Diversity, including gender diversity, in the workplace can drive innovation, and ARCH Cutting Tools supports the idea that a gender culture, including within its engineering team, can drive innovation. innovation and growth.
A key member of the ARCH Cutting Tools team is Dolores Morrison, engineer at the company’s ARCH Cutting Tools – Mentor (Ohio) plant.
Morrison has been in her current role with ARCH Cutting Tools for almost 27 years, starting with her predecessor company, Competitive Carbide of Mentor, Ohio, in 1994. Over the years she has occasionally used machines, engraved inserts, assembled inserts. tools and even helped out on expeditions. These experiences helped her understand the products and the customers who used them.
“At the time, I was having a discussion with a customer, I would hang up the phone and almost immediately the customer would call back to speak to a male engineer, or the owner, to have the same discussion,” he said. she declared. “Fortunately, my boss and my fellow engineers (male) supported me a lot. Knowing that I had just spoken to the client, they would ask me “What did Dolores tell you?” Then confirm, “Well, that’s the answer.” Most clients quickly realized that I was reliable for specific answers.
Over the years, Morrison has seen attitudes change. Now, when talking to a new customer contact – always usually a man – her ability or insight isn’t questioned because she’s a woman.
Her skills were bolstered by tackling new technologies such as computer assisted drafting (CAD) courses, especially AutoCAD, she said. “When I first started (at Competitive Carbide) I used AutoCAD to design tools and create quote prints and manufacturing prints for the shop floor. At that time, we were designing simple boring bars, turning tools and forming inserts.
Over the years drawing systems evolved into 3D CAD / CAM systems and once again Morrison had to re-educate himself, but this time it was a learning on the job.
“Now tools can be designed in 3D and inserted directly into the customer’s casting model or fixture, to see design efficiency or any clearance issues,” she says. “Our section of the tooling industry has also grown significantly. Using micro-bore cartridges and PCD tip tools, we can design tools that can not only perform multiple operations, but also meet very tight tolerances.
The challenges faced by women
Women entering the engineering profession may face challenges, especially early in their careers.
“At the outset, I think every engineer has the challenge of proving their worth. Early in my career, I noticed that male engineers, some of whom did not have my training or experience, would have no problem talking to store employees and having their advice taken at face value ” , Morrison said. “On the other hand, I would have to fully explain myself – often several times – before they would listen to me.
His solution was to work hard to gain the confidence of the men in the workshop. When she had a question about the design, she would discuss it first with the other engineers (men), but then go to the workshop and ask the men there, who made the tools, their opinions. “Once they saw that I respected and valued their opinions, they did the same for me in return,” she said.
She added that her father had the greatest influence on developing the self-confidence to become an engineer. An industrial arts teacher and master carpenter, “he encouraged all of his children to learn and to solve problems. From an early age, he let us help him with his projects. He taught us how to safely weld and operate metal and wood cutting machines.
“I encourage women looking for a career in any branch of engineering to gain as much practical experience as possible,” said Morrison. “Take courses in CNC machining, welding or other hands-on learning – they will be invaluable to you in the day-to-day application of real-world engineering.
“Women are natural problem solvers. I believe that if we can develop this ability in girls and young women, and combine it with a comprehensive STEM education, women’s contributions to engineering – and other scientific careers – will become the norm, and the world will be better for it. “
For more information on ARCH cutting tools, visit archcuttingtools.com