Modern Robotics: A day in the life of an engineering team manager

By Steve Hartman

In their Remove Friction & Speed Innovation series, the Schnitger Corporation theorized how concepts centered around a fictional company’s comprehensive digital transformation strategy as well as implementation of Siemens Xcelerator as a Service benefited the individuals within the organization.

The report examined three specific roles within the fictional company: “Modern Robotics.” In the fourth part of a four-part series, the report focused on the day in the life of an engineering team manager.

(Read the first part: What happened when Modern Robotics adopted a stronger digital transformation strategy here).

Although Modern Robotics is not a real company, the challenges they face as they design and manufacture new products represent very real issues, with which many companies struggle today. These challenges include maintaining competitiveness, designing complex products, increasing costs, efficiency and maintaining human and IT resources.

We first encounter the engineering team manager who is tasked with building a prototype of an MRone robot that would work in a retail store. The goal is to send it to early adopters within 12 months. After identifying the internal experts in electric motors, sensors, software, and communication systems, the team is joined by designers, analysts and a manufacturing specialist who then quickly define the technology environment in which they’ll work and how it could be improved.

Summary: A day in the life of an engineering team manager

Finley, the engineering team manager, knows that designers and engineers are often siloed in their respective discipline and that it’s rare for these two engineering disciplines to come together for a review. This is also true at Modern Robotics, where the teams are too reliant on stand-alone CAD tools and Excel. With a complex product such as the MRone, Finley recognizes that more effective and efficient engineering team collaboration is of the essence.

To determine how the teams would create data to share, the teams conduct an in-depth technical evaluation of mechanical, electrical, and conceptual CAD apps, simulation, CAM and other tools. Working with the in-house IT partner, Finley wants to ensure that the digital tools they select are open, modern and connected.

The ideal option is a technology platform with built-in connectivity, designed to quickly transfer data from one node or application to another, including collaboration, data management and workflow tools.

Finley’s plan to connect data, processes and tools — from concept design to product launch and after-sales service, and across disciplines, includes the following:

  • Select cloud-native CAD and CAE tools for each discipline that best meet functional criteria
  • Ensure that these tools are supported by a robust platform so that they can take advantage of built-in connectivity, workflow and data management capabilities, as well as APIs (application programming interfaces) to connect to applications outside the platform
  • Replace legacy tools with apps that are connected to the platform, and
  • Use the vendor’s managed services to offload IT tasks from the IT team so that they can build extensions and personalizations to gain the most value from the platform.

How did it go for the engineering team manager and Modern Robotics? Read the full analysis: Remove Friction & Speed Innovation: The engineering manager’s view below.

Want to start with the first report in the four-part series? Read Part 1: What happened when Modern Robotics adopted a stronger digital transformation strategy.

Start your digital future your way with Siemens Xcelerator as a Service. With unprecedented access to the cloud, the scalability and flexibility to meet your specific business needs, the ability to use the world’s most comprehensive digital twin, your team will have the power to innovate.

Learn more about how you can give your designers and engineers access to on-demand functionality with Siemens Xcelerator as a Service.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at