Reliability Engineer - Lina Uribe
This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.
Being a Reliability Engineer at Cummins means you’re continuously evaluating data from different information sources. Lina Uribe, a Product Reliability Engineer, is entrusted with analyzing the data that helps Cummins maintain our global reputation for dependability. Her daily role is to help customer product teams understand the lifespan of engine components and help engineering design teams resolve issues that reduce longevity.
“I’m a member of our Corporate Functional Excellence team, which collaborates with other engineers to help teams understand the information developed by our research experts. My team is the connection between new product innovation and existing product improvement, which is important because we design the procedures and standards to manage reliability risk.”
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Lina, a Purdue University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering, arrives at the office early and spends quiet time at her desk updating her presentation for a Six Sigma meeting she’s leading this week. It’s a critical initiative inside the Company and Lina is excited to present data that will lead to better team decisions. She knows paying attention to even the smallest details ahead of finalizing the project timeline can lead to a successful meeting:
“Project planning can be simple things, like making sure conference rooms and engineering team attendance is confirmed. Other times it’s more complicated, like this morning, I’m working on the preliminary discussion guide for our “voice-of-customer” (VOC) research. It’s a teleconference, so the virtual meeting needs to be effective for all global employees attending.”
The VOC research is very important to Lina’s project. She realizes getting the right voices will satisfy the need for customer-centric insight and drive solutions in the right direction.
“It’s not what I think is important-- it’s about anyone who could be affected by the data. We’re thinking beyond our desk to make sure the project is bringing real value. Everything we do here at Cummins takes into consideration our employees, manufacturing, customers, and end-users.”
Lina heads to a mid-morning meeting with engineering leaders from different business units to discuss engineering standard work (ESW). The session involves Lina presenting reliability data to determine cause and effect. This helps the team prioritize ESW improvements for the next twelve months. She knows the ESW prioritization is important to new product development and developing future customer programs.
“I’m showing our leaders which areas for improvement are visible inside the data. Our engineers are constantly improving our product design, but testing can be very expensive. So, we use resources effectively and collaborate on the most important opportunities.”
At lunch, Lina has a working lunch with her manager. They meet at a local restaurant to relax away from the office while discussing project and work plan updates. Lina enjoys getting feedback on her professional development, especially since this is her first career opportunity after college.
“She sees my strengths and passions and makes sure I am accomplishing good work. I like being involved with my university and recruiting new employees, so she’s encouraging me to get involved to develop my leadership skills. I want to learn from her to become an engineering leader someday.”
After lunch, Lina attends a Latino Affinity Group networking event. There are quite a few employees who take time to connect with each other and discuss their career aspirations through this network.
“There are lots of young people at Cummins and our affinity group is a support system where I can meet people with similar interests. We’re all looking for the same thing, and many of us volunteer together to help Latino students go to college and get a job.”
Mid-afternoon, Lina attends a Reliability Engineering forum. It’s an online virtual meeting where employees are discussing global projects currently in development.
“Today’s forum is to ask questions about new software updates. Cummins is great because you’re always learning here-- what people are working on, how we’re improving and where you can go inside the Company. I love how everyone is willing to help you develop.”
At the end of her day, Lina is back at her desk reviewing new reliability data requests received during the afternoon. One request is from the engine cylinder team who is supporting a new product launch. The team is asking for Lina to identify the best type of analysis for their project.
“We have to be detectives and ask tough questions like ‘Why are they asking me for this data’? ‘What test cell data should we look at’? ‘Are they trying to improve future product design’? ‘Are we really looking at design or is this about product longevity’? It’s very challenging to think through each situation, but I feel like I make a big impact!”
Lina leaves the office at the end of her day to go to the local library. She’s meeting a high school student who is studying for the SAT and is helping her increase her score.
“We talk a lot about finding the right career after college and what it’s like to live on campus. It makes me happy because I believe that education is what drives the most accomplishments in your life. I believe I can give her advice and be a friend too. The importance of her decisions now is very important, so I want to give back if I can and make a difference”.