Kaspar Zweifel: 62 Years of Machine Tool Experience
Kaspar Zweifel remembers 1955 well. That’s the year he started his first apprenticeship with machine tools, a time well before CNC machines. Computers took up a whole wing of a building, you used a slide rule for calculations and wound your watch each morning to keep it running (long story, but basically, they ran on springs).
Kaspar brought over 40 years of experience when he joined Doosan in 1996. He was with us until he retired in 2011. But then a funny thing happened: the retirement didn’t really take. Before long (we’re talking like two weeks later), Kaspar was looking for something to do. With all his skills and knowledge, we were thrilled to welcome him back.
And so, for the past six years, Kaspar has handled special inquires from distributors and sales personnel, evaluating which Doosan machine works best for a customer’s particular application. This involves reviewing the design of the part, the type of material and its overall machinability. Then, working with our inventory of machines, he designs the most effective combination of part, machine tool and process. The distributor or sales rep can then prepare a proposal for the potential customer knowing Kaspar has already thought of everything.
Personal and product development
Kaspar recalls that when he joined Daewoo Machine Tools in 1996 (which began operation under the Doosan brand soon after), he was heavily involved in product development in cooperation with the factory. “Before, I was mainly out in the field, servicing machines,” Kaspar said. “My job as Application Engineer brought me into the office more often, but there were always the machine tools in the showroom to play with, so I could still get my hands dirty.”
Kaspar listened carefully to his customers during his years on the road, and he had firsthand knowledge of what they wanted. His personal insights have added considerable value to Doosan’s product development and continuous improvement programs over the years. So much so that he was promoted to Application Manager, the position he held until his so-called retirement.
Re-retirement in his future?
Today, Kaspar enjoys continuing the creative work that helps improve our products. Seeing satisfied customers who are pleased with the end result gives him considerable gratification. “We have developed excellent engineering teams and people that really work well together,” he said. “That has been a wonderful experience for me in general.”
At the age of 78, Kaspar is thinking of pulling back a bit. And when we say pull back, we of course mean that he absolutely will never retire. “I might cut back to three days a week. That would give me time to learn more CAD/CAM software or maybe take a class at the local college, or maybe teach a class or two,” he said. Kaspar is a machine tool lifer, and we’re thankful he’s here at Doosan.