‘Dirty Hands’ Secret of Success… Standing as a graduate on the shop floor, my Masters in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering didn’t mean much to the operator who I was asking to rework my prototype again to make more last minute ‘design improvements’.
So I had to get my hands dirty, I learned how to weld and do all the manufacturing that was carried out in house. I started building my own prototypes and the more processes I learned to do, the less I had to do - builds became quicker & easier.
This cross-department working led to me holding concurrent Engineering Manager and Production Manager roles. I had to break down the departmental silo walls just to do my job. I had to work out the balance between the opposing perspectives to find the best solution - the key to creating great designs: The ability to objectively balance perspectives to achieve the objectives:
How do we: make it? Guarantee it is made correct each time? Sell it? Make a profit? Get the customer to pick it? Get the customer to return?
I proceeded to take on interim management and consultancy roles to expand my perspectives.
So how does a Design Engineer become ‘exceptional’ and gain the perspective to answer all these questions while meeting targets? It is a challenge but I’ve developed a structured framework to help engineers achieve this