AKS Employee Spotlight: Stan Pollack

Stan Pollack, Regional Sales Manager, is a 47-year industry veteran who began working at AKS Cutting Systems in 2001.

Prior to joining AKS, he held positions with Rexnord Corp., Acme Cleveland, ACE Automation, Cyclone Industries, and then Kiffer Industries Inc., of which AKS is a subsidiary.

Stan Pollack, who holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English, is a U.S. Army veteran who served as a captain; company commander of the 77th HEMC in Karlsruhe, Germany; and assistant battalion material officer of the 81st Maintenance Battalion in Mannheim, Germany.

He has taken various engineering courses, in addition to completing training in Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing.

One of his career highlights was his involvement in Kiffer Industries’ automation of the 440 Automatic Transmission Lines at the General Motors manufacturing plant in Parma, Ohio. Incorporating “Lean Manufacturing Cells” with “Total Error Proofing,” the company received numerous awards for the distinguished integration.

“We automated with complete air proofing and inspection on a lean manufacturing precept, and it saved them tremendously in labor and scrap reduction,” Pollack said. “The reputation and respect that you get from the engineers — a lot of the engineers were just starting to learn about Six Sigma and the fact that manufacturing was incorporated into design.”

He also participated in large automation projects for Ford, Chrysler and other Fortune 500 Companies that were instrumental in changing the manufacturing Industry.

Teamwork and Integrity

When it comes to his time at AKS, Pollack has been most impressed with the company’s “family teamwork” atmosphere — something the family man, who enjoys playing guitars and jamming with his four grandchildren, as well as fly fishing with his son and two sons-in-law, can appreciate.

“Dale (Phillip) has a very kind heart and he is always looking out for his people,” Pollack said. “He never really had layoffs. Even when the economy was down, he was always looking for things for employees to do; he’d have them sweeping the floors rather than get rid of them.

“That took him through an era when a lot of companies like us — and many of them larger than us — folded,” he recalled. “That security meant a lot to people. He was smart enough to understand that keeping people during tough times, even if we had to take a pay cut, meant that at least everybody could continue working.”

Pollack also enjoys working for AKS because of the company’s variety of different specialty machines, adding that “it was always something new, something exciting.”

The best career advice he ever received was, “Realize that you may not be as good as you think you are — but don’t lose faith in yourself.”

When it comes to offering his own advice, Pollack said, “Persistence and honesty are the keys to success. Always be of value to your customers.”

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