Design work can’t be done on paper only.
Providing solutions to the needs and desires of various people
Abundant learning opportunities made possible by proactive communication with shop floor workers and staff in other departments
I used to work at an equipment company. I left to join NFK because I wanted to learn more about manufacturing industry technology. Design is currently my main work area. My job duties include designing products, creating CAD drawings and completing application forms for quality control. Since this job deals with such a large number of product types, I’ve learned almost everything I needed to know from scratch on-site. I haven’t used much of the engineering knowledge I learned as a student.
The design work I do is less focused on creating drawings on a PC than you might think. Being willing to learn from many different people is an important part of the job. So I often find myself doing things like talking to the shop floor workers to get their opinions in person. I find that processes ranging from design to manufacturing tend to go more smoothly when designers make the effort to interact with people in many different roles.
Consulting with shop floor workers to turn mental images into drawings
The satisfaction of seeing drawings become finished products
With so much to learn, this job can be tough at times. But when new designers have questions, it’s best for them to seek answers directly from senior employees or plant technical staff. You’ll need to work out some things by yourself, but you can easily ask questions if something stumps you or you’re just unsure. It’s nice that we have that sort of corporate culture here.
To see a shop floor worker take a drawing you’ve created and turn it into an actual physical product you can see is the ultimate satisfaction of a job in manufacturing. It’s what makes this job worthwhile. The key factors responsible for NFK’s manufacturing success are technical expertise and careful attention to quality control. Our shop floor workers have a high level of technical expertise that they use to faithfully reproduce designs from drawings. We also pay close attention to quality control to maintain high levels of quality even under tight delivery schedules.
Design work can’t be done on paper only.
Meeting client needs is also a key requirement.
To ensure that designs are workable in practical terms, design work needs to involve more than just creating drawings on paper. It’s important for designers to hear client feedback and requirements in person, such as by visiting client sites with sales staff or by going to trade fairs. These interactions will be valuable opportunities if you want to design products meeting actual market requirements. There are some things you just can’t work out on the drawing board alone.
If a designer doesn’t understand something, their first approach should be to study the issue by themselves. Their next step should be to seek out someone who can provide a possible solution they can try. Then if that doesn’t work, the next step is repeated cycles of analysis, implementation and investigation. It’s important to keep repeating those cycles. Personally, I still have a lot to learn before I’ll be able to respond rapidly to client requests using my own skills. But I want to keep actively moving forward by sharing what I can and getting help from senior staff, shop floor workers, coworkers and clients.
Ongoing learning to enable new proposals of new ideas
I want to continue acquiring knowledge to gain the expertise needed to make new client proposals driven by new ideas. NFK is looking for people who share this desire to create new products by proactively communicating with others, people who are interested in manufacturing, and people who want to acquire technical skills. The company has a very open corporate culture, and is the perfect size for letting your ideas and thoughts be heard. As an added benefit, we have outstanding shop floor workers with high levels of technical skill to reproduce your ideas.
NFK wants people who can address whatever issues arise head-on and right away. The ability to find solutions through practical implementation and investigation is a valuable skill. I think anyone who has these characteristics will find working at NFK an appealing and worthwhile career.