It is exciting to be a member of the Applications Engineering Program (AEP). The AEP program works as part of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance (a regional NIST MEP center) along with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
For 12 years before joining the AEP, I owned and operated a small cnc machine and fab shop. The goal of the machine shop was to provide exceptional customer service while exceeding customer’s needs. Services provided included production of parts from a drawing, working with customers to solve production and/or part problems, creating designs for parts a customer needed, and reverse-engineering and producing replacements for parts no longer in production. It was accomplished by utilizing modern cnc machinery, automating processes, software advances, thinking outside the box, and taking advantage of quality and production gains via robotic welding. Roughly 30,000 parts were produced over the 12 year period for a wide variety of customers in a myriad of materials.
Some highlights include some complex, tight-tolerance, aluminum parts for one of the local aircraft simulator companies, wear parts for pulverizers in coal fired power plants, racks, workbenches, and tables for an oilfield service company applying 5S principles to all of their service centers worldwide, framework to hold lasers and LIDAR equipment for a company that manufacturers surveying equipment, tools for the United States Navy, and even some parts for NASA.
The experience and knowledge gained from small business ownership and operation gives me a unique insight into the challenges encountered by the small and medium sized businesses the AEP program serves.
Some of the certifications I have earned over the years include being a certified welder, registered with the Oklahoma Department of Labor and several SolidWorks certifications, including the Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWP) and Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA) certifications.