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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Microstory 433: Floor 9 (Part 1)

Let me tell you a little bit about what we do. First, there’s a commission. There must be a need for a new product, or a call for more production of something we already make. If it’s new, then a designer will start figuring out how it will work, consulting with engineers to make sure it doesn’t fall apart. Then Research and Development gets their hands on it and starts asking us to build prototypes for them. They then send it through rigorous testing to make sure it does what it’s supposed to do. In our case, we make mostly doors and windows, so they really just need to worry about whether it can withstand a certain level of strain and other damage. Once they find out what works—and they usually go through a few cycles to accomplish this—they send the finished design to me. I run product development. All we do is calibrate the machines and crank out the product as much as necessary. We do a lot of custom jobs at headquarters. We maintain a couple satellite locations that handle our standard products. Most doorways are about the same, so we don’t develop significantly new designs, but windows are different. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are utilized for various purposes. This is why we can’t blame a satellite facility for the windows that caused deaths. Not only were they custom jobs, but they were also rush jobs. We went through the process at a faster rate than they normally do. Once it gets to us, we don’t pay attention to what it is. All we do is make what we’re asked to make. The floor I work on is primarily offices, and we handle the software side. We feed the specifications into the program, and it determines how to get the machines to manufacture what we want. So you see, it’s impossible for us to have had anything to do the products being faulty. We just do what we’re told. Maybe talk to the engineers.

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