What kind of career will give me challenging work, good money, and excellent growth opportunities? This is an obvious question in the minds of all young engineers. If you are working towards addressing this question while pursuing graduation, you are smart, one step ahead of everyone else. You can start working towards your dream career at an early stage and acquire the required skills. However, this is not true for many aspiring engineers studying graduation courses. If this realization dawns on you after you have finished graduation or after failure in a couple of job interviews, all the world is not lost. You must accept that you were a little slow in putting things into action. Never mind! You can still catch the bus.
While graduating your first concern was getting good scores. That has made you compromise on learning on some of the crucial job skills. Now, start understanding the gap and work on it. Your pursuit of a successful career starts with the first strong step of ‘developing detail understanding about the career and industry’. Let us embark our journey on developing it.
Growth of the Indian engineering industry
Engineering exports for the period of FY19 were US$ 81.02 billion as against US$ 76.20 million in the same period previous year. Exports of electrical machinery and equipment grew at a CAGR of 7.00 per cent during FY10-18 to reach US$ 6.7 billion in FY18.
If you look at the above infographic on key trends published by IBEF, it is not very hard to understand that Engineering R&D and Indian Engineering exports are growing at a reasonably good pace.
Responsibilities of a Design Engineer
We know that engineering design is the core of the engineering and manufacturing industry. Let us try to understand the roles and responsibilities of a design engineer. Here is a list of key responsibilities found from various job profiles for a design engineer with experience between 0 to 4 years.
- To develop concepts based on product specifications and create detailed drawings.
- To develops the models/drawings using appropriate CAD tools like SolidWorks, AutoCAD, SolidEdge, CATIA, NX, Creo, etc.
- Prepare fabrication drawing and support fabricator for making Prototypes.
- To test and validate prototypes.
- Tolerance stack as per function and assembly.
- Modularizing the product for various models & standardization.
- To use a design change process to ensure that proposed changes are analyzed in a systematic way before beginning the change process.
- To releases mechanical design to production through ECN (Engineering Change Notice/Notification).
- To conduct GD&T and Tolerance Analysis as per project requirement.
- To perform troubleshooting of problems related to design material or process.
- To design mechanical parts with consideration of DFM DFA.
- To work collaboratively with manufacturing to reduce product costs through design improvements.
- To support mechanical design verification tests according to product specifications and applicable standards.
- To evaluate and document design analysis results from simulation calculation verification tests.
Design Engineer Technical skills
- Here is a list of technical skills highlighted as a part of the job profile of a design engineer.
- proficient in 3D modeling, 2D drafting and Assembly in SolidWorks, AutoCAD, SolidEdge, CATIA, NX, Creo, etc.
- Good knowledge of Drafting standards and Part & Assembly Modeling Practices.
- Good knowledge of Tolerance Stack up & GD&T (Geometrical Dimensioning and Tolerances).
- Knowledge of material specifications, design standards for Casting, Forged Parts & Assemblies.
- Understanding of manufacturing process of metal/plastic Parts.
- Perform engineering calculations to verify the design.
- Knowledge of creating and releasing new part numbers in any ERP system.
- Knowledge of the Bill of Material.
How to Prepare yourself for the role of Design engineer
We have highlighted many key skills and knowledge areas like an engineering drawing, GD&T, tolerance stack, etc. from various job descriptions for a design engineer. Often, the very important foundational building blocks like ‘reading engineering drawing’ or ‘applying GD&T’ are seldom given their due focus while doing engineering degrees. You need to change this and start developing knowledge and skills needed by the industry.
Now, you have understood what are skills that separate men from boys in the context of engineering design. So, if you want to master engineering design, you need to hone your key skills discussed above. Here guidance from a good coach can make a lot of difference. Why not look for someone like CADCAMGURU who is known for creating job-ready design engineers for more than a decade!