Customizable Engineering

My engineering life has been pretty unique this past few weeks. While my official work title is Manufacturing Engineer, my education was mainly Mechanical Engineering.

I was lucky to find a job that lets me do both. My responsibilities as a Mfg. Eng. are to analyze new potential products and define whether they are feasible to manufacture or what changes would make them be manufacturable. I am responsible to create and improve processes for new and existing products. This includes figuring out what is wrong when defects arise and how to solve them. We also create or modify equipment. It is so cool to take a machine and create pieces from scrap that will work with that specific piece of equipment. Or even creating a whole customizable testing fixture that will adapt to our products. It sparks my creativity for sure and lets me use my mechanical engineering skills. However, I also contribute to the Engineering design team. Here we take our costumers designs or requests for designs and create manufacturable models and blueprints. This means that I can go one step further and be the one who can make those mfg. critiques literally happen. In this phase of engineering, I am also in charge on making blueprints that provide everything that the production plant will need to create the parts. This is where the hands on learning is important and why I spent time just joining the production team and operators, just so I can better understand what problems we have and how things work. In my case, since I am manufacturing, I can combine those skills with the mechanical skills I learned in school to understand better and create better designs. 

I originally I wanted to jump in solemnly as a design engineer, but I am really glad I rather took a manufacturing position first. In order to be a good designer, one must understand how things will be made. I am also blessed to be able to have a customizable job where I can do different things and different roles. Have I told you guys I can also do quotes on new products? I have been trained in many different areas in our company so there’s never a boring day.However since every single design engineer has been sent home to work from home, I am the only one that is left (which is mostly because I am a manufacturing position). So many small things fall on me like testing and research for new products, or heat treatments, among other things that they can’t do from home. I would be making video call meetings with the engineers to trouble shoot problems. It is been quite a hectic journey. I enjoy it because I have been learning more and been more in charge of things. but its just so lonely being one of the few left in the office.

Its been 3 weeks today, and it seems like this will go over for another 3 more. I am just aiming to become a better engineer from this isolation. Sometimes it’s hard to think positively with what is going on. But today I remember how much I like my job. and how blessed to have a job that inspires me and motivates me.

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