For the past two years I have been working as a Design Engineer in leading automotive firm in Europe. My role involves prototyping, designing and Validating automotive electronics.
As a Mechanical Engineer in an Electronics Company, one of your primary responsibilities is the design of the plastic enclosures for the electronics. This needs sound knowledge of plastic tooling and part design, during the design phase, prototypes are made to check fitting and other characteristics. These prototypes range in various materials, from ABS, Nylon and even metals like Aluminum and magnesium
With the electronic components becoming smaller and faster, a growing issues has arisen of the thermal management, this requires both design and material considerations. Quite often a compromise is made between the material and the production process of the part to reach an optimal solution.
A vital part of plastic design is CAD design, CREO by PTC used for the design, plastic design quite often requires parts to be extremely complicated and the use of a Parametric Software along with the PLM system helps keep collaboration smooth.
Automotive industry is one of the most complex supply chain industries in the world. Every big OEM outsources their components to companies which in turn outsource them to other companies. This requires very strict regulations and documentation processes so that everyone is on the same page. A standard process called PPAP is used for every component before it is passed and sent to the production line.
As a development engineer your responsibility is not just to Design the parts, you are required to facilitate the product through the whole testing phase. This testing phase includes IP Testing ( Water and dust protection), Vibration Testing, Thermal Shock testing, High Temperature testing. As a Design engineer you are responsible for Designing the fixtures for the processes as well.