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Farewell and Thanks to Jeff Kordik, CTO

by Eric Rice

After more than 33 years of dedicated leadership and service to Applied Motion Products, Jeff Kordik has announced his retirement. Under Jeff’s guidance, the company has made many successful and profitable technical advances. We are grateful to Jeff for his many years of service and wish him well in retirement.

Jeff Kordik is the son of company co-founder Ken Kordik and has played a key role in the growth of Applied Motion Products since the early days of the company’s history. In 1981, while attending the University of California, Santa Cruz, Jeff worked part-time as a lab technician and draftsman for the company. After graduation, he joined the company full-time for a brief period in 1983, then again in 1987 after obtaining a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. This was an auspicious time for the company, because Jeff was able to use the knowledge he gained in his graduate studies to help the company develop a new type of brushless DC motor. This development work produced two patents for Jeff and the company and furthered the company’s position as a premier motor supplier to the disk drive industry, the company’s primary market segment at that time.

The disk drive industry soon changed and the company was forced to alter its direction in market strategy. Jeff played a pivotal role in the restructuring of Applied Motion Products to shift away from disk drives and towards the general automation market. One of Jeff’s major achievements was the development of Applied Motion Products’ initial stepper drive offering, which he created on his own from scratch, and which proved to be a very profitable endeavor for the company. From the very first stepper drive Jeff developed in 1991 through the year 2000, when the company shipped a record 47,000 drives in one year, Jeff either directly developed or played a major role in the development of every drive product the company designed and manufactured. This included all full/half step and microstepping drives, as well as key drive features such as idle current reduction and dip-switch selectable motor current. Jeff became the Chief Technical Officer of Applied Motion Products during this time. He also became a member of the company’s board of directors.

Another major achievement from Jeff was the development of the user-friendly Si Programmer™ software, which he developed for use with the company’s first programmable stepper drives released in 1997. Si, which stands for Simple Indexer, was a pioneering software program because of its graphical user interface (GUI) that was simultaneously easy to use, easy to understand, and highly functional. The Si Programmer software became a core part of the company’s stepper drive offering, as well as many of its servo drives, and ushered in another era of highly profitable drive sales for years to come. It also led to another US patent with the creation of the stand-alone Si-1 indexer module.

Other major achievements from Jeff include the development of Applied Motion’s Serial Command Language (SCL), which allows users to send commands to drives from almost any platform, such as PCs, HMIs, and PLCs, using common serial connections including RS-232 and RS-485. Most recently Jeff introduced Ethernet to the product line by successfully prototyping the circuitry, firmware, and software needed to integrate Ethernet ports into the company’s various drive and integrated motor products. He has also overseen work to acquire two additional US patents on communication technology, which are currently pending.

Jeff Kordik has had a profound impact on the success of Applied Motion Products over the years. He has also had a profound impact on his fellow employees. As a senior leader within the company, Jeff is recognized for being kind, treating everyone with respect, and being open to new ideas and suggestions. He has always been willing to mentor colleagues on challenging projects and help them find answers to the toughest questions. He has also set an excellent example for his colleagues by always being the first person to arrive at the office every morning. And his generosity is shown every year when he opens his home at Christmas time to host his fellow employees in celebration and appreciation of the company’s collective efforts.

We wish Jeff good luck and every success in retirement, and we hope that in the freedom of retirement, Jeff will enjoy himself fully while knowing that he has made an important and lasting contribution to the legacy of Applied Motion Products and MOONS’.

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