Career Story: Production Engineer For A Defense Contractor

Production Engineer For A Defense Contractor

Job Title: Engineer

Type of Company: Defense Contractor

Education: Wentworth Institute, Boston

Previous Experience: I worked for Teradyne Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of computer-chip testing equipment.

Job Tasks: My primary job as a reliability engineer in an electronic assemblies production line is to monitor the test failures occurring on the production floor and looking for trends and overall process improvements to increase product quality.

I am also tasked with working with vendors to perform component analysis on suspect electronic and mechanical components and to work with those vendors to improve the reliability of their products and processes.

As a lead Engineer, I am work with a team to develop and design necessary software tools that are needed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of reliability improvement work. These tools help find defects in material and workmanship in the production process and help drive corrective action directly back to the production lines.

In addition, I'm required to report on the rolling passing yield numbers from our test operations at a monthly failure review board meeting. These yield numbers are a key metric used by the reliability group to assess the future reliability and quality of the products we make. Improving the yield and decreasing failures at production test lowers the cost of building the product.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The most rewarding part of my job is working on the manufacturing floor and seeing the direct impact of process improvements suggested through the engineering analysis work completed by our team. Seeing the results on the factory floor and at the customer end is very satisfying.

I would have to say that the data mining and data entry, while critical to the success of reliability improvement is probably the least satisfying or glamorous part of the job.

Job Tips: Corrective action processes and total quality management practices are key elements in reliability processes. Learning these and other problem solving skills would be, in my opinion, very helpful in improving your career.

My position deals with electronic manufacturing, so having an electrical engineering background is a definite plus in understanding the products I support.

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