Kevin Metcalf is Olympus Controls Automation Engineer for Oklahoma and Arkansas. Kevin has been with Olympus Controls since January of 2010 and is responsible for sales, start‐up, commissioning, designing solutions, and as he puts it “pretty much anything that needs to get done”.
Kevin, what do you like best about working at Olympus?
I like the fact that the company shares the same values that I do. That is: the idea that Service, and customer satisfaction is the most important part of the business. It’s not as much about the specific product I have to sell as it is responding to the customer’s needs.
What was your first job ever?
My first real job was in retail sales. I started as a stock boy at a TG&Y department store when I was a teenager, and by the age of 17 I was the youngest co‐manager in the chain.
So what’s your automation background?
I was a Controls Engineer for 10 years in a large glass manufacturing plant, and later worked for a machine builder designing automated equipment. I traveled all over the world to commission and service our machines. I have been to Saudi Arabia, Thailand, New Zealand, UK, France, and even made 6 trips to Australia over a 2 year period working on our machines.
So you’ve traveled a lot for business, have you taken any other trips?
My dad was in the military so we traveled quite a bit from base to base. In fact, my brother was born in Japan and my sister was born in China. Eventually we landed in Oklahoma and that’s where I grew up for the most part.
Describe some of your hobbies – what do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy Radio Control Air Craft. I design my own planes and build them. I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager.
So, which do you prefer, designing and building them or flying them?
Definitely, designing and building them. Once you start to fly a plane it has a very limited life span as you can imagine.
Do you have a product specialty that you tend to focus on?
Not really. When I am working with a customer sometimes their problem is a PLC solution, sometimes it’s a safety issue, or a motion control application. My background is really broad so I don’t have a specialty. Having been a controls engineer, I had to do everything. I have a lot of experience in process instrumentation as well.
What is one thing your customers might find surprising about you?
That I know a lot about general control theory for a ‘sales guy’. Working in a plant you are fully responsible for a project. You couldn’t blame someone else or rely on others, because in the end I had to make it work.