Your engineering department plays a vital role in ensuring your production runs smoothly. Here, acclaimed software provider, Microvellum, suggests five tips that will help you improve the efficiencies of your designers, engineers and drafters ...

Take the time to make it right

As an engineer, you are constantly watching the clock and responding to change requests. This pressure can lead many people to rush through projects, often missing the finer details or making mistakes along the way. If you slow down and take the time to make it right from the start, you will realise that your work is actually completed faster.

Take the time to engineer products so that the appropriate machining, hardware and assembly drawings are built into your process up front, rather than leaving it to your factory to sort out. Microvellum’s Toolbox software, an AutoCAD-based design for manufacturing platform, provides users with the flexibility to engineer intelligent products that can parametrically respond to user input to include every detail needed for production.   

Communicate with your team

It’s important for your CAD engineering team to create a positive relationship with the builders in the factory, rather than having an “office vs factory” mentality.  Consider bringing your production team’s opinion into your engineering process. Your builders can help your engineers design products that are easy to build.

An engineer should always establish the initial idea of how products are to be designed but should seek the shop’s approval to ensure that they have designed will flow smoothly through the machining and assembly process. This helps build a strong relationship between the two departments and allows a teamwork mentality to grow within the business.

When engineers and builders work as a team, the mistakes tend to be fixed quickly because they are looking for a solution rather than spending time determining who made the mistake or placing blame.

Examine your workflows

An engineer’s job goes beyond the initial work related to developing a product, or maintaining catalogues or libraries of products. Your job as an engineer is also to help save time when it comes to the production and manufacturing of products.

One way to determine or measure an efficiency improvement is to calculate the individual tasks related to accomplishing a project and minimise the overall total. For example, is your CNC operator spending time writing manual programs at your CNC machine? If so, they could be wasting valuable time that could be spent in other areas of production. 

Have you thought about the total number of applications you have in place to accomplish your overall goal of getting a project out for delivery? Far too often, woodworkers are bogged down by their process and have accumulated multiple channels to drive their production. Microvellum software helps minimise your touchpoints and drastically improve your production, allowing for more throughput in your operation and engineering.

Invest in your team

Henry Ford once said, “The only thing that is worse than training your employees and having them leave, is not training them and having them stay.” Your engineering team plays a vital role in your overall production. Allowing your team to get out of touch or stagnate can cause serious problems. Successful business owners recognise this and invest in their team, seeking out training opportunities wherever they may exist. Take part in webinars, user group experiences, factory tours and education to ensure your team has the knowledge they need to be successful.

Maintain a standard operating procedure

Once you have your engineering and production process in place, share it with all departments and personnel. Maintaining an active Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will allow you to systematically evaluate performance goals and identify areas for improvement much quicker. When onboarding new employees, you will find that their on-the-job satisfaction is much higher when they have a documented procedure for success.

For more tips on streamlining your engineering department, or to evaluate how a Microvellum software solution can help your business, visit