Bradbury Academy Update
‘I have been in various different roles at Bradbury since the start of the year, including processing doors for the engineering department using CAD (Solidworks) and tooling, where they programme the machines that make our doors. The rest of my time has been spent in the design office where I’ve been working closely with a senior development engineer on a new aluminium door. During this project I got to get my hands dirty, helped to build prototypes and write reports on the initial designs. I was also given the opportunity to travel to our Scottish subsidiary to teach their assembly team how to build the new door from start to finish.
An apprenticeship with Bradbury has allowed me to experience many different aspects of engineering, through working in both the factory and the development office. Every day is different and I am are free to design a feature and test it out in the factory to see if it works.
Bradbury is a great company to work for if you want to kick-start a career in engineering. I plan on staying here to progress in my career and help to reach company targets year on year. We are ambitious – that’s what you want from a good engineering company, and that’s what will help me push myself to progress as a design engineer.’
‘Since the last blog, I have experienced all placements of the R&D apprenticeship programme. Highlights have included building a show stand and representing the company at an exhibition in Birmingham, and I also visited a site to survey for a customer and then modelled the work myself, which was a great opportunity to see what it’s like to work in a customer facing role. The onsite positions that I’ve experienced have included tooling, order processing, prototyping, technical support and small projects.
I enjoyed all placements for different reasons but I have chosen to be a part of the Prototyping team which requires the capability to read from engineering drawings, fabrication, welding, folding and using hand tools. This team takes on new projects that have not been trialled at Bradbury before; with this process you often encounter issues which that need resolving quickly and efficiently.
Now that I have chosen to be a part of the R&D Specials team I will be taking part in large demanding projects. This choice will help me specialise more in the fabrication department and further my knowledge of Bradbury products, and hopefully learn new skills for the future as a permanent member of the Prototyping team!’
‘I recently did 4 weeks experience with the R&D Specials team where the main focus was learning our production processes, receiving training on the various fabrication techniques Bradbury employs and how to operate the range of machines we have onsite. My time spent with the Specials team was also an excellent opportunity to be introduced to people from the production departments who I would not normally have met. From my time spent within the team I learn a lot of new things about Bradbury and got to know some great people.
After completing my initial training, I’ve recently opted to become a Quality and Improvement Engineer. This is an important role which helps to maximise the quality of Bradbury products and help the overall standard of our products and business improve. I will be trusted to ensure Bradbury maintains a high standard of quality as well as making sure any ways to improve ourselves as a business are acted upon.’
‘Since starting as a Bradbury Academy apprentice I have worked in many different environments, including working in the factory with the R&D Specials team and processing doors in the Engineering office. This has all been geared towards helping the apprentices make a decision about where we’d like to be based at the end of our initial training.
For the last part of my training I was in our Engineering department which involved tooling doors for the Salvagnini and programming the Dallan machine. I found this process to be very beneficial as I got to understand the Salvagnini better, and was able to gather advice from the tooling technicians about making processes less complicated between the Engineering and R&D departments.
Now that our initial training has been completed, I am ready to start my full-time role as an R&D Engineer. The training period gave me a good grounding in the engineering discipline but more importantly, a good understanding of how Bradbury works as a company. I am excited about what the future holds for the rest of my apprenticeship, and I am looking forward to completing my apprenticeship and becoming a fully-fledged member of the R&D team.’
‘During the six week position rotation period I have been on hand to help Peter Hill and Dave Lonsdale with their cold aisle server containment projects for Fujitsu. This culminated with the three of us going to two different Fujitsu sites in Stevenage and Thurrock over three days to carry out the surveying required to be able to design, supply and install them with our SR3 grilles. This was a good experience for me to gain an understanding of what the products I’m designing will need to achieve in terms of their structure, and any potential obstructions that could hazard the installation.
As for now, I have begun my permanent role within the Engineering department. This role has combined the engineering processing and CNC tooling aspects into a more multi-skilled position. The areas that I shall gain experience in is: engineering of sales orders, modelling and designing new hardware into models and CNC programming of all of our machines. Being trained in two disciplines is not only beneficial for my career development, but also for the engineering office who have the opportunity to develop the therefore increasing the efficiency of work.
Having been at Bradbury for a year now, my time here so far is only full of positives. Rotating round six differing positions within the R&D and Engineering departments has given me a very good idea of how the two interact with each other and gave me plenty to think about when it came to picking out a position to be placed in permanently. Over the next 12-18 months I shall be pushing myself both within my new role within Engineering and in my NVQ qualification to achieve greatly and qualify into a Junior CAD/Tooling Engineer.’
‘Over the past six weeks I have been training to use the Salvagnini so that I can provide holiday cover for the person who usually runs the machine. Along with Brad (one of the other apprentices) I was in charge of keeping the Salvagnini running for a full week. My permanent role has now been selected and I will be working as an Extendor and Cross-guard Engineer. My roles will include processing Cross-guard orders, mapping out Extendor projects and taking responsibility for helping our Senior Design Engineers create new products and improve existing designs. As part of my new role, I have also been requested to help out in the engineering office.’