Meet Shawn Leichliter, EDC Systems group’s dedicated engineering manager. Shawn has been an integral part of the EDC team for a decade and a half; celebrating his 15-year anniversary with the company in May 2019. Chosen for the spotlight by the executive team, Shawn is described as an intelligent, logical, and hard-working employee who puts in long hours when required to keep his projects on schedule. Although normally soft spoken, Shawn becomes animated when talking about his 15-year-old son Jacob. When the weather is nice, Shawn’s co-workers know to look for his Goldwing motorcycle parked in front of the building.
“Shawn is a pleasure to work with. His even temper, great work ethic and extraordinary intellect make him a key to our continued success,” said Chuck Dillard, vice president of EDC.
After serving our country in the US Army and earning his degree in electrical engineering, Shawn started at EDC as a service technician. After just a year he moved over to the Systems side of the business where his electrical engineering talents helped strengthen our systems team. A fast learner, after a couple of years Shawn was promoted to engineering manager, which is his role today. Shawn works with Chuck to manage EDC’s engineers and project assignments, as well as the panel builders in the shop.
Shawn has been intimately involved with important EDC projects that have helped grow the company. He worked on the dual constant vulcanizing (CV) line project, one of EDC’s first multi-million-dollar projects. The CV line makes a rubber-jacketed cable; the bare cable has up to three layers of coating extruded on it, at least one of which is a thick, insulating rubber layer which must be “cured” with heat and pressure. After the extrusion, the cable goes into a tube where there is pressurized steam for a couple hundred feet, and then into water to cool the cable. This project required 20 variable frequency drives (VFDs), seven human-machine interfaces (HMIs), and a large amount of remote I/O.
Shawn designed a product named Omega Wind, which is one of the few machines at EDC to be built more than once. Ordinarily, EDC custom designs equipment tailored to the needs of a unique manufacturing situation. Omega Wind is EDC’s name for the company’s traverse winder, a machine that winds strips of metal onto spools. The Omega Wind carefully controls the spacing of the metal strips so that it “hits” the operator-prescribed number of turn points. “For instance, three turn points means we will traverse across a reel, ending at 60 degrees, come back at 120 degrees, return at 180 degrees, come back again at 240 degrees, returning once again at 300 degrees and finally coming back at 0,” said Shawn. “Then it starts all over. We have three distance turn points, one flange, and three more at the other, all evenly spaced. The machine is all about getting the most material on a reel neatly so that when it unspools there are no issues. We’ve probably sold more than 20 copies of the Omega Wind.”
Staying on the cutting edge of control system and automation technologies, Shawn learned the Siemens S120 drive protocol, and was the first engineer in the company to use it when he designed a highly advanced dual loop slitter. Shawn also brought motion technology to EDC with the design of turret winders for Black Clawson Converting Machinery.
A native of northwestern New Jersey, Shawn grew up in Phillipsburg. After high school, Shawn enlisted in the US Army, serving for 6 years as an Electronic Warfare Avionics Systems Repairer. He was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Storm. After returning, Shawn attended nearby Lehigh University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. While at Lehigh, Shawn participated in ROTC and got his commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps. After graduation he served in the Reserves as a Platoon Leader for a Tropospheric Scattering Communication station.
Shawn and his wife Lisa currently live in Blairstown, NJ with their 15-year-old son Jacob. When not at work, Shawn runs a small business called Rail-Lynx, making infrared controls for model trains. Shawn takes advantage of all the good weather days he can to ride his Goldwing motorcycle, often driving it to work at EDC. Shawn and Jacob enjoy their annual motorcycle road trip together, visiting fun attractions along the way.
Asked what he likes best about working at EDC, Shawn said, “I get to work on a wide variety of challenging projects in a friendly, close knit atmosphere where I know my contributions are appreciated.”