September 5, 2023 By Sukanya Ray Ghosh
Manufacturing AUTOMATION’s second annual Top 10 Under 40 highlights the next generation of leaders who have demonstrated exemplary work ethic. They are leading the charge in their workspaces and inspiring their peers with their commitment to innovation.
This year, the winners share what they enjoy the most about working in the automation space, what plans they have for their future and suggestions on getting more people into this industry.
To highlight the achievements of each individual selected for the Top 10 Under 40 list, Manufacturing AUTOMATION will feature one of 2023’s winners every week for the next 10 weeks.
This week, we introduce Brandon Schaaf, industrial electrician at Systematix. Schaaf shares what keeps him going in his career in automation.
Manufacturing AUTOMATION: What do you enjoy the most about working in the manufacturing and automation space?
Brandon Schaaf: I enjoy getting to build machines that simplify processes and working with new technology. When you’re building custom automation it’s always new, never repetitive or boring and you’re always learning. With automation, repetitive and time-consuming tasks are done quickly and accurately, reducing the chances of mistakes and increasing the customer’s efficiency. The facility where I work isn’t like a typical factory – it’s clean and bright, and the equipment is always new. You get to play with robots as well!
MA: What are your future plans within the industry?
BS: I enjoy teaching our electrical apprentices how to wire properly and develop their skills including critical thinking. I am at the point in my career where I am the lead electrician on builds. I enjoy planning, mentoring people on the team, and seeing everything come together. I would enjoy future leadership opportunities at Systematix.
MA: How can this industry encourage more people to join and pursue successful careers here?
BS: Taking advantage of high school co-op programs and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship program are a great way to try out a field. After spending my grade 12 co-op at Systematix, I worked full-time in the electrical department before entering a 442A apprenticeship at Conestoga College.