Each quarter, we sit down with a Designetics innovator to talk about his or her career, what makes Designetics special and topics relevant to his or her field. This month: job setter Angie Pratt.
How long have you worked at Designetics?
I have been with Designetics for 10 years and 5 months.
How did you wind up working at Designetics?
At the time, I was married and we owned our own business. We had to pay out of pocket for our family’s health insurance and it was becoming too expensive for us, so I found myself looking for a job with health insurance. I applied at a temporary agency, and they offered me a position at Designetics due to my prior manufacturing work history. I was brought in to work in our production area. As the years have gone by, I have slowly moved up in our production area. I started as a production worker, then a production coach, and now as our job setter.
What does a job setter do?
As a job setter I must do many different roles. I must communicate effectively with our management and coworkers. I plan, direct and coordinate activities concerned with product manufacturing. I also set up and operate machines according to instructions, specifications and standard charts.
I study work orders and other specifications to ensure the proper set-up sequence is followed. I observe machine operation to verify quality performance, ensure no machine malfunctions and adjust machines, as necessary. In addition, I help guide, oversee and direct our production employees when needed.
How did you come to choose this as a career path?
I really didn’t choose this career path. I worked in manufacturing before, so when I was offered to interview here, I agreed. I am so glad I was offered this job—it is a wonderful place to work. We are like family. They have been here for me through all my hard times and my happy times in life. They have helped me become a better person and support me in each career move I have made within the company. I couldn’t ask for a better company to work for.
Describe your typical day working at Designetics…
My day starts with opening our facility for the employees. I then go around and make sure that all the different departments within production have everything they need to complete their job. Then, throughout the day I continue to make sure production employees have orders to work on. I also attend meetings and communicate with management over the course of the day.
How does your work impact the products at Designetics?
If I didn’t do my job correctly then the production employees wouldn’t have orders to work on and defective parts could be produced.
What are some of the things you need to know in order to set-up and test machinery for jobs?
I must know the safe and proper way to set it up…and also know what the correct tools are that I need to use for that particular machine. And, I need to be able to distinguish between what a good product looks like and what a bad product looks like.
Walk us through the process of spotting performance gaps. How do you identify them and how do you resolve any issues?
When inspecting the product, I make sure that it is to the specification that the customer requires. I identify performance gaps by looking at the product and using tools to help identifying defects. If I find defects, I then find what or how it was caused. Once I have completed this, I figure out how to prevent it from happening. If I can’t figure this out on my own, I would then look to one of our managers, quality (control) or maintenance for support.
Look five years into the future: what will Designetics look like?
In five years, we will have continued to grow and expand.
What’s the biggest challenge you face right now?
I think the biggest challenge I face is myself. I am a perfectionist and I always want to make the best decision and prove that I can do my job and do it greatly. I don’t like to let anybody down.
If someone wanted to follow in your career footsteps, what advice would you give?
I would tell them to work hard, and always give it 100 percent. It is ok to make mistakes—just learn from them. Always ask for help if you don’t understand or if you just need help. Always be true to yourself…don’t act like anyone else just because someone wants you to act a certain way. Be proud of who you are.