I joined the Skaltek team in July of 1990 as a Mechanical Engineering Technologist or MET. I came from a background in Commercial Sales and Service from The Overhead Door Company where I learned to develop and build strong Customer relationships with General Contractors who built large sized Commercial projects like hospitals, office buildings, distribution centers, etc. I learned how to build Confidence and Trust, and the importance of being accurate in the details – To be a Reliable and Trustworthy Partner.
In the first 6 months of my employment at Skaltek, I created layouts and made pintle drawings on the drafting board (In the days before Auto-Cad) and learned about the different applications. I got involved with projects and proposals. I also spent a considerable amount of time out in the shop building a series of 20 – U20 take-ups from scratch to learn the machines inside and out and how they were designed to perform. This included both mechanical and electrical construction, power up, QS testing, preparations for delivery, technical documentation, and eventually Start-ups and Technical Support.
In the early 1990’s the machines were relay-logic and DC driven. Soon the design’s incorporated PLC’s and text displays with AC controls. My experiences are mainly with the ARS and VS change-over stations, rewind lines and stand-alone Take-Ups and Pay-Offs. I was very fortunate to have benefitted from several “Mentors” from Skaltek-Sweden and Skaltek-America during the 1990’s and the last 20 years, whom I attribute so much of my success at Skaltek. I would say even “More So” today!
In 1999 I was afforded the opportunity to travel to Sydney Australia to perform service on several Skaltek lines and analyze their needs for new equipment and provide proposals. In 2009, I was afforded a second opportunity to travel to Melbourne Australia for the same purpose. My most memorable travels. I have also made several visits to Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, and of course to our Home Office in Stockholm Sweden to see their life and how they support Skaltek-America.
Throughout my 30 plus years at Skaltek I have made very special relationships with many of my Colleagues at Skaltek-Sweden as well as many Customers but also with other Vendors whom we work with to integrate our machines together. Many of these relationships have developed beyond just a professional level into genuine friendships that make working together especially joyful and fruitful. I have benefitted from a lot of their Know-How.
I have been very fortunate to be heavily involved for many ARS/VS Systems. Several customers have many older generation Skaltek lines that they have replaced with our new “PRO” series machines. I have enjoyed being a part of such evolutions at the various plants I have visited over 30 plus years. I have always benefitted from tremendous support from several “Mentors” from Skaltek-Sweden and Skaltek-America. I know I am not alone when I travel to the customer.
I have many years of extensive field service and start-up experiences. I have learned how important being prepared is to achieving success. You must take “Ownership” before the machines are even delivered. The time spent on-site is to be dedicated to building “Confidence” and transferring that “Ownership” to the customer, so it is imperative that you take your responsibility for what you hand over to the Customer.
I think the most important aspect of my career development at Skaltek has been to learn how the “Operator” interacts with our machines and what their “Daily” life is like at the Skaltek lines. To “Walk in their Shoes” and “See their life through their eyes”.
My Next Step
It is not enough to understand how the machine is supposed to function but also how the human who operates our machines should function and it should be as safe, struggle free, and simplistic as we can make it for them. But it takes a dedicated team who communicates, cooperates, and cares deeply about working toward that common goal and it is found at Skaltek – Globally.
Over the years, I have learned to develop methods to train operators on the new features of the next generation of Skaltek machines under conditions that allow them more freedom to be hands on without running product. I want to continue to refine these methods to demonstrate the simplicity that this new technology brings to their daily work life.
But new technology requires more Know-How and I want to continue to learn and develop my skills to the next level so that I can bring Future Value to my team and to the Customer. New technology also creates new Customer Need’s, and it is important to “See Beyond What is Visible so we are prepared to Face the Future with Confidence.
“A serving attitude – What can I do for you?”