This spring, the team at New England Sheets gathered in Devens, MA, to congratulate one of their own on becoming the newest World Champion Splicer Operator. Mike Storm achieved this milestone with 4,885 consecutive splices without a miss.
“Ever since I heard about the belt buckle program, I wanted to be number one. It was just a matter of time,” said Storm. It took three years of hard work and dedication to achieve his goal or wearing the World Champion belt. “It means the world. It shows that when you try, you put forth a huge effort, you concentrate every day and you stick with it, you can accomplish great things.”
The belt buckle program was developed by John Podmolik, the Field Training Specialist for BW Papersystems’ MarquipWardUnited corrugators. Operators receive training on how to spot the details of what will go into a successful splice as well as preventative maintenance best practices. Following training, operators work towards earning belt buckles: Bronze for 100 consecutive splices without a miss, Silver at 500 splices, and gold at 1,000 splices.
While many operators are able to achieve these milestones after receiving Podmolik’s training, there can only be one World Champion. When Mike Storm surpassed the past record set by a fellow New England Sheets team member, there were high fives and handshakes all around. Even team members who work different shifts went out of their way to congratulate him. The reaction that meant the most to Storm was that of his father who was excited and proud.
What’s next for the world champion? He had made a move to the maintenance team to learn a different side of the business. Storm said it best when he said, “It’s nice to go out on top.”