Blog overview

Celebrating Dave Butler and his dedication to precision at APT Leicester through forty-four years of service

In the world of precision machining, the human touch behind the technology often tells the most compelling stories. This month, APT Leicester recognises Dave Butler, a true stalwart of the industry, as he begins his transition to semi-retirement after a journey that spans nearly half a century. From his early days straight out of school to becoming the longest-serving employee at APT, Dave’s journey embodies dedication, skill, and the evolution of CNC machining.

Dave Buttler 44 years at APT Leicester

A journey through time and evolution

Starting at APT Leicester on 2 June 1980, Dave Butler’s career began right after finishing his studies at King Edwards in Coalville. With no apprenticeship schemes available, Dave learned the ins and outs of machining directly on the shop floor. His initial years were spent on manual lathes and mastering cam-autos, crucial in an era before CNC technology would redefine the precision engineering industry.

Dave witnessed first-hand the transition from manual lathes to sophisticated CNC machining service. Over the years, he moved through various departments, from second operations to leading the charge as a supervisor, managing a team and embracing new technologies. His adaptability shone as APT Leicester transitioned to CNC lathes, with Dave at the forefront of learning and teaching these new methods.

A legacy of leadership and learning

As CNC technology advanced, so did Dave. He played a pivotal role in APT’s expansion into precision turned parts for Aerospace, showcasing not just a talent for machining but also for programming and leading teams. His commitment to passing on his knowledge, especially in his final years focusing on training staff on the Star SR10 lathes, marks a continued tradition of mentorship.

Andy Stone, reflecting on Dave’s extensive career, shares: “I’ve worked with Dave since the early ’90s and have seen him grow from a Second Op supervisor to an expert setter and programmer. His eye for detail and extensive engineering knowledge have greatly contributed to APT’s success, setting high standards and excellence for all of us. After 44 years, as Dave is stepping into semi-retirement, he continues to have a positive impact on our team.”

Life beyond the lathe

As we acknowledge Dave Butler’s remarkable career and his adjustment towards semi-retirement, we not only reflect on his professional achievements but also look forward to the personal pursuits and passions that await him. Dave’s story demonstrates the profound impact one individual can have on an industry and the people within it. His dedication to APT Leicester and the world of precision machining continues to set a high standard for those who follow.

Outside of work, Dave has rediscovered his love for fishing and spends cherished time at his caravan on the east coast with his wife Louise, enjoying the tranquility of nature. His departure from lawn bowls marks the end of an era in one hobby but the beginning of renewed focus on another.

Dave says: “Looking back at my time with APT Leicester, I’m really thankful for everything. I’ve learned a lot, from using the first manual lathes to the advanced CNC machining. Now, as I adjust to a part-time schedule, I’m excited to embrace a new rhythm of life, spend more time fishing, by the coast, and enjoying the simple things. A big thank you to everyone at APT and all the friends I’ve made. Even though I’m modifying my role, I’m looking forward to seeing APT Leicester continue to grow and succeed as a turned parts manufacturer.”

Honouring decades of dedication

As Dave Butler adjusts to semi-retirement, APT Leicester acknowledges his outstanding contributions with profound gratitude. Dave’s influence has fundamentally shaped our operations, inspiring both current and future generations of engineers and machinists with his dedication and excellence.

His journey serves as an inspiration within the precision machining industry, embodying the passion, skill, and camaraderie that APT Leicester stands for. Dave’s ongoing work and influence reflect the very best of what we aspire to be. We look forward to continuing this journey with you, Dave.