The Principles Behind Principal Engineers
Many of our customers rely on Okuma products to take on their most challenging manufacturing processes. But gone are the days when our CNC machines are the sole solution. Sure, they’re expected to produce parts day in and day out for many years to come, but they’re also required to provide intelligent communication to a staggering array of options including peripherals, business systems and even employees. It’s a very good thing that our open architecture CNC control, the THINC®-OSP-P300 , simplifies these operations and provides easy access to peripheral devices and business systems.
Bring It On!
All of this flexibility brings welcome challenges to the engineers at Okuma and our distributors. This team thrives on challenges! In order to meet our customer’s expectations, we sometimes need to rely on a special breed of engineers. As a result, Okuma America utilizes a group of six engineers with the title of Principal Engineer. We’re a diverse group coming from various engineering disciplines but we share some common characteristics – a ton of experience and the ability to think out of the box. Our combined experience totals well over 125 years! In my case, 30 years of manufacturing engineering experience to rely on. So, with all of that experience, what exactly do we do? With this role comes the responsibility to uphold the highest standards of performance and leadership that translate to effective solutions for our customers.
The Principles of Okuma’s Principal Engineers
Visionaries - We’re in constant contact our customers, distributors and fellow team members to determine how we can continuously improve our product. We scour the market for trends, products and talent that will guide Okuma America and our customers into the future. When new products arrive, we’re often called on to put them through their paces to evaluate and thoroughly understand their functionality.
Mentors - Okuma America believes in having a succession plan. We use our experience and knowledge to mentor our entire engineering staff. When challenges arise, we’re often called upon to share our past experiences with our teammates – any of whom may join the next class of Principal Engineers. We’re also involved in the community. I work with my local middle and high school to mentor FIRST robotics teams. These are kids who are already drawn to engineering and robotics, and represent the future for Okuma America.
Project Management - When large projects arise, we’re often tasked to lead them. Our internal and external customers expect and deserve to have a smooth running project led by someone with the experience to get the job done. Fellow Principal Engineer Gary Snow has led many multi-million dollar projects to successful completion.
When All Else Fails - We’re sometimes called upon to identify and fix problems in the field that prove to be particularly difficult to diagnose and repair. When you see guys like Richard Turner, Joe Alhafi, Frank Gonzalez or Dale Keleman at your door, rest assured they’re not leaving until the job is done.
We’ve Got Your Back
When you consider the purchase of an Okuma machine tool, you’re making an investment in your future. But your decision becomes easier knowing that we always have your back. You’re surrounded by the largest staff of elite factory-trained engineers in America’s CNC machining industry – the service and application engineers employed by our distributors. They’re backed by a talented team of Okuma America engineers located in Charlotte, and at our Chicago and Houston Tech Centers. The Principal Engineers of Okuma America stand ready to assist.
Bob Baldizzi is Principal Engineer, Okuma America Corporation.