‘Exhilarating’ was the word one engineer used to describe Graycor Industrial Constructors’ Engineer Mentor outing held at Accelerate Indoor Speedway, a state-of-the-art go-karting facility where racing has no speed limits. The Graycor Industrial engineer had just taken first place in a friendly competition racing against fellow employees during the recreational portion of the all-day mentoring function held on May 10, 2018.
The event—sponsored by Graycor Industrial’s Engineer Mentor Committee (EMC)—began with a morning tour of Gremp Steel Co., a 91-year-old steel fabricating business located in Posen, Illinois, where the group of 10 engineers learned about the steel fabrication process and associated challenges from detailed drawing development to delivery coordination. In addition to a tour of Gremp’s fabrication shop, discussions during the visit focused on best practices for procurement, work sequencing, submittal management, coordination, and how last-minute changes impact the fabrication process.
Following the tour, the group headed to Accelerate Speedway in Mokena, Illinois, where the engineers combined education and fun by participating in LEGO building and go-kart racing.
For the LEGO exercise, the engineers formed teams of two to each build a LEGO police car—utilizing Graycor’s Quality Program processes of estimating, buyout, preconstruction, receiving, execution and closeout—as though they were building an industrial project.
The teams were scored on how well they followed the quality process in building their LEGO cars. “It wouldn’t be fun if it were easy, so the engineers were faced with problems throughout the build,” says Tom Baskind, EMC mentor. The engineers—dealing with challenges such as materials arriving damaged, in the wrong color, or as incorrect items—used internal processes such as receiving and inspection reports, material requisitions, non-conformance reports (NCR), and requests for information (RFI) to complete the build on time. Not unlike a real-world situation, each engineer needed to thoroughly understand the specifications and drawings to ensure he or she was following proper procedures.
The team earning the highest number of points for closely following Graycor’s quality process was rewarded with Chicago White Sox baseball tickets.
Following lunch and armed with instructions on the facility’s racing policies, Graycor Industrial’s executive leaders, mentors and engineers divided into two groups and enjoyed some fun and friendly rivalry during two hours of ‘exhilarating’ go-karting.
Through its mentoring program, Graycor Industrial’s EMC recruits, mentors and trains new engineers hired by the company.