John Chaffin

Founder & President

He started as a “Silicon Valley Automation Specialist” and had many installations with customers such as Apple Computer, Microsoft, Atari, Hewlett Packard, and Lockheed. From the first “Power Bar” line, “Pringles Potato Chips” to “Bowl Appetite”, John has always contributed to his customer’s  introduction of  successful new  products. Del Monte, Nestles, Dole, General Mills, Nabisco, ConAgra, Kraft Foods, Proctor and Gamble, Campbell Soup,  are but a few of the many companies in the Food and Beverage industry that have relied on John’s solutions. Having traveled to more than 25 different countries, John brings over 50 years experience to his customers…. thus earning a reputation as ” The guy who has the solutions”.

phn | 831.277.1940
eml |

Lyle Rogalla

John Chaffin and Lyle Rogalla form the dynamic team at Western States Machinery, epitomizing the transformative power of engineering ingenuity and unwavering dedication to stakeholders since 1984. As Vice President of Sales and Chief Engineer, Lyle Rogalla is a distinguished expert in technical sales and applications engineering, renowned for his pioneering contributions to U.S. military systems and complex manufacturing processes. He has led the development of advanced packaging and food processing equipment, delivering innovative, high-value solutions that optimize production processes and reduce costs for clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. With 29 U.S. patents and extensive experience across 36 industry sectors, Lyle excels in designing and implementing turnkey systems that integrate cutting-edge automation technologies, servo motion control, and robotics, as well as FactoryNet and ERP systems for seamless operations. His certifications in Databricks Generative AI Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing Technology, HubSpot Digital Marketing, various robotics technologies, and the NAR Code of Ethics, combined with his knowledge of ISO-9000 and Six Sigma practices, reflect his commitment to lifelong learning and adaptability. Grounded in the belief that perfect products arise from understanding company culture and customer needs, Lyle’s career exemplifies the transformative power of engineering ingenuity and leadership.

cell | 605.210.3335
email |

Phil McCall

Director of Engineering

Phil is an accomplished mechatronic engineer who has designed and built hundreds of production lines and machines from scratch over the past 45 years.  His work includes manufacturing lines from food and beverage washdown systems, pharmaceutical packaging, plastic extrusion, plastic molding, robotics, and wind turbine controls integration.  He has a thorough working understanding of process control, PAC and PLC programming, data collection, SCADA, virtual twins, structural frame design, hydraulic control, and pneumatic control.  Phil’s noteworthy projects have been to build Mission Foods Mega plant in 1994-1997, a Bimbos bakery from the ground up, complete security program upgrade at Diablo Canyon Nuclear powerplant, and many more.  All this experience gives him a unique ability to assist and bring benefits to any automation project.

cell | 805.732.9059
email |


Nick Arndt


Nick is a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience in Food and Beverage engineering and project management. With 35 years in the field, he possesses a deep understanding of the industry’s intricacies, from production processes to safety regulations. Nick’s skills are invaluable for ensuring the successful execution of projects while meeting quality standards, budget constraints, and timelines. His focus on common-sense solutions indicates a pragmatic approach to problem-solving, which is often crucial in navigating the complexities of automation in the Food and Beverage industry. Nick’s emphasis on common sense has given him the ability to cut through complexity and deliver solutions that are not only technically sound but also practical and user-friendly. This combination of experience and mindset positions Nick as an asset in driving innovation and efficiency in automation within the Food and Beverage sector.

cell | 408.595.5807
email |

Mike Kavanagh


Mike is a highly accomplished automation and controls engineer with over 35 years of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, he has honed his skills in developing, implementing, and maintaining automated systems that optimize efficiency and productivity. He is passionate about staying current with the latest advancements in automation technologies to bring the most practical solutions to our clients’ most complicated challenges.  In his spare time Mike enjoys exploring new recipes and culinary experiences.

cell | 805.890.6453
email |

We address many industries, including Food & Beverage, Cosmetic, Pharmaceutical, Industrial and Inspection. If you have equipment needs, we are your packaging solutions providers.

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About Us October 28, 2014