This week on MakingChips, Peter Claus talks about the whirlwind of leadership he experiences in his manufacturing job. Peter is the CNC supervisor at HFW Industries in Buffalo, New York where he has worked for over 20 years. He is also one of this year’s IMTS Rock Stars. Peter shares his passion for manufacturing, how he has grown in his company and how he deals with the challenges of being a leader.
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Peter Claus seemed destined to work in the manufacturing field. While on a track to pursue an engineering degree in college, Peter had the opportunity to operate a lathe. It was a pivotal moment that led him to change directions and pursue a manufacturing career. He started at HFW in 1994 running a lathe machine. HFW specializes in hardfacing and thermal spray coatings. Listen as Peter talks about how his passion for manufacturing and how it has led to his success during this interview.
As HFW expanded and grew, more opportunities for leadership were presented to Peter. One contributing factor to Peter’s success is his constant hunger to learn and grow. He found a passion in manufacturing and he pursued it, increasing in education and company responsibility. He has always been interested in learning the different facets of manufacturing which has led to a breadth of experience. His hunger ultimately led him to where he is now as the CNC supervisor at HFW and one of this year’s IMTS Rock Stars.
With increased responsibility comes the inevitable whirlwind of leadership. Every leader will experience the effects of the whirlwind while juggling the daily demands of the job. Even the best plans and intentions can be derailed when unforeseen issues arise. Peter talks about the challenges of his supervisory role. Leading well requires prioritizing daily objectives while remaining flexible to handle issues as they arise. He gives 2 keys to surviving the whirlwind of leadership that he applies at HFW. Peter’s insight is encouraging and practical for any manufacturing leader.
What can a manufacturing leader do to escape the whirlwind of leadership? One great way to recharge is by attending IMTS. During this conversation, Peter shares how he plans to take advantage of IMTS this year. In addition to doing research on specific machines and spending time in the cutting pavilion, he plans to leverage the week as a vacation, bringing his wife and enjoying some of the great Chicago food. Peter encourages manufacturing leaders to experience IMTS and dream about the potential of taking your company to the next level.