A day in the life of a seat assembler: Getting people where they need to be

Cary Presley, seat assembler

Ca​ry Presley is a seat assembler for Interior Systems in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.Click to enlarge

For almost 25 years, Cary Presley has been in the transportation business. That’s a quarter century of rigorous attention to detail, ensuring people get from point A to point B safely.

“I worked in the bicycle industry for 23 years. When customers are purchasing $10,000 bicycles, they are looking for a very high level of precision and quality.”

Two and a half years ago, Presley traded in spokes and pedals for Test Line 7 and airline seats at Rockwell Collins.

Different industries, similar roles and goals

Today, Presley is a seat assembler on the crash test line in Rockwell Collins’ Interior Systems business unit. He assembles the frame of seats that are used in crash testing events which allow seats to become certified to fly.

“The roles are very similar. Everything has to be done a certain way, and performed to a high level of precision,” Presley explains. “So this was a very good transition for me, and I do enjoy this job very much because of that.”

That attention to detail and precision is especially important when considering safety.

“Safety is always at the forefront of what we do here every day. We know that we have to get it right, because lives depend on it.”

Part of getting it right comes from Presley’s exposure to a variety of Rockwell Collins seats.

“Being on the test line allows me to assemble a wide range of our seats,” said Presley. “I see this as a great learning experience to really gain a deep insight into our products.”

This variety, along with the work itself, is what keeps Presley motivated.

“I’ve always loved to work with my hands, to build and create something from nothing.”

More than a product

And for Presley, he’s not just building a product. He’s building memories.

“What we do here is really cool. We’re creating something that allows people to go all over the world, to take their honeymoon to Paris, to vacation in Belize, to visit their grandmother in Minnesota.”

After all these years, Presley is still doing what he loves: Working with his hands, and connecting people, places and experiences to each other. It’s the same work he’s always done; the reach is just a bit further, and the air a bit thinner.

Story posted: November 6, 2018

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