Ritch Burkey, Director of Engineering
Ritch Burkey began working at Alexandria Industries in the machine shop while attending the local technical college. The year was 1973. He was the first employee to keep our machine shop operating during the evening hours. Today, Alexandria Industries runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Over his 47 years serving our customers, Burkey has worked in many areas, including extrusion, machining/programming, quality, equipment and process design, and sales and engineering. He brings a wealth of manufacturing experience and expertise to guide our engineering activities.
Burkey believes in creating new and innovative ways to do things differently. His most significant career accomplishments include conceptualizing, designing and building special process automation equipment to meet production and customer needs. He created a new manufacturing concept and worked with our team of engineers to develop an automated machine fabrication system to punch, drill, and tap holes, and create features such as small shapes, all in one continuous process on aluminum extrusions up to 25 feet long. Because of customer demand for custom-fabricated parts, Alexandria Industries has built 10 replicas of this machine while making many tooling, production rate and precision improvements along the way.
Due to the machines’ niche market capabilities, they support numerous departments and careers throughout the company. Burkey has supported several state and technical engineering colleges with internships that have led to growing several professional careers and enhancing Alexandria Industries’ capabilities. A number of internships focused on working with these automated machines. Burkey holds a patent on one of his inventions – an automated deburring machine.
An Alexandria native, Burkey graduated with a technical degree from Alexandria Technical and Community College. He spends his leisure time with family and friends, and enjoys fishing, hunting, traveling and working on vintage mechanical devices including old motorcycles.