The Right Tool for the Job by Chris MacBain

Sitting here, just finishing up my presentation for the Pacific Design and Engineering Show in Anaheim, CA. shieldThe presentation is scheduled for Thursday February 14th. This means that I am finishing it a week before it is due. For those of you that don’t know me, this is amazing. Working in model shops for decades, I am used to pulling all-nighters to finish a project the night before the presentation. It isn’t that I’m a procrastinator, just more of a…tinkerer. There is always time for one more coat of paint, or one more glue joint. Even if it means that I am using a hair dryer to dry that coat of paint, in the conference room, 10 minutes before the presentation. Looking back, I think the lacquer fumes in the room worked in my favor. I always thought the glassy-eyed look of the client was because they were blown away from my mastery of the model making arts. But now, I realize they were just overcome by the fumes.

The inspiration to take time out of the presentation writing to create this post comes from having a type of epiphany. My presentation is on the trend in all sectors of business to bring manufacturing back to domestic workers. I was inspired to present on this topic after reading an article in The Atlantic titled, The Insourcing Boom. Now, I am not one for jargon or buzz words, but this one struck me. Insourcing.

As I look back and think about all the shops I worked in, whether it was a mold shop, model shop or just down and dirty machine shop, I have made my whole career from insourcing. American companies looked to me to help them bring products to market. They relied on my skill and the skill of my fellow machinists to produce a physical manifestation of hours of design, engineering and mind numbing budget meetings. When push came to shove, they looked to me to create what they had only theorized about. I take an enormous amount of pride in this. But enough about me…

planarThe term insourcing is really just short for “Lets get this done. Done right. The first time.” When you take a second and think about what it takes to bring any product to market, it is amazing how many hands it takes. Sure you have the designer, engineer and machinist. But you also have management, accounting, administration, sales, documentation, IT, manufacturing and logistics. The landscape of consumer products is riddled with the corpses of products that stumbled in just one of these areas. But how do you make sure you have the ability to do all of this in-house? How do you keep something under your roof if you don’t have an expert, even though the component is small and not complicated? The answer is, you need the right tools. You need software that is intuitive and robust enough to fill in the gaps when they arise.

Here is what I am talking about. Let’s say, for example, you have the perfect design for a muffler bearing. This design is going to revolutionize the whole muffler bearing industry! It…wait for it…it…lights up! Well you know enough about the physics behind the bearing itself, but you don’t know “nothin’ about no electrical”. Well, you kind of do, but where do you start with wiring and board layout schematics? The software industry has heard your cry for help! Now, more and more, the line between engineering/design and manufacturing software is blurring. There are tools right at your fingertips to solve problems not only in-house but at-desk.

We, here at GoEngineer, offer our customers the ability to get things done. Done right. The first time. 0808-0801-1115-5662Whether it is the full suite of SolidWorks products, Stratasys, CAMWorks, Altium, or PLM Solutions, we give you the intuitive, robust tools and solutions you need to go from concept to product as fast as possible. Because you have this power, it will be done on your terms, on your timeline, and to your standards.

So here is my epiphany; all I need to get a job done is the right tool. And sometimes I am just the tool for the job.

I hope you see you at the week.

Chris MacBain

Pacific Design & Manufacturing – Anaheim Convention Center – Feb. 12-14 GoEngineer Booth #38245

Thurs. Feb 14th @ 12PM FREE Presentation: GoEngineer’s own Traditional & Digital Manufacturing Expert, Chris MacBain – Manufacturing Technology Manager. Join a discussion about how CAMWorks CNC software and Stratasys 3D Printing/Production Systems are helping fuel the move to Insourcing – the recent trend to bring manufacturing back home to the United States.

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