An Inside Look at Nahan’s Maintenance Team: Interview with Joe Walter

Author: Curt Tillotson, COO

“No Rework.”

These are words that Joe Walter lives by at Nahan.  No rework.  He strives to get the job done right the first time in everything that he does.  Joe joined Nahan in 2018 as our Maintenance Department Leader.  Joe brings over 25 years of print experience with him from 4 different printing companies.  He has held positions all the way from Helper to Operator to Department Leader.  Joe recently sat down with me to tell me about his experiences. 

Joe Walter (pictured on the left)

Q: What are the keys to being an effective Maintenance Department Leader for a 300,000 square foot printing facility?

A:  The most important key is to be honest and to treat everyone with integrity.  It all starts there.  More specifically, I have learned that I really need to have a working knowledge of the products we manufacture, the production equipment and the building systems.  Also, I come from a production background, so having a good understanding of the impact on our employees and customers if any of this equipment or building systems fail.  The stakes are high, so we want to make sure we keep the plant running.

Q:  What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since joining Nahan?

A:  One of the biggest challenges was learning the building systems which are very complex to say the least. It is a daily task to make sure they are functioning properly and that falls directly on my department. From the chillers to the Air condition units to the trim system. They are all critical. 

Q:  What big projects do you have coming up? 

A:  The biggest projects on the horizon are the upgrades on one of our major presses and replacing the 2 largest trim fans in the baler room. There is a lot of planning for these projects, working with vendors to provide all needed information (especially now during this crazy time we are in with everyone impacted by COVID-19), assigning tasks to team members and staying on time and on budget with the plan.

Q:  How is COVID-19 affecting your work?

A:  It is very hard for the team to work closely with machine operators with the social distancing rule. They are getting it done though. Communication is somewhat impacted, it is nice to sit down and have a meeting with individuals and team members. I have canceled our Morning Start up/Shift Crossover meetings for the time being and have implemented room occupancy rules. I have had to ask team members to spread out to different locations to limit exposure to each other.  We are constantly monitoring that we are following the precautions that have been issued.  It is a real challenge for the type of work that we do.

Q:  How do you maintain a safe work environment for your employees?

A:  The Maintenance Department at Nahan is historically one of the safest. The team is aware of their surroundings at all times. Most of the team has some dealings with electricity in some form or another. There are reminders to each other. If someone sees something, they say something.

Q:  How do you keep all of your tools straight? A:  This is not easy.  Each team member is issued their own tool box and is responsible for them. We also have shared power tools that are available to use when needed. These are in a locked room. Everyone is responsible for these.

Q:  Anything you are especially proud of?

A:  I am very proud of the work that the Maintenance Department does on a daily basis. From minor work orders to the R&D that goes into large scale projects.  We completed 6,888 work orders in 2019.  It is a team effort and I’m proud of this team.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being on the Nahan team?

A:  That’s an easy one.  The best part of being at Nahan is the people I work with every day. Nahan is a great company to work for. The team I work with is second to none, and we all know that the work we do has merit.

Thank you, Joe, for taking the time to talk with us.  We appreciate all that you and your team do.

If you are interested in working with great people like Joe, view our career page for current openings.

Author Bio: Curt Tillotson, COO, started with Nahan in 2011 and leads all aspects of our operations. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family. Curt also agrees with Joe on his answer on his favorite part of being on the Nahan Team – and that is our outstanding people. #nahanproud