Product Design Engineers are mechanical engineers who research towards developing new products, processes of manufacturing new products, testing the products. Apart from these, the design engineers work on increasing the efficiency of the products, their manufacturing process. They make sure that the product fulfills all the industry standards along with customer requirements and needs.
The Requirement of Product Design Engineers is almost in all industries but, this job is a challenging one and, If you are looking for job satisfaction, you must go for product design.
Typically Product Design Engineers are Employed by
- Design Consultancies
- Manufacturing Companies
- Engineering Companies
- Biomedical Companies
- Consumer goods Manufacturer
If you are a fresh product design engineer, you must wonder about your growth and career path as a product design engineer.
You will be assigned several roles during your career based on your experience.
Career Path for Product Design Engineers
- Product Design Engineer
- Senior Product Design Engineer
- Assistant Product Development Manager
- Senior Product Development Manager
- Project Manager
- Project Director, etc.
These roles can vary according to the industries and the organization.
Fresh Engineers interested or working in Product Design must have industry suited skills and traits.
In this blog, we will talk about what a fresh product design engineer needs to be a successful and bright career.
Tips for Fresh Product Design Engineers
You must have excellent knowledge of mechanical engineering as a design engineer. This job role will test your basics to the core. Therefore, you need to keep reading, revising, and learning continuously even while working. Getting a job is not the end of learning, but it’s a better opportunity where you can apply your lessons. At this point in your career, you must work towards strengthening your base. Once you have your basics right, it will help you go a long way in your career.
The Right Mindset
A fresh design engineer must have the right approach and mindset towards the design and development of a product. Now, you might wonder what’s the right mindset.
As a product design engineer, to be on the right track you have to figure out who the user of the product will be, the competitors in the market function the product will serve, the target cost in which the product has to be developed, how to improve the efficiency of the product, etc.
Once you have figured out the answers to these questions, you will work in the right direction for product design.
Being Good with Numbers and Calculations
Being an engineer, it is important that you are good with numbers and don’t fear mathematics. You might have to work a lot on calculations. Be it Tolerance analysis, structural calculations, or thermal calculations. Being good at manual calculation helps. You must not always have to calculate manually but, being quick at small calculations helps when working with simulations, drawings, prototypes, etc. It helps you make quick decisions and can save your precious time.
Engineering Drawings and Drawing Tools
Drawings are the most important part of any engineering works. Its importance increases multifold when you are a product design engineer. The ability to read drawings itself is very critical leave alone drafting the fresh ones.
As a design engineer, you will deal with all kinds of complex assembly drawings and designs. Gone are the days of handmade engineering drawings, the industry has adopted CAD with both hands. Also, It has been included in the engineering syllabus long back to make engineers ready right from the word go.
Learning CAD and being proficient in it are two different things altogether. Every engineering student learns CAD, but not everyone is industry-ready. You have got to work on this aspect, becoming industry-ready. It will set you apart from the others and provide you added advantage in building a successful career.
Knowledge of Simulation Tools
Simulation tools help in understanding the behavior of the product before the actual start of production. Moreover, It eliminates the risk that can arise during the manufacturing process. Simulation is just another name to CAE (Computer-aided engineering). Moreover, it tests the functionality of the product with the help of software platforms like ANSYS, Solidworks, Flowtherm, etc.
Simulation is nothing but testing of a prototype under a controlled condition with the help of complex mathematical equations. With the help of iterations, it eliminates the defects and risks and facilitates smooth manufacturing processes.
Therefore, as a design engineer, you will need to have a good understanding of these tools to have a grip over product designing.
Be a Team Player
Product design is not a one man’s job. It is always teamwork. In a team, you might encounter unique kinds of people and that’s the challenge of working in teams brings to you. Dealing with all kinds of people and getting the work done is what you will need to execute.
Understand the dynamics of your team to be efficient. As a fresh graduate, your interpersonal skills will get tested when working in a team environment.
You must prepare yourself to be a team player if you are looking for a bright career in Product Design.
Working in design, you have got to be creative. It has been a debate that creativity can be practiced or learned. Yes, if you are not naturally creative, you can practice it. The brain is like a muscle, we can develop it. Therefore, you must practice cognitive exercises.
Get thorough with the industry and safety standards. You need to be well versed in the standards that are followed in the industry. As a fresh product design engineer, you must have excellent knowledge of the various standards a design engineer must know. Being well versed with different IS Codes and safety standards. However, it will not be easy as there can various codes which you will have to go through during the design phase. You will get better with experience but if you want to be unique and different from the herd, knowledge of standards will take you places.
Industry requires people who know how their job will affect the economic aspect. You must keep yourself up to date with current affairs, at least in the manufacturing industries. Time to Time there are certain decisions taken by the government, you must know how you can benefit your company from those. Therefore, It is important to have some business knowledge as well for fresh design engineers to stay ahead from their peers.
Last but not least, this is one of the most important skills one needs to possess. Superb communication skills are the biggest plus in the industry. There is a famous saying that “its 80% Communication skills and 20% Technical skills”. Your success depends a lot on soft skills. You might have an extraordinary mind but, if you cannot communicate your ideas effectively, it is of no use. Soft skills like presentation skills, interpersonal skills are equally important to thrive in the manufacturing industry. In fact, In a company environment, excellent communication skills will take you places. So, work on your soft skills and be the leader.
These are some important areas where a budding product design engineer must focus to have a successful career. Comment on your experiences in the comment box and anything you would like to add. Your comments are valuable to us.