Timothy G. Rosengarten
Vice President, Operations
Download a Short Bio
While I was growing up outside Findlay, Ohio, my dad was a line worker at the local Ford plant. It was a good, stable factory job. He liked it. But he also had a side job installing windows and storm doors. Beginning at age eight, I helped him. I’d build window awnings and other parts in our garage. When dad came home from the factory, he’d take what I’d built out to the job site and install it.
Dad would always say, “I GAR-antee it,” when talking about his work. If any of his customers ever had a problem with a window or door he’d installed, he’d go back out to fix it. I learned how it was always better to do work right the first time.
When I left home for college and the co-op program at GMI Engineering and Management Institute, I started a factory job like my dad. I’d take classes for three months, then work for three months in the General Motors Central Foundry. I used a molding machine to cast engine blocks out of iron. The place was gruff and grimy and hot.
But I realized my passion for manufacturing. I loved factories. I loved taking raw materials or parts and making something that had value. I started to see opportunities, too – ways to do things with less waste.
After I graduated from GMI, I took a job at AlliedSignal. And a couple of years later, after working as a project and design engineer and earning an M.B.A., I moved to AlliedSignal’s facility outside Detroit. There, I helped set up a new plant to make passenger airbags – a new business in the early ’90s.
I began to learn about lean manufacturing and manufacturing quality, but it wasn’t until I became manager of AlliedSignal’s passenger car seatbelt business that I learned about product quality. How did the product function? Was it reliable? Durable? Could we “GAR-antee” it?
You could say I became a “Lean Zealot” during my years at Ford and their spin-off company, Visteon. Streamlining production and removing waste was fascinating to me.
In 2006, when Swagelok needed a director of manufacturing for their flagship product, the tube fitting group, I was ready for the challenge. As at Ford and Visteon, I helped find better ways to bring materials together to manufacture and assemble and ship.
Today, as vice president, I’m responsible for manufacturing strategy: what equipment and methods we’ll use here in the U.S. and globally, how the process will flow through our plants and distribution centers .... Plus, I’m responsible for driving continuous improvement and quality, teaching Swagelok people how to keep finding ways to get even better.
Continuous improvement and quality are big elements of the Swagelok brand. They’re why customers have confidence in us. Having quality products is mandatory. But so is having good people who stand behind Swagelok products with an “I GAR-antee it” approach.
I try to share my passion for continuous improvement and quality as a board member of WIRE-Net and Magnet, manufacturing advocacy groups in Greater Cleveland.