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Faces of Interface Featuring Karla Salaz

When you possess the worldly knowledge and the wide range of career experience as our Custom Solutions Procurement Specialist Karla Salaz, you can be successful anywhere. In today’s Faces of Interface, we spoke to Karla about her career experience as well as her travels abroad and throughout the United States.

Karla grew up in Arizona and is a rare third generation Arizonian. Her father worked for the U.S. Forest Service, while her mother was in administrative work. Karla always enjoyed her home state and although her life took her all around to California, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and Germany, she always knew she would make it back

Karla’s career is defined by her outstanding ability to pick up new skills and roles very quickly. When she moved to Southern California, she started a job in construction as a laborer before moving into an administrative assistant role. Her next stop was in retail where she worked at Walmart. She began as a cashier and rose through the ranks. Seven years later, Karla left Walmart as an assistant manager.

Then, after a few years working in the retail industry, Karla’s former husband, who was in the air force, received Permanent Change of Station orders to Germany, and she went along. In her new home, she began working for a broker for military exchanges.

After a little while and a move back to the states to Texas, she would take on her first role in manufacturing at a sausage manufacturing plant.  She moved into procurement at the plant and realized that she really enjoyed the various aspects of the position that allowed her to nurture and grow supplier relationships, as well as internal relationships. She also really enjoyed the responsibility of forecasting supply because it could make a huge difference in the success of the company.

Then, Karla returned to Arizona and began at Interface. Her experience in overseas brokering and procurement made her a perfect fit for the role as custom solutions procurement specialist. And while she only started in October 2020, her positive impact has certainly been felt by our team and customers. Her day-to-day responsibilities include processing orders, maintaining the correct level of inventory, coordinating logistics with partners locally and abroad, assisting in customs clearance and finding parts and bringing them in at the best price.

She says that what she enjoys most about working at Interface is that the company has such incredible potential, and in her role in custom solutions, she feels she has a big hand in influencing that growth. In addition, her proclivity for relationship building in concert with all of the different suppliers and Interface team member she interacts with, allows her meet knew people and engage all the time. Something she stills really enjoys after all this time after her first procurement job.

In her free time, Karla loves to spend time with family, her daughter is studying medicine at NAU in her junior year, and she gets up to see her as often as possible. She also has two sons and a granddaughter in Texas whom she also gets out to visit as often as she’s able. Finally, she’s a huge sports fan, basketball, baseball, football, and her favorite, hockey. She’s still waiting for the days that the Arizona Coyotes are competitive again.

Karla has a bright future ahead of her at Interface and we are thrilled to have her on board. If you enjoyed Karla’s story and want to meet more of our outstanding staff, check out her fellow ForceLeaders here.

Faces of Interface Featuring Richard Snelson

Richard Snelson, president of Measurements Incorporated, is the leader of our outstanding manufacturers’ representative firm serving the Mid-Atlantic coast of the US. The origin of the company, that supports customers in this region with application solutions for structural, material, and environmental testing, is an intriguing story.

In this new Faces of Interface feature, Richard highlights one of his favorite projects and provides his thoughts on representing the most reliable and accurate force measurement products in the industry from Interface.

Richard grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was brought up hearing all about his ‘old man’ and the incredible work he got to do with customers across the technology landscape. His father and two partners started Measurements Incorporated in 1976. The company had spun out of another company called Micro Measurements. At that time, they sold a limited range of product lines to a wide range of customers. Some of the most memorable customers Richard would hear about from his dad included those that worked with bridges, battle tanks and even cadavers.

After high school, Richard attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he would go on to earn a split degree in business, marketing, and management. During his college years, Richard also received a ton of career experience working multiple jobs. His summers were spent as a technician in the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, where his role include working on a reactor. He also worked on the Brooklyn Bridge, replacing cables on the massive structure, as well as working for a friend of his dad in the oil and gas industry. These jobs not only put Richard through college, but they also exposed him to hands-on experience working with organizations and on projects like what his dad would talk about at home when he was growing up.

The experiences and incredible stories he was told throughout his youth pushed Richard to accept a role working for his father’s company. He started out selling one product line, XY plotters, to major test labs and facilities across the Mid-Atlantic. After finding a great deal of success, Richard was given the entire state of Delaware to sell every product line in the company’s portfolio. This eventually expanded into Pennsylvania and Maryland.

As he grew his expertise as a sales rep at Measurements Incorporated, Richard also began buying out the other two owners as they retired and eventually retained sole ownership of the company in 2003. Today the company carries an ever-expanding product line of test and measurement equipment and serves some of the most reputable organizations across multiple industries including, aerospace, defense, medical, industrial, and more.

I put myself in the customer’s place and offer a complete solution, sometimes reminding them of things they might not initially think of and the end result is that we are all successful.” Richard Snelson, president of Measurements, Incorporated.

Like his father, Richard has also collected many of his own fun, interesting, and sometimes incredibly nerve-racking stories. Among his favorite are the two times he was asked to head over to One World Trade Center to oversee installation equipment and then later assess a challenge with a sensor on the building’s enormous spire on the very top. Richard and few other men from the company charged with some of the tower’s maintenance and caretaking went up to the top together. During the assessment, Richard and the maintenance company’s president were tasked with repelling up the spire to identify and fix the sensor. Richard enjoyed an unforgettable experience and got a sweat-inducing picture in the process that you can see in his photo above!

Richard has a long-time relationship with Interface that began in 2006. He raves about the quality of the brand and the confidence he and his customers have in the accuracy and reliability of our force measurement sensors. He has great respect for the people he works with regularly, including his Regional Sales Director, Elliot Speidell. Richard often finds himself identifying the signature blue paint job on our load sensors during customer facility tours. He’s proud that he’s able to offer the industry’s leading force measurement solutions to some of the world’s most prominent organizations.

When he’s not dangling off one of the tallest buildings in the world or helping solve key customer challenges with a bevy of critical instrumentation, Richard enjoys time spent with family, his wife of 36 years Tracey, their two children Courtney and Derek, and their grandson Everett. The family loves to spend their time outdoors and can often be found sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.  Richard also enjoys recreational shooting and cruising around on his motorcycle.

We couldn’t have asked for a better partner in Richard and his team at Measurements Incorporated. We are happy to share his story. Looking for more Faces of Interfaces? Go check out our ForceLeaders here.

 

Interface Partners with Manufacturing Representative Firm GenTek

In a move that enhances its ability to expand premium force measurement solutions to a growing number of customers in the Southeast, Interface today announced a new partnership with manufacturer’s representatives GenTek Inc.

GenTek focuses on providing technology solutions to strategic customers in a range of industries, from military and defense to aerospace and commercial sectors across the Southeastern United States.

GenTek offers its customers a wide range of electronics, sensors, data acquisition devices, test and measurement equipment and GPS devices, and now, more than 36,000 force measurement products from Interface. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, GenTek is providing sales support for Interface’s vast product and service lines across five Southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

“Interface is well-known across many of our key customers and industries as a leader in force measurement solutions. Partnering with Interface is an ideal scenario since their products represent a very synergistic addition to our lineup that will help our customers succeed.” Ed Lamkin, president and CEO, GenTek Inc.

GenTek Inc. was founded in 1995 and has grown to become one of the most prominent manufacturer’s representatives in the Southeast. GenTek is focusing its efforts for Interface on leveraging new and existing relationships with OEMs and other customers in multiple industries including aerospace and defense, semiconductor capital equipment and test and measurement, offering force measurement solutions that meet their evolving needs.

“GenTek Inc. has built a reputation for having a deep understanding of how to solve their customer’s problems and delivering powerful technology solutions that help them achieve their product development goals. We welcome GenTek to our team and look forward to working together to achieve continued success and growth.” – Brian Peters, vice president of global sales, Interface

To contact a local representative or distributor in your area, please go to our list of contacts here.

Interface is a Critical Solutions Provider for OEMs

The hardware industry is rapidly making its way into taking advantage of the Industry 4.0 and Big Data eras. The idea that data insight can cut costs, increase efficiency and reduce downtime is spreading like wildfire throughout major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) across the world. These organizations are adding more and more sensors and other data collection devices to their products to receive deeper analytics on the health and efficiency of various in-action processes.

One of the most important tools in this mix of data tracking and collecting devices are force measurement sensors. Load cells and torque transducers are being added to products across industries to not only optimize individual product processes, but also to ensure that the product remains in proper working conditions.

As an example, the aerospace industry is putting force sensors all over airplane components. Everything from landing gear to the wings may include a sensor. These force sensors can then be used to constantly collect data on the well-being of these components. If landing gear needs to be fixed or adjusted, you don’t want to find that out while your 30,000 feet in the year. You want data that helps you track performance and potential degradation over time so you can solve problems before it puts lives at risk.

To serve OEMs in automotive, aerospace, robotics, medical and consumer product industries, force measurement companies like Interface must be able to manufacture sensors in high volumes and at affordable price points. Load cells and torque transducers used in test and measurement can be reused over and over, so the demand for higher volumes is lower. However, when the sensor is integrated into the final product, force measurements manufacturers need to be able to deliver a high enough volume to meet the OEM’s demand for production of the specific product the sensor will be integrated into for continuous use.

Interface holds a unique position in the OEM marketplace for custom sensor technologies. Our decades of success has allowed us to make critical investments towards streamlining our own production and manufacturing of industry-leading components to serve OEM customers. Over the last few years, we’ve implemented better, more efficient processes and have added automation to improve consistency, repeatability and time to market. This also benefits our customers by lowering costs for large scale, continuous production to meet the growing demands and use cases in the OEM market.

A huge benefit is that Interface controls the design and development of our load cells and torque transducers. We build everything from the strain gauges to the product packaging. This allows us to rapidly iterate and customize our designs to meet the needs of a wide range of OEM customers. Our engineers work hand-in-hand with our OEM partners to design the exact requirements into our sensor technology.

This is critical to being a top solutions provider serving OEMs because force measurement products must fit the design and specifications of the OEM application, as well as potentially removing unnecessary features to fit a certain price point for volume production. OEM applications can also be exposed to more extreme conditions in industries like aerospace, automotive or medical, so the sensor might need a specific material or treatment to withstand certain environments.

One of the essential benefits we provide our customers in the U.S. is the fact that our products are manufactured in country, and our engineering, sales and support staff is also local. This enables easier communication with our customers, as well as faster shipping times. When a customer needs to adjust the specifications on a device or troubleshoot a challenge, they know that they’ll get the support they need during their own working hours.  We are extending this value globally as we continue to create solutions that meet our demands worldwide.

The demand for big data and automation is growing rapidly among OEMs. It is also one of the most competitive markets in the world. To serve our customers with unique engineered to order designs and solutions, we work every day to stay on top of manufacturing trends and find new ways to optimize production to meet their cost and volume needs.

To learn more about Interface and our custom solution capabilities for the OEM market, please visit us at www.interfaceforce.com.

Contributor:  Brian Peters, Interface Regional Sales Director for the US