Variety of engineers brings greater value to grinder, robotic automation projects
With the highly customized equipment Weldon Solutions manufactures, it’s no surprise that it takes a team of skilled engineers with a variety of technical training and expertise to create, assemble and fine-tune the company’s products before they are shipped out to clients and put to work.
The fact it takes a variety of engineers to design and create the grinders and automation solutions Weldon produces, and procure what customers need from their products to their exact specifications, is evidence of just how complex the machines which the company builds and maintains are.
As we celebrate National Engineers Week, learn more about the engineering disciplines at Weldon from the people in the field.
Designing highly complex systems
At Weldon, mechanical engineers are responsible for the physical design of turn-key CNC grinders and custom robotic automation solutions that comprise the bulk of the company’s business. They accomplish this by using modern 3-D CAD and 2-D CAD software, prototype testing, and a cooperative attitude – both with the customers and within the in-house design teams.
Mechanical engineers need to have a strong background in mathematics, material properties, machine shop processes and limitations and machine design concepts and standards, as well as a knack for spatial thinking. Knowledge in fluid dynamics and skills in CAD software are also important, along with sound interpersonal skills.
On the automation side of the business, once a project is awarded, the mechanical engineers take the conceptual plans and work to make them a reality. Dan Bosse, a mechanical engineer who has been with Weldon for 12 years, said this is one of the most fulfilling aspects of his work.
“I really enjoy being able to see projects through from conception to completion because I know that my efforts are directly impacting the value of the company,” Bosse said. “I get to work on a variety of different applications and learn about new techniques and technologies.”
Electrifying Weldon’s grinders and robotic components
Once the product plan has been determined, electrical engineers work with Weldon’s other engineering disciplines to determine the system requirements. Once those are defined, they will create 2D drawings for the project and ensure all necessary parts are purchased. In the program development stage for a project, electrical engineers write custom code for the systems.
These engineers are also required to have a solid foundation in math, as well as a strong understanding of high and low-voltage systems, the ability to write code and program from a blank sheet of paper, proficiency in AutoCAD to create 2D drawings, and the ability to comprehend and solve problems tactfully and to work well in a team environment. They should also understand mechanical systems and how they work.
Electrical engineers work closely with the sales department during the project quoting phase. Once projects are received, the company maintains an open line of communication with the customer throughout the duration of the design, manufacturing, factory acceptance testing and final site acceptance. After a project is complete, the electrical engineers will continue to support the customer and its Weldon product for years after.
“One thing that customers have come to depend on is the ability to call the engineers directly after hours,” said Keith Boyer, electrical engineering manager. “I have had many customer conversations after hours and they are always very happy to talk to the original programmer.”
Testing, testing for quality control
On the front end of the business, applications engineers have the job of putting the machines Weldon builds through rigorous testing. They work closely with customers to ensure products are exactly as requested. Before they are built, application engineers select all tooling, test all programs and invite in the customer so they can see the machines pass all requirements. Then, they travel to customer facilities to set up the machines, check to ensure they still pass all requirements, and train the new operators.
Among other knowledge, these engineers need to know G-code programming for FANUC CNC controls, FANUC robot programming and have strong math skills.
“I really enjoy that every job I do for Weldon is different,” offered Chuck Dice, applications engineer. “Plus, the domestic and foreign travel really helps to keep things interesting.”
Contact us today if you are interested in a career as an engineer. And thank you to all of our Weldon engineers.