Monday, January 12, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 186

This week flew by, and the next few are only going to accelerate. I worked my first official week of overtime in the last maybe year and a half or two years. And considering we are progressing as planned, I won't be putting in any seven hour days in the near future. I always try to stay on the side of saying less than saying more, and I'll try to stay on that line by simply saying we have been working on this project for four years and we are finally getting to the point of shipping! That is to say we are transitioning from testing/designing/developing to full on production. It's a ground up design, which is something marketers use to excite people, but engineers use it to talk about making mistakes and learning why we did things a certain way the last 20 years. In short, ground up design! Run away!

I'm kind of joking. Typically ground up designs start off trying to eliminate problems that plagues previous models. For example, cars used to burn out their brakes in the mountains, now it's only the odd semi truck. The model T was not safe, slow, inefficient, and very basic. Cars have come so far due to ground up designs. Personally I have learned that for me I doubt I will ever order something on the first day or week it is available because I know for a fact that they will learn things producing those first models that you definitely want incorporated on your product. The flip side is the first products will also have more quality checks than any of the following products ever will, so there is that benefit. 

As my role in this transition I am fully invested in being in the factory, on the floor where our products are being manufactured. I'm making decisions that we did not clearly communicate in the drawings and instructions. Overall, I am really learning a lot, and I know for a fact the quality is quite a bit higher because I am there.

Despite a terribly cold week with an average temperature of maybe 5F degrees I managed to run 22 miles over the four days I ran and cross country skied twice for a total of about four hours. Cross country skiing is my new hobby. It is aerobic, low impact, possible to do in bad weather and after buying the equipment, basically free. While my friends downhill skied Saturday at Chestnut near Galena, IL I cross country skied on the sides of the resort, working myself into a sweat in breezy 10F weather wearing only moderate clothing. 

It was a good week. Work is going to occupy a huge amount of my time the next few weeks, so if you read this to hear about running, don't expect much. Although, perhaps Wednesday I will have an announcement...

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