Sunday, August 7, 2011

A bit about my work

Since starting at Applied Silicone, I have yet to post about what it is I do.  While a good portion of my work varies from day to day, I'll share the responsibilities I've been tasked with and projects I'm working on.
The first project I worked on is pictured above, and is currently at Silimed in Brazil along with two other machines just like it.  The machines inject silicone into an envelope to form a breast implant.  They begin by drawing a very precise amount of silicone from each of the two drums, then mix and inject the silicone into an implant.  When I began, the concept and basic design of the machine had been completed and I was responsible for taking it from a prototype to a commercial product.  This required a fair amount of cad modeling, followed by work in the machine shop or with our fabricators to create parts from the models, and finally assembling everything and writing the software to control it.  I learned such a great deal working on this project not just in regards to engineering, but business operations as well.
With the alpha models completed and shipped, I began work on new projects while continuing work on the next model of implant "gel dispenser".  Some new projects were simply engineering support to build or modify manufacturing equipment to use at our facility.  I might design a vacuum seal, framework for mounting hydraulics or order parts needed from a distributor.  Above you can see my computer screen with a set of drawings I was working on for a large mixer similar to the one picture below.  When completed these machines are integrated into our silicone manufacturing processes.
Other projects I'm working on will be sold for use outside our facility.  This machinery will mix, inject, dispense, mold, or otherwise form or process silicone according to our clients needs.  Below are some assemblies that will be incorporated into the new gel dispensers we will be selling. 
While I do mechanical design for products to be sold, the majority of business at Applied is from the sale of medical grade silicone materials.  The gels, or rubber like products leave the facility in tubes, buckets, and 55 gallon drums (pictured below) and are shipped all around the world.
I'm given the opportunity to problem solve and design everyday, which is why I enjoy my work so much.  Discovering solutions and creating from your imagination are very rewarding.  These challenges also encourage me to expand my knowledge base and experience in the field of mechanical engineering.


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