I’m Chad Stetler, and I’m a production manager. I work here at Apex Engineering here in Wichita, Kansas. I’m really proud to work here. I’ve been involved in the growth of the company over the last 19 years and every day is a new day. We’re in aircrafts, so we build everything from small details – pots and pans, as we call it – to full integrated assemblies. I think our products are important to our customers that we have because we build a quality part and we meet the demand of what they need. [It] keeps our airplanes safe and it keeps our people safe. A good quality product is very important. Our need for the [Piranha] press brake started off when we had a job that we were looking at doing that was over 8-foot. [We needed] 10-foot long parts and the [press brake] we currently have isn’t in the best of shape to cover parts that long.

The [press brake] plays a pretty important role in our process. We have a lot of parts that go through the brake that feed our assembly lines over on the other side of the plant. We’ve bent a lot of intercostal angles, short-attach angles, stiffeners for some of the doors that we build. Getting the parts right is very critical to our end product because it helps with scheduling, customer deliveries, [and] our quality. It’s [the] integrity of our company is what it means.

Some of the challenges we face in production – as well as anywhere – is just the complete chaos of meeting the demand of the schedule, having good tooling, good equipment to use, and the manpower behind it.

Being able to have a brake that’s programmable … has cut down our setup time. You just pop in your program and you go. That’s fantastic. That’s what we’ve learned from our … operators using it. It’s turned out really well. I would recommend [a Piranha press brake].