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The Story of Y.B. Lee

In 1980, Doosan Machine Tools sold its first machine in the United States. It was only the second CNC machine we built; an A20N with a 10-inch chuck and FANUC 6T control. It went to a shop in a suburb of Beaumont, Texas, a tiny town of 1,300 people, one motel and one restaurant—a chicken shack.


The machine needed service, and Beaumont was thousands of miles away from our factory. We weren’t sure what the problem was, all we knew was we needed someone to fix it. So a conversation was had at our Korean HQ: Who’s our best guy? The most well rounded employee who knew programming, machine construction and more.

The answer was Y.B. Lee. Four decades later, he’s still in the States, and still an integral component of Doosan.

That initial time in the U.S. wasn’t easy for Y.B. He was far from home in a small Texas town, so there wasn’t much to do besides work on the machine and eat chicken wings.

The machine’s ballscrews were identified as the cause of the problem. They made a lot of noise, and Y.B. worked hard on a fix. When he had a break, he had a daily routine: grab some fried chicken from the only restaurant in town, sit at the same spot on top of a hill, and add to an ever-increasing chicken bone pile.

Y.B. also developed a friendly relationship with his customer, even eating dinner at the owner’s home. After the ballscrews were repaired, they were totally satisfied with the performance of their machine. They cut a check and Y.B. was on his way, ready to add to Doosan’s reputation in the States.

Along with the check, Y.B. also collected a few lessons. Namely, how important it is to be customer-focused. He learned how crucial it is to … Read full story here