Simetek’s design department collaborates closely with the machine shop
Simetek’s design department operates under the same roof as the machine shop. Close cooperation between the two departments improves the manufacturability of products and therefore generates cost savings for customers.
Manufacturability plays a key role in the design of large production cells and equipment. Simetek’s design department carefully considers how to manufacture a product and, if necessary, pictures for every work phase can be given to production phase workers, such as machinists, welders, and painters.
“I would say that our mechanical designers are more familiar with manufacturing methods than they would be in a traditional design office. It is a significant advantage for production and design to be able to communicate so easily,” says design manager Pasi Knuuttila.
Looking at things from different perspectives
Designer Matti Hirvonen also thinks that the collaboration between Simetek’s design department and machine shop is a good thing. Things can be considered from different perspectives as work progresses. If a design is missing a detail, it’s easy to pop over to the machine shop to take a look and solve the problem together in practice.
“We can also use our experienced welders’ decades of knowledge of certain welds and working methods in design, and we value their input on how they should be done in practice. It might be easy to make something complex on a screen, but reality can be very different.”
Design also considers product lifecycles
The main focus of mechanical design at Simetek currently is on conveyors and various production cells and equipment, but smaller implementations are also possible, if necessary. Product design considers the lifecycle of a product; that is, how to ensure in practice that the product can be maintained.
If a customer requires a new machine for an old space, laser scanning is used to measure the space. This method of measuring is reliable and allows for all measurements to be obtained at once.
“We also offer our customers layout design along with budget quotes, so that it’s easier to calculate funding for a large investment,” explains Knuuttila.