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Faces of Interface Featuring Garland Hawkins

Faces of Interface is an important series because it highlights the talented team members that keep Interface going strong. In this new ForceLeaders feature, we interviewed Garland Hawkins, our production planner for Interface’s most popular LowProfile load cells.  A key member of our operations and Navigators teams at Interface, this feature highlights Garland’s professional history and a few of the things he’s working on today.

Growing up in the home of a mechanical engineer, you are bound to develop a kinship with the engineering and manufacturing world. For Garland Hawkins, he remembers fondly the time spent with his father building and tinkering with different mechanical objects. While a career in the manufacturing industry wasn’t necessarily planned, he’s thrilled that it’s where his career has taken him.

Garland’s path to the manufacturing industry is a little different than his father’s trek. After high school, Garland’s career began in the logistics industry as an order filler for Lineage Logistics. He enjoyed the work and quickly showed off his talents rising through the ranks over six years from order filler to trainer and eventually the supervisor. After leaving Lineage, Garland continued his career in logistics as the shipping and receiving manager for S&G.

After two years at S&G, Garland was ready for a change of scenery. He had spent his whole life in California and wanted something new. In 2016, Garland moved to Arizona because he preferred the desert landscape and knew that growth opportunities in Arizona were on the rise. Garland began working at the airport for a consolidation company, but he knew it was just a temporary gig before getting back into the field he knew and loved of logistics.

Then an opportunity came about with Interface. Garland began with Interface in the shipping and receiving department. As he became acclimated and comfortable in this new role in the engineering and manufacturing industry, he caught his stride. Shortly after, Garland was recognized for his hard work with a promotion into the planning department and eventually into his current role as Production Planner for Interface’s LowProfile Load Cell line.

In this role, Garland is tasked with managing the supply chain and planning. Basically, everything related to shipping and logistics for LowProfile Load Cell products. This includes, monitoring parts, maintaining inventory, addressing works orders with the production floor, scheduling machine shop and production orders and aligning capacity with customer demands and requirements.

Garland notes what he loves about Interface is the opportunity for success within the company. Most importantly, Interface is hyper-focused on growing into new markets and new regions and Garland knows that this will translate to career growth and opportunities to contribute to the company’s growth.

In addition to taking advantage of opportunities to grow at Interface, Garland is also working on his own to grow his skillset and knowledge during his time at Interface. Garland recently completed his degree in Operation Management and Analysis at Ashford University.

Garland’s drive and hunger are certainly not lost on Interface either. The company recognized this ambition and nominated Garland into its prestigious cross-functional Navigators program, which is designed to take rising stars and put them through development activities that expose them to every department of the company. This working team is essential in providing ideas and plans to drive positive change with critical thinking and problem-solving throughout the company. Garland is thankful for this opportunity because it provides the ability to see the company from every angle. It is helping him better understand the impact and importance of his own role while giving him insight on growth opportunities within the company.

While he’s not working at Interface, Garland likes to relax by enjoying his relatively new hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. He’s recently taken interests in hiking and exploring the outdoors in the desert. He’s also a big sports fan, especially basketball. He enjoys playing and watching NBA games while checking out the local food scene. However, he has not adopted the Suns as his home team yet, he’s a loyal Lakers fan through and through.

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to shed some light on one of our committed team members. Garland Hawkins is star in the making with plenty to offer and a drive to take action.

 

Interface’s Sustaining Role in Arizona and the Global Business Ecosystem During COVID-19

For more than half a century, Interface has had the privilege of serving a wide variety of industries and helping our customers test, design, and manufacture products and infrastructure essential to everyday life. Our purpose at Interface defines our commitment to our customers. It simply says, “We enable innovation that improves people’s lives and keeps them safe.” 

Following our commitment to purpose and in adherence to the Arizona Governor’s Executive Order 2020-18, Interface is open for business as a classified essential business. We are working hard to remain your trusted leader in force measurement solutions during these challenging times. We are building products at our Arizona manufacturing headquarters, supporting our representatives and distributors, and shipping products to our customers every day. We are doing so with safety at the forefront in everything we do.

On March 23, 2020, Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order outlining essential business services here in the state of Arizona. The list included businesses centered around certain imperative functions such as infrastructure operations, businesses critical to the national supply chain, transportation services and manufacturers. Interface force measurement technologies, tools, and systems touch just about every physical product or system that consumers and businesses use every day. Our products are used to support many of the business operations and products manufactured that are included in this essential services list.

Interface is committed to maintaining our business operations and ensuring our customers continue to receive the highest quality product and service without disruption. Our force measurement solutions are essential to the development of a countless amount of critical hardware across many key industries, from energy to healthcare. We are proud to be an enabler of the products and infrastructure that keeps our global economy running.

The essential market leaders and industries that Interface serves include aerospace, defense, automotive, construction and infrastructure, industrial automation, energy, medical and healthcare. Here is how we are helping some of these industries and why Interface is a key member in the supply chain that keeps these essential businesses operating, designing, engineering, testing, innovating and producing during these challenging times.

Medical:

Interface products play a crucial role in the most highly regulated industry in the world – medical. Our force measurement solutions are used to test devices and instrumentation which keep patients safe and healthy. Interface’s accurate mini load cells are designed to measure medium to small forces. Our torque transducers provide rotary and reactive measurement for movement tracking, blood weighing, robotic surgery, eye surgery, and prosthetic testing. For example, we developed a custom solution that is used to test a prosthetic limb for force and torque capacity. We even provide OEMs with sensor technologies to measure force in use of their medical products. Our load cells are featured in applications used for the heart, as well as implanted devices designed to perform well-beyond the lifespan of the patient. We’ve also engineered and created custom solutions for a wide variety of medtech devices, as well as for leading bio and pharmaceutical companies. All of these applications serve as critical and essential to our existence. We are honored to help our customers with their life sustaining critical applications.

Aerospace & Defense:

Interface load cells and torque transducers are used to test everything from rocket engines to wing strength, flexibility and structural integrity for aircraft. Our product’s industry-leading accuracy and reliability are important to the www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/aerospace because the longevity of our load cells are financially durable and our precision products ensure that measurements are precise. For example, one tiny inaccuracy in the measurement of an airplane wing’s force capacity can cause critical failures and have devastating effects. Innovation is core to this industry segment, from urban mobility to unmanned vehicles. Testing is fundamental in getting these products to market, while protecting all of us. These industries count on us and we continue to supply them with the products they need to keep us safe.

Infrastructure & Construction:

In construction, one of the key considerations in building a skyscraper, hospital or a home is the materials used to keep the structure sturdy in regular use or even a natural disaster. Material testing that uses Interface load cells is common. Our products are used in cycle testing on various metal and wood-based materials to ensure they hold up over time and through the elements. Our load cells can be used on cranes and other construction equipment to prevent overloading and weight testing. We also recently provided the materials for project using custom load pins to measure and monitor standard force from regular traffic and the seismic force of earthquakes.

Vehicle & Automotive:

The most important factor in automotive design and development is the safety of the driver. One of the ways that we serve the automotive industry is through products used in safety tests. One common application that uses Interface force measurement tools is brake pedal testing. Our load cells are used to measure, test, and optimize the force required to depress the brake pedal. Another application use case of Interface’s products helps in the need to increase productivity for automobile wheel installation, while ensuring that the lug nuts are installed to the proper torque values for safety purposes. These measurements need to be performed with the utmost care and accuracy, which is why many of the world’s most prominent automobile manufacturers turn to Interface for their force measurement solutions. These applications are used in testing of vehicles of all sorts and sizes, from large capacity trucks that move our food supply to farming equipment that harvests that supply. They even keep all our high-demand delivery drivers safer on the road. They count on us, as we count on them.

Industrial & Automation: 

Throughout factories across the world, producing everything from furniture to paper products, Interface load cells and torque transducers can be found on machines along the production line. Our products are featured in robotics, consumer packaging equipment, and even the machines that screw the cap on bottles, stamp logos and apply labeling. Force measurement tools are used to ensure the proper force is being used to complete these processes with minimal waste, while ensuring safe and secure packaging for the consumer. We see growing innovative ways to utilize load cells, multi-axis sensors and torque transducers to help accelerate production for vital products that are critical to our everyday life.

We are serving our purpose and mission to be part of supply chain for these industry applications, as a reliable supplier, expert manufacturer and dedicated community member. To learn more about Interface and the various industries and applications we serve, check out our application notes.

We are here to help! Stay safe and stay well.

Our COVID-19 response is here.

 

Faces of Interface Featuring Mark Weathers

From working at a Fortune 100 company to owning his own machine shop and everything in between, Mark Weathers, VP of Mini and 1923 Wireless Business Products at Interface, has seen it all in manufacturing. His career experiences have provided him with the tools to excel as a leader.

Weathers graduated from Georgia Tech with a mechanical engineering degree and started his career at General Electric (GE) in the appliances side of the business. During his time at GE, he quickly realized his passion for manufacturing. He knew he preferred getting hands-on with the products, so he joined GE’s manufacturing management program where he developed skills managing a production floor.

After 10 years at GE, Weathers joined Aligned Signal, now Honeywell Aerospace, for nine years before owning his own machine shop, Excalibur Precision Machining. Excalibur served the aerospace industry, and it’s during this time that Weathers gained experience running a business, in addition to critical skills in business development. These skills, along with his management training experience at GE and MBA from ASU later in his career, serves him well in his leadership position at Interface.

Mark sold his business, Excalibur, and continued working with the company under its new management before joining Interface as a quality manager in 2015. At this time, CEO Joel Strom had just joined the company to improve processes and bolster innovation. Over the next four years, he has worked with Strom and other Interface leaders to help break departmental barriers on the production floor and speed up the time-to-market for mini load cells as well as specialized and custom products.

By combining the entire supply chain and improving Interface’s interdepartmental communication, the Interface Executive Team expects the company to run far more efficiently and customer satisfaction to improve dramatically with all the focus on continuous improvement. In Weather’s department, lead times for some of Interface’s higher volume products have already been cut in half, or greater.

Weathers attributes his success at Interface to the collaborative environment that Strom created and his own management style. He prefers to lead by setting an example of a positive attitude and the “do what it takes” mindset he wants to see from his staff. This includes taking time to have daily meetings with everyone on the production floor to understand their challenges, and jumping in his truck to deliver materials to other offices and more to ensure we are doing whatever it takes.  No matter what, Mark knows he will do anything he can to remove obstacles that cause negativity and finger-pointing and instead focus on results and positive outcomes.

“I liken my management style to Olympic curling, an odd analogy, I know and what I mean by this is I see myself as the two guys out in front of the curling stone, madly sweeping away barriers to the success of our department.” – Mark Weathers, VP Mini and 1923 Wireless Business Products at Interface

Weathers was raised in a military family, and also co-owns a jujitsu facility where he trained in the art for a few years. Those experiences have helped him bond with all types of people, regardless of their background, and recognize that everyone has something to contribute. Along with mountain biking and spending time with his family, Weathers finds pleasure in being extremely hands-on with the renovation of his house. He’s well known around Interface for having spent the last seven years single-handedly working on his home. He finds the same passion as a renovator as he does as a manufacturer, but with less stress!.