In its tenth year, Manufacturing Day 2022 is an opportunity for companies, institutions, and educators to highlight the vast array of modern manufacturing careers, share in the excitement of how innovators are pushing the industry forward, and give a glimpse at what today’s manufacturing looks like to inspire the next generation of skilled workers. It’s about encouraging young people worldwide to pursue careers in robotics, mechanical engineering, computer vision, AI/ML, and so much more.
Leading up to this year’s MFG Day on Friday, October 7, I connected with four of my colleagues about their passion for the industry and their advice to people considering a career in today’s dynamic world of manufacturing. I’m honored to spotlight Nancy Tian, Supply Chain Manager in China, Nick Iacovacci, Mechanical Engineer in the United States, Zohar Geller, Machine Vision Engineer in Israel, and Salvador Diaz Barriga Alvarez, Project Manager in Mexico.
What drew you to the manufacturing industry?
Nick: The biggest thing for me as an engineer is that I really enjoy solving complex problems, and at a company like Bright Machines, I get to solve a lot of complicated issues pretty much every day, which is fun and rewarding. The manufacturing field obviously has a lot of talented and intelligent people as well, so working with them and being surrounded by them every day is great. I’m inspired by both my teammates and our customers.
Nancy: I learned a lot about the atmosphere created within the manufacturing industry from my upbringing and throughout college. It’s all about continuous learning, which both drew me to a career in manufacturing and what has kept me in the industry for sixteen years. Today’s technology means we can solve customer problems in a way we couldn’t do when I started my career.
Zohar: I was always attracted to the art of assembly and the world of manufacturing. I actually started by interviewing for a mechanical design engineer position at Bright Machines. Then the manager at the time told me they had a new role: a machine vision engineer. I was thrilled to find out that there was this kind of a position in the market—it’s a combination of algorithms and logic used to create unique solutions.
Tell me about your typical day at Bright Machines.
Salvador: I’m a program manager at Bright Machines, so I’m in charge of the whole project – from the beginning with the strategy to customer delivery of our microfactories. My job isn’t done until the machine is ready for production. That’s why each day is quite different for my team and me. We’re there at the initial stages of the project – meeting with engineers, making sure every component is approved, and all materials are gathered – then we move on to assembly and integration. Every stage is unique; it’s like piecing together a puzzle.
Nick: My day-to-day ranges quite a bit, which I really enjoy. I’m responsible for looking at the microfactory lines to ensure they meet customer needs from a technical perspective— hitting cycle times, configuring systems, and building out features and functionality that the customers need. Seeing this work in real-world applications is incredibly rewarding.
Zohar: My job is essentially being the eyes of the robot—we make sure that the robot does everything correctly. Each day is a whole new world. There are days that I get to the office and just work on implementing new software systems or developing new tools, and there are days that I’m on-site with the customer. Other days are full of meetings; the next day, I could be on the manufacturing floor, getting hands-on with the equipment. It’s a very diverse setting, and I really enjoy this part of my job.
Why do you think the next generation should pursue a career in manufacturing?
Nancy: Modern manufacturing environments are filled with new technologies, computer-aided machines, and progressive software programs. This has taken much of the manual work out of production and allowed manufacturing professionals to focus on innovation, precision, and quality. Most of the young people I know are interested in creative work, and automated manufacturing offers a lot of new opportunities to anyone interested in innovating.
Zohar: You don’t see many young people working in this field. So, the next generation has an opportunity to develop this world and take it one step ahead. There are a lot of significant changes happening in manufacturing right now, so it’s a great time to join and pursue a career in this industry—to participate and help develop what it’ll look like in the future. It’s a fantastic experience to be in the industry during this time of transformation.
Salvador: I think if we could get more people on the factory floor to actually see how the hardware and software work together – how everything comes to life – they’d see how exciting manufacturing can be. Yes, manufacturing requires a lot of hard work, but it’s also an industry that allows you to create and innovate daily.
What advice do you have for people just starting their careers in manufacturing?
Nancy: No matter what university you came from or your last job or title, you need to be willing to keep learning. Willingness to learn is the only way you’ll be able to solve problems and create opportunities in this industry.
Nick: Be ready to soak up as much as possible. If someone asks you to do something, and you don’t know what to do or how to do it, say yes anyway. Be open to learning on the fly—it’ll help you in the long run, and everything will eventually start rolling in the right direction.
Zohar: Be confident with what you know and what you feel. Don’t be afraid to speak up, know your worth, and know that you’ll be wrong sometimes, too—and that’s OK. Ask whatever you need to ask. There will be days when you are the most experienced person in the room, and there will be days when you’re the least experienced. Try to be comfortable and confident in either setting.
Join our team!
Learn more about joining the Bright Machines team, open positions, and why we should be your next career move: https://www.brightmachines.com/careers/