Meet Donnie Abbott, a seasoned CNC programmer, machinist and mechanical designer at Mint Turbines. Donnie’s passion for mechanical design and CNC machining spans more than 25 years, with a recent focus on automation initiatives to streamline operations. He prioritizes safety and continuous learning to stay ahead in an ever-evolving industry landscape.

What is your name, where are you from and what is your position at Mint Turbines?
I am Donnie Abbott from Bristow, Oklahoma, and my position is a CNC programmer, machinist and mechanical designer.

How long have you been at Mint Turbines?
I have been at Mint Turbines for two and a half years.

What initially drew you to mechanical design and CNC machining, and how did you develop your passion for it over the years?
I started out as a machinist in VOTECH and have been in the industry for 25 years. I got into CNC programming about seven years ago because I wanted to advance myself further. Mechanical design came with getting into programming because the classes run hand-in-hand.

With your extensive experience in mechanical design and CNC machining, can you share some of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on at Mint Turbines LLC?
I led the initiative to automate the whole machine shop, saving us time and money. It took me about a year to accomplish. I am always looking for ways to improve our processes.

How has your Solidworks certification and proficiency in CAD software enhanced your ability to create and modify 3D models and drawings of turbine components and assemblies?
These certifications and educational qualifications have empowered me to significantly enhance our shop. With proficiency in CAD software, I can maximize the efficiency of our machines, ensuring optimal performance. I highly advise anyone in this field to pursue these certifications. As automation becomes increasingly prevalent, staying on top of industry trends and advancements is crucial for success.

How do you keep up?
Our industry is advancing every day. Technology has moved leaps and bounds forward in the years I have even been around. AI will take off faster than we can imagine, so we must be ready for it. I keep up by checking LinkedIn and YouTube, ensuring I stay educated and up to date.

In your position, how do you ensure that safety is paramount?
Safety is one of the highest priorities. We wear safety glasses, PPE and whatever the job calls for. We do it as safely as possible. I ensure all safety locks and doors are where they need to be, sometimes triple-checking them.

What is your favorite thing about working for Mint Turbines?
I would have to say my favorite thing about working for Mint Turbines is the people. We work with some high-quality people that are a great group. The company has cared for me very well since I have been here, and I am grateful.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My wife and three kids keep me pretty busy, with softball and all sorts of activities. I also like to hunt and fish, anything that is outdoors really.