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Abdallah Salloum Reveals the Behind-the-Scenes Workings of Advanced Manufacturing Engineers

abdallah salloum reveals the behind the scenes workings of advanced manufacturing engineers

Abdallah Salloum’s expertise in enterprise Product Lifecycle Management has been foundational in his prolific career. Mr. Salloum places a significant emphasis and value on the Advanced Manufacturing Engineering team and sees this team as the “backbone of any industrial manufacturing organization” – in his words “the AME team is the recipient of validated product design and the provider of full industrial solutions”.

“In an organization—any organization,” says Abe Salloum, “it doesn’t matter what product you make. There are four components in the product life cycle, and successful product launches require mastery of the four phases” – the four phases are: Design, Industrialization, Manufacturing, and Service Phase.

How is the product life cycle fulfilled?

In any product, the design team must communicate and involve the right players focused on industrialization in the design phase as early as possible. Their role is to design and create an industrial solution that can be handed to manufacturing. The two components work collaboratively so that, when the product is designed and validated, an industrial solution is in place to produce the product in its desired volume. 

In Abe Salloum’s words, “In Advanced Manufacturing Engineering, this process requires three important competencies: Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT), Industrial Product Management (IPM), and Standards & Processes (S&P).”

  1. Within AMT, roadmap development and a focus on advanced manufacturing technology are vital. Consistently looking at existing and future technology to accommodate and support product design roadmap. This team is constantly looking for advancements in manufacturing technology and considering how they fit into creating the manufactured product. 
  2. IPM plans and manages critical design attributes and functionality and factor into industrial solutions. The project manager oversees the industrial solution and brings together advanced manufacturing technology, line design, line layout, material flow layout, plant location, and the other in-and-out parts to putting an industrial solution in place.
  3. Efficient standards and processes are critical to product launch and to the sustainability and performance of the manufacturing process – advanced manufacturing tech is employed to drive low cost, efficiency, and quality performance. Establishing steps when launching a process, then continually enhancing them while bringing in additional tools and robustness, efficiency standards, and protocols fully affect the bottom line. 

What is a typical day in the life of an advanced manufacturing engineer?

Advanced manufacturing engineers work within the varying levels of intricacy and design depth required in the scope of each product. 

“Think of it this way,” says Abdallah Salloum, “if you’re making Tupperware, the process is less involved. It’s not like you’re making an intricate electromechanical device that requires intensive design depth.”

This varied design depth and the bucket or specialty within which an advanced manufacturing engineer works determines how he spends his days. He/she may spend time in a pilot factory conducting experiments. Work may include monitoring techs such as machining, welding, robotics, or injection molding and monitoring the performance to determine whether the product should be included in the company’s advanced manufacturing engineering (AME) portfolio or rejected entirely. The engineer oversees the teams which continue to optimize tech, attends conferences, and speaks with those teams that are developing the technology. 

The AMT team is not developing the technology, rather it leverages industry expertise to bring new processes and tech in-house for manufacturing purposes and to improve current processes. 

Within the industrial project manager’s (IPM) day lies an involved list of tasks and responsibilities, particularly as it relates to NPIs (new product introduction). At any time, IPM is typically handling three to four medium-sized projects as well as two to four large NPI programs that are coming down the pipeline. The IPM must verify and understand the scope of the product to determine if enough design work has been performed to enhance manufacturability and serviceability to achieve the desired outcome. 

For those working in standards and processes, a workday includes the continual monitoring and analysis of existing processes as well as engaging those processes in the manufacturing facility. Abe Salloum knows standards & processes team members must understand and communicate where the plant is running into problems and how to initiate improvements with tools and processes. The primary goal is the constant improvement of outcomes. 

About Abdallah Salloum

While Mr. Salloum is not, himself, a manufacturing engineer, he has built a career within the engineering realm and brings an innate understanding of the industrialization phase to organizations. He helps workflows identify the missing pieces so that product and design are not lobbing their work over the fence to manufacturing and then struggling to make a product without involvement in the design space. Without manufacturing’s input on manufacturability, serviceability, and assembly—and without the right support in the early stages of NPI—the product development and launch are destined for failure. 

Abdallah Salloum understands the necessity of proper AME to a quality new product introduction cycle and has been successful in improving manufacturing costs at GE. Since 2017, Salloum has been improving processes and creating wins for GE. He believes in purposeful leadership with the ability to always step back and reflect, engage appropriately, and paint a clear and meaningful vision for the team. 

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