“Why Did You Go Into Manufacturing?” I was asked. I’ve never mentioned this so here goes.
Easy, a single conversation with Mr Stacey, my Physics #teacher in Liverpool. He spent time explaining a few engineering courses; Mechanical, Electrical, etc then turned and said “but you’d probably enjoy Manufacturing”.
He mentioned that
“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man 👨 and a dog 🐕. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment” – which I now know to be the quote by Warren G. Bennis.
He felt that wasn’t quite right; you’d need engineering knowledge as well as a desire for understanding what motivates people and that he thought I’d enjoy that.
I settled onto a Uni course in Nottingham which had the option to turn into a Masters, if I was good enough. Oh and they had a decent football team back then as well. It wasn’t all learning though, I was on the old sandwich placement degree; 2 years learning and then 1 year out, 1 year back learning. Though it turned into 2 years learning at the end, to get the Masters degree, with holidays spent in manufacturing plants.
5 years of University learning about Mechanical, Electrical Engineering, Economics, Behavioural Theory, CNC Programming, and this stuff called JIT (Just in Time) back then. The first “Lean” books hadn’t been written, never mind printed.
Then followed the tour of #manufacturing factories, with improvement thrown in (that’s another post I think).
I often say if your over 30, in the UK, I’ve made something you’ve eaten or washed with 😱.
In my career I’ve made Lemonade, Coke, Tonic Water, Coleslaw, Chilled Ready Meals, Chilled Soups, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Shower Gel, Shampoo, Conditioner, even Nappy Cream all for the UK and even EU supermarkets as well as Quavers and Square Crisps.
In the recent past the manufacturing journey has taken in;
- Wind Turbine Towers (100m tubes of steel, 7m in diameter),
- Oil Seed Press Machines (20T),
- World Beating Digital Print and Labelling Machines of various types – there are so many types of labels
- and Battery Testing Equipment ready for the rapidly expanding challenge of electricity storage
- as well as Oil Processing.
I’ve learnt so much over this time. Much that I intend to share, over the next 52 weeks with the tag #write52 as part of the challenge.
Thanks to Mr Stacey that is.
I wonder who guided you, towards your journey? and why did you choose your destination?