Continually Improving Design Standards Leads to Better Transformers

September 27, 2016

verdos engineering conf

Just because you build a good product doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to improve it. Resting on our laurels is not part of Solomon Corporation’s DNA, due in large part to Ken Puetz, who’s been Director of Engineering for a quarter century.

Ken grew up in South Dakota and earned his degree in electrical engineering from South Dakota State University. He was working on family farm after graduation and received a call from the head of electrical engineering department at SDSU, who informed him that Solomon Corporation in Kansas was looking for an electrical engineer. He contacted Gene Hemmer, the owner of Solomon Corporation, who invited him to interview in person.

Ken was offered the position as electrical engineer and accepted and has been with this company ever since. “I’ve been with the company 28 years,” he said. “Solomon Corporation has been a great place to work.”

As director of engineering, Ken oversees all transformer design, testing and manufacturing specifications and procedures. The engineering group is responsible for all order process activities for transformers. He also oversees the field service department, which is responsible for mobilizing service crews that inspect, test and perform maintenance on transformers at our customer locations.

Continually improving quality

“Without question, our products must meet our customers’ expectations of quality and service, or we’re going to be out of a job,” Ken said. To meet that goal, Solomon Corp. continuously reviews manufacturing procedures to economically and efficiently provide the highest quality product for our customers.

“The starting point for any good product is the design,” he said. “The engineering staff continuously reviews our design standards to make sure we exceed industry standards for quality, safety and efficiency.”

Extending workplace safety concerns

At Solomon Corporation, our focus on providing a safe working environment extends beyond the company’s facilities to include our customers’ workplaces as well. “Electrical utilities workers, electricians and anyone using electricity count on us to produce a product that they can trust to operate safely,” Ken said.

“That’s why every employee is responsible for safety at Solomon Corporation. Safety has to be our first thought from how we design transformers to developing manufacturing procedures.” The engineering team evaluates designs to make sure they fit procedures and capabilities to ensure we do not cause an unsafe manufacturing environment.

Developing relationships and longevity

Over the years, Solomon Corporation’s customers have come to expect a high level of ongoing customer service beyond design, installation and maintenance. We believe that providing excellent customer service extends beyond those who would typically have client contact.

“I don’t think a day goes by where I am not on the phone with a customer trouble shooting a problem they have with a transformer or application,” Ken said. “Our customers rely on Solomon Corporation for their technical support. My engineering staff is engaged daily with sales staff and our customers to help with specifications and technical questions.”

Solomon Corporation has been the only place Ken Puetz has worked since graduating from SDSU. For many people, working in the same place for so long is unheard of, but Ken’s favorite part of working here is the relationships he’s developed with the all the people.

“I have been here a long time and I have developed long term working relationships with some very good people. They are what makes my job enjoyable. The employees care about their work and want to do a good job which helps promote a great working environment. I cannot not imagine working anywhere else.”