Meet Tom Houle, Matsuura’s Director, LUMEX, N.A.

Welcome to our employee spotlight series, featuring profiles on Matsuura team members. Get to know Matsuura’s Director, LUMEX, N.A., Tom Houle:

How long have you worked with Matsuura and what does your job entail? My career at Matsuura began in August 2017, when the Matsuura LUMEX Technology launched in North America.  My main responsibility is to educate customers on how the game-changing technology can benefit their organization. The LUMEX Technology’s core market is Injection Mold Tooling. Injection Molding is an incredibly efficient process, and my job is to help customers quickly realize the benefits Matsuura’s Metal 3D Printing and High-speed Milling can make in their manufacturing processes.

With proper use and implementation, customers can compete in the market faster and rapidly create sustainable profits. Longer-term, adding Matsuura’s Lights-out manufacturing can address skilled workforce shortages, increasing manufacturing throughput time.

I am also responsible for the operation of the Matsuura USA Additive Manufacturing Center, which operates like a mini-production plant.  We showcase our technology to our potential customers thorough real-life projects.  Through these projects, we continue to learn additional metal hybrid techniques, helping customer’s build more accurate parts.  Our team of Application Engineers then disseminate that knowledge to our CNC machine customer, raising the level of skill across the entire customer base.

What is unusual or a memorable moment at Matsuura? My favorite part of my role at Matsuura is when a customer sees the light or “gets it.”  It is very gratifying to know that through the communication and skills of the entire LUMEX Team, we can prove to a skeptical customer how they will benefit from integrating the LUMEX Technology into their operation. This “lightbulb moment” is extra satisfying when at initial discussions, many of prospects question whether our claims are possible.  Watching prospects turn from naysayers to proponents is very satisfying.

What is a career lesson you have learned thus far? I think the biggest lesson I have learned from my role as LUMEX Director is patience.  Being immersed in the technology and seeing the game-changing benefits daily, it can take time for a potential customer to get on board.  Secondly,  seeing our team of engineers learn and implement new techniques to make better and more accurate parts, is a huge lesson in Empowerment.  The team must be able to try and fail, and guiding the group through those failures to the ultimate successes is very rewarding.

What is your favorite part of your role at Matsuura? Seeing a customer realize how big of an impact implementing our technology can be for their organization.  The people who get to this level are visionaries, and it is a great honor to work so closely as they implement their vision, capitalizing on the LUMEX technology.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t Matsuura’s Director, LUMEX, NA: Prior to joining Matsuura, I spent my entire career in Injection Molding – from a project engineer up to a technical leader for medical device contract manufacturing organizations.  I would imagine if I hadn’t had the opportunity to work directly on a project involving the LUMEX Technology, and being one of those that “got-it,” I would still be working in Injection Molding.

What do you do when not at Matsuura? I enjoy anything outdoors – from golfing with my son and son-in-law, to hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling. My younger daughter plays volleyball in college, so we spend a lot of time watching her matches.  I enjoy family time with my three kids, and we are lucky enough that they are all relatively close to us.

What is a fun fact many people do not know about you? I am a football and basketball official – working mostly high-school games now, but in the past I have worked Division 3 games in both sports.

Anything you would like to add? The entire team at Matsuura is one of the most dedicated and welcoming groups of people I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside.  Their dedication to our customers and to each other is amazing, and I know from being a former customer of Matsuura, how important that attitude is to our success.  I am truly grateful to be part of this fantastic team.

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