Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

Intelligent Machines for Tomorrow’s Factory

September 17th, 2014

While robotics has long been part of the modern industrial factory, recent innovations by engineers are helping intelligent machines make the manufacturing process more efficient and less costly. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in the European Union embarked on the SkillPro research project with the hope of reducing manufacturing changeover times in factories.

Let’s take a closer look at their progress.

Improving Changeover Times for Small Production Runs

Currently, it takes too much time to switch around the manufacturing process at a factory when beginning a production run for a new product. In many cases, the preparation and setup actually take longer than the actual manufacturing run itself. KIT’s SkillPro project looks to improve things through the use of intelligent machines.

Thomas Maier, Managing Director of KIT’s Institute for Information Management in Engineering (IMI) commented on the project’s goals. “Machines equipped with additional intelligence and communicating with each other are expected to significantly reduce the changeover time,” said Maier.

These machines are able to automatically recognize changes to parts through the use of optical sensors. This will greatly reduce the programming time necessary to perform changeovers between production runs.

Factory Robots communicating with each Other

Smart machines in the SkillPro project are also able to communicate with each other when a new part is built and needs to be transported from one step to another in the manufacturing process. A mobile robot then ferries the part to the next machine.

The SkillPro project has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing of the niche products typically produced at small to medium-sized enterprises. Robotic manufacturing is no longer the sole domain of large automobile conglomerates. The research project hopes to be completed by the end of next year; a mid-period evaluation report proved successful for the KIT engineers.

If the SkillPro project is the kind of engineering-driven manufacturing innovation that inspires you to take your career to its next level, talk to the staffing experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering recruiting agencies in the Seattle metropolitan area, they can provide both the insight and the Seattle engineering job listings to further your engineering career. Schedule some time with The Talley Group today.

Top Ten Engineering Achievements in History

June 20th, 2014

With the myriad ways the world of engineering continues to benefit humanity throughout history, it is hard to make a top ten list of the most important engineering achievements over time. Undaunted by the scope of the task, let’s take a look at some of the most significant accomplishments made by engineers.

1. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

A beautiful span built in difficult weather conditions, the Golden Gate Bridge serves as both an example of engineering brilliance and as a work of art. It is San Francisco’s signature tourist site.

2. Teotihuacan, Mexico

Today’s engineers still aren’t quite sure how the ancient pyramid in Teotihuacan, Mexico was built. That says it all when it comes to this engineering achievement.

3. The Langeled Pipeline

An undersea oil and gas pipeline stretching 725 miles, the Langeled Pipeline carries fuel from Norway to the United Kingdom.

4. The International Space Station

Over 100,000 people and nearly $100 billion were leveraged in the design and construction of the International Space Station. This project involved the best minds from 15 different nations.

5. The Millau Viaduct in France

France’s Millau Viaduct holds two important distinctions as the tallest road bridge and the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. The viaduct also rivals the Golden Gate Bridge when it comes to beauty.

6. The Trans-Siberian Railway

At 5,772 miles, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railroad in the world. It crosses 16 major rivers as it spans eight different time zones.

7. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Akashi Strait, Japan

The world’s longest suspension bridge, the Akashi Kaikyo took 10 years to build, providing work for nearly 2 million people.

8. Taipei 101

This massive Taiwanese skyscraper features earthquake-resistant engineering able to withstand the strongest tremors over a two millennium period. It also broke the 1,640 foot barrier.

9. The Great Wall of China

This 4,000 mile wall began construction way back in 475 B.C. It remains one of the most famous manmade achievements in the world.

10. Netherlands Delta Works

This interconnected system of dikes, levees, and storm barriers helps to keep the one-quarter of the Netherlands that lies below sea level high and dry.

If these significant engineering achievements inspire you to take your engineering career to the next level, talk to the knowledgeable staff at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in Washington State, they are a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with them today!


Five Secrets to Improving yourself as a Tech Engineer

May 28th, 2014

If you think your development as an engineer stops the day you graduate from college, you are sadly mistaken. The best engineers consistently take steps to improve themselves, knowing that this is an effort that ultimately benefits both their current employer as well as their career. Technical professionals must never stagnate.

Let’s take a look at five secrets to improve yourself as an engineer.

Understand the Business of your Current Employer

Remember that technology generally exists to serve the business needs of a corporation — not the other way around. Make it point to learn and understand everything about your company’s work — competition, supply chain, future prospects for growth, etc. Consider going back to school for your MBA, as when paired with an engineering degree, the combination serves your career nicely.

Don’t Let Technology leave you in the Dust

While it is vital to spend time learning the business environment of your company, it remains equally important to stay up to date on technology. Consider subscribing to magazines and journals related to your engineering discipline. Joining a professional association is a great way to network and stay current on tech.

Self-Criticism is Valuable for your Growth

Take the time to set professional career goals and perform the self-analysis necessary to either achieve those goals or set different ones. Being honest with yourself and your technical skill set is a great way to keep developing as a professional.

Take on Challenging Work Assignments

A difficult project at work is a great way to sharpen your technical skills, and possibly your business acumen as well. Be sure to consistently challenge yourself, and you may find that your career is growing by leaps and bounds.

Every Day is a Day for Learning

The bottom line is that the learning never stops for an engineer. Maintain the curiosity that prompted you to enter the engineering field in the first place. Consider getting an advanced degree in engineering in addition to that MBA.

If you need any additional career development advice, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in the Seattle area, they are a great source of Seattle engineering jobs in addition to engineering career advice. Schedule some time with them today!

Process Engineer Job Profile | Salary Breakdown

May 15th, 2014

Process engineers play a key role in helping to define, implement, and manage the step by step procedures used in industrial or chemical manufacturing. Depending on the type of process engineer, different educational and work experiences are required. One major commonality between the two is the ability to understand procedures with the keen eye of a project manager able to create optimized processes.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of process engineers, along with a breakdown of the relevant salary information.

Summarizing the Industrial Process Engineer

Process engineers that work in manufacturing are usually involved with assembly line activity, especially if their employment is in the automotive industry. The engineer needs to have detailed knowledge of all the equipment and procedures used in the manufacturing process. The ability to recognize points of improvement and optimization in the assembly line is a valuable skill for a process engineer.

Companies looking for industrial process engineers generally prefer to see a Bachelor’s Degree in either Industrial or Mechanical Engineering. Excellent communication skills are a must, as being able to interact with other workers is vital. Strong computer skills as well as the familiarity with commonly used industrial controls and micro controllers are also important attributes.

Experienced industrial process engineers can expect their yearly salary to average around $85,000. A starting salary for newly-minted engineers out of college is around $60,000 per year.

Chemical Process Engineers deal with Procedures as well

Process engineers working in a chemical facility must be able to define and implement procedures involved in chemical production. Obviously, an educational background in Chemical Engineering is a must, along with familiarity with using computer-based tools to design processes and manage their operation. Being able to recognize ways to optimize these procedures is another attribute shared between all types of successful process engineers.

The salary breakdown for chemical process engineers is similar to their industrial counterparts. Expect an average salary in the $80,000 per year range, with a starting salary around $50,000 to $60,000 per year.

If the lucrative world of process engineering intrigues you, be sure to talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in the Seattle area, and a great source for Seattle engineering jobs, they can help you start or further your career in engineering. Schedule some time with them today!

Today’s Sci-Fi Tomorrow’s Real Life? Interplanetary or Art?

May 22nd, 2013

Whether or not humans are the only life force in the in Universe remains a recurring question throughout the world of science fiction, be it in books or movies. Considering the vastness of space with billions and billions of stars and even more planets in orbit, simple probability reveals that life beyond earth is a strong possibility.

But what about in our own solar system? Is the Martian world of H.G. Wells not the stuff of science fiction? Was there a measure of truth to his prescience? NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is well on its way to solving this question once and for all.

Has the Mars Rover Curiosity Found Life?

Scientists recently reported that the Mars rover Curiosity discovered traces of the chemical compounds needed for a habitable red planet. These chemicals were found in an area of Mars once covered by water. NASA scientists feel that microbe-level life could have been supported at one time.

“The key thing here is an environment a microbe could have lived in and might have even prospered in,” said NASA scientist, John Grotzinger. “(W)e have found a habitable environment that is so benign and supportive of life that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it.”

NASA is still holding back on a full declaration that life at one time existed on Mars, but they are on the cusp of that statement. “We’ve been able to take this to the next level of understanding whether or not Mars was habitable,” said Michael Meyer, NASA’s lead Mars scientist.

Engineering is at the Core of the Mars Cover

NASA’s work with the Mars rover Curiosity wouldn’t be possible without the significant contributions from many in the world of engineering. The fact that scientists can remotely control a vehicle on another planet proves that the stuff of science fiction is slowly becoming science fact.

Do you want to be part of this space engineering revolution? Do you have the right stuff? Make it a point to talk to the people at The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Northwest United States, they have the recruiters on hand to take your career into interplanetary orbit.

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