Engineer v machinist

I am very upset that this normally profesional group seems to have come apart at the seems with the engineer v machinist debate.
What is most upsetting is the extreme rhetoric from both sides. I am a British apprenticed engineer residing and working in N America. I think that the American market could learn from some European experience. The Europeans have a saying "design for manufacture" This is achieved by the apprenticeship or as you call it in the US the co-operative system. I did a 5 year apprenticeship at Rolls Royce aerospace engines division, this was similar to apprenticeships carried out it many industries in the UK. My first year consisted of one week in 4 pure theoretical college, the other 3 weeks was turning handles on every machine used on the shop floor, this was called basic training and we ended up with our tool kit that we had manufactured. The second year was spent one week in 4 theoretical in college and 3 weeks revolving around machine shops within the production environment, actually producing, or helping to produce production parts. After the first 2 years of working in a production environment we decided what discipline of engineering we wished to concentrate on and then spent varying time in that environment and college. After 30 years in the industry I realise that machine shop procedures have changed from my early days but I still have the design for manufacture ingrained in me. I know what can or cannot be produce and what tolerances can be achieved by each machining process. I am now in a position that I will only employ engineers who have been through this process, pure university trained engineers are not high on my list. Perhaps it is time for N America to concentrate on the co-operative system a little more.
-- --------------------------------- --- -- - Posted with NewsLeecher v3.8 Final Web @ http://www.newsleecher.com/?usenet ------------------- ----- ---- -- -
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sep 12, 9:21 pm, Phil Evans ( snipped-for-privacy@tagaerospace.com) wrote:

I will admit I refused to read any of the posts, because the first sentence turned me off. Life is too short.
It is the engineer who IS a machinist who has often the most value, because he can more easily zero in to the issues with "Design for Manufacturing", "Design for Assembly", "Design for Automation", "Risk Analysis", "Human Engineering", and other forms of statements of the design requirements of various products.
Sometimes you also just have to tinker with possible solutions until something clicks. If the engineer can create his own tools and parts, he can often speed solutions up considerably. That is the opposite of a machinist doing a drawing, but illustrates the need to cross lines in who does what work.
Cal Poly at Pomona and San Luis Obispo has hands on machine shop training along with engineering classroom work. Oregon Inst. of Technology does the same (& has the highest placement rate inside 6 months of any college in Oregon: employers have been known to almost fight over their graduates)
I graduated from Oregon Tech. in Mechanical Technology before going on to Cal Poly, and the hands on machining experience is invaluable in warning you often about what DOES NOT work. You learn quickly, but you have to be cutting metal, plastic, glass, ceramic and wood, or you don't have the appreciation for what happens and why, and how fast you can cut, etc.
I see no problem with a drawing being generated by whoever needs to describe something. If you are talking about an assembly fixture and the "engineer" or design department doesn't have time and it is no big deal, why shouldn't the machinist do the drawing and make the parts.
If you are going to "institutionalize" the machinists fixture, fine, then just like the desginer/draftsman does it for the engineer, they do it for the machinist's drawing.
Bo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
.

I would guess that you know this, but the co-op system in the US is not nearly as rigorous as the apprenticeship that you went through. A co-op student may have very little more knowledge of real manufacturing processes than a non co-op student. It all depends on what the companies that he works for ask him to do.

The engineers I have worked with who went through English apprenticeships did seem to know a fair amount about basic machining. That didn't stop them from screwing up a design every now and then, but it usually wasn't from lack of understanding of the basics.

I've known a few "pure university trained engineers" who were pretty near hopeless for real design work. But I've known a number who had as good a handle on the basics of manufacturing as any of the engineers I knew who went through apprenticeships. They learned it through working on their cars, taking apart and repairing home appliances, clocks, and anything else they could get their hands on, summer jobs, and any number of other ways to get their hands dirty. And I've known some very good designers who never had any engineering training at all.

It will take a lot more than just the present co-op system. It will take manufacturers asking the schools to teach real manufacturing processes. And it will require more than four years to get an engineering degree. Which will probably decrease the number of people getting engineering degrees. Not something that is going to be very attractive to the people running engineering schools.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snip> The engineers I have worked with who went through English apprenticeships did seem to know a fair amount about basic machining. That didn't stop them from screwing up a design every now and then, but it usually wasn't from lack of understanding of the basics. end snip>
I didn't say apprenticed designers wouldn't screw up a design, done it myself, but its less likely to be a screw up due to a feature being unmachineable. :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.