The Role of Applications Engineering in Material Handling
The Handling Specialty team includes a dedicated group of applications engineering professionals who play a crucial role in the successful operation of the business. An applications engineering group is typically comprised of engineers, technologists, and specialists who are responsible for the review of specifications, feasibility assessment, and conceptual designs of solutions for specific end-user requirements. This team is extremely important to the overall success of a project and in particular, complex projects involving custom-engineered material handling equipment. Well-executed applications engineering efforts are critical to ensuring that material handling processes are performed efficiently, safely, and effectively.
Applications engineering requires a thorough understanding of the customer’s needs and business objectives as well as deep technical expertise with relevant technologies and solutions development. Applications engineers typically work alongside technical sales professionals to define and understand the customer’s project scope, specifications, and requirements and then develop solutions to address each of those crucial elements.
How Applications engineering plays a critical role
Applications engineering plays a decisive role in the initial stages of a project by providing technical expertise, guidance, recommendations, and support to customers looking to implement solutions to improve their manufacturing operations. They can help customers understand the capabilities and limitations of products and how they can be utilized to meet specific production requirements. For custom-engineered material handling projects such as those provided by Handling Specialty, this role is typically involved with the following activities:
- Understanding the requirements – Applications engineers work with project stakeholders to obtain and clarify important information about the project requirements, functional and technical specifications, budgets, and timelines.
- Feasibility assessment and concept development – The team undertakes a detailed assessment of the technical requirements of the application to confirm the feasibility of developing an effective solution. A range of engineering tools including 3D design software, simulations, finite element analysis, and traditional engineering calculations are utilized to develop concepts to address the specific application needs.
- Technical support to Sales and Customers – The applications group provides input and support to the technical sales team in the development of comprehensive technical and commercial proposals, conceptual drawing packages, 3D renderings, and presentations. They participate in customer meetings to address technical questions and clarify the scope of work and project responsibilities.
- Project implementation – Once a project has been formally engaged, the applications team provides vital design and project details to the engineering group. This includes participation in project kickoff meetings both internally and with customers as well as ongoing support to the engineering and operations groups throughout the duration of each project.
What an Applications Engineering Team Looks Like
A team of professional and highly experienced engineers, designers, and advanced engineering specialists is critical to efficiently developing solutions to unique requirements and solving difficult material handling challenges. A well-executed applications engineering group not only develops those concepts and solutions but also provides technical guidance throughout the project, from design and manufacturing through installation and ongoing maintenance and long-term support.
Handling Specialty has more than sixty years of experience in providing custom-engineered material handling solutions to companies in the automotive, rail/transportation, aerospace, power-gen, entertainment, steel/metals, and advanced manufacturing sectors. Handling Specialty provides safe, efficient, and heavy-duty solutions for production applications involving large capacities, high-duty cycles, unique configurations, robust environments, and stringent process, quality, and safety demands. Handling Specialty builds big things to help its customers build big things.
By Michael Roper, Sales Manager, Handling Specialty Manufacturing Ltd.