We were looking for a partner who would really work with us. A company that could provide the best machining equipment on the market but also one with the commitment to making it accessible for blind machinists.
Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) July 14, 2010
The National Association for the Employment of People who are Blind (NAEPB) has named Okuma America Corporation and Gosiger, Inc. as their Supplier of the Year. Okuma and Gosiger were nominated by The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. in recognition of their outstanding efforts to provide accessible CNC machines as well as training for blind operators. The award is presented annually to a supplier that has provided quality products or services to agencies supporting and employing blind individuals, while meeting stringent customer demands.
Okuma, through distributor Gosiger, Inc. provides Seattle Lighthouse with CNC machining centers. These machining centers utilize THe Intelligent Numeric Control (THINC), a Windows™-based, open architecture control, equipped with a specially designed API that allows the use of JAWS screen-reading software. This software provides voice commands from the machine tool, allowing blind operators to program, set-up, run and changeover the machines. Kirk Adams, President and CEO of Lighthouse for the Blind notes, “We were looking for a partner who would really work with us. A company that could provide the best machining equipment on the market but also one with the commitment to making it accessible for blind machinists. Okuma has been that partner and more. We have been able to create 8 jobs now that were not accessible in the past.”
Seattle Lighthouse utilizes Okuma vertical machining centers and a horizontal machining center with a Fastems pallet system to provide parts for The Boeing Company and other customers. Operator Loren Schleppy states that the Okuma machines “have opened the door for the blind community”, as he refers to the increased accessibility to the machines.
In addition to machine tools, Seattle Lighthouse purchased a control simulator from Gosiger and Okuma. Machine Shop Supervisor, Tom McCrary wrote a tutorial to run on the simulator, allowing operators to train to run the machines without having to use production time to do so.
The Okuma machines have allowed the machine shop at Seattle Lighthouse to add value for their customers by making them more price competitive and able to meet quality and delivery requirements. All while providing high-paid jobs to blind individuals.