Robotic system customers of Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. (Torrington, CT) have a new resource they can count on to provide hardware and software upgrades, operator training, and plant audits to ensure they’re getting the best performance possible out of their machinery and equipment.
There’s only one “catch”—it’s provided free of charge. Truly and totally at no cost.
Mark Chorabik is Wittmann Battenfeld’s Robot Support Specialist. He joined the company in this newly-created position in August 2016 with one goal: to provide service and support to the company’s many robot customers throughout the United States. Chorabik is referred to as the “Robot Love Doctor” throughout the company because “he makes house calls – he’s showing the love to our customers by visiting them and providing tune-ups to their robots, all free of charge,” says Jason Long, Wittmann Battenfeld’s National Sales Manager – Robots.
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Chorabik came to Wittmann Battenfeld with several years’ experience in the plastics industry, and says he’s never seen a company that would consider providing free service to its customers.
“When I interviewed for the job, it was made clear to me that we needed to help our customers get the best performance out of their robots,” he says. “The position was to include free training, plant audits, and software and hardware upgrades. I had never seen or heard of anything like it before.”
When Chorabik reaches out to customers to tell them he’d like to visit their plants to provide free service and training, many of them think it’s too good to be true. “They think there’s a catch, and that we’re trying to sell them something,” he said. “But I promise them it’s all courtesy of Wittmann Battenfeld – we’re just trying to help them get the most out of their robots.”
One customer, 30 robots
“Mark performs software updates, which of course are important, but he provides much more service than that,” says Jason Long. “He oftentimes provides new hardware, he trains plant personnel on all 3 shifts, and just last week he was at a customer who has 75 of our robots, and 30 of them were updated in some fashion. All free of charge.”
Since he started going out on the road to see customers, Chorabik has made several observations, the biggest one being that many customers are not taking advantage of the many features available to help Wittmann robots run to their full potential. Also, there are a lot of older Wittmann robot models being used in molding plants that can benefit from software and hardware upgrades.
“I get a lot of satisfaction in this job,” he says. “I enjoy training and I like teaching customers how to get the most out of our equipment. We almost always are able to help them feel more comfortable programming and running the robots. And one of the biggest benefits is we often help them reduce cycle times, which is a huge benefit to any molding company’s bottom line.”
In the past 12 months, Chorabik has traveled numerous miles to visit more than 80 customer locations throughout the U.S. that have included more than 250 robot upgrades.
“We know it’s difficult for many of our customers to send their personnel to us for training,” says David Preusse, President of Wittmann Battenfeld. “So we send one of our experts out to visit them. The free services Mark provides are extremely valuable and to provide them at no charge is not something many companies are doing. We’re doing it, because we want our customers to know we sincerely appreciate them.”
Previous issues of Wittmann Battenfeld USA’s ‘News Connection’ chronicles the Innovations Road Show Truck, which travels around the country visiting customers to train them on using the company’s machinery and equipment. To date, the truck has driven more than 20,000 miles, visited 35 states, and is currently on its second tour of the country.