Quality Products Inspector Bob Lipka Becomes Compass Precision Employee of the Month
Inspector Bob Lipka arrived at Quality Products & Machine, LLC with no prior inspection experience. However, the background he did possess has turned him into a valuable asset to the company.
Bob has worked in the Quality Products inspection lab for more than 11 years. He has been employed in the CNC machining industry since the early 1980s, and just prior to coming to Quality Products, Bob operated a machine as a CNC programmer and setup man at Wilbert Plastic Services.
Despite Bob never working as an inspector before, it’s hard to imagine Quality Products President Kevin Farmer more pleased with how he’s fit in as an inspector over the last decade. Kevin says Bob’s previous experience as a machinist has made him one of the operating company’s most “consistent performers” inside the inspector lab.
“Most of the time, the best inspectors are people that have actually made parts. They already know what the downfalls and the pitfalls of manufacturing are,” said Kevin. “Simple things, he will know, right off the bat, what happened.”
Originally from Peoria, IL, Bob moved to North Carolina for a machining job with Bendix Truck Brakes in early 1986. Throughout his career, he’s constructed parts for everything from tractors and cars to furniture. At Wilbert, Bob ran a 5 and 6-axis CNC machine cutting plastic.
He describes his transition from machining to inspection as “going very well.” His daily tasks include inspecting parts and checking paperwork to ensure all certifications are in order before they are sent to the customer. He still likes machining, but moving into the inspection lab has had its benefits.
“It’s interesting,” said Bob. “The variety of parts is good. Always seeing something new. I keep learning that way.”
Unfortunately, Bob has been laid off multiple times in his career. Bendix let him go when the company moved a plant to Mexico, and Wilbert laid off Bob during the 2008 recession. But Bob has found a new home at Quality Products, where he says the people “get along quite well.”
“Our inspection department, we work really well together,” said Bob. “We have a close-knit group.”
In his spare time, Bob likes to hike. He also enjoys woodworking and usually creates hiking sticks for his ventures. Living about five minutes from a state park, he goes hiking often.
Bob is married to his wife, Becky. The couple has three daughters and three granddaughters.