14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2017 10:03 AM by J. D. Forrester

    Engineering/Design Department Size

    Steve Thomas

      I have a general question. I work for a company that I am the only employee in the Engineering/Design department. There are many challenges in being the only Designer at the company. I would like to compare notes with someone in my situation who has been or now working for a company using SolidWorks and SolidWorks Visualize. Also, topics like part numbers, document numbers, training plans, and so on. Any feed back would be appreciated, thanks.

        • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
          Ken Maren

          Do you want to ask the questions here or talk offline?   You'll reach a larger audience here.   I suggest you list out your questions and get this party started. 

          • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
            Dan Pihlaja

            I have been in similar (not exactly the same, but similar) situations.   I don't use visualize though.

            My advice:   create a process for each thing that you do that repeats.

            What I mean is: create a checklist (one main one and maybe multiple sub checklists) and then create templates (both inside and outside of Solidworks), then save a copy of the checklist with each project as it is worked on/completed.

             

            This is for 3 reasons:

            1) If you do the same thing over and over, you are bound to forget to do some things that need to be done.  As time goes on, you will be able to make your checklist very streamlined.

            2) If you work on multiple projects at once, it is easy to look at the checklist to see where you are in the project without having to delve deeply into it to remember where you left off

            3) If they ever hire someone else to help you, it is VERY beneficial to already have documentation of your process so that the new hire can just follow in your footsteps without trying to create their own process (which will NOT be beneficial).

            • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
              John Stoltzfus

              Steve Thomas  wrote:

               

              I have a general question. I work for a company that I am the only employee in the Engineering/Design department. There are many challenges in being the only Designer at the company. I would like to compare notes with someone in my situation who has been or now working for a company using SolidWorks and SolidWorks Visualize. Also, topics like part numbers, document numbers, training plans, and so on. Any feed back would be appreciated, thanks.

              I am the lone SW or Visualize User here, but I'm not sure what our job detail would have in common as each company is different and has different priorities and a different industry. 

               

              Where are you located, if your close we could chat on the tel, or you can stop in...

              • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
                Peter Kennedy

                I'm the only engineer working for my company, at one point before me there was 3 people in the design department. There was a lack of document control and processes. I've had to basically start from scratch and re-develop the design department and drafting procedures. I use Solidworks regularly however I don't use Visualize.

                • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
                  David Nelson

                  I have an engineer but I am the only one trained on Solid works.  I have found as far as designing parts my shop floor heads is who I go to 1st.

                  • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
                    Walter Fetsch

                    I'm right there with you, Steve.  Feel free to send me a private message if you'd like to chat offline.

                    • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
                      Christian Chu

                      are you a own-boss or under someone else?

                      • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
                        John Matrishon

                        Hi Steve, interesting question that many fail to think about sometimes.   I've been in a similar position, where I was the only SWKs person, but in a small group.   Only one other full timer using a 2D CAD and another part timer also using 2D.   You've at least identified you want to write something down, and develop it that is half the battle right there.

                         

                        • Keep it simple, write down what you're doing currently so you have starting point.
                        • Reach out to your VAR to see if they can support in some way with Resources and how-to's.   Many have weekly blogs, tech tips, and videos.    Make it part of your routine.
                        • Once you have a baseline, you can build off of that.  Tough part is maintaining it, especially if your dept starts to grow.
                        • Use a PDM system!  Even if you are 1 person!  If you have Professional, then you already own PDM Standard.   You can even have the system pull your part numbers for you.   Using "text only" as filenames is a losing battle.   The PDM will keep track of all your references and revisions for you.  It's well worth the effort IMO.
                        • Visualize - depends on what Marketing wants, it is a standalone product so show them how to use it, and let them run with it.  If they are truly into it, then that frees you up.

                         

                        That's just a few things off the top of my head...hope it helps.

                         

                        JM

                        • Re: Engineering/Design Department Size
                          J. D. Forrester

                          Hi Steve,

                          I have also been the sole design engineer for the past 15 years, I have also worked where there was 15 of us, out of the two I would must prefer the smaller company and working on my own as this lets me more creative with designs and procedures, as for not having people to discuss ideas with I find that nowadays there is a fast supply of information out there, the fact that I'm writing this proves that.