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Little did we know that when Dan started with us in February, he would only be in the office for a few weeks before COVID-19 took hold in the UK and we were in lockdown.
Dan wrote this just before he packed up his MAC to begin working from home, at that point thinking it would only be for a couple of weeks… How wrong we were!
Best possible solutions
“The first few weeks in a new job are always daunting, it’s just a natural pressure to perform well, I think. Moving from a company that employs over 1000 (Lotus Cars) to a company of around a dozen was always going to be different, and I’ve found it’s the people you interact with on a daily basis that matter. The close-knit dynamic at Plunkett’s has been a new experience for me. Everyone has their own area of knowledge and expertise which is used to provide the customer with the best possible solutions.
My past experience is with subcontract machining and more recently automotive, looking after the manufacturing process behind the Lotus chassis. Being a bonded, extruded aluminium chassis, this is a fairly niche design and holds assembly tolerances around a tenth of a standard chassis.
My machining background
Coming from a machining background is also useful for assessing new projects form a feasibility point of view as there are often small details on designs that can have big implications on its manufacture. For example, designing small radii into corners that cannot be reached, likewise specifying sharp corners in areas where the tool cannot access at the right orientation. Recognising these early on can evolve the CAD model into something workable, therefore reducing machining costs.
Getting to grips with the large network of suppliers and manufacturers that Plunkett utilises is… ongoing! There is such a huge variety of enquires, from additive manufacture, injection moulding, CNC, and everything in between!
There’s usually a solution to every problem, it’s just knowing where to look! Plunkett’s have a fabulous relationship with their suppliers so that helps enormously. And if we’re not able to offer the best solution for the customer for whatever reason, we can usually point them in the direction of someone who can.
It’s also helpful to have Adept Precision, Plunkett Associates sister company, on our doorstep to support client requirements. When a quick turnaround for CNC or injection moulded parts is required, an in-house facility gives us enormous flexibility. When the project is complex or some development is needed, we can make adjustments to our injection moulding tooling in a few hours, rather than days.
On that note, by far the most engaging part of Plunkett’s so far, is seeing these new projects develop and evolve into a final working product. In the coming months I’ll be getting more involved in this, supporting the activities of Adept Precision and implementing new software into the company.
This is a new area of engineering for me and there is much to learn but I’m looking forward to the challenge!”