An epic story
There are times when the only way to succeed is to work as a team. This is a story about one of those times. Read team manager André Ekström’s story about how great collaboration made a project successful in the shortest possible amount of time.
In the beginning of 2019, SVP Worldwide asked us to assist in the development of their top end sewing machine, Designer Epic 2. The goal was to give the machine a new exterior appearance and new innovated functionality. In addition, the customer wanted it to be released the same year – something that at the time seemed like an almost impossible task.
Resources from different locations
In order to create added value for SVP Worldwide, we had to come up with suggestions quickly. This was one way of showing that the customer’s needs are our greatest priority. We dropped everything else to work our phones and in less than two hours, we had found a handful of qualified design engineers who could join the team.
Shortly after, a team of eight was set up with colleagues from six different Semcon locations in Sweden – Malmö, Göteborg, Linköping, Örebro, Falun and Stockholm. However, there were some challenges. Our team had to deliver in one third of a normal developing time! The only way to make it work was for the team to focus entirely on this one task, with a lot of extra hours and high stress. However, we had a great team, a great project model in XLPM, and a team name – Epic Team.
Finding their rhythm
The project for the Designer Epic 2 required a new set of plastic covers, adapted to fit new machine functionality, to be engineered. Since the time constraints were extremely tight and the complexity of the parts high, delays at any stage would risk delaying the product launch date of this their flagship product. After having gained clear understanding of the project requirements, the “Epic Team” divided the work into manageable parts, with each person being responsible for their portion of the project. There would be no time for micro-managing, admin or anything else that would take focus off the engineering and CAD design work.
Each person was to be self-managing and ask for help from the other team members when needed. Even though the project seemed almost impossible at first, and the pressure could have been too high for most people, the “Epic Team” quickly found their rhythm and began making solid progress. The feeling that “we are in it together” and positive energy of each member of the team made the work fun. When problems arose, they were points for discussion and collective input allowing solutions to be developed quickly. Instead of increasing pressure, this boosted morale.
In three months and on schedule, the team completed the solid modelling, which was sent to China for review. We assisted in refining the geometry over the following 10 days for tooling. The Design for Manufacturing phase was completed on time and all parts were issued for tool production in China.
Each member of the “Epic Team” not only made completing this almost impossible project possible – they made it fun and exciting. They proved that no matter how difficult or stressful a project might be, with the right attitude and team mindset, it can be a positive experience.
This project has also proven how important effective collaboration is, where we focus together on a single outcome and invest in our shared success. This is true for not only the “Epic Team”, but also when it comes to the close cooperation with the customer’s engineers and management team.
SVP Worldwide’s feedback on project completion was very positive and hopefully this project strengthened their trust in us. Now they know that Semcon can assist them with their future design and engineering needs.
Title: Team Manager
Education: Mechanical Design Engineer (JTH) and Key Account Manager (SMH)
Worked at Semcon since: 2015
I have most fun at work when I: Inspire others to develop greater or new opportunities.