for technology and productivity to his company that specializes in high speed vertical and horizontal machining. PDS has a wide range of customers including the fields of Medical, Electrical and Commercial.

Dan Mishek | Advantages to Rapid Tooling

Dan Mishek shared how Aluminum Tooling is growing into the preferred method of tooling for producing low volume production parts. Examples of tolerance, repeatability, surface finish, complexities and quantities were also highlighted. With the niche of today’s products moving to lower volumes and higher margins, can you gain advantages by using Aluminum Tooling?

Dan Mishek is the Sales Manager and co-owner of Vista Technologies. Dan has been published in Moldmaking Technology, Injection Molding, Manufacturing Engineering, and Time Compression. He has also presented at the RP&M Show (‘07) in Chicago and Mold Making Expo (’07-’08) in Chicago and Detroit. Dan graduated from Mount Mercy College in 1997 with a double major in Marketing and Public Relations.

Gloria McDonnell | Manufacturing and Regulations

Gloria McDonnell, CPA, discussed the benefits of R&D tax credits for manufacturers, types of activities conducted on a daily basis that qualify for the tax credit and the necessary steps to appropriately document the time and materials that qualify.

Gloria McDonnell leads the HLB Tautges Redpath business tax service area. She specializes in corporate tax planning and compliance, multi-state taxation and tax research. Gloria works with closely-held businesses in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and mining, and has 20 years of business tax accounting experience.

Gloria earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northern Michigan University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.

David Sparks | Andersen Corporation

Michael Thorsfeldt | Clearfield

Bill Buenz | Graco

Kimberly Stenerson | Medtronic

Open Houses:

Immediately following Minni Tek, Vista Technologies and Product Development Solutions hosted open houses at their respective headquarters. It was a great way to see hands-on how these low volume production technologies work.

Vista Technologies had their low volume production technologies on display which include High Speed Mills, Large Platform FDM machines and Injection Molding presses.

Product Development Solutions, On display there was Horizontal / Vertical Milling Machines and Cast Urethane Technology.

Vista Technologes
380 Oak Grove Pkwy.
Suite 100
Vadnais Heights, MN 55127
Map it |1.8 miles

Product Developlment Solutions
1550 94th Lane NE
Blaine, MN 55449
Map it | 9.9 miles



Following the presentations on Direct Digital Manufacturing, CNC Machining and Rapid tooling a Cost Matrix was shown to illustrate real examples of breakeven points when all three technologies are compared. This should help focus on where each technology has its niche.

If you have any questions, please contact Dan at 651-653-0400.

Genererous Sponsors to help make Minni Tek Possible.

Vista Technologies
RedEye Ondemand
PDS | CNC Machining in Minnesota
Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation
Molenaar Logo
Tautges Redpath
Rapit Printing
Positively Minnesota
US Bank
Wilson Tool | Punches and Dies
Risdall Marketing Group

Rapit Printing and Promotions Molenaar

VistaTek | Rapid Injection Molding