Employee of the Month April 2018: Mark Rhodes

Date: 18/04/2018

Yorkshire Laser Fabrication’s Employee of the Month

Mark Rhodes has been named as Yorkshire Laser Fabrication’s Employee of the Month.

What are your main roles and responsibilities?

I oversee Yorkshire Laser Fabrication’s (YLF) Computer numerical control (CNC) department. This involves me supervising my team and inspecting the products or parts they produce from our software.  Not only do I have to lead my team to encourage work ethic and morale, but all parts or products must pass me before moving on to the next manufacturing process.

Through careful inspection, my responsibility is to ensure that all our products or parts are of the up most standard and 100% correct to guarantee customer satisfaction.  If this level of excellence is not achieved at the first check, it will not pass me or progress further in the manufacturing process.

Key technical skills you have/use

As I’ve progressed throughout the company, I have developed my experience and expertise with the state of the art technology that we use.  This has seen me working in fabrication, assembly and welding to CNC laser cutting, punching and folding.

I can now apply this expertise to the rest of the department and draw it parallel with the parts that are being produced, through measuring angles, product types and thickness etc.

I also have specialised knowledge on the 4kw Bystronic Lasers which I have used for over 12 years, recently we have added lights out handling to the lasers which has given us a new dimension in the profiling department.  Thanks to this equipment, we have less need for forklift trucks, helping us to complete the job more efficiently whilst providing a higher quality finish.

What personal characteristics do you bring to the role?

Thanks to my 20 years of experience working for YLF, I know each member of my team individually and have a strong working relationship with them.  This means I can rely on my team to help produce an excellent standard of produce within a tight deadline.

I am a very vocal person which means my team can rely on me to supervise their CNC expertise, whether it be punching, folding or any other technique which contributes to the complete product.

I am also very meticulous with my product inspections which is essential for my job role as I encounter hundreds of different types of parts each week and these must be 100% correct.  This is combined with my ability to work within tight deadlines, which is a key reason why I was given this role.

What is your biggest personal success story?

My biggest personal success story is moving from labourer 20 years ago to becoming a fully trained laser operator and then onto shift supervisor for the whole CNC department at YLF.  Working my way up from the bottom at Yorkshire Laser Fabrications has given me a unique insight in most aspects of how the business operates, and I use this experience to help and advise my colleagues and oversea the smooth operation of production on the shop floor.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing the high-quality parts or products we’ve produced be delivered efficiently to a customer.  I’m lucky enough to say that I enjoy my job and it really is satisfying watching the whole manufacturing process and receiving great customer feedback, it really boosts team morale.

What is your career ambition?

To help YLF to continue to strive forward.  We have recently moved our base from Castleford to Normanton, expanding to a warehouse that is three times bigger.  With such a bright future ahead, I am excited for what’s to come and hope to continue this progress through leadership in my department.

Brief CV

  • Spent 5 years working on a coal mine
  • Then worked as a contractor at a different pit
  • Worked for a glass company
  • Has worked for Yorkshire Laser Fabrications for nearly 20 years
  • An avid snooker player
  • Has three dogs and one 7-year-old son