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5forfriday

5 For Friday: Salary Survey Optimism; A New (and Important) Acronym; and Ways to Unleash the Potential of Design

Dec. 1, 2023
Machine Design takes a look at the past week, and a look ahead to the issues facing the design and manufacturing sector.

1. Salary Survey: Pervasive Optimism 

Machine Design’s 2023 Salary & Career Survey is out, and it demonstrates once again that while engineers face challenges, change and some serious concerns, they do so with an unfailing optimism about the present and the future of their profession.

There are issues with the economics of manufacturing—though, not surprisingly, there’s more confidence in their own company’s business outlook than with the global economy as a whole. 

There also are continuing worries about finding, training and retaining the next generation of workers at a time when the technology used in design and engineering is undergoing a seismic shift. Still, the most telling statistics from the survey are that 91% would recommend a career in engineering to a young person and that 70.3% say they are satisfied with their own career in engineering.

2. A Peek Into The Future

We really do not need another acronym in manufacturing, but DFMEA, or Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, is an idea that is going to be important for design engineers. Located at the intersection of experience and technology, DFMEA will provide a look at how your design will operate under all conditions. 

Article author Lindsay Walker of NEXGEN notes that DFMEA is an early-warning system for the operations team. “It’s a process where design engineers make sure products not only do what they’re supposed to but also keep users happy,” she writes. “Think of it as a way to peek into the future and catch any design hiccups before they become a big deal. In simpler terms, DFMEA checks out the overall design of production systems and components, figuring out what might go wrong and how to fix it.”

Even if we don’t need more alphabet soup, the concept of DFMEA should be in everyone’s design toolbelt. ASAP.

3. Design Engineering: Get it Right from the Start

This is a good place to remind you about Machine Design’s popular e-book, Design Engineering: Get it Right from the Start. This informative e-book provides a guide through the strategies and technologies built around the design function in an age of digital transformation. It’s an important book to download for future reference. 

4. Generative Design Unleashed

Another important Machine Design resource is this on-demand webinar, Design Evolution: Simulation-Driven & Generative Design Unleashed. Produced in conjunction with PTC, this webinar looks at how simulation-driven and generative design, seamlessly integrated with CAD software, can transform your design process for unparalleled efficiency and innovation.

5. A Year-End Tune-Up for Servos

Maintenance always is the wildcard in any operation, and as the world of maintenance has evolved from preventive to predictive to prescriptive, the value of maintenance as a potential profit center rather than a cost center is amplified.

In a new Machine Design article, Emily Newton, a technology journalist and editor-in-chief of Revolutionized, writes about servo motor maintenance, which can affect the robotics revolution in a very direct way. “Servo motor maintenance certainly isn’t the only factor at play here, but it’s an important one,” she writes. “Most industrial robots rely on servos to some extent, often to control their movement. As a result, issues with these components will likely impact the robot more heavily.”

Even with all the emphasis on deisgning out errors and modeling machine performance, Newton notes that, “unfortunately, many manufacturers overlook the importance of equipment maintenance. Factories suffer 20 downtime incidents a month on average, each lasting over an hour, according to a Siemens report. These disruptions—which better care could have prevented— cost millions of dollars in repair expenses and lost productivity.”

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