Q & A with Billy Lane
How many years have you been in manufacturing?
I have been at MT for 10 years. I started by just putting screws in a bag (kitting), and now I am second shift lead in the Composites Department's clean room, where composite materials are processed.
What jobs have you performed at MT over the years?
I have worked in just about every area at MT. I started out in the Kitting Department, but I also spent time welding and have run many of the machines. I have operated the saws, CNC machines and the waterjet cutter. I have been in the Composites Department for the last three years, since its inception.
Tell me about the Clean Room and what you do in there.
The Clean Room is where we cut and kit composite materials for use in building the Honda Jet for GKN Aerospace. For safety and compliance, we are required to wear necessary PPE such as a lab coat, hair net, gloves and if necessary a face net for anyone with a beard. It is critically important that we keep the Clean Room free of dust, hair or foreign debris.
What is a common misnomer of working in the Clean Room?
From the outside, people think it's an easy job. However, we know that our efforts keep the Honda Jet passengers and general public safe. We understand that a wrong cut or even something as simple as a hair getting into the product could result in a defective product. Our compliance standards require that we have to adhere to the proper safety measures at all times because we know that lives are on the line. We take that responsibility very seriously.
What is your favorite part of working in composites?
I enjoy building things. We cut and kit the composite material for the Honda Jet Program and specifically the fuselage. In the past, the team had the opportunity to travel to Tallassee to see where the Honda Jet is manufactured. That trip allowed us to be able to see the finished product, and that was powerful because we got to see where our work efforts culminate. I also get an overwhelming sense of accomplishment when we meet our goals and complete the project and get it to the customer on time.
How did you find out about Muskogee Technology?
I was sold on the company when I was 15 years old. I was involved in the summer youth program at Poarch. We did a tour of Muskogee Metalworks (MT's original business name) when it was located on Highway 21. Mal McGhee performed the tour and from the way he spoke about the company's manufacturing efforts, I knew that day that I wanted to be a part of it. Fast forward 20 years; now I am the 2nd shift lead in the Composites Department at MT. I take great pride in what we do here. It is satisfying to know that I am of service to the Tribe and my efforts in some part have helped in growing MT over the years. I love coming to work; there is just something about this place that makes me want to get up and come to work each day.
By Jen Chism CIEDA Marketing Manager