andrew Franklin EngTech MIMechE

Andrew Franklin is a Manufacturing Engineer at Perkins Engines.

Tell us about your career pathb20171120_imeche_andy_franklin_0028b 600

I left school and joined Perkins Engines as a maintenance apprentice in 2011. In 2014, I completed my apprenticeship, nine months earlier than the specified duration, and joined one of the assembly, test and finish maintenance teams.

While working as a maintenance technician I became particularly interested in our robotics equipment, swiftly becoming an expert in this field. This experience led me to become a senior technician within my department and I have since progressed into a manufacturing engineer role, overseeing our six cylinder test facility.

What does your current role entail?

I currently work as a manufacturing engineer on hot-test. This means I manage all machinery and technology within the test facility. A big part of my role involves investigating engine failures to enhance efficiency.

When new systems are introduced, I project manage the installations, and oversee product integration, writing new test programmes to ensure productivity will be maximised over their lifetime. I also develop facility control plans to ensure we produce high quality products, safely.

Tell us about your most interesting career experience to date?

I identified that my area of the business could benefit more from robotics expertise, so I developed a Robot Competency Training Course to help apprentices and new maintenance personnel to operate, recover and program the robots we use at our Peterborough site. The course develops an understanding of the robot’s movement planes, co-ordinate system, job calling and program structure. On completion, students are able to competently manoeuvre the robots using a manual control pendant, effectively fault-find within the software and develop basic job programs.

Why did you decide to become an engineer?

I enjoy problem solving, especially in relation to technology: how it works and how to refine it. I’ve always been interested in maths, science and computer programming, so the engineering world felt like a natural fit for me. I wanted a career which would help me combine these elements.

Why did you decide to become a member of the Institution?

Perkins is a mechanical manufacturing company, and so the Institution is the ideal fit for where I work and the job I do. It is a prestigious and well-respected institution within the engineering world, which allows me to connect and network with a wide community of people with similar interests and aspirations all over the globe

Why did you decide to pursue professional registration as an EngTech?

For me, EngTech is the first stepping stone towards Charted Engineer status – my eventual goal. It shows I have been trained to a high standard, I am an emerging talent within the industry, and I have met the strict criteria required to qualify. It also showcases my commitment to creating a sustainable future for engineering.

What was your process for working towards professional registration?

My apprenticeship at Perkins was approved by the Institution, meaning it covered a significant amount of the requirements for EngTech status. I held monthly reviews with my leader throughout to ensure I was developing the right competences.

I completed my apprenticeship nine months early, and then sat down with a Chartered Engineer to plan out how to meet the remaining criteria for registration. After three months I’d met all the requirements.

How has professional registration benefitted you?

I am proud to be registered with the Institution, proving my status as a professional in the industry. I plan to use it as the grounding for a smooth transition through the professional ranks – hopefully from EngTech, to IEng, to CEng.

And finally, if you could give one piece of advice to a person considering working towards EngTech today, what would it be?

Speak to other engineers in your workplace – many of them will have already achieved professional registration with an engineering institution. They can offer advice on how to meet entry criteria, help you with your application and act as a mentor as you work towards your own registration.

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