Changing Times

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Trextr7monkey

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Phil Pascoe one was a 70 year old retired turner who had started work aged 14 and had risen through ranks at Royal Ordnance to production manager level. We kept 3 manual lathes and a small vertical milling machine which he loved. The other chap had started in quality control at same R0 but had gone into teaching and was a retired head of department. He had a massive shed kingdom in his garden and liked making guitars and chairs etc along with basic electronics.
My replacement was a cnc bloke so I hope things continue to progress
 

paulrbarnard

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The best engineers come up through the ranks from the shop floor, starting with dirty hands and maybe ending up in the design department with clean hands. I have worked with the straight from uni type and most were as useful as a chocolate teapot. How can someone with a degree in electronic engineering have never used a soldering station or someone with a mechanical qualification never seen an epicyclic gear train! Engineering is as much something you feel as it is academic, you can do all the maths, calculations and modeling you want but often it is your experience and gut feeling that tells you whether the results are credable or nonsense. I remember some futuristic film where everything was automated or robotic and one day it all stopped because some part broke and the automated systems could not make a new one but luckily they found some guy who had a manual machine who did make a new one to get everything running, are we heading down this path?

When I did my apprenticeship we use to say the fresh graduates didn’t know which was the hot end of a soldering iron. The company I worked for actually sent me to do a degree and then I became a design engineer. 45 years later I’m the CTO of a high tech company doing AI based perception systems for the automotive industry. I’m still the one who has to make up any special cables, install kit in cars and generally solve any issue outside of the norm. This is despite having a team of several hundred degree, masters and PhD qualified engineers working for me. One of my daughters works for the company as a field application engineer and she is now able to handle the bulk of the vehicle setup and cable making. She has been getting an unofficial apprenticeship from me. It’s quite telling when a large automotive manufacturer specifically requests my daughter to fly to the US or Japan to install kit rather than one of the regular engineers.
 
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Peri

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Collin

What periods that phone from as I can remember my Nans one in Romford, black bakelite but that had a slide out note pad in the front bottom to store phone numbers on.

You know you're getting old when people ask "What period is that from" when talking about things you grew up with !! :D :D


Edit - Not long ago I was looking for some technical drawing pens (The Rotring/Marsmatic type) that I used to use in tech drawing class at school. I found some on ebay listed under 'Antique Drawing instruments' ! :D
 

marcros

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When I did my apprenticeship we use to say the fresh graduates didn’t know which was the hot end of a soldering iron. The company I worked for actually sent me to do a degree and then I became a design engineer. 45 years later I’m the CTO of a high tech company doing AI based perception systems for the automotive industry. I’m still the one who has to make up any special cables, install kit in cars and generally solve any issue outside of the norm. This is despite having a team of several hundred degree, masters and PhD qualified engineers working for me. One of my daughters works for the company as a field application engineer and she is now able to handle the bulk of the vehicle setup and cable making. She has been getting an unofficial apprenticeship from me. It’s quite telling when a large automotive manufacturer specifically requests my daughter to fly to the US or Japan to install kit rather than one of the regular engineers.

That is ridiculous. Doing a PhD and they didn't even teach them how to solder? Next you will say that they don't know how to change the oil in their car either. Crazy times that we live in.
 

paulrbarnard

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That is ridiculous. Doing a PhD and they didn't even teach them how to solder? Next you will say that they don't know how to change the oil in their car either. Crazy times that we live in.
Nope. They can deal with washing the outside and emptying out the trash but anything else they don't have a clue. I've had to talk engineers we have sent to the field through finding a blown fuse and replacing it on more han one occation. I actually finished up writing a manual on how to find fuses after the second time.

That said they can kick my ass on complex math and algorithm development.
Edit: Got to add the one of the funniest examples. I asked one of the engineers to make up a cable and told him to make it tidy by using heat shrink sleeving. I eventually saw the cable he had made up and the heat shring was just pushed on, loosely, to the cable. He had failed to connect the name "heat shrink sleeving" with the need to apply heat to it to shrink it into place...
 

Phil Pascoe

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Years ago on several occasions I had to look after a group of12 - 15 Americans from a company manufacturing meat processing equipment. These were men educated to at least masters level, and most had qualifications well over and above that. Much of the development was done here on the hoof as apparently there isn't a market in the States for bacon slicing machinery - these were £500,000 machines, being sold a dozen at a time.
They had a big ongoing problem, and one night I listened to the conversation. One chap said look, all you need to do is make X smaller, Y larger, speed up A and slow down B (something along those lines) and it'll work. They disagreed but as no one else had an answer they'd give it a go.
Much celebration the following night - it worked. I spoke to the chap on his own later and asked what he actually did in the set up - oh, he said, I'm just the grease monkey.
 

Amateur

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... my UK traditional high end kitchens are the nuts

Ftfy. :LOL:
During the 70s I worked for a while with moben kitchens...now defunked I think.
Salesmen would knock doors from leads and cold calls.
If they were lucky they would sit and draw out a plan and measure up for the kitchen giving a price.
If they converted to sales the drawings were checked and an installation team went in.
I was told to go and look at a complaint in manchester.
The kitchen was a very narrow galley type and only one person could walk it at a time it was so tight.
The lady showered me the problem.
She opened a window at the side of the sink, pulled a lever on the opposite side and an ironing board popped out.
When she extended the ironing board it went full width of the galley and out of the window on the opposite side.
I later found out the company was pushing these at a high premium and an incentive for the salesmen.
She wasn't very happy.
I think kitchen design and sales techniques have come a long way since then but there are still some ruthless companies out there never the less.
or maybe the salesmen?
 

Amateur

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You only have to look at the Boeing 737 max engine being designed too low to see big goolies happen today.
And this got through to full blown production because someone forgot the basics.
 

HamsterJam

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A lot of the 16 or 17 year olds we get through the doors have never even held a spanner before coming to us. Many of them will limp through one of our courses, having no real interest in being there, doing the bare minimum, and will never own any tools in their life - as their parents don't.
Happy New Year everyone.
All three of my kids are fairly handy and Santa gave them each a toolkit this year, including my daughter. Just simple tools like screwdrivers, spanner’s and a small socket set but its a start. 😊
 

Phil Pascoe

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I asked one of the engineers to make up a cable and told him to make it tidy by using heat shrink sleeving. I eventually saw the cable he had made up and the heat shring was just pushed on, loosely, to the cable. He had failed to connect the name "heat shrink sleeving" with the need to apply heat to it to shrink it into place...

The bicycle racks outside my GP's surgery (where incidentally I've never, ever seen a bicycle) are fixed to the wall with shear nuts. The nuts haven't been broken off in the forty two years they've been there.
 

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