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How to Talk to An Engineer

There’s English, and then there’s Engineering. For most people in the U.S., the UK, Canada, and the rest of the commonwealth nations, the former comes relatively easy, while the latter is an entirely different arena, requiring years of extensive training at a university. However, just because the average person looking for the right ergonomic material handling equipment doesn’t understand engineering jargon doesn’t mean they can’t find what they’re looking for. Engineers at Electro Kinetic Technologies routinely work through any “language barriers” to dig deep into the safety or efficiency problem to implement a smart solution. So how can you ensure that your engineers have all the information they need?

Talk About your Problem

  • Tell us what you are trying to accomplish and why?
  • If you are doing something now, why are you looking for an improvement?
  • If you could describe the ideal solution, what would it be?
  • Do they need us to do an onsite evaluation?
  • Can they send us photos?

Talk About the Workspace Environment

Are there any environmental constraints, such as:

  • Washdown environement
  • Extreme levels of temperature, either hot or cold
  • Hazardous environments
  • Confind workspaces

If you’re working with an engineer to find the best custom or standard material handling equipment for your needs, it’s important to give them as much information about the problem and the workplace constraints as possible. Inform your engineer about the size and scope of your warehouse or workspace, and any logistics or storage features. Sometimes the best solution involves much more than purchasing new equipment. In the past, we’ve worked with businesses to redesign some of their storage spaces for maximum efficiency, alongside a custom motorized cart to best serve unique needs. In the linked example, the specific space constraints necessitated a cart that could pivot on a center axis to maneuver cumbersome parts around a 30 ft wide work cell. Solid communication with our client that detailed more than just the payload requirements enabled that project to be a success.

Talk About What You’re Moving

It’s also important to tell your engineer all about the materials you’re transporting and storing. Do they need special protections like the 500 pound batteries at a British Columbian hydroelectric plant we detailed in our last blog? Are they particularly long and cumbersome like the custom cart we built for a window manufacturer? Are they exceptionally heavy or requiring some kind of mechanism to keep them firmly secured to the cart platform once it starts moving, like the jet engine service equipment our friends at NASA needed to cart around? Not only are those specifications important to account for when maximizing efficiency, they’re also necessary when calculating for any new safety concerns presented when transporting your materials.

Engineers do their best work as problem solvers when communication with clients is exceptional. The more you tell them about your problem and the context in which you operate, the happier you will be with the end result. Our engineering team at Electro Kinetic Technologies also excels at collaboration with other engineering teams too, so don’t hesitate to involve your own in-house specialists if you happen to have them. The more subject-matter experts you have working together, the better they can engineer a solution.

For any inquiries about the custom design process at Electro Kinetic Technologies, contact us and one of our engineers on staff can walk you through it.

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