Being an independent engineering consultant, often working from a custom-built, home design studio has so much more to offer than the obvious perks. It is a rewarding and busy lifestyle with diverse and complicated projects. It is a job that allows for vast creativity which often requires a much longer workday than the typical eight hours. Scott Reed from Reed Technical Associates has been a design and mechanical/manufacturing engineering consultant for 15 years. Scott has worked with various companies in a range of industries, from medical, to aerospace, and everything in between, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Scott has years of design and manufacturing experience, holding degrees in both manufacturing and mechanical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and Fairfield University, respectively. He worked in engineering for about 12 years prior to starting his own company in 2004. Much of his early work consisted of products within the medical industry but has since expanded his knowledge drastically.
The most rewarding part of being an engineering consultant, Scott stated, is the opportunity to work with different industries and products. These different projects both keep things interesting but also help the wheels constantly turn with new ideas and innovations. Working on many different teams, as well as, creating multiple products on his own, Reed is a credited inventor on over 50 patents for different devices and parts..
Many of Reed’s projects are quite literally a matter of life and death, therefore, it is important that he properly manages the process to assure that his work will be exactly what the client wants and expects. Reed incorporates his expertise in Six Sigma practices to ensure he is working as a trusted team member for his clients. Reed credits this structured approach as the key to his long-term success as an independent consultant.
When starting his own company, the CAD options available to Reed were plentiful. He has experience with all the major names in CAD software including, Microstation, Unigraphics, AutoCAD, PTC Creo, and of course SOLIDWORKS. When looking into which software he would focus on for his own business, he stated “picking SOLIDWORKS as my CAD of choice was a no brainer!” The price is very reasonable with the capabilities it offers, especially for a new business owner, and the user interface is much better than others.”
Reed often works with SOLIDWORKS Simulation including Plastics and deems these to be extremely valuable tools. He has experienced much more accurate results with SOLIDWORKS Plastics compared to other similar software products. For his manufacturing clients, the ability to predict product performance through high level simulation analysis such as Finite Element Analysis and plastic flow simulation for new products, prior to tooling, is invaluable. For example, the use of SOLIDWORKS Plastics allowed Reed to create multiple mold design variations prior to manufacturing. This saves his clients expensive mold iterations and more importantly it saves them time.
SOLIDWORKS continues to be Reed’s favorite CAD software. As new products are released, Reed generally uses the SOLIDWORKS community and resources to teach himself much of the software capabilities, as well as, help him fix any issues he may be having. He regularly uses the SOLIDWORKS forums and blogs, YouTube videos and of course, help from his favorite value-added reseller, Unitec, Inc!
Like many engineering jobs, being an engineering consultant is more than a full-time job. It is a lifestyle of proper time management, learning experiences, rewarding projects, and most importantly, happy clients. So if you have a need for some outsourced engineering work, Reed Technical Associates, has the experience and would be happy to help!