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Manufacturing Engineer: Two Useful Tools

Liz Miller Learn Robotics

About the Author, Liz Miller, Founder/CEO @ Learn Robotics

Liz graduated with a degree in Robotics Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and researched drones at UPenn's GRASP Lab. Liz is a former Raytheon Engineer, where she managed major $MM automation projects worldwide. Today, she's the driving force behind Learn Robotics, offering the Robotics Career Blueprint for Engineering Professionals and beginner courses through the Online Robotics Class. Liz is a third-generation entrepreneur who is all about the application of innovation in robotics, automation, and AI. Follow Liz on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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What does a Manufacturing Engineer bring to work?

When I first started my Automated Manufacturing job, I wondered what I would need to bring and wear to work to make my job more efficient and effective. Now that I’ve been in the role for over six-months, I wanted to share with you my two must-haves that are incredibly useful as a Manufacturing Engineer on a high-volume production shop floor.

Tool #1: Leatherman or Multitool

A multitool is “any one of a range of portable, versatile hand tools that combines several individual functions in a single unit” [1]. Some popular brands are SWISS (Army Knife) or Leatherman. I personally have a Leatherman Wingman that I bought prior to starting my robotics degree at WPI.

The biggest reason why I picked the Leatherman over the SWISS Army Knife is because I think its more rugged and built-to-last versus SWISS. The pliers on the Leatherman are heavy-duty tough. I’ve had my knife for over 5 years, and it’s still going strong! I’ve had SWISS Army Knifes that have broken or worn out so much that the hinges were loose. The SWISS Army Knife may be better for portability (or clipping to your keys); however, the Leatherman is better suited for daily use in a production/manufacturing environment. manufacturing engineering tools leatherman

The Leatherman Wingman has 14 tools:

  • Spring-action needle-nose pliers
  • Regular pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors
  • Wire stripper
  • 420HC combo knife
  • Package opener
  • Ruler (1.5in, 3.8cm)
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Wood/metal file
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Medium screwdriver
  • Small screwdriver

This is the one that I have ⇒ Leatherman Wingman

I recommend investing in the sheath, so that you can attach the Leatherman to your belt! I carry mine with me on the production floor so that I can make quick machine fixes without calling the maintenance crew. Simple!

Tool #2: Portable LED Flashlight

manufacturing egineering tools led flashlight

You don’t realize how dark it is until you try to fix a machine in the dark. Having a small flashlight at your disposal is a definite must!

Like the Leatherman, I wear mine on my belt. I prefer this flashlight over my cell phone’s flashlight app because it’s more rugged and produces better quality light (using LEDs).

Here’s the flashlight that I have ⇒ Streamlight Stylus Pro LED Flashlight

This flashlight comes with the belt holster, so install the batteries, clip it to your belt, and you should be ready to go!

Are you in manufacturing? What tools are critical in your job?

Do you agree with my top 2? Drop your answer in the comments section, below.

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Liz Miller Learn Robotics

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