FLORENCE, Ky., September 22, 2022 – Recognized for his lifetime of leadership and investment in research that led to advances in machine tool and factory technologies, Brian J. Papke, former Chairman and now Executive Advisor to the Board of Mazak Corporation, received the prestigious M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal of ASME/SME. Throughout his career, Papke has promoted, supported and expanded applications of machine tools and manufacturing technology in ways that set the stage for digital manufacturing, drove standardization for manufacturing interconnectivity and improved the overall competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
Established in 1986, the award recognizes exceptional individuals who have had significant influence and responsibility for improving the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing operations. The honor results from Papke’s long, distinguished career in the machine tool industry that began after his graduation from the University of Illinois. He then entered the machine tool industry in a management training program, then progressed through various sales and management positions, eventually becoming president of Mazak, a position he held for 29 years. In 2016, he was named Chairman.
In his leadership position at Mazak, Papke created and sustained a pattern of continuous growth and improvement for the company through the establishment of three core business strategies. Those strategies included a lean production-on-demand approach to manufacturing, implementation of the industry’s first digitally connected Mazak iSMART Factory™, an all-encompassing customer support program and a unique network of eight Technology Centers and five Technical Centers across North America, anchored by a National Technology Center in Florence, Kentucky.