Get to know Jacob Fogarty, Installations Engineer

Shop floor space varies and so does every individual fabricator’s needs. Thankfully, Mazak has a partnership approach to offer automation solutions that are customizable to best suit a fabricator’s specific needs. Who gets to assemble this wide variety of automation configurations? Jacob Fogarty, one of Mazak’s go-to Installation Engineers. His extensive mechanical skills and sharp attention to detail allow him to efficiently piece together each unique automation system in customers’ shops.

“Jacob has been a major asset to the installations team since joining at the beginning of 2018. He has quickly learned how to efficiently install many of the laser and automation systems Mazak can provide. Jacob’s background in mechanical engineering and communication skills allows him to be thorough with the installation process of these automation systems,” says Luke Surratt, Installations Manager at Mazak Optonics.

Learn more about Jacob through this quick Q&A session.

Quick Q&A with Jacob Fogarty

What is your background involving laser machines and the fabrication industry?

“I knew about the fabrication industry while in college but wasn’t exposed to the industry until Mazak. My journey began with earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. The focus of my degree was actually in aerospace technology.”

“After I graduated, I didn’t have a ton of experience yet, so I took it upon myself to gain some. I decided to take some classes in the photonics department at the College of Lake County. I visited the photonics lab and talked with the head of the department about the program and what it could offer me. This got me interested in the field and he talked me into taking the classes. He also connected me with Mazak, which eventually landed me my job.”

What is your current role at Mazak?

“I am an Installations Engineer at Mazak. I travel to our customers who just ordered a brand-new machine and install the system. I assemble the machine and make sure everything is running up to spec. I also help train the owners and operators to make sure they understand the machine first before signing off on it. Once the machine is ready to go and the customers are comfortable with their new system, I’m on to the next installation.”

“My role specifically is a jack-of-all-trades. Like everyone else, I started with installing 2D laser machines and did that for about a year. Then I found myself installing automation systems, which you will find me working on mostly now. I normally have another Mazak engineer with me installing the laser machine as I work on installing the automation system.”

“The majority of the automation systems I install for customers are our custom solutions including the LASER FLEX system as well as our C-Series, M-Series, K-Series and L-Series. Our automation systems can be very customizable to fit a customer’s needs, so I’m never installing the same exact automation system configuration, which is fun for me. It keeps things interesting.”

“Since I’m one of the few guys who installs mostly automation system, I get to travel to customers everywhere. I absolutely love it. I wasn’t sure about traveling for work originally, but I would not have it any other way. I’m having a blast installing machines and traveling, it’s cool.”

What is your definition of great customer service?

“Great customer service stems from great communication, especially with the customer. It’s about understanding the customer’s goals and expectations. Once you fully understand that you can work to exceed those goals.”

“Day one when I’m onsite visiting a customer, I will talk with them to see what their expectations are with their new automation system or laser machine. I go over what they are cutting, their expectations, and timeline. I like to do this so I can plan to work on exceeding any expectations they have or address any issues they might have.”

“I want to make sure we can provide the customer with all the solutions we can, and I don’t want customers to feel uneasy with getting their new equipment. This is why communication is crucial in providing great customer service. We can iron out any questions a customer has so there are no surprises after the installation.”

What are your hobbies and interest?

“One of my hobbies actually started from working at Mazak. Since I’m traveling a lot for my job, I used to get questions from friends and family about what I do when I’m on the road. So, I started taking photos. This sparked my interest in photography. Instead of using my phone to take photos, I have a Sony mirrorless camera with a Zeiss 16-70mm zoom lens. I normally like to take photos of landscapes or architecture. I was recently in Colorado where I can take a ton of landscape photos and when I’m in an urban area like Los Angeles, California I will take more pictures of buildings.”

“I’m pretty into music as well. I know how to play the drums and I am currently learning bass. I’ve been playing the drums since I was about seven or eight years old. My family was always into music, so I felt that I eventually needed to learn to play an instrument. I tend to play a little bit of every genre too. Growing up I was mostly playing rock and metal, now I get into some more progressive music and even jazz. Back in college I used to always play with a bunch of buddies which was always a good time. I began learning to play the bass about six months ago. It’s a lot easier to take with me when I’m on the road for work rather than a drum set. I work on learning to play it when being in hotel rooms over the weekend. I do a lot of self-teaching through the internet. I love to learn new skills during my downtime, I tend to get bored easily.”

Who are the 3 greatest living musicians and why?

“Herbie Handcock, Jimmy Page, and John Williams. Herbie Handcock incorporated the complex melodies of Miles Davis with the growing electronic movement of the 60’s and 70’s to pioneer the Jazz Fusion genre. Jimmy Page pioneered the heavy rock sound with Led Zeppelin by using blues influences to create a darker driving sound to his guitar playing. John Williams changed how movies were scored. With his work on movies like Jaws, Star Wars, and Close Encounter of the Third Kind he was able to make music an integral part of the cinematic experience.”

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