Warne Spotlights: Mark Locke – Sustaining Product and Process Manufacturing Technician
Thirty-five years in his field and still soaring, Mark Locke has continued to master the ways of designing and building as Sustaining Product and Process Manufacturing Technician for Warne. After finishing high school, he started his journey with Kimber of Oregon as a Drill Press Operator where he learned the ins and outs of firearm manufacturing. He went to Mt. Hood Community College to study programming CNCs and was later promoted to a Senior Developer of the company. When Kimber of Oregon eventually closed its doors, Mark worked in a couple of job shops such as Triple T Manufacturing where he learned to build tooling. From there, he continued practicing more building techniques on his own and also learned designing skills he applied to his work. He later returned to work at Kimber of America as Manager of the Mod. 82 Department under Supervision of Greg Warne President and Founder. When the company moved to Yonkers, NY. Mark accepted a job at Warne in 1999, under Jack Warne, the founder and one of the previous owners of Warne.
Specializing in the tooling end of machining, anything that the engineers at Warne can design, Mark can create. He designs different types of production fixtures for Robo drill, Horizontal, and Vertical CNC systems that are all created in house and are ready to go on the machines to manufacture components. He also designs and creates point of use precision test fixtures for finished components to aid in machine operator ability to produce quality components during production.
With all his years of experience, Mark has become an expert in his field. He plans ahead by designing fixtures and is able to evaluate what kinds of parts he and other engineers will need on the floor before manufacturing begins. This helps avoid any problems that can happen on the floor and keeps everything running during the development process. He also has learned to run any machine from the manual machines to the new automatic machines. These steps toward more advanced machinery have changed his way of thinking on how fixtures will work on these machines and whether they will fail and need redesigning. He keeps to the books on speeds and feeds for cutters and uses his experience and practice as he continues his work on the floor.
“Over the years, it’s been a growing challenge trying to better how you think in the long run of what you are building.”
One thing Mark appreciates about working at Warne is the people and that he gets to apply all of his years of experience into his work every day. Each of his designs are shown to the engineering team to ensure quality and functionality so that all the pieces will tie into the other end of the shop. He enjoys being a part of a team that can work together to solve any problem with fixtures and designs to ensure that each is at the highest quality to keep development going from design to consumer.