Molex announces the results of the global survey on design engineering innovations

Molex announces the results of the global survey on design engineering innovations

“Today’s design engineers are shaping the future of tomorrow’s most innovative products,” he said Aldo Lopez, SVP, president, Datacom & Specialty Solutions, Molex. “This global survey highlights how engineers are diversifying their skills while adopting new design tools and digital technologies to reduce challenges and accelerate the delivery of world-class products.”

Molex and Digi-Key Electronics have commissioned Dimensional Research to interview 528 qualified individuals who work as design engineers or manage design engineering teams at manufacturing companies. Interviewees from the United States, Canada, China, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom offered insights into the opportunities and obstacles impacting their careers. The summary report, titled “Design Engineer Tell-All: Advancing Innovation in an Era of Disruption”, offers pragmatic insights into the evolution of engineering design processes, tools and teams to keep up with the reduction of design cycles of products, dynamic market demands and persistent supply chain constraints.

Key findings include:

  • 57% cite an increase in the size and number of their design team (52%) over the past five years
  • 58% of respondents report design cycles are getting faster, while 43% say their design organization is more likely to deliver designs sooner than expected
  • 53% embrace both agile and continuous improvement / delivery to improve efforts
  • 88% access “makerspaces”, test laboratories or innovation centers for experimentation

Skills and specializations
According to the survey, 66% of respondents say their companies’ design teams have more experience on average than they did a few years ago. In addition, there is a growing need for diversified skills and a deep experience in specialized areas. Survey respondents believe that typical designers need to improve skills in the following areas: supply chain management (40%), people and team skills (39%), digital technologies (37%), new design tools (32 %), artificial intelligence or learning machines (28%) as well as user experience and form factor (25%).

The findings also reveal that young and female engineers are very excited to incorporate innovative digital technologies into product designs. Millennium engineers have expressed greater interest in strengthening their financial knowledge (33%) and AI or machine learning (39%) than their Gen X counterparts (14% and 32%, respectively) and baby boomers (10% and 16%, respectively). Most respondents (81%) want to continue working in their current industries, while 13% are looking for experience in a different industry.

Obstacles and opportunities
Designers take their roles seriously, with 85% saying they feel responsible for final designs after they are approved. Understanding supply chain risks (34%) tops the list of challenges that create major difficulties for designers, followed by accessing parts or materials (30%) and learning new technologies (24%) ), as well as the balance of production needs and customer requirements (24%).

A total of 59% of respondents also said they have greater flexibility and control over supplier selection. Reliability of the supply chain (54%), access to technical support and experience (43%) and attractive prices (38%) were ranked as the most important in supplier relationships. Persistent supply chain deficiencies lead engineers to choose alternative materials (59%), minimize production volumes (43%) and exclude planned features (40%) in product designs.

Global vision, regional focus
Around the world, designers share similar views, but respondents do China they stand out for having reported significant increases in both team size (94%) and experience (97%). Additionally, they are twice as likely to deliver sooner than their counterparts (92% versus 43% globally). In the ranking of the most important challenges, respondents from Japan prioritize the need for adequate test plans (31% vs 21% globally) and unite UK participants in addressing the supply of the necessary quality (28% / UK and 26% / Japan vs 20% a global level). Overwhelmingly, respondents agree that collaborative skills are just as important as technical skills, with Germany placing the utmost emphasis on the need to manage increasing levels of collaboration (19% vs. 11% globally).

About Molex
Molex is a world leader in electronics committed to making the world a better and more connected place. With a presence in over 40 countries, Molex enables transformative technology innovation in the automotive, data center, industrial automation, healthcare, 5G, cloud and consumer devices industries. Through trusting relationships with customers and industries, unrivaled engineering expertise and product quality and reliability, Molex realizes the infinite potential of Making connections for life. For more information, visit www.molex.com.

SOURCE Molex Incorporated

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