What is a day in your life at Serpa like?
We start off with a meeting on all the machines on the floor that are getting built. We decide what needs to get done that day, what can wait a day, and then we’ll proceed to get those machines going or what the progress needs to be on. I’m fortunate enough to where I get to walk the floor and see the machines, fix problems that have arisen in the building process, and then we’ll come up with a solution on the floor with debug, mechanics. We’ll design the solution, make sure that’s what they wanted, and then we’ll release it to the shop to fabricate. I get to work with engineering, electrical, mechanical, and machine shop.
What inspires you to succeed every day?
Really the best part about succeeding here is you get to see what you do actually in stores. Whenever I’m walking through stores I get to bug my girlfriend and be like, “Hey, see that box? I helped get that box to the shelves.” I think that’s the most rewarding part about working here.
What is the most meaningful part of your day?
When we have a problem and we thought it’d be a hard problem to solve, and then there’s a solution that’s talked about and at first you’re like, “Maybe it might work, maybe it doesn’t…” and then you build all the parts and they start to look better and better and then it eventually works fantastic. That’s always a big happy moment when you see what you designed get created and then it works and it’s done.
When do you have the most fun at work?
Most fun would be seeing the machine come to life. You’re seeing it throughout the months, sometimes 4 or 5 months before you see the whole machine—you’re seeing drawings, you’re seeing concepts, and you see it slowly come to life. You’re looking at complex parts or easy parts that you designed and they get put together and once it actually all runs and it runs well, that’s probably the best part.
Why did you select Serpa as opposed to another company?
I always liked the idea of manufacturing, machining; Justin told me about it and put in a good word to get me started drafting here and I’ve always liked it since. I was fortunate in getting a drafting job—I was a drafter for a year and a couple months and then right when I graduated, I graduated on a Friday and I was working here as an engineer on Monday.
What opportunities or experiences have you most enjoyed?
There are some pretty cool projects that are things that are commonly used that everybody knows about—having ideas of flavors before they come out and you’re building the packaging line for these and you know it’s coming and when you finally see something new hit the market you know for sure that your machine touched all that packaging.
Since Serpa has become part of ProMach, what changes have you seen?
It hasn’t changed my day-to-day life too much. I think what ProMach has added to this company is more structure; since they’re a huge company, they already had structure in place that we were able to adopt. I do enjoy that a bit better. That’s the one thing I’ve really noticed.
What is something you’ve learned or your biggest take away during your time at Serpa?
We say it all the time here: Do it right the first time. If you don’t put all the effort into the first time doing it, more than likely there’s going to be something you missed, it’s going to come up again, and you’re going to end up spending more time on it.
What keeps you motivated and coming to work every day?
Seeing the progress on machines, getting the final machine done, seeing it complete. That’s the nice thing here, seeing things from start to finish. There are machines I hate seeing because they’re such a pain in the butt, but when they finally work it’s nice.
If someone new were joining the team what one piece of advice do you think they should know?
There’s going to be hard times; there are going to be times when you’re looking at this thing and you’re tired of looking at it, but you have to commit to the problems to solve. If you don’t commit all the way it’s going to make life harder. So if you really want to succeed: immerse yourself into this problem, invest yourself in the machine and then you’ll come up with better solutions and you’ll succeed.