MRO Technician Spotlight: Daniel Ruiz, Beumer Corp.
Modern's Maintanace Repair and Operations (MRO) team spoke with Customer Support Engineer, David Ruiz of Beumer Corp.
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Daniel Ruiz, Beumer Corp.
Customer support engineer
Remote support; on-site support and service; installations and commissioning; upgrades and modernization
MHMRO: How did you get into the materials handling industry, and what do you like about it?
Ruiz: As a kid I would take things apart and put them back together or make things out of spare parts in the garage. I joined the Air Force out of high school and was a crew chief on C-130s. I gained most of my mechanical background there. After that, I became a commercial electrician and did a project with Siemens and Dematic. I joined Dematic in 2005. Then SKI Logistics offered me a job as a commissioning engineer and then as electrical installation supervisor. I joined Beumer in 2010.
I like the diversity of being able to work in different locations. The atmosphere is always changing. I don’t like doing the same thing every day. Right now I’m doing an installation, but next week I’ll be preparing for an installation and then doing some on-site service work.
MHMRO: What skills are most important for someone in your position to be successful?
Ruiz: You need to be friendly and work well with customers, and you need to make them feel like they’re part of our family. You have to have a lot of determination, too. Whether you’re completing a project or performing service, you have to get a lot of work done in a certain window, so you have to be able to stay focused and get everything done fast, efficiently and correctly. It helps to be detail-oriented.
For example, last year we were working on a shipping sorter expansion. I had left for the day and was working on daily site reports when the customer called the support hotline and was routed to me. Normally we can connect to the PLC remotely, but for some reason I couldn’t. The PLC looked like it had died, and we thought for a moment we might need to replace it. I went back to the site, got online with my laptop and tried an overall reset. It worked.
MHMRO: How do you stay up to speed with all the innovation?
Ruiz: We do a lot of training with Allen Bradley and Siemens. The office hosts two-week classes with people from around the world. Or, I might go to Germany for training on the new Siemens programmable logic controller (PLC). One time I was the only materials handling guy in the class, and I saw a lot of Department of Defense people who use the same PLC on munitions elevators on ships. It was interesting to see how widely these technologies are used.
You have to cram a lot of information in your head and become a jack-of-all-trades. Then it depends on what customers want, what equipment they specify, so you have to learn it and support them. Other customers don’t know what they want so we’ll work with what is most familiar.
MHMRO: What tools and technologies help you solve problems, and how have they changed over the years?
Ruiz: Remote connections have changed quite a bit. It used to be connecting locally with a DB9 port on a laptop, and most laptops don’t even have those ports anymore. It used to be a dial-up modem, and now it’s a virtual server, where one server has every piece of materials handling equipment and it’s split up virtually.
I’m not the expert on any of it. I’m more like the tip of the spear for supporting a customer. I know who to contact and whether they can help remotely. I can connect those experts to the customer’s site or to my computer remotely, since sometimes I have a better remote connection than the experts do. That also avoids VPN tunnels that can slow you down.
I never thought I’d be doing this, connecting remotely and working more with computers. I don’t think anyone can keep turning wrenches their whole life, so you have to look long-term at how to sustain your career. I think it’s exciting.
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