Glebar Employee Spotlight: Phil LaRussa, Field Service Engineer

Phil is responsible for ensuring Glebar customers' machines are operating at the highest output level. He provides support both remotely and onsite.     

Q. How long have you been at Glebar?  
A. I have been employed here since January 22, 2018 

Q. What drew you to the Company? 
A. While looking for jobs throughout the latter half of 2017, I was seeking something that was intellectually stimulating and challenging. I was also hoping to find something a job where I could utilize my education background in mechanical engineering. During my interview, I could tell that the technology I would be working with, as well as the technical customer interactions would satisfy all of my requirements. 

Q. What's the most interesting aspect of your job?  
A. Over the past year+ I've been fortunate enough to work with the most sophisticated precision technology that I've never heard of. I've seen cameras that can track a wire with a diameter of less than 0.01” over distances as small as 0.0001". I've seen microscopic cracks in parts being detected by electric currents. I've seen countless wires ground down precisely and repeatably to 0.002", designed to travel over 5 ft through the human body. I continue to be impressed by new technologies constantly and it's rarely a dull day because of that. 

Q. What was the most interesting project you worked on/developed?  
A. There is an ongoing project I am involved with that has consisted of months of research and development. Basically, we're working on making a steel part grind down to sizes like 0.002" more reliably. I've tested dozens of steel parts manufactured in a variety of ways to improve our process. Being a part of the testing and development has been constantly interesting and occasionally frustrating. As our techniques change, I've enjoyed being a part of the redesign of such a delicate part, it's interesting to see how every part of the process, no matter how small, impacts the final part immensely. 

Q.  How does your team work together?  
A.  Cooperation is highly necessary in the technical services department. With dozens of customers operating hundreds of machines, our department relies heavily on the knowledge and experience of each other to help when a problem arises. For example, many of our grinding machines are operated with software installed on Windows OS. While I have the least experience in my department with the actual grinding, I have been computer literate since having to troubleshoot the family Windows 95 computer before I was in high school. I've also been repairing computer hardware ever since my Xbox 360 needed new thermal paste on its heat sink. My department has been super helpful to me ever since I was hired and the knowledge and experience I've been absorbing is almost too much, but it's nice to know that I can be a useful member of the team even though I've been here the least amount of time. 

Q.  What was the most challenging thing you faced on the job?  
A.  That would have to be my first service call back in April of last year. I was sent to troubleshoot a problem on a machine I had very little time working with. While I took care of the problem I was sent to deal with, I was hit with a barrage of, “oh while you're here, ______ is also not working". Hours of phone time ensued with my boss being very patient and walking me through the steps of solving all these problems I had no idea how to deal with. For my first time being alone in the field it felt like trial by fire. Luckily, with my since accumulated experience, I haven't had a trip as stressful as that one.  

Q. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?  
A. Lately, I've been hooked on Tetris 99 while I'm not pursuing new culinary adventures (recently: limoncello and hot pot). But once the weather starts warming up there's nothing I like more than going to the park with my favorite girls (my girlfriend and my dog)!