Optimo Cast of Characters

These are some of the people who made a huge contribution to the Optimo project at Amada: Most of them have left Amada for greener pastures or more interesting challenges. Apologies to anyone I’ve shorted in credentials or contributions. Send any corrections to me.

Stan Ream

Manager/leader of the short-lived Amada Laser Systems company. Seemed to much prefer the technical side of life to management.

Dale Davis

Manager of the Optimo effort. Provided leadership, programmed the original menuing package. Spent endless hours with Tony figuring out PLC code and various other headaches. Left Amada a while after the Optimo effort ended.

Antonio Rotunno

Aka Tony: Long-time key service guy for Prima. Started out as Electronics snob, became quite well-rounded out of need. Liaison with Prima and whoever spoke Italian but not English. Programmed the PLC, calibrated the machine, and made the CRG run in spite of itself. Wrote drivers to let my VB apps talk with the CRG, and wrote a very nice user interface for the LBA. Also performed many other services.

G.C. Lim, PhD

Physics, optics: Invented/developed the spinning wire Laser Beam Analyzer (pre-Amada). Wrote the Beam Align Software for Amada. Was part of Amada Engineering’s Laser R&D group, which mostly did work for Amada Japan. Left sometime after the R&D group was disbanded.

Joe Greeninger

Laser and machine service tech: electronics and mechanical, smart enough to bail out and take a job (within Amada) that traveled a lot less. Stayed with Amada, mainly in the areas of factory and laser automation.

Ken Fukae

Physicist- also from the R&D group, became a vital part of the Optimo group. Performed mechanical and optics design for Optimo’s beam delivery system. Very active in beam delivery and alignment systems development and integration. Also heavily involved in installation of several of the machines. Moved to Amada’s automation efforts after Optimo program ended.

Allan Mathias

Engineer, came in while we were integrating the first Windows MMI machine at the factory in Turin, Italy. Did installation, fabrication, various.
Allan stayed with Amada after the Optimo project ended, now works (I believe) in factory automation.

Jay Maechtlen

Me. I worked for Dale in the “special engineering” group when we were assigned the Optimo. I helped with install and calibration, programmed parts and ran the machine for applications testing and demonstrations. Trained customers in programming, operation, and maintenance. Wrote docs and manuals, occasionally did field service. Programmed much of the Windows MMI system- I handled/mishandled the Wonderware side, created apps in Visual Basic, figured out how to use those DOS applications from within Windows, and so forth.

Of course my list is longer- I remember what I did, and less of what the others went through. It is easy to forget all the challenges they faced.

Here I am (with beard) working with an Italian machinist (Plinio) to align or calibrate the machine. (It looks like we’re checking the axes for squareness to one another.)

Jay and Plinio performing calibrations on Optimo

Jay and Plinio performing calibrations on Optimo

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