Cars, Welding Robots, and Midwest Startups with Path Robotic's Sheena Patterson

One of the best things about a career in manufacturing is that there’s so much variety! One person who can attest to that is Sheena Patterson, who joins us in this episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour.

Sheena has been zooming through an incredible career in manufacturing that’s taken her from the Midwest to Silicon Valley and back in less than a decade. Having led as an engineer with companies like Ford, Tesla, and Zoox, she’s now the Vice President of Operations at Path Robotics, a company that’s leading the way in automated welding robots.

In this episode, Sheena takes us through her different job roles over the years, what it’s really like to work with Elon Musk, and how she got into the robots-as-a-service field. We hear what working in an automotive plant is like and why people management and relationships are an overlooked part of the manufacturing world.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. With manufacturing, it pays to never say no to a new opportunity. You never know where a discussion or new opportunity will lead.
  2. People management is an overlooked part of manufacturing. It’s not all about technology and machinery. Good people skills and team management are key.
  3. The Midwest has become a hub for startups and manufacturing professionals who prefer the work-life balance that they don’t get in Silicon Valley.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “The industry and technology are changing so much that you can’t just drop a piece of equipment and say, ‘Good luck, I hope this lives for the next 30 years.’ You need that as-a-service support model.”
  • “The biggest thing that has allowed me to get to the companies that I want to be at is never saying no to an opportunity.”
  • “We have this influx of more talent, of different mindsets. And I think that just speaks volumes to what the Midwest is able to pull back from the coasts.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

Do you want to connect with other leaders that are moving the needle in manufacturing everyday? Then make sure to join us in the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community on LinkedIn.

GenAlpha equips manufacturers, distributors and dealers with the products and services they need to accelerate profits online. If you are an equipment manufacturer or distributor and your customers struggle to identify the right parts for the job, GenAlpha can help. You can learn all about GenAlpha on Episode 34.

Interested in generating leads through videos, podcasts, or other digital content? Then make sure to check out our 6 Strategies for Growing Your Manufacturing Business Using Social Media.

What We Discuss with Sheena

  • Sheena describes the move from Ford to Tesla
  • Why people management and relationships are a vital yet overlooked part of manufacturing
  • Why the midwestern start-up scene is booming
  • How Path Robotic’s robot-as-a-service works
  • Sheena’s top tip for those new to manufacturing

Recommended Resources

  • Path Robotics, manufacturers of autonomous welding robots
  • Drive Capital, a venture capital firm founded to invest in tech start-ups outside of Silicon Valley, invested in more than 40 companies across the United States and Canada
  • Watershed Distillery, dedicated to producing high-quality gins, bourbon, and other spirits in Columbus, OH

Connect with Sheena and Path Robotics

LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | Sheena Patterson