What is your name and position within Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence?
Nick Powers, Systems Engineer for the Integrated Solutions Business Unit.
How did you get into this line of work?
The trail that led me here all started down in the iron pit at Northrop Grumman as an entry level jig and fixture builder. My father had put in a good word for me, which is what started my career off in the right direction (thanks dad!). The tools and experience I gained from Northrup Grumman I wouldn’t trade for anything! After a couple years I was able to start my hands-on experience with the laser trackers, setting details on the F-35 production line. Shortly after I joined the Advanced Measurement Systems group, where I ran all of the calibration and certifications for their laser trackers — this is what helped me get into where I am at today. When I first joined Hexagon, the first year I put in some time doing contract inspections, that year I believe I learned the most I ever have and that experience truly shaped me into the person I am today. Next, I applied for an Applications Engineer position specializing with the laser tracker products. This is where I built the foundation for my next position within Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.
What does your day to day look like at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence? Describe a day in the life.
This question could range greatly, and is dependent on which project is at hand. A typical day might be working in the office and composing a new robotic cell layout for simulation purposes, to expanding my education and understanding about some of the many components we may be using, and / or about to use for a solution. When I’m on the road usually its go-go with the integration of our technology with robots, and the programming that is required to accomplish that unique task. I tend to put a lot of time into our demo cell that we use at the many tradeshows we attend each year to show off our portable automation solutions, so a lot of that time could be spent either hands on with the robot, or hands on with a keyboard to tie all the systems together.
What are your future goals?
My future goals would lie with the future of our technology and future integrations, meaning that my goal is to stay on top of the technological curves of what we can do for our customers. I’d like to be part of the new and exciting solutions we come up with, and also help lead us further into automation and to be successful at it.
Tell us about your new role with the integrated solutions group, and automated measurement intelligence.
I truly enjoyed being an Applications Engineer, it was a comforting thought to know that the team I was part of was the main line of defense to keep our customers happy with their purchases, with our support, and to keep them coming back. Now as a Systems Engineer, I really get to focus on the smaller details that are unique to automation. Robotics and automation are the future and I want to be the future, in the future, just as long as it’s not the next Skynet.
What trends in automation, integrated solutions and metrology services are you seeing in the field?
I believe the biggest trend that I see is that the fascination and interest in the solutions that we have put together are still growing. I feel it’s only a matter of time before this trend evolves into an explosion going from interest, to purchase. My only fear is if the demand is larger than the supply, but maybe that’s an ok fear to have.
What do you do for fun outside of working at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence? Hobbies?
I enjoy moonlit walks on the beach, salsa dancing to soft jazz music… I live in Southern California, between the two main mountain resorts and surrounded by what seems like endless desert. With that, I truly enjoy four-wheeling, rock crawling, cave hunting, camping and fishing. I also enjoy building things, whether it be out of wood or steel. I like to put my tools to use and I get to spend time in my garage and can use big power tools, the bigger the better. On occasion to blow off some steam, I can get down on some video games with my son.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m a dog person, I pretend I can weld, and electronics are the devil.
Andrew Scarella is the Digital Marketing Manager for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America. He contributes to this blog as well as updates the North American website and provides content for the company social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.