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The History of Hurco: Part 2. An interview with Mr. Roch

Last week, I posted Part 1 of our History of Hurco video series, where we learned about all of the events—good and bad—that led Mr. Roch to start a business with his boss at the time, Ed Humston. Mr. Roch ended up working in sales for Ed Humston who owned E.L. Humston Company when he quit his job as an industrial engineer at EMPCO in protest of the company president’s, who he believed was making a number of missteps—and his father owned 30 percent of the company, which made the situation even more awkward.

As a sales rep for E.L. Humston, he visited manufacturing facilities of all sizes throughout the state of Indiana and realized there was a real opportunity to increase efficiency. He started thinking about products he could invent that could make shops more productive…and ultimately, more profitable.

After eight years in the field, driving 50K miles a year, he decided he needed a career change for several reasons. First and foremost, the job was hazardous to his health: he kept falling asleep at the wheel! He asked the owner of the company (his boss), Ed Humston, if he wanted to start a shop. Mr. Humston already owned a successful business, but believed in Mr. Roch’s vision—leveraging the impending computer boon to design products that would make manufacturing more efficient, especially for small job shops.

This week in Part 2 of the History of Hurco, Mr. Roch talks about the first product he invented at Hurco, how the company almost folded within the first two years, and he foreshadows the control technology that would ultimately create CNC machining technology as we know it today.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I enjoyed interviewing Mr. Roch. Check back next week for Part 3 when Mr. Roch talks about his greatest weakness, Hurco Co-Founder Ed Humston, and his second product introduction, which was eventually rendered obsolete by laser cutting technology.