Ben VandeHoef is known by Phillips Partners and customers alike as the OPTO Guy. He’s the king of application engineering and loves to share the knowledge he gains with his fellow Applications Engineers and his customers. He’s a great team player with a determined mindset. What you might not know about Ben is that he is a lover of the outdoors. He’s always willing to give anything a try, but particularly likes ATVs and motorcycles. He loves to spend time with his wife and three kids. They especially enjoy family vacations together like to the beach.
Ben started at Phillips Corporation in 2015 after many years in the aerospace machining industry and his positive attitude has never wavered. Carey Beevers remembers, “He had worked with many customers in his first two years and they all said ‘that guy knows his stuff'”.
The transition to the Applications Engineer role came easily to VandeHoef. On a visit to a customer, Ben went from looking at a program he had never seen before to being able to modify the program to show off the tooling and decrease the cycle time on the parts. This is when Ben’s talents really started to shine. In his role as Apps Engineer, he visits several customers to work on OPTO projects. During one of those projects, Ben was able to analyze the whole process from material to a finished part and how to optimize each section. Through this OPTO project, he was able to save the customer $100,000 over a one-year span. He evaluated the processes the company was currently running on that part and saw the opportunity to save time by running two parts at once. He has saved several customers thousands of dollars by optimizing their processes. The customers are always impressed by Ben’s knowledge and expertise.
Fellow Applications Engineer, Chris Molle, says, “Ben is always there to bounce ideas off of and contribute to the toughest of projects. His positive outlook makes him a pleasure to work with.” Ben’s Team Leader, Joe Sommers, commented on Ben’s learning mode mindset, “Ben is willing to take on projects that stretch and expand his knowledge. He is constantly looking for learning opportunities. Not only has he become very efficient on the Haas control, but he is also willing to take on the challenge of learning new controls and teaching the customer how to use it. He lets nothing stand in the way of helping a customer.”
Ben’s dedication to being an expert in his field is evident. He schedules himself training classes to learn about new products or new machines that have been added to the line up. According to Joe, “Ben’s work is always beyond customer expectations”.
Steve Link recalled a time when Ben was really given a curveball during an OPTO training session, but he worked hard to find a solution and to make the customer happy, “Ben’s tenacity and his willingness to dig into unforeseen, unpredictable control issues and his commitment to take care of the customer, no matter what is a testimony to why he’s an outstanding Phillips Partner.”
Day in and day out, Ben demonstrates all of the qualities that make a Phillips Brand Ambassador so unique. We are honored to have him as an inspiration to everyone at Phillips Corporation for what an exemplary Brand Ambassador should be.