15 years ago
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
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
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
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