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Bob Bechtold

President, HARBEC

Years in current role: 45

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The thing I enjoy most about my role at HARBEC is the opportunity to search for and explore the latest technologies related to manufacturing. To me the field seems to be overflowing with tooling, technologies, materials, and processes that are constantly improving and advancing. As a toolmaker for more than 55 years I have never lost my desire to make it better, faster, stronger, or whatever. The potentials for “making” today are so expansive that is like being a kid in a candy store.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

The biggest challenge this year has been dealing with the issues related to COVID. While we have had some challenges with material availability and subcontractor performance, the hardest thing has been trying to keep our people as safe and healthy as possible.

What has been your organization’s biggest success over the past year?

Our biggest success this year has been the completion of the 50% expansion of our manufacturing space. It has been 10 years in the making and although many thought that it would never happen, we finally completed the construction and are now moving in. The new space will allow each department a 50% space increase including machining, molding, additive and specialties. Our new molding facility will provide a permanent class 8 clean room to offer additional capacity to our medical molding customers.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the technology industry over the next year?

One of the biggest changes we have seen over the past year is the advancement of additive manufacturing or 3D printing. Although we have been involved in this technology for over 20 years, it is now making a transition from being primarily a prototyping solution, to an accepted alternative for production intent metal and polymer part manufacturing. We believe that the in future additive and subtractive manufacturing methods will continue to become increasingly interrelated and to be able to produce the complex part requirements that will be required.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 50 Technology list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at rbj.net.

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