In this edition of Connected, we spotlight
Brian Buchholz to talk about the role of
a Machinist and Steinhauer Operator
at Mechanical Solutions and Service.
Can you tell us about your role?
I have worked at Kirby Risk Mechanical Solutions and Service for 19 years as a Mechanic, Winder, Machinist, Steinhauer Operator and in other roles when needed. During the last six to seven years, my role has been a Machinist, repairing and making new parts for electric motors and other apparatus that come in or fabricating something new for a customer need. The workload is steady, but we do have occasional customer breakdowns that require after-hours or weekend work when emergency situations arise.
Can you tell us about the Steinhauer Enclosure Modification Center and your experience working with it?
The Steinhauer Enclosure Modification Center works to modify enclosures for customers that need shorter lead times than the factory can provide. Learning to run the modification center was a new process for me since it didn’t use the traditional CNC programing you might find on machines at our Kirby Risk Precision Machining business. One of the challenges I experienced was regarding the tooling. For example, the Hoffman factory can stamp and laser cut as the box is being built, but the Steinhauer machine runs end mills for cutting, so some of the tight radiuses and certain shapes are not specifically available. However, we always work to create a solution that will satisfy the customer.
If necessary, a prototype enclosure can be cut and sent to the customer for their approval before proceeding with the balance of the order.
When we receive a job, the customer supplies a drawing for the order. Interpreting a drawing can sometimes be tricky because not everyone uses the same computer-aided design (CAD) practices. Mounting boxes in the machine can also create challenges. While size and shape can create issues, we also must consider feet, latches, hinges, etc. that were not identified in the drawing and need to be accounted for in the clearance. Despite these challenges, turning a 2D drawing into a 3D object is quite fun. I particularly enjoy the variety of work, the many challenges and the pride I feel when making, modifying or repairing something that may not be replaceable.
Can you share a customer success story with us?
Often, our quick turnaround time is instrumental in helping
a customer in need. In one such case, we had a customer who ordered a modified enclosure from the factory, and after waiting a few weeks received the modified enclosure, but the enclosure door modifications were incorrect. The customer was in a rush to correct the issues, and the factory was unable to expedite to meet the customer’s need. Kirby Risk was able to expedite an order for the new doors. Once we received the doors, the Steinhauer machine was then set up to complete the modifications. The doors were delivered to the customer the next day, allowing them to meet their deadline.