It’s been a busy week for parties, but today’s celebration to honor Ann Nelson was special. Sending a longtime employee off to retirement is bittersweet. We honored Ann after 24+ years with Horst Engineering in our Part Marking department.
Part Marking is one of those unsung processes in any aerospace manufacturing operation. It is often a final step or nearly final step in our sequence of operations. Most of the parts we produce are physically marked per customer and industry requirements with a part number, vendor code, customer code, government cage code, and/or serial number. If the part isn’t marked, then the packaging is marked. Traceability from “cradle to grave” is a hallmark of aerospace products.
In the history of our company, no one has marked more parts than Ann. Our primary methods include:
- Dot-Peen Marking
- Vibro-Peen Marking
- Electrolytic Etch Marking
- Ink Marking
- Roll Marking
- Laser Marking
In her early days, she worked part time from home, where we installed a small compressor. Eventually, she joined us full time at our East Hartford plant site. Over the years we have invested in new technology. In addition to marking our own parts, we perform part marking as a service for a handful of other aerospace manufacturers. She left her legacy at our 71-year-old #familybusiness as many others before her have.
It is tradition that longtime employees are presented with a custom Gerstner & Sons machinist chest made in Ohio, by another multi-generation family business, but we opted to do something a little different. Instead of a machinist chest, she was presented with a custom Gerstner & Sons jewelry chest crafted from American Cherry and finished with a protective acrylic top bearing the Horst Engineering logo mark.
Ann has passed the torch to the next generation by cross-training colleagues to carry on the important Part Marking process, and we thank her for her years of service. Maybe this story will come full circle and will end where she started. We hear that the old compressor in her garage is still working and that in a pinch, she can come out of retirement to do a rush part marking job from the warmth of her living room. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that! We wish Ann the best.