With an important birthday coming up this month, our March SuperSealer still feels excited coming to work each day and is deeply passionate about the future of tooling design. When he’s not relaxing at the beach or photographing the local wildlife, he’s working extra hard to meet the needs of his customers.
Who are you?
My name is Donald Cherry, and I turn 60 in March. I am a Rubber Tooling Development Technician for Trelleborg Sealing Profiles at our newly built facility in Aurora, Ohio.
What are your key duties?
I joined Trelleborg Sealing Profiles as a Rubber Tooling Development Technician, and since then I’ve primarily responsible for designing and fabricating rubber extrusion dies. I begin by drawing a seal or gasket that a customer needs and create a die that can reproduce this within the shape, dimensions, parameters and surface finish criteria they require. I also make sure to adhere to the processing speed and material guidelines of the customer quote, to ensure a successful product launch.
How long have you been with Trelleborg? What do you enjoy most about working here?
I’ve been with Trelleborg a little over 11 years. I love the fact that I am working for one of the leading international companies in the seals and gasket production market. It still excites me knowing that a gasket that I am designing here in Ohio may end up being installed in a building halfway around the world.
I also like the fact that I am designing products for a very diverse range of industries, including architectural, automotive, industrial, aerospace – to name just a few! Here in Ohio, I am surrounded by a very knowledgeable and dedicated group of co-workers who make it a pleasure to come into work each day.
What are the key challenges you face in your job?
One of the challenges that I face in my job is keeping up with the ever-changing requirements for more complicated and intricate profiles. Customer demands are constantly changing as technology advances and this requires us to design increasingly more unique profiles or work with new compounds.
As the profiles become more complex, the guidelines are also becoming more precise, which means that I must design tooling that is capable of repeatedly producing a product that meets the customer’s requirements.
How do you think your business area is going to evolve in the future? How are you preparing for this?
The typical customer profile will undoubtedly continue to grow in complexity, so we are actively learning new techniques to produce tooling to meet their needs. In the future, we will be able to use predictive software that can analyze how a profile is going to flow through a die. This will help massively when it comes to creating dies that require far fewer trials and redesigns – it will save time, reduce lead times and make us far more efficient and competitive.
I anticipate major advancements in tooling design over the next decade or so. It’s sad that, with my career gradually coming to an end and retirement on the horizon, I won’t be coming along for the ride.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
When I’m not working, you can often find me out in the woods or along the shore of a lake with a camera in my hand. I’m an avid amateur photographer and especially love taking wildlife, nature and landscape pictures. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and grown kids. We enjoy traveling as a family when we can – our favorite destination being the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks in North Carolina.