HOW DID YOU CHOOSE A CAREER IN MANUFACTURING AND WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
After going to school for aircraft maintenance management, an opportunity came up with a machine tool manufacturer and all the areas I learned in college – electrical, hydraulics, pneumatics – it all fit when I started as a service engineer 30+ years ago.
Over my career, approaches to machining, machine tools, applications, tooling, and types of parts are constantly changing, which is what makes this industry great, along with working with a company changing and growing with the times. I also feel you get to grow with the people. There are people I started dealing with when I first entered the industry and while we’ve all moved around and up the ladder, they don’t often leave because manufacturing is exciting and ever evolving.
Being senior product manager at NSK America allows me to work with prospective customers, existing customers, distributors, manufacturers, and engineers on applications such as high-speed machining and nano-machining – demanding, precise applications, not canned solutions. Getting the opportunity to find solutions to a manufacturing project is really fulfilling, and with the ever-changing tooling industry you’re always learning new ways to do things and gaining ideas from others in the industry. NSK America has products keeping pace with industry changes, so it’s great to help customers solve challenges with technologies that make parts better, faster, or more precise.
There are a lot of avenues for today’s youth to enter manufacturing – everything from robotics programming to machine programming, setup, etc. Manufacturers have a lot of pride in the parts they produce but the parts don’t make themselves. Manufacturing needs the hands-on people excited to grow and change as new advancements continue in this industry. It’s been my career and continues to be rewarding and exciting.