Fixing the Mistake 

A mistake surfaced at work this morning.

A mistake that I made. 

I had a confused welder tell me that he had basically been forced to rat me out. Said he just wanted to walk away, but they kept asking questions! That was halfway through the fix. Nothing he could say would change my situation. 

I have an Excel file that I log my daily happenings with. I attempt to track anything that may need to be called upon. I didn’t need that proof in this situation, but I have proved myself correct several times on projects from months behind when questions arise. 

Today’s problem was that a tubing assembly did not fitup properly in the fixture I designed. The problem in the welder’s eye was the drawing that comes with the job did not match my fixture, either could be wrong. Unluckily though, it was a part that was due to be leaving our facility within hours. 

That means there is a sales manager, a shop floor manager, his boss, his boss, and his boss all wanting answers. All wanting to know what’s wrong, who did it, can it be fixed, and how quickly. 

It was me this time! I read a drawing incorrectly and made an error in design. Luckily for me, but perhaps fate in the style that the fixture was designed. The fix was extremely simple. I had three solutions to the problem all in process at the same time. I did this by working with the CNC guys, the CATIA for two minutes and 30 minutes on the 3D printer, and the welder who agreed the fix was to not use the fixture for the final welded piece. 

There was a flurry of excitement that caught me just as I got to work, slightly settled in. The whole deal lasted around two hours to settle, where I jetted around the shop from welder to cnc to office. Barely sitting for two minutes at a time. 

I was put on the spot by the highest manager, saying “you got the heat on you now “. I shrugged it off as my first mistake in ages, explained the problem and the fixes. Joked about it and then went to fixin’. Later on, my direct manager asked me bout it, in passing. I told him I had the fire squad on me today! His response was nice, “you put the fire out fast”.

THE FUNNY PART ABOUT IT ALL IS: the fix to the problem was to change nothing. How crazy is that? Well, that is manufacturing engineer work for you. 


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