Transformer design and technical service, a life long career for Ken Puetz
August 15, 2019
These days, it’s rare for an employee to spend more than a few years with a company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s less than five years and is going down. That’s what makes Ken Puetz’s story with Solomon so unique.
Ken has worked here for 31 years and is our Director of Technical Services. While that’s unique, it goes a little beyond even longevity. Solomon Corporation is the only company he’s ever worked for. Ever.
“I was raised on a farm,” Ken said. “I hired on at Solomon right out of college.”
Ken’s hometown is Ethan, South Dakota. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from South Dakota State University and made the move to Solomon, Kansas. In his tenure, he’s also been Director of Engineering and Engineering Manager. In that time, he’s seen the company – and the industry – grow and evolve.
“Even though the company has grown over the years, it still has the that small company feel,” Ken said. “My decisions and actions can still directly affect the success the company. I feel like I can make a difference every day.”
Ken has a passion for the industry, too. “The electrical industry is unique and we see new opportunities every day,” he explained. “I know that every day I go to work, I’ll see something different or something I may not have seen before. It keeps it interesting.”
Solomon’s highest priorities have always been safety and providing the best possible customer service, which Ken believes is what gives the company an advantage compared to our competitors.
“Customer service is a very important part of my job and my engineering staff,” Ken said. “This applies to both internal and external customers. Providing excellent customer service to our internal customers helps us provide a high-quality product to our customers. The customer service we provide to our external customers gives them the confidence that they will receive a high-quality product from Solomon.”
As Director of Technical Services, Ken is responsible for all the manufacturing specifications, standards, design, technical/customer service, and quality. “I make sure that we effectively understand the customer requirements, interpret their specifications, translate that in to a manufacturing specification, ensure that it’s manufactured correctly, properly tested to verify its quality, and have it delivered to the customer with the quality they expect.”
One recent example of how Ken strives to provide top-notch customer service was in solving a connection issue for a utility customer. It had three single phase transformers in a three-phase bank supplying power to a small manufacturing facility. A storm caused a fault on its distribution system. The fault resulted in a failure of one of the single-phase transformers and it needed to be replaced.
“The manufacturing facility was without power and it didn’t have a spare transformer for this failed transformer. They did have an extra transformer in their inventory, but it wasn’t the same kva rating and bushing orientation as the existing failed transformer. I was able to develop a special connection schematic that would allow the extra transformer they had on hand to be used in this particular three-phase bank. The utility customer was able to get the power restored to the manufacturing facility.
According to Ken, the best thing about his job is the people he works with. “The employees are great. I still consider us a small company with great value system. It’s very rewarding to work with my staff, manufacturing, and sales to produce a high-quality product for our customers.”
For Ken, staying with Solomon this long has really been a bit of a no-brainer. “Solomon has always been a great company. It treats employees well, provides for advancement, offers great benefits, and has a family-first atmosphere,” he said. “I don’t have any desire to look for better company because I feel like I’m working for one of the best. I hope to never have the need to generate a resume, and would love to retire from Solomon.”
Ken and his wife, Jill, have five kids. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf, hunting, reading, and spending time with family.
For more information about Solomon Corporation, or to request a quote, visit us at www.solomoncorp.com or call 800-234-2867