“Working at FlexLink challenges me every day”

In the mind of a design engineer at FlexLink

Magnus Askerdal works as a Design Engineer at FlexLink where he is designing components for efficient production flows. In this interview I am talking to Magnus about how he works with design tools, what he thinks is the best part of the job and how the 3D-printer has drastically changed FlexLink’s design work.

From the beginning

Conveyor designMagnus started working as a Design Engineer at FlexLink in Sweden in 2010. “Back then I mainly updated and designed a few new aluminum components. Today I am spending most of my time design new components and systems in stainless steel”, Magnus starts.

“I am also highly involved in launching new products on, for example, exhibitions. Meeting customers, discussing their challenges and getting feedback on our developments help us make a better product. I then educate Project and Application Engineers at FlexLink. Sharing my knowledge of how our component and system design benefit the customer and their business helping them explain better the value of our products and services”, Magnus continues.

Designs in a creative environment

Designs in a creative environment“I spend my days figuring out smart solutions with low total cost of ownership for the customer”, he says. “To learn what the customers need, we visit their production sites and discuss their requirements and what they consider to be important functions in their production processes. Once we know their main issues, I start designing a prototype” he adds.

After the design work is done Magnus revisits the customer with the prototype to make sure that they got all features they asked for. When both parties are satisfied, he starts to produce the real component, which is, when finished, stored in the warehouse to later be sold and delivered to the customers.

“We design components for all kinds of industries and the requirements can be very different. That makes my work everchanging. It is not always easy, though. There are a lot of aspects to consider before producing a new component. It must fit multiple customers, able to be produced in large volumes as well as possible to mount, store and transport”, Magnus says.

New equipment creates new possibilities

“I design in 3D and my most valued “friend” is a the 3D-printer”, Magnus tells me. “The 3D-printer enables me to design a component and have physical prototype overnight. The very next morning I can show the component, in meetings or to colleagues. We have used this method for a long time but we have only had a 3D-printer at FlexLink for some five years. Before that, we sent the files to a 3D-printer company. Sometimes we had to wait for several weeks before we could see if the result was satisfying or not. Our 3D-printer has drastically speeded up our design work.”

“With the in-house 3D-printer we can rapidly finetune the prototype multiple times before sending it to mass production, this saves us and customer a lot of time.  Well-proven components contribute to fewer breakdowns due to less wear”, Magnus continues.

Challenging tasks and good colleagues make him enjoy his work

“I really enjoy learning from all the people I meet” Magnus says. “That is what makes my work fun and intriguing. When you work with so many different production methods, like die-cast aluminum, casted stainless steel and injection molded plastic parts, it is bound to make you challenge yourself. Those challenges combined with great colleagues around the world, who are spreading good feelings of fellowship and teamwork, are what makes my job here at FlexLink great!”

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