Andre Cunningham: A Mechanical Mind and A Flair for Art
August 17, 2018
Andre Cunningham isn’t the kind of guy who likes to stand still. Day-to-day and year-to-year, he is always looking for the next thing to do. As his career at Laser Precision shows, he is constantly on the lookout for new challenges to tackle and overcome.
Andre started with us eight years ago in the Logistics Department. Since then, he has mastered all the ins and outs of warehousing such as inventory control, outsourcing parts to vendors for plating, ordering supplies and raw materials, and getting finished parts to the customer on a timely basis. He is also qualified on every type of forklift in the entire shop.
Although he enjoyed his time in the warehouse, Andre was ready for a change. About a year ago, our Amada 24S-Automated Horizontal Bandsaw caught his eye and he asked if he could start training on it. Since we always encourage such initiative, we quickly agreed. Moving over to the machine shop opened up a whole new world for Andre. Now he is helping make the parts he previously had shipped out the door.
Andre has quickly picked up the basics of how to read prints and the router and match the right raw material to the job. His responsibilities now include the actual cutting of the piece, checking the first, middle and last cut with calipers and a height gage for quality, and deburring the piece before sending it on to the next station. Andre found that he enjoys working with the bandsaw and being part of the creative process. Shaping the raw material gives him a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Andre loves the work in the shop because it keeps him busy… he isn’t one to sit idle. He looks forward to the opportunity to cross train on other aspects of the fabrication process, especially when eyeballing some of the newer automation technologies being unpacked and installed around the shop. He hopes to one day get his hands on them and add to his growing set of knowledge and skills.
Away From the Shop
With three children and a huge extended family (in 1982 they were listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest family living in Lake County), Andre doesn’t have a whole lot of free time. He enjoys listening to a variety of music such as rap, old school, house, blues and jazz (“If it has a beat, I’ll listen to it.”) and checking out festivals in the Loop for old cars, music and food.
Andre’s own contribution to the artistic world is his natural talent for combining graffiti and calligraphy to create works of art based on people’s signatures. Examples can be seen in the ink on his own personal canvas.