3 responses to “Bench Time”

  1. Cherish The Scientist

    We’ve had to deal with this a lot, especially when I was working on my MS. Right now, we have three computers that can be used for simulation work. At one point, we had one. Period. So we would be scheduling time for who got to use the computer. As far as emag sims went, it was fairly easy to prioritize. However, it got very fuzzy as far as who got priority between the emag sims and the mechanical/thermal sims that needed to be run.

    Solution: more computers.

    However, even with more computers, we still have single licenses for most of our software, and that can still get hairy sometimes. Usually, there is a clear priority or we simply try to work it out based on when people are in. It’s still hard, sometimes, but we try to be accommodating. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be if I were working in a place with significantly more people vying for equipment.

  2. Mike

    I ran into this issue with prototypes at my previous company. In order to get prototypes into the hands of the customer for evaluation, you had to schedule them weeks (or months) ahead of time on the production line. Since they were prototypes, the design groups (electronics, software, and mechanical) scrambled to meet the build date, and quite often something wasn’t ready. Rescheduling was rarely an option, since if you moved the prototype build date you usually went to the end of the queue and fouled up the entire schedule, not to mention making enemies on the production line for ‘wasting my time on this damn proto build’. The solution was to set up some of the older, slower equipment as a separate line that ran only prototypes and real low-volume stuff.

    Of course, this only lasted for a couple of years. Then someone upstairs noticed that all that equipment that was sitting idle 10%-20% of the time. So they went back to using it for production. I hear its hard to get a prototype run over there now….

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