“LaunchPoint” is a new series from the Edge Factor Show coming in May 2014. It will air on TV on Cox7 Arizona. The show’s creators offer this synopsis of one of the episodes:
The chances of winning a green card lottery are about as slim as winning $100 million dollars. So when Martin Edge and his wife received a call that they had won US green cards, they were ecstatic. Moving from South Africa to the USA reignitied Martin’s sense of adventure, he says. Jumping out of planes and freefalling from 12,000 feet became his adrenaline outlet. “Feeling the harness and the parachute, thinking about what you’ll do when you get out [of the plane]… you go into your own world. That’s all that matters. Everything slows down, and just becomes one experience,” he says.
The rush Martin experiences from skydiving, he also finds in the world of manufacturing. Realizing that he needed to launch a new career to provide for his family, Martin explored the opportunities available in the manufacturing industry and came across the Maricopa Skill Center. After taking a tour of the machine shop and seeing the CNC machines run, Martin introduced himself to one of the machining instructors, Larry Geczy, and immediately enrolled in the program.
Martin was eager to jump on the latest CNC machines. This presented a challenge for his instructors. Larry struggled to reign Martin in so that the student could learn the basics of manual machines before running the CNCs. “We had a hard time keeping him back. He just blazed through the program!” says Larry. Martin immersed himself in the online Tooling U curriculum, excelled in learning the manual machines and soon had progressed to the CNC machines. He graduated, but didn’t stop there.
Determined to learn more, Martin enrolled in the Industrial Design program at Gateway Community College. Not all of the students he met at Gateway were new to the industry. Some of his classmates including Marianne Fierros were seasoned manufacturers who wanted to develop their skills. Seeing Martin’s thirst for learning, passion for manufacturing and seemingly endless amount of energy, Marianne introduced him to her husband and co-owner of Nichols Precision, Dante Fierros. After their first meeting, Dante and Marianne knew that Martin would make a great addition to their team. They hired him as their new Production Manager.
Launching his career at Nichols Precision, Martin was itching to get his hands on more of the latest technology. When Dante purchased a new Wire EDM (electric discharge machine), Martin volunteered to learn how to run it. The learning curve was steep and even though his frustration grew, Martin rose to meet the challenge. “That frustration … pushes me to continue looking for answers,” he says. “His frustration lies in the fact that he is going 100rpm, and the rest of the world is at 50,” laughed Dante Fierros.