A day in my life as a Manufacturing Engineer

My employer, NSK Corporation, is a world renowned Japanese company that manufactures a whole array of bearings. I work at their facility in Clarinda, Iowa, that supplies ball bearings to major automobile makers all over the world. The bearing is a fairly simple product, but the components that makes up a bearing go through multiple complex processes in the plant, at the end, when all these components are assembled, it is my job to keep the assembly machines running and make sure we send the best bearings out of the plant. Here is what a typical day looks like for me.

5:45am– Wake up, get ready and leave for work. I have a half an hour quiet drive to work that gives me time to get ready mentally for the day ahead.

7:00 am – Reach the plant to attend the project update meeting to discuss about current projects and plan for the upcoming projects. Then I check my emails to see if the off-shifts had any problems, updates from overseas vendors.

7:45 am: Head out to the shop floor and communicate with the operators on the line to see if they have any issues that need to be fixed and provide support if necessary. If I made any improvements recently for a particular bearing size, I check on it to make sure its running okay. Next, I head over to our 3D printer, that in my opinion, is the coolest machine at the plant, it is always busy as my team and I constantly print parts and prototypes. If something was printing overnight, I make sure it is printing okay, or clean and start the next print in the queue.

8:30 am: A quick 10 min break for breakfast that was packed overnight.

Then, I take a look at my to-do list for top priority tasks in a current project and work on it. Depending on the project I am working on, I may have to go back on the shop floor or work at my desk. These projects can include a combination of tooling design in CAD, testing prototypes with the 3D printer, troubleshooting the assembly machines on the shop floor, process improvement, training, ordering spare tooling, contacting vendors etc. Simply put, my work is mostly designing stuff, building stuff, fixing any broken stuff, and making improvements to the stuff.

12:00 pm: Lunch Time!

1:00pm: Get back to work. Usually after lunch I work on projects out on the shop floor or meet with people from other department if I need some information. This keeps me from dozing off at my desk. Keep working on the to-do list.

4:30 pm: Close Shop! On a regular day I am out of office by this time.

Although we are a located in a small town, we are making a global impact with our bearings. I consider myself lucky to be working with the most amazing team of 300 people, a small town perk. Solving problems creatively to help the company make money is a simplified description of my job.

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