Recently, I was provided the opportunity to write about Lean in Aerospace Manufacturing in a way that could be understood and engaging to grade school students. I also answered a short questionnaire on STEM careers that ended up being featured on AIA’s website during National Engineering Week. My write up below was written with the notion that it would be on some sort of brochure for students. I’m not sure what’s going to come from it but I think it gives a great, very basic, idea of how I came to my career, what I do, and why I value what I do. Let me know what you think, and if you have any students curious about early career engineers, pass this along to them! I will post the questionnaire in my next post as additional material for any interested individuals.
“If you told me during marching band, or basketball practice when I was in high school that I would end up working in the Aerospace Industry helping lead Lean Manufacturing Initiatives, I probably would have laughed. Firstly, because I had no idea what any of that meant. Secondly, because at that time in my life, I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to pursue as a career. Thankfully, it was a music teacher’s recommendation to explore engineering that ultimately set my path for a STEM oriented career.
Have you heard the phrase “Lean, Mean, Fighting Machine?” Have you ever thought about what it means to be “Lean?” Lean can be described in countless ways but essentially it is getting rid of all the waste and operating as efficiently as possible. When you try to find the quickest way to class, cutting out wasted time walking, you are being “lean.” When you organize a workshop in the garage, getting rid of things you never use, and placing tools in easily accessible locations, you are exercising lean initiatives.
Thousands upon thousands of parts make up an aircraft, coming from countless suppliers. For those aircraft to be successful, everything that goes into them should, in theory, be produced in the same lean way. Everyone plays a part in the bigger picture. As a supplier to “Lean, Mean, Fighting Machines” such as the F-22 or F-35 and countless other aircraft, we work hard at Click Bond every day to ensure that we manufacture our parts through lean processes that are continuously improving. We do our part to help ensure those aircraft are designed and built to succeed.
I am extremely fortunate to work for a company that lives and breathes aviation. I am surrounded by pilots, and in time, became a pilot myself. For us, our job is personal because we understand what it means to depend on our aircraft. We understand what’s truly at stake, and we also have unique perspectives to bring new ideas and innovations to the table. “