One of my earliest jobs was in the engineering department of a cold heading plant. I was studying to be a design engineer at the time, but wasn’t even considered an engineer or designer yet. My official title was Draftsman, a throwback to the earlier days of design when it was still done with pencils and paper. Truth be told, even Draftsman was a bit lofty for what I really did, which was making dozens of prints at the copy machine, distributing them around the plant, and filing away the originals. My real title should have been Office Boy or the like.
Even still, I did gain some good industry experience by just being there and making observations. One such learning moment was when I was shown the company file server room. “Room” was rather generous, as it seemed more like an oversized closet. The servers stored large amounts of company data, much of it from the engineering department. We had a huge amount of standard product designs recorded on CAD files, each with its own set of dies also designed in CAD. These files were the lifeblood of the company’s assets. They contained all the process information required to create their products. It stands to reason that their safety and security were important.
That’s why the file server room had its own independent measures for safety and security. The room was accessible only to authorized personnel. What amazed me was that the room had its own climate control and alarm system to notify the head of IT in case anything went wrong. If the temperature became dangerous for the servers, the head of IT would get notified by the system, anywhere at any time. He had to immediately head to the plant to somehow fix the problem. In today’s digital era, we wouldn’t have to worry about having a server room, maintaining the room’s temperature or having an IT team on standby. Nowadays, cloud manufacturing software would replace these outdated and manual tasks. Instead, manufacturers would use leading providers of cloud infrastructure such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in tandem with their powerful cloud manufacturing solution.